Do You Need a Modeling Portfolio?

Project Casting
Modeling Portfolio – What is it?

A modeling portfolio is a collection of your modeling pictures. How many photos you need in your modeling portfolio varies. But, you should only keep strong pictures, remember, you are only as talented and beautiful as your worst picture!

Models should not aim for quantity but instead for quality. Avoid using 2 pictures that have the same look, and typically black and white is a industry favorite so, it is important to keep a few black and white photos in your portfolio.

A basic but versatile portfolio would have a casual headshot, a styled head shot, a conservative body shot, a fashion shot, an action shot, an editorial shot, and finally a catalogue shot. Each photo should be different, and should illustrate your versatility.  As you gain experience replace the older photos with new pictures and keep your best picture at the end to leave a lasting impression!

It is important to not wear jewelry for these prints, since it may take the attention away from you, and instead place it on something not as important. Remember, each photo is to impress the casting director, talent agent, or photographer. Tailor your portfolio to your strengths and the type of modelling you are interested in doing.

Portfolio Tips

The tools to land you more projects and gigs are your portfolio photographs and your resume. Your Portfolio is a model’s basic promotional instrument. Use your portfolio to demonstrate your versatility and always utilize your best photos.

At the start of your modeling career, your portfolio should include:

  • At least two head shots with two different expressions. For example, having one photo smiling and the next in a serious face. Or, it is possible to shoot one photo in the studio and the other outdoors.
  • At least two fashion shots. For example, one casual photo and the next should be a formal picture.
  • If you are able to be flexible or move easily, include an action shot.
  • You should also have at least one full-length shot showing your body. For example, a photo should show your feet to knees, or knees to thighs. Wear something that shows your body but is still very flattering to your figure.
  • A full portfolio will contain about twenty to twenty four “9×12” pictures and tears from recent magazine publications.
  • It is better to have less photos, but ones that really point out your strengths, than a portfolio full of mediocre pictures.
A strong portfolio opens doors, and a weak portfolio closes them. Your portfolio is often the only thing a casting director, a photographer, or talent agent sees before deciding whether or not to contact you, and in many cases you may not be present to explain particular weaknesses.
If you take the time to review and select your work, and put together a well thought out modeling portfolio, you will be rewarded many times over throughout your career.