So, if you’re reading this you’re likely one of two things: an aspiring model or an accomplished professional in the field. In any case, what’s of prime importance to you is the standard of your portfolio (or keeping it maintained). It’s what gets you noticed and keeps job opportunities firmly coming your way. In short, it’s your calling card. So, what are some tips for a good model portfolio?
1. Quality over quantity
You may feel tempted to include images that you have gathered from almost every shoot you have ever been a part of, but you have only one chance to make a first impression. Therefore, don’t include photos that are of poor quality.
It’s better to have a handful of outstanding images than a whole lot of average photos in your portfolio. Think of it this way: you could have one Rolex or a whole bunch of generic, plastic watches. Which option would you choose?
If you are a new model it may be difficult to source quality images. Remember you get what you pay for. Look for a reputable photographer who produces visually stunning work and make an investment. Sometimes, it takes money to make money.
2. Keep it relevant
Not only should you only include images of high visual quality in your portfolio, but it is wise to keep them limited to a representation of work within your niche field. If you are a high fashion model, then littering your portfolio with bikini shots might not be the best idea.
You want to think about the sort of career that you wish to establish or maintain for yourself as a model and fit your portfolio around this. Be realistic, however, to the specific physical requirements that are inherent to particular fields of modelling (catwalk requires a minimum height of 5”7 for example).
A good thing to remember is that you should include at least one headshot without makeup in your portfolio to give those who cast you an idea about your real, unaltered appearance. As a model, you are in effect, a canvas – being transparent about your bare features is always a requirement. Also, shots that accurately depict your current appearance are necessary. If you change your hair colour, for example, you will need to reflect this in your portfolio.
3. Market yourself
A model portfolio is undoubtedly important, however marketing and distributing it effectively is the other essential part of the equation. If you have a good agent having a good portfolio should mean that you are finding work – they should go hand in hand. If you are a freelance model, then it is absolutely imperative that you employ methods to market yourself.
You can join various casting sites and can also set up a social networking page that displays prominent links to your portfolio. Facebook and Instagram are great ways to get exposure for free, however, keep in mind that being Insta famous in not quite the same deal as the real thing. Align yourself with opportunities that stay true to the type of modelling that you are pursuing, and wish to pursue in the future.
You have to look at yourself as a product. Your particular look, style and talent are potentially desirable to specific brands that are aligned with the same aesthetic. Always keep this in mind when creating and maintaining your model portfolio. Remember that your portfolio is a representation of yourself as a product – it’s almost as though you are merchandise. Employ a business-minded approach at all times to succeed to the best of your ability in the industry.