What is a model’s portfolio? A portfolio is a representation of your very best photography work. It serves as the model’s ‘business card’ and often times is the only thing a client sees before deciding if they want to book you or not. If you are just beginning your career, than you will want to show only the strongest photos taken during your photo tests and ultimately bookings. As your career progresses, typically those photos will be replaced with your ‘tear sheets’ proving you are a working professional.
You will want your photos to show versatility, originality, personality, age range and your uniqueness. Remember that your photos should show different outfits, different emotions and different photo shoot locations – otherwise your photos will be boring!
In the beginning of your career, your portfolio should, at the very minimum, show a very strong headshot, ¾ body shot and a full body shot. These photos can feature a variety of looks – fashion shots, action shots, swimsuit shots – the sky’s the limit. A good tip is to avoid trendy clothing or jewelry because both will ‘date’ your photos! But, most importantly, your personality must show in the photos!
When selecting which photos to put in your portfolio, remember to pick only the most “WOW” photos – less is better! In other words, don’t go for quantity but instead go for quality! Your portfolio should be organized so that each photo, contact sheets and slides are properly displayed within the book. Color and/or black and white photos can be mixed together in your book. Unless your agency tells you different, the standard photo size is 9 X 12 inches.