First and foremost, yes you need a portfolio for modeling – hold onto the acting photos thought for a minute.  We’ll get to that later.  In a nutshell, a model’s portfolio is a group of professionally taken photos that showcase what the model is capable of, all shown together in a nice leather or vinyl hardcover portfolio book (not a photo album).  A digital portfolio can be kept on a computer or any mobile device as opposed to a hard cover portfolio book. The portfolio pictures are then shown to potential clients to try to get modeling jobs. Doesn’t it make sense that a client has to see what you look like in photos before they could possibly consider hiring you for a modeling job for their company?

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In this paragraph, let’s talk about how to build a model’s portfolio book that hopefully will help you succeed in modeling and acting.  A poorly put together model’s portfolio book can stand between you and your dream modeling jobs. Preparation is key! You should work with photographers that are in the modeling industry and it is a good idea to work with photographers referred to you by modeling agencies. These photographers are familiar with creativity, versatility, hair & make-up artists, wardrobe stylists, and the type of photos you need such as head shots, three quarter shots and full body shots. They should also be educated in how to help you pose especially if you are a new talent.  Some photographers that are not familiar with the industry tend to over dramatize their photos. If you have fashion model potential, photos can showcase this by having the model appear more edgy and trendy, and these types of photos should be taken by fashion photographers. If you are a commercial and lifestyle talent, the photos should be more natural but still well-posed and styled by industry photographers. It is not necessary to bare too much skin, especially for female models, so be careful of this. Most agencies do not require that you have a portfolio for your first visit to be evaluated. Often times snapshots are acceptable for your first appointment or evaluation. Check with your agency of choice before visiting them.

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After you have decided upon a industry photographer, preparation is important. The photographer should be able to provide a hair and make-up artist, and make wardrobe suggestions. Make sure haircuts and color are up-to-date as well as manicures and pedicures.

For you fellow actors out there, nice commercial head shots are suggested; this means stylish hair and make-up, nice wardrobe with current styles but nothing too trendy or edgy. Actors that hope to cross over into modeling should consider having at least a partial portfolio done including three-quarter and full body shots.

For kids and babies, good professional pictures are suggested and should also be done by industry standard photographers and not local portrait studios etc.

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Acceptable, well-thought out model’s portfolio books are the responsibility of the person getting involved in the business and not a modeling agency’s responsibility. Portfolios can range from $200 to $800 or $900 depending on the amount of photos that are being taken. Portfolio pictures usually start out as proofs followed by some very natural looking photo shopping done before they are presented to clients for possible bookings.

As a model starts to book modeling jobs, if photos from the job are available to the model, it is a good idea to put some of these photos in a model’s portfolio book to show that the model has already done some professional jobs. This is often called a tear sheet.

In summary, the more looks and changes you have in your portfolio book the better your chances are of working as a professional model. After all, clients all look for different things and you want to be a candidate for lots of jobs. There are no guarantees that businesses will pick you over someone else for bookings , but building a good portfolio will help your chances.

The Look Agency works with great industry photographers; call us for more info 484-821-0909 or go to the photography section of this website! And remember to keep smiling. Clients want to see your teeth!!