What is a modeling portfolio & how to build one

Image Captured: Skylight

MUA : Gopika Unnikrishnan

In the competitive modeling industry, A model portfolio is an essential tool for any aspiring fashion model which is used as a marketing device to showcase your talents.

In this article, we will discuss how to build a modeling portfolio from scratch and the different types of portfolios available

One of the first things you need to do is create a modeling profile and select your preferred agency. However, once you have completed this step, we recommend that you make an appointment with one or more agencies to introduce yourself and show them what you look like. This will give the agents a better idea about whether they can represent you.

What is a Modeling Portfolio?

The most critical highlights of a spectacular modeling portfolio are:

  • Precise measurements of your body’s physical characteristics.
  • Your images must depict a wide variety of AGES
  • Your photos can have a variety of facial gestures and feelings.
  • Showcase the types of modeling you are fit in

A modeling portfolio is never repeatable or reproducible. Each model has distinct physical and psychological features that they want to showcase in their modeling portfolio. so it is very important to understand what kind of model you are before thinking of creating a portfolio

Read also: Modeling in Cochin

What kind of model you are?

There are different kinds of modeling styles, some of which include:

  • Baby Modeling ( infant modeling)
  • Child Modeling
  • Commercial Modeling
  • Mature Modeling
  • Freelance Modeling
  • Instagram Modeling
  • Promotional Modeling
  • Runway (Cat Walk) Modeling
  • Fit Modeling
  • Barbie Modeling (Compact modeling)
  • Fitness Modeling
  • Parts Modeling
  • Petite Modeling
  • Plus-Size Modeling
  • Runway Modeling
  • Fashion Modeling
  • Bridal Modeling
  • Tattoo Modeling
  • Piercing Modeling
  • Swimsuit and Lingerie Modeling
  • Glamour Modeling
  • Boudoir modeling

It is very important to understand are different kinds of modeling and what people expect from each kind of modeling before choosing the right one for you.

What does a modeling portfolio contain?

Once you have chosen one or more types of modeling as your career it’s time to compile the best portfolio for the same.

A model portfolio may be divided into two Parts: info and Demo.

Information part

The information part is where we share the basic personal information like bio, physical characteristics, personal info, comfortable shoots. The pieces of information are written down so that others may read and understand your characteristics. More information you can provide, better.

These are some pieces of information frequently seen in a modeling portfolio:

  • Name & Bio
  • Career objective (optional)
  • Personal Information
  • Physical characteristics
  • Body Measurements
  • Experience
  • Comfortable shoots
  • Social Media and contact details

There are no established criteria for creating a modeling portfolio. Each portfolio is unique from the next. it’s all about how you want to showcase your portfolio.

Read more: Tips to Become a Model in Pune

Create Your Digital Portfolio Now With Photo Want: Email Us at [email protected]

Name and Bio

It’s important to make your Bio as interesting and engaging as possible. A casting director will be able to get a better job if they understand your personality.

Career objective

in this part, you can write your career objective so that other people can understand what are you trying to be in modeling.

Physical characteristics

This part is all about describing yourself physically, the qualities of every individual vary from person to person. Each casting director has different expectations for each requirement.

The physical features should be consistent throughout portfolios. Sometimes agencies may require specific requirements like if an agency wants only blonde hair blue-eyed white girl then make sure you mention those things in your portfolio otherwise always mention a natural look because nobody would want someone who pretends to have something which he/she doesn’t have.

Personal Information

personal information section includes your personality, hobbies, and interests. It’s always best to include what makes you interesting as a person.


This section is all about describing your previous experiences with the jobs that are related to modeling only not any random stuff which doesn’t have anything to do with models.

Comfortable shoots

You need to mention the types of photos that you are comfortable shooting in this part of your portfolio. It is very important to let the casting agency/director know your comfortable shoots because they may want to shoot something specific for their project/ product that you are not comfortable with.

Most of the time this little piece of information play a vital role in winning and losing a modeling project

Social Media and contact details

It’s important to mention your social media profiles in this part of your portfolio because many people look through them before hiring a model or making any decision about the model. Yeah your social media could play a vital role in your hiring process

Read also: Modeling in Hyderabad

Demonstration Part

In this part, we demonstrate the pieces of information we provided earlier through different images.

images in a demonstration section of a modeling portfolio contain

  • Shoot with different clothing.
  • Shoot to showcase a wide variety of AGES
  • Shots with a variety range of facial gestures and feelings.
  • Shots that showcase all types of modeling you are fit in

Your shoots with different clothing

One must model for different brands and products based on the requirement. He/She must be dressed in different professional and non-professional attire.

Make your modeling portfolio less about you and more about your abilities to support a brand market their product or service, and you’ll have a greater chance of getting hired by an agency and modeling companies.

What to wear for a modeling portfolio?

The dress of a shoot completely depends upon the modeling genre you have chosen. A fashion model should present herself in the most trendy costume where as a glamour model poses in lingerie.

Your images must depict a wide variety of AGES

How young and how old would you seem to be – convincingly? The age of a model is seldom disclosed by his or her agency. Instead, several companies will list an age range (“She will model between the ages of 18 and 28”). Clients also want to see photos that show the model is credible at specific years.

Your photos can have a variety of facial gestures and feelings.

Don’t be a one-trick pony by wearing the same expression in every shot. If you’re scared to smile because you don’t like your teeth, have them repaired before you attempt to model; otherwise, your chances of success are slim to none. If you glance at magazine advertisements, you’ll notice even if there’s a model in the picture (not a celebrity), they’re not usually smiling or appearing intense. They’re generally attempting to express a feeling, ranging from ecstatic to depressed, goofy to the grave.

Your photos must showcase all types of modeling you are fit in

Let’s say Anu and Lisa are two models. Anu is a fashion model whereas Lisa is a glamour model. Anu would do showcase how she can fit into the fashion industry.

Lisa who is a glamour model will be more open towards sexually attractive poses and shoots which she has to reflect on her portfolio demonstration to stand out as a glamour model.

For a glam shot, a casting director can easily hire Lisa, as she already showcased her ability as a glamour model. So it is very important to understand your information section cleanly to create a good demonstration section.

How To Create A Modeling Portfolio?

Some of the best portfolios are built by self-taught models who started their careers through Some of the best portfolios are built by self-taught models who started their careers through YouTube or Instagram.

Building a follower base and then getting noticed by agencies is the most trending mode of action by every model recently. But if you want to get things done right, it’s probably better to hire someone with experience for all three roles to create a good modeling portfolio.

  • Professional photographer or videographer
  • A stylist who can choose clothes that will emphasize your figure
  • Good makeup artist.

You can follow these steps to create your modeling portfolio:

  • Decide the photoshoot, based on the type of modeling you are a fit for
  • Decide the images in your model portfolio
  • Learn different poses to recreate the images
  • Engage The Services of an MUA before and during the shoot
  • Select the photographer for your chosen shoot

Try to Focus on Being the Kind of Model You Want To Be

You must be rational and mindful of the misconceptions that exist in the modeling industry when chasing your dream of being a professional model. Many customers have a preconceived idea about what they believe suits their brief, but the body shape can most likely determine the types of assignments you get. Shorter or petite women, for example, have a difficult time breaking into the fashion industry. Although assumptions are continually being smashed, and you can surely crack them on your journey, being truthful and transparent about your strength points can help. It would boost the odds of performance, thus lowering defeats and rejections.

You Might also like How to Prepare for Your Photoshoot

Picking The Kind of Images You Need

It’s essential to know just what kind of pictures you want from your model portfolio to shoot ahead of time. Make a list of the images you’ll need for a well-balanced portfolio based on the kinds of modeling you’re ideally fit for. Ensure that you have excellent portraits, close-ups, and full-body images. Plan the outfit adjustments to demonstrate your flexibility (swimsuits for great body-shots and an evening dress for those advertising clients).

Posing is Something You Should Practice

Posing as a model for a camera is an art form in and of itself. The goal may seem straightforward, but it is more complicated than you may know. You must translate a three-dimensional object, your body, into a flat image’s two-dimensional space in model photography. Poses for photography must be mastered, and they improve with practice and research.

Assemble an inspiration board of tear sheets of your favorite model poses. You should even do any practice in front of the mirror. Here’s an article on the Best Model Poses that includes helpful advice on creating a great modeling portfolio. Select your outfits carefully. Clothing is an essential aspect of every brand campaign’s storyline. Your poses should always highlight the best features of the garments.

Engage The Services of an Expert Hair and Make-up Artist

It is advised but not necessary that you hire a talented hair and make-up artist for your portfolio shoot. With the correct hair and making-up styling, a specialist will bring a lot of value to your model profile and make you appear much better. Remember that the model portfolio is a significant move forward, so do it correctly the first time. A decent make-up artist should be willing to be recommended by the photographer (any good photographer should make excellent recommendations on this). Take a peek at the make-up artist’s portfolio page to get a taste of their personality once more. If your makeup artist fails to turn up, have a contingency strategy (carry your makeup or enlist a friend’s assistance).

Select The Best Photographer

If you are working with a modeling agency, they will organize your shoot with a pre-approved photographer and charge you for it. Likely, the photographer they’d hire wouldn’t be the most excellent experienced fashion photographer you’d like to entrust with your model portfolio book. To be honest, you shouldn’t even be approaching modeling agencies until you have a well-rounded portfolio in place.

Consider having one of your mates photograph your portfolio. The answer is, yet again, NO. Avoid taking the first or most convenient solution that comes to mind. Often, think twice before being a model if you want your friend only because you feel happy being photographed by a friend. As a role model, you’d need the courage to take on new projects and collaborate with new people daily. It’s time to put some talents to the test.

Read also: Modeling in Chennai

Bottom Line

In the end, you must set high expectations for yourself. You just get one chance to make an excellent first impression on modeling agencies and customers, so don’t squander it! When selecting photographs for your modeling portfolio, be VERY selective. Make sure the photos wow future agencies and customers with their skill, not their imagination. To put it another way, don’t take selfies or take several pictures of the same outfit in the same place, and make sure your photos are authentically you – they can’t be over-retouched.

You are just as good as your portfolio’s worst picture. Photographers, agents, and companies can recall your bad shot rather than your perfect picture. I guarantee it. Only because you had a lot of fun shooting something and think it’s pretty cool doesn’t mean it should be in your portfolio.

Example Model Portfolios From Photowant

A well-designed killer modeling portfolio that showcases your best features can really help you advance in your modeling profession. Selecting photos that emphasize your skills and potential demonstrates that you’re serious about your modeling profession, regardless of whether you have any prior experience.

Here is the list of model portfolios: 

Find model portfolios

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A content marketing strategist who aims to help through quality content delivery.

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