Model Portfolio Dos and Don’ts

Important Facts for Models

The strength of a portfolio will show off your full potential as a model and increase your chances of being seen, heard, and considered for modelling castings and jobs. It is the single most important tool for a model to make an impact!

Here are the Dos and Don’ts when organising a portfolio:


1.    Do not organise a portfolio before you find a modelling agency to represent you!

A modelling agency will be happy to see your snaps and base their decision on signing you on that. Once they do offer you representation, they will want you to do a portfolio but under their guidance and marketing brief. After all, the agency will have to sell you to its clients with the photos and they will know best what works and what does not work with their clients. Besides, the agency will have contacts with industry photographers, make-up artists, and stylists, and be able to offer a portfolio at a reasonable price.

2.    DON’T agree to shoot with any photographer who offers shooting. Remember that it is your future career and check website and Instagram page of the photographer before agreeing to a shoot. Because it is better to have a couple of great photos in the portfolio than 1,000 of awful once.


1.    Your portfolio photos need to be taken by an INDUSTRY WORKING and RECOGNISABLE FASHION PHOTOGRAPHER. Your photographer needs to have experience in working with fashion magazines, fashion campaigns and top models. Do not choose so-called professionals who work free of charge or for a low price. Photographer for your portfolio should be well established in the industry, as your portfolio is your ONLY and BEST chance to show yourself. As long as you have good photos you will use them for years to come and it is great investment in your future! Only industry working photographer will know how to portray as a model and be able to guide and direct you to achieve an amazing result.

2.    MAKEUP ARTIST & HAIR STYLIST needs to be an INDUSTRY WORKING and RECOGNISABLE. Make-up and hair should look NATURAL and EFFORTLESS but still play to your strengths, features and colouring, and have an edge to it that is fashionable and trendy. Clients will want to see you not have to imagine what you look like under all the make-up.

3.    You need to be STYLED in clothes that are both flattering on you in terms of colour and showing off your body shape, strengths, and unique style, but also in terms of fitting in with current trends. You are a model after all, and you are meant to have a good taste and style and understand fashion. It is best to have a stylist to outsource the clothes for your shoot based on your measurements, look, and market and dress you, as poor clothing choices can reflect negatively on you being chosen for work.

4.    It is important that your portfolio reflects that you can be versatile and model anything from jeans to a high-end gown. Therefore, a minimum of 4 different changes of clothes, hair and make-up is a must.

5.    Model photos should have a NATURAL LIGHTING whether shooting in the studio or outdoors.

6.    Your photos will have to reflect your STRENGTHS and depending on your market, POSES should be ranging from lifestyle for commercial modelling to very structured and artistic for high fashion modelling. You can mix standing, sitting on a stool, and on the floor poses. It is important to have at least a photo of you smiling for all the advertising jobs.

7.    Hundreds of pictures get taken on the day of your portfolio shoot only to be narrowed down to CLOSE UP BEAUTY SHOOT- showing off your features and skin, as well as your personality, as well as the strongest image out of each look reflecting the variety of poses and facial expressions.

8.    Selected photos will be retouched and edited but never to a point where they look unnatural. Enjoy your shoot, as everything can be retouched but emotion, so let your true personality shine as that will capture your potential client the most!

We hope this information was useful for you.

Style Academy has put an amazing team together under the guidance of Moda Model Management, so to find out more about portfolios that we offer check out our website:

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