How do you start building a model portfolio? Here’s a quick practical guide.
A while ago I got approached by Nadine about building up her modeling portfolio. For a photographer, this is a great opportunity to get your work known to agencies and potential customers. So it’s good to have a rough idea of what makes a model portfolio stand out to get you and your model noticed. Here’s three things I found to be very important.
This is, by far, the most important point. Shoot for variety. That means different outfits, different genres, different crops and formats, different expressions. Why? If the model pulls the same „model face“ and simulates the same „model pose“ in every picture anyone looking at the portfolio will know the one picture they can take with her. Chances are, this is the kind of image every one else takes. But that’s not what a marketing agency needs a model for. They want to be sure they can realise their vision with your model.
Same thing with genres and formats. You want to make sure the model can work in portraiture (beauty), fashion and lifestyle. Depending on the wants, needs, and abilities of your model you might want to add fine art, high fashion, and all the other genres you can think of to it.
Great light will make for a professional looking image. Great expression makes for a person I as a photographer/agency want to shoot with. And the truth is, expression and character are the only things I cannot photoshop.
Now this, some people might disagree with. Because sometimes a very intricate setting (like a maniristic baroque dining room) can be very impressive. But in the end, this only distracts from the features and abilities of your model. At the end of the day, anyone looking at a model’s portfolio wants to see whether the model is the right fit for their project. A baroque dining room, however impressive, will only ever distract from that.
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