A modelling portfolio, often called a book, is a collection of the best pictures of the model showcasing different expressions and looks. Your portfolio should tell your client or agent a story about who you are and what direction your career is heading.
Your book is always a work in progress and it will change as you do to reflect who you are now.
What does your modeling portfolio need?
Initially, all you need is a selection of 6-20 pictures. There is no point is showing mediocre images so just select your very best shots; less is more when it comes to a portfolio.
Agencies like to see photos that show your versatility, so pictures with different expressions, emotions and looks should be a priority when you start building a portfolio.
What type of shots will we take and why?
A beauty shot is essential to every model/actor, so the initial focus of your photo session is usually to get these down.
Firstly a clean head shot without heavy makeup and styling to demonstrate exactly how you look. This is possibly the most important picture in your book, so we want to make sure this is right.
For commercial models, the shot is more relaxed and can be in colour or black and white. Fashion and editorial models almost always use a colour shot of the face, usually not smiling. Remember this is the first picture in your book so make sure it is a killer!
Along with your beauty shots, we will shoot a selection of others depending on your agency and commercial requirements.
These are typically:
- Beauty shoot
- Full length fashion shot
- Body shots
- Lifestyle shot
- Editorial shots
- Elegant-business like shot
- Shots showing the model conveying a mood- different facial expressions
- Interaction shots with other model or objects
How to prepare for your photo shoot?
Practice makes perfect! With a date of the photo session approaching you can prepare yourself by getting a full-length mirror and start practising the basic poses.
As a photographer with modelling experience I will guide you through the shots but if you spend time practising you will feel more confident. You can always look through magazines for posing ideas and start from there.
Knowing different facial expressions and poses that enhance your body can really make the difference to the shoot. It is great to know how your face looks and feels when you smile or frown. Which profile does your face look better with?
Practice your poses in your underwear so there is no collar or pocket to place your hand and there is nothing to play with or hold. That way you’ll learn where to place your hands to make your body-line look its best.
What to wear for your shoot?
Your modelling portfolio is put together to “sell” you to the clients or agency, so all images are about making you look great!
You are the product, so there should be as little distraction as possible on your photographs, so it is best to bring along clothes in plain, solid colours. Also, try to bring clothes in different fabrics and materials, some loose some tight fitting, and with a selection of necklines.
No jewellery please, however, think of props- a scarf matching your outfit can make image more believable and also will give you something to pose with (making it a bit easier).
Also bring some well-fitted jeans and trousers, a few shirts (ironed!), some jumpers or tops. Also bring some boxer shorts in black or white, and some accessories such as a tie, hat or a scarf. This will make for a good basis to create your images.
Before the shoot together we will go through your outfits and plan the accordingly so don’t stress, we will make it work!