“Elegance is not about being noticed, it’s about being remembered.” – Giorgio Armani
if an agency is interested in you, they will want to see your portfolio to see how you look in different attitudes (poses) and how you look in different outfits, the agency may ask you to build your book a little bit more or work on developing your look. This can be very confusing if they have no idea what the agency is looking for or what it all really means.
Agencies like to see a model’s versatility in photos that show their ability to express themselves. They also like to see how well the model can actually tell a story or portray a feeling or emotion in their photos.
Self-projection and attitude meaning in a model means that attitude is key to your image and also confidence and your long-term career in modelling.
Even if that means a subtle look and natural look, attitude means everything. Attitude brings about that extra vibe that you get and when you can project that attitude in your shoots, the professionals can tell.
In the long run, attitude too plays a part in how long you can last. The modelling world from what I know is a tough world and also too good to be just a series of shoots. To model is to be able to have that drive to learn, pursue and overcome new challenges, getting out of the comfort zone, splashed in the face, acting normal in a harsh environment.
Even if you are a natural, you still need attitude, if you want to make a long-lasting impression.
Below is a list of the essential photos you should have in your portfolio so you can present yourself with a confident attitude.
1 A beauty shot or headshot
A beauty shot or headshot is a photograph of the model’s face, generally from the shoulders up. It can be shot in black and white, or color. The purpose of a beauty shot is to show the model in his or her most natural state, which allows the agency or client to see exactly how the model looks without heavy makeup, styling, and with minimum jewelry. Editorial models do not usually smile in a beauty shot. A beauty shot or commercial headshot should always be the first photo in a model’s book.
2 The full-length body shot
This shot allows the client to see the model’s shape, pose, and body type. Clothes should be simple. Like Jeans, shorts, t-shirts avoid wearing long dresses, skirts, or bulky clothing as this will distract and cover-up exactly what the agents and clients are trying to see.
3 This Lingerie and the swim ware fashion
This Lingerie and the swim ware fashion niche is a desirable avenue to pursue, yet it takes a certain character to feel comfortable removing their clothing in front of the camera. Lingerie brands do possess specific expectations from models which must be met to enjoy a successful career. During the spring/summer months, brands will also be promoting their swimwear ranges.
An underwear model is required to have enough confidence to stand in front of many people and a camera in just her/his underwear. People will need to look at your cleavage/bum to ensure items fit appropriately. You will also have to endure make-up artists applying products to your skin to make your skin appear flawless in front of the camera. This means a lingerie model has to be entirely comfortable in their own skin.
agencies don’t want to see you in a swimsuit or lingerie on the hood of a car or straddling a motorcycle.
Male models can shoot in either swim trunks or boxer shorts.
4 Editorial Fashion Shot (Fashion Models)
Now that you have a beauty shot, a full-length body shot, and lingerie or swimsuit shot, you can have some fun in front of the camera. The photos in the middle of your book can be a bit more creative and existing. This is also where you can add some model tearsheets if you have them.
Traditionally, a tearsheet is an actual page torn from a magazine or other print publication that goes into a modeling portfolio. Today, thanks to a little something called the Internet, a tearsheet can also be a digital ad or editorial. Basically, tearsheets prove you’ve actually been published
Try to show the agents and clients your ability to move and express yourself in your photos.
5 A Commercial Shot (Commercial Models)
As with editorial models, commercial models, including catalog models, need to show the agents and clients their range, and ability to express themselves in print. They can be of any age, size, shape, and height as their work varies from advertising for a particular product to marketing for a particular service, or promotional events for housewares, food, travel, cosmetics, etc. Commercial models work in the print, digital, retail and television industries. Commercial modeling is really acting in print. Take photos that look like print ads in magazines in which you are laughing, crying, serious, or upset. These are all the types of emotions that agents and clients want to see from a new commercial model.
6 A Smiling Shot
Make sure to add at least 4 -5 smiling headshots to your portfolio. Agents and clients want to see your smile, and especially, your teeth.
It’s OK if you don’t have perfect teeth, we don’t live in a perfect world. Commercial models don’t need to worry about perfect teeth either. The agents and clients simply want to see what they are working with.
Strong stunning headshots stand out.
Make sure your portfolio incorporates a good variety of poses and outfits along with a few great beauty headshots that are a little different from your opening headshot can work perfectly. Most people only remember the very first and very last headshot in your book, so make sure these shots are your strongest ones to open with and finish.
Your portfolio is an ongoing Work in Progress
Your modeling or acting portfolio is essentially your CV. It should have everything you need to make a good first impression and showcase your abilities as an actor and model of what you can do. It’s a continual showreel of your work in progress and isn’t something that you ever stop working on, as it will develop and broaden along with your experience and career. Keep it up to date with new images and showreels as agents do check back to see if you are still serious about a career.