Portfolio Images

What Images should be in an aspiring model's portfolio?

  1. Tight head shot, such as used in magazine covers or makeup ads. These photos are very closely cropped showing the face to the best advantage. They are meant to be very glamorous and the ones that have bare shoulders are often the most striking as there is little to compete with the face in the image.
  2. Full length shots. This is to give the agency, ad directory and their clients an idea of your body type. So this pose should show your figure to best advantage. Look at ads for jeans to get an idea. This can be a jeans and tee shirt type of shot.
  3. Formal wear. Dress to the nines with the best outfit you own or can borrow. Often in a portfolio you will see the formal wear juxtaposed with the girl next door jeans and tee shirt shot. These on facing pages can be quite a contrast.
  4. Some good photos that can show your range. This is usually a mixed bag of photos of whatever you and the photographer can imagine. The idea is to look like several different people; the best models can do this very well. This somehow stops being important if you should ever become a "supermodel" as they get paid the really big money to look like who they really are.
  5. Swimsuit shot. If you have both the body and a skilled enough photographer you can produce a really good shot. If your body is really good, you can go for a bikini, but for the most part, a one piece maillot tends to help most body types.
  6. Specialty shots, such as lingerie. The same rules apply as for the swimsuit shot. Generally lingerie models tend to run have a bust of 34 to 36, A or B, and tend to be slender. It is odd though a girl can go to the beach or pose in the tiniest of bikinis, but will not pose in the less revealing lingerie. Make certain that the lingerie fits properly.

I also see nothing wrong with including a tasteful nude. Not the "men's magazine" type but the ones you see in Cosmo and others for bath oils and similar products. Look at these ads to see what I mean. Nudity and semi-nudity are becoming very common in ads, so I don't think I am making a radical suggestion. You can watch some of the fashion shows and see semi-nudity on the fashion show runways. Get used to being nude in the model business, as the changing room at a fashion show is over flowing with people who are dressing you, undressing you, doing your hair, and makeup; so don't expect privacy. While you don't need nude images in your portfolio, if you have a good rapport with your photographer, I would say at least try. However, do not do nude work if the photographer makes you uneasy! You can also bring someone if you think that would help you or you can just wait until you actually get a real assignment through your agent and then plunge right in.

Good luck.