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10 Tips for a Great Modelling Portfolio

The first and the foremost step for starting your career in modelling is building your Modelling Portfolio

Modelling Portfolio is like a CV or Resume for you to get a job in the modelling industry. It’s a collection of your professionally shot photographs in different looks and outfits, aligned in a systematic order. 

Whenever you go for castings, there is a line of participants who are applying for the same job role, so here are top 10 tips which you must follow, so that your modelling portfolio can stand out and there could be a probability that you will get the desired job role.

1. SELECT YOUR MODELLING TYPE

Models walking in a runway wearing black gowns.
Runway Modelling

As an aspiring model, it’s really important for you to select your modelling type. There are various types of modelling like Runway/Catwalk, Fashion, Commercial, Swimsuit/Lingerie, Fitness and many more. 

If you are tall, lean and have sharp features then you can go for Runway/Catwalk Modelling, if you are short-heighted you can try Petite Modelling and if you have a voluptuous figure then you can try Plus-Size Modelling.

Just observe your body type, height, facial features and match these criterias with the type of modelling you prefer and you are best suited for. It will be easy for you to choose this way.

2. PRACTICE POSES

A women wearing a red coloured top and a pair of blue jeans and sunglasses and she is posing in front of themirror.
Posing in front of mirror

Make mirror your best friend. Place a full body mirror and try posing in front of the mirror. Make good use of the internet. You can search videos for posing on Youtube. Instagram can be of good use to you now.

Start following your idol model and stalk their profile hundred times in a row, like you stalk your ex’s/crushes profile. Check out their new posts, stories and IGTV’s, from there you will get some ideas for posing. You can take help of Pinterest too. 

Once you will get the ideas of posing then start posing in front of the mirror. Initially you will feel a little shy but eventually you will become confident while posing.

“It all just takes one step at a time to get you to there.”

3. REACH OUT TO A PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHER

It is a black and white photo of a person who is holding a camera in his hand.
Professional Photographer

The most important part for building your modelling portfolio is the modelling portfolio photographer which you will be hiring for your modelling portfolio. Make sure to hire an experienced and professional photographer because they are the ones who are closely working into the modelling industry and have plenty of knowledge and experience to share with you. 

Do a proper research on the photographer, go checkout their website and have a glance at their portfolios which they are creating for their client, check out their instagram page, meet them in person and once you are satisfied with the photographer then take your decision. 

There will be plenty of amateur photographers who will be offering you the modelling portfolio at very cheaper prices. But they will not be providing the quality which you will be getting from a professional photographer. Don’t compromise the quality of your portfolio. It is a one time investment which will yield a long term return.

4. DECIDE YOUR WARDROBE 

A girls is deciding her clothes in the wardrobe.
Just let the wardrobe do the magic.

Pick out the best outfits you have. Pile up all your Bodycon Dresses, Skirts, Shots, Cami/Tank/Spaghetti/Plunge neck/ Corset tops which you only have purchased so far but never got an opportunity to wear them out. It is the best time to put those clothes to use. 

But make sure to not wear loose t-shirts, prints, flared dresses because it will distract the focus of the client and they will not get the exact picture of your curves/physiques. Experiment with bold colours like Red, Navy Blue, Teal, Turquoise and any colour of your choice except pastel colours because they give a washed out effect.

Try experimenting with accessories like hoops, studs, statement neck peice & earrings, chains, sunglasses, belts, handbags, bracelets as they will give a different look to your outfit. Bring at least 10 – 15 outfits so that you can get a variety of photographs.

5. WORK ON YOUR PHYSIQUE

A women doing exercise in the floor.
Workout

Here comes the most important thing which most of the aspiring models forget. You have to work daily on your body to maintain it.

If you are planning your career in runway/ catwalk modelling then you have to maintain a slim figure and a flat tummy. And if you are thinking of being a Plus-Size Model then also you have to be fit. Being a plus size doesn’t mean that you are allowed to eat junk and follow an unhealthy routine.

For great Photographs, a Photographer, Makeup Artist, Hair Stylist, Fashion Stylist, Outfits all are necessary but it’s gonna be you and your body which gonna steal the look but if you are not in shape then it will break the whole look. 

So start working on your physique 1-2 months before your portfolio. Work out regularly, either hit the gym or go for a run. Maintain a proper diet, avoid junk food, eat healthy, drink a lot of water, eat nuts and follow a proper diet plan. You yourself gonna see the change in 2 months

6. PROPERLY GROOM YOURSELF

A women who is lying in the bed and another women is applying some kind of cream on her face.
Properly Groom Yourself

Grooming is all about presenting yourself in the best possible way, it gives you the confidence to dress up and look presentable. 

It is very important to groom yourself before casting so that you can look your best. 

Here are few points which you have to keep in mind before your casting :

  • Get your body waxed at least 2-3 days prior to casting.  
  • Get your eyebrows professionally shaped and remove your upper lips too and make sure to get this done at least 2-3 days prior casting.
  • Get your facial and bleach done at least a week before your casting because many time it happens that the product used, doesn’t suit on your skin which can cause any side effect.
  • Take at least 8 hours of sleep.
  • Keep yourself hydrated and eat healthy.
  • Moisturise your body to avoid dryness. 
  • Take good care of your hairs, use a good oil, hair mask, shampoo and conditioner, serum to make your hair soft & shiny.
  • Get your nails done. 
  • The night before the casting, use a night cream or gel that works the best for you.

7. NEVER COMPROMISE ON MAKEUP AND HAIR STYLIST 

A professional makeup artist holding a eyeshadow pallete and doing a makeover of a model
Professional Makeup Artist

Your portfolio is a collaboration of the talent & effort of a Photographer, Makeup & Hairstylist and a Fashion Stylist.

Makeup & Hair Stylist plays a crucial role in creating your looks for the modelling portfolio. A Makeup & Hair stylist can either make or break the outcome of your look.

A professional makeup artist will create a look which will make you fall in love with yourself. There is a magic in their brush, which magnifies the beauty which already exists.

Even if you have a great figure, designer outfit, professional makeup artist and an experienced photographer but if your hair is not done properly then it can completely take away your hard-earned style. 

A professional hairstylist will create flawless hairstyles according to your dress and makeup.

8. AVOID FREE PORTFOLIO OFFERS

A person holding an iPhone and clicking the picture of the mountains.
Amateur Photographer

There are so many amateur photographers who will charge you really low prices or no price for your portfolio. These photographers are either students who are learning photography or people who are just doing it for part-time but no having any prior experience.

Your portfolio is a one-time investment for you. If you will compromise the quality of your portfolio, it will never give you any fruitful return in future. 

An experienced photographer has a team of a professional makeup artist, hairstylist and a fashion stylist, and they have a great coordination and understanding among them, which helps them to put together their efforts and creativity together at the same place to create an amazing portfolio for you.

They all are connected in the industry and they will help you further in getting modelling projects, but if you will get your portfolio from an amateur photographer then you will not receive the same quality and service. 

9. DON’T GO FOR OVER EDITED IMAGES

A person editing the images in the computer.

Your portfolio is your lookbook. It is the first impression which you will be creating in the mind of the client. So just try to keep it up with the reality. 

If you are having belly fat, chubby cheeks & toneless body then no need to edit it, just hit the gym and exercise hard to reduce it and get in shape.

Let suppose the editor will edit the image and will give you a flat tummy, chiseled jawline and a toned body but when you will go for the casting then you will get rejected because you were selected on the basis of the picture in your portfolio.

Just keep it real and be confident of your own body but work harder every day on your body, skin and hair to make it better.

10. ADD POLAROID SHOTS AND AN INTRODUCTION CLIP IN YOUR MODELLING PORTFOLIO

A portrait of a women showing her front, left and right profile.
Polaroid Shot

Polaroid shots are those shot in which your body curves are visible. These shots are taken without makeup or bare minimum makeup, as it gives the clear picture of your facial features and expressions. Usually, 4 shots are taken: front, back, left and right.

As you have to flaw your curves, you have to wear swimsuit or lingerie but if you are not comfortable wearing it then you can wear body-hugging t-shirts, tube, cami, spaghetti, sports bra, sports shots and hotpants also.

Avoid wearing loose clothes like loose T-Shirts, flared dresses because again they will distract the focus of the image. 

It will add great value to your Modelling Portfolio. 

It will be an advantage for you, if you will add an introduction video to your portfolio, as it will increase your chance of being selected. It will create a good impression in the mind of the casting director.

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