Tips on Compiling a Modeling Portfolio

I’ve talked about it dozens of times, but lately I’ve been dispensing a lot of tips on how to compile an effective modeling portfolio. So what does effective mean? Let’s go back to the purpose of the portfolio: get hired for modeling jobs! That’s its only purpose. It’s not to show off your latest shoes or impress friends. Follow the advice below and you’ll be on your way.

  1. Use a specific album for your portfolio. If you have an account on a site, make sure your portfolio is the first thing people see. Keep non-portfolio images elsewhere.
  2. Use recent photos. It doesn’t matter if it’s your favorite photo. Nobody hires you based on what you looked like a year ago, it’s what you look like now. And don’t think you’re unchanged for the last two years. Even if it’s for the better, the camera can see the difference.
  3. You don’t need professional photos! The photos just need to be clear and well-lit. I prefer a snapshot where I can see the model over a dramatic masterpiece that shows me nothing of her bone structure, skin, and eyes.
  4. Don’t pose for your primary shots. Include a shot of your face and one of your body. You can show off your posing ability in a few shots but also show the raw materials.
  5. No Photoshop! Don’t include retouched images without declaring them. That is false advertising. If you want to include a couple finished images you can, but better to post them on Flickr than in your portfolio.
  6. Don’t be afraid to delete. Old images can be nice to look at and you may want to save them for the comments, but move them somewhere outside your portfolio.