With New York Fashion Week upon us, it’s a great time to explore some of the common inquiries we get when it comes to the best execution of your professional portfolio. For a photographer, model, fashion, beauty or hair stylist wanting to successfully apply for or renew an artist visa application, it’s important to keep in mind that the same portfolio that lands you a job might not also land you a visa.
To keep it simple we’ve boiled it down to the key essentials and “Dos and Don’ts” when it comes to producing a work portfolio that is picture perfect for a US immigration officer.
|Show strict images without putting the work in context.||Show images of your work featured within the publication (see example image above).|
|Show only the work you are most proud of.||Instead, show as many significant examples of your work that you can. Quality is just as important, however, if you can show multiple features in the covers of Vogue for example, it builds credibility for your application by demonstrating your success in your chosen creative field.|
|Ignore a significant piece of your body of work (and story) simply due to the lack of an image.||If you don’t have an image featured in a magazine but you do have either a call sheet from a shoot or your name was listed in the masthead of a publication, include it! In other words, identify what other proof might exist that will be representative of the work you are doing and at the level you are operating. Are people writing reviews of your work, favorable mentions? Be sure not to leave any of the good stuff out!|
|It’s the modern age so I’ll just hyperlink all relevant information rather than providing “old skool” printouts.||In reality, none of your portfolio for the purposes of your visa application should be hyperlinked. Zero. Unless you have already supplied PDFs or scanned versions of your work featured within a publication, regardless if the publication is in print or digital. We know links seem to be the trend, but trust us on this one and you can thank us later.|
|Assume that the officer reviewing your application knows the (relevant to your industry) publications, people or media sources that might feature your work.||It is all about putting your work in context. For example, you might have modeled for the hottest fashion blogger in NYC but if you are unable to demonstrate the value of that feature (circulation numbers, web hits, etc.) your amazing feature could fall flat simply because it wasn’t a recognized name and you failed to explain the who, why and what.|
At the end of the day your talent will speak for itself, however, it is up to you, the applicant to highlight all of your successes and work within your chosen field so that the officer reviewing your application can also easily recognize your extraordinary ability.
Still have questions and/or want to learn more about preparing your portfolio for visa application success? We are here to help and invite you to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.