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Modelling Portfolios

modelling portfoliosWhat is a modelling portfolio?

A modelling portfolio is a collection of photographs that show a model in a variety of different aspects and ‘characters’. It should have a selection of head shots, full-length and close-ups, a variety of outfits: casual, sporty, smart, glamorous, and a selection of different styles of photography: outdoor, studio etc.

A model should have a hard copy and digital copy of their portfolio, making it as easy as possible for clients to browse the images and select their preferred models.

What is a modelling portfolio used for?

A modelling portfolio is like a model’s CV or resume. It’s proof of the work they have done, and that they are photogenic and versatile. Although models should be stunning and charismatic, it’s important for a model not to overshadow the product they are promoting, and they should look natural in a number of different looks.

For example, it’s no good for a model to be so strongly a ‘goth’ that they look ridiculous in sportswear. Being a goth is fine in your own time, but if you want to be a model, you need to be a blank slate that the personality of the clothing like or product can paint colour onto.

Do I need a modelling portfolio?

All professional models need a modelling portfolio. And while some of the top modelling agencies may use their own photographers to shoot you for your modelling portfolio, the majority (even of the big name modelling agencies) will require the model to pay for his or her own portfolio.

If you want to do freelance work, then you will definitely need to get your modelling portfolio together yourself – make sure you get a professional to do the shoot, or you’ll be shooting yourself in the foot when it comes to finding modelling jobs!

What sort of pictures should go in a modelling portfolio?

A modelling portfolio isn’t just about showing off how beautiful a model is. It’s about showing off the range and versatility of the model – and show how good they are at making products looks attractive. Therefore, it’s critical to have as wide a range of images as possible, showing different outfits, angles and personalities.

As a guide, a portfolio should have at least one of each of the following:

  • A headshot
  • A closeup
  • A full length shot
  • A seated pose
  • A studio shot
  • An outdoor shot
  • The model in sportswear
  • The model in lingerie or bikini (or equivalent for male models)
  • The model in evening wear
  • The model in a business suit (unless they are teen or younger)