A solid modeling portfolio is one of the cornerstones of a successful modeling career. In order to launch your modeling career, you need to build a portfolio that will impress clients. In order to do that, you need to hire a professional photographer (or multiple photographers) because selfies will not make the cut. You might also want to think about hiring a professional makeup artist so you look your best during your photoshoot.
Building the best modeling portfolio
Building your modeling portfolio will be expensive when you are just starting out, but if you try to cut corners by applying your own makeup or asking a friend to take your photographs, then your portfolio is not going to look at professional as it should and will not bring in any work. You want to put the best version of yourself out there, which means hiring professionals in the field who know what they are doing and can help you emphasize your best features.
When it comes to choosing your outfits, you should stick to solid colors instead of patterns, florals, and prints. Try everything on ahead of time to make sure it all fits without hanging too loosely or clinging too tightly. Make sure you have multiple outfits prepared for one photoshoot because you do not want a portfolio filled with the same clothing items.
Your modeling portfolio should include an eclectic group of photos that are shot from different locations, with different lighting (outdoor versus indoor), with you wearing different styles of clothing. You do not want all of your photos to contain identical poses, facial expressions, or hairstyles, because you want to appear versatile. You want clients to look at you and feel like you would be able to pull off any look, not just one specific look.
You should keep an open dialogue with your photographer. Discuss what kind of photographs you are looking to include in your portfolio so they know what to shoot. You should consider taking a few headshots where your face takes up the majority of the photo, a few beauty shots that contain your head and upper body, a few fashion shots with focus on the clothing, and possibly a few swimsuit or tasteful lingerie shots that show your own body.
When the camera is aimed in your direction, do not let your nerves get the best of you. Keep your confidence high. Smile real smiles. You might want to practice your poses in the mirror ahead of time so you feel comfortable in front of your photographer. If you aren’t sure what you should be doing with your hands or how you should be positioning your torso, try browsing through photographs of models you admire. Look at the way they hold themselves. Try mimicking their poses and see what looks the best with your body.
Once you are finished having your photographs taken, choose six to sixteen photographs to include in your modeling portfolio. (Never include twenty or more.) Arrange your photos so the best ones are in the very front and the very back while leaving the mediocre ones in the middle. If you end up getting hired for professional work, you can also include tear sheets with photographs from magazines.
Make sure your photos are printed in the correct size for the area you are looking for work. In New York and Los Angeles, the most common books are 9×12 and 11×14 but 8.5×11 books are more common in Chicago and Dallas.
You should also make sure you have a profile page with your information. You should include your height, weight, hair color, and eye color. You should list out the locations of any tattoos and scars on your body. You should include what kind of work you are willing to do (commercial print modeling, fashion modeling, etc.) and what relevant skills you have.
When you are finished deciding what should be placed inside your modeling portfolio, you can either have it printed professionally or you can hire someone to create an online portfolio for you. Then you can start applying for jobs and see who you can impress with all of your hard work.
If you have more advice to share on how to build a top modeling portfolio, please share your thoughts and ideas in the comments