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7 Model Portfolio Building Tips

7 Tips for Building a Modelling Portfolio

In the modelling industry, your photos are everything, and first impressions are equally as important.

Clothing

Wear plain clothing with clean lines that hug your body so potential clients can see your physique.

The model should not wear long dresses, skirts or too many layers as these will distract and cover up exactly what the agents and clients are trying to see.

Never dress in clothing that is too sexual or provocative, including extremely low-cut shirts and jeans that sit very low on the hip.

Never dress in evening or black-tie, prom, or wedding attire.

Hair and makeup

The purpose of a headshot is to show the model in its most natural state, which allows the agency or client to see exactly how the model looks without heavy makeup or styling.

Agents and scouts want to see the length and condition of your hair, so it's important to keep your hairstyle simple and well-groomed.

Make sure your hair is in good condition. If you need a haircut, colour job, or trim, go to your hairstylist and colourist before taking photos.

If you have long hair, then take photos of your hair down and pull it back.

Nudity

In a nutshell, agents and scouts do not want to see you naked, ever.

If you have a fabulous photograph of yourself, but there is so much midriff (and lower) showing, do not send that photo.

Backgrounds

Be sure you're the only person in the photos you submit.

Never submit pictures of you and your friends. You don't want your photos to tell a story.

Personal Stats

Your statistics are your key measurements and data.

Relevant information such as age, colouring (hair and eye), body measurements (height, weight, body type), and any unique features (birthmarks, skin conditions, tattoos) helps potential clients decide if you're right for them.

Women should always include their age, height, bust, waist, and hip measurements. Men should have their age, height, chest and waist size, jacket size, and pant length. Also note distinguishing features like freckles, moles, or visible tattoos.

Contact info

Include your full contact details: name, professional email address, phone number, and general location (for example, Johannesburg or Cape Town).

You also want to add your social media handles, particularly if using an online portfolio.

Instagram

Create a niche Instagram account for your online portfolio

Many agencies scout models via Instagram. Therefore, when an agency is scrolling to find new faces, make it easy for them to see your potential as a model. You can achieve this by posting photos showing your face and full body. Avoid filters.

The images on your Instagram page highlight your abilities as a model, so 90 per cent of the photos are of just myself. Avoid other faces, as this may confuse the agency.

JOHANNESBURG PORTRAIT PHOTOGRAPHER

© 2005 -2024 Bridget Corke Photography

Blairgowrie, 2194, SOUTH AFRICA

20 years experience plus international Master's in portrait photography from The Portrait Masters, one of only two in Africa.

bridget@bridgetcorke.co.za

+27828814044