Before putting together a modeling portfolio, it is important to know what type of modeling that the model is best suited for. A portfolio of a freelance model may include a variety of different types of photos, while a portfolio of a agency represented fashion model would have a completely different set of images. A model should set realistic goals from the beginning of their careers to avoid any setbacks or disappointments due to the fact that they may be attempting to enter a sector of modeling that they may not have the chance to break into.
A model should realize that their modeling portfolio is a the first impression of themselves as a model. Their portfolio will always be the first thing that agencies before they see you in person. And even when they meet the clients and photographers on castings and go sees, they must have their portfolio with them. And for that reason, it is highly recommended to focus on getting the best modeling portfolio that will enable them to establish their modeling career.
Attention to the quality of the photos you choose to include in your portfolio is of most importance and a model should always seek advice as far as the photos which are present in their portfolios. These photos must appeal to agencies and clients and the models personal tastes and opinions are not even considered. Just because a model likes their photo does not mean that the clients will be impressed with it.
It is better to have a smaller amount of photos that are great, than to have 50 photos that are of medium quality and repetitive. So the rule of quality over quantity is something to remember. A new model is not expected to have tear sheets just yet, but their portfolio should have 6 – 12 photos, even when you are presenting yourself as a new model. As an established model, your portfolio should have more photos and tear sheets of work they have actually don’t for other clients.
A model should keep in mind that the purpose of a modeling portfolio is not only to market themselves, but it should also demonstrate their ability to portray different looks and personality. A versatile model, they are called, has many more opportunities than a model who has the same look no matter the idea of the client or creative team. For this reason you should include good head shots with minimal makeup, and shots that are not “over the top”. It is also important to have good full length shots, with swimwear or tight-fitting clothes, especially if you plan to apply to the larger model markets. Shots that look like they hide your body sometime lead client to think you are hiding something under the clothes and they may pass on having you come in for a casting.
As far as the type of photos to include in your model portfolio, there are no strict rules that a model should follow, but they should try to keep your portfolio as professional as possible by only including high quality photos that the client may breeze through quickly a get a good sense of the models abilities. As long as the model knows what type of modeling they are looking to do, that should be enough to give themselves some direction as to what kind of pictures to include.