J Thomas Duke Photography | Modeling Information


Here is some basic information on what you need to present to a modeling agency including size and number of pictures, types of poses etc:


How Many Photos Do You Need For A Modeling Portfolio?

A good modeling portfolio is a necessity; a great modeling portfolio gets you noticed. However, it’s not always easy to construct a modeling portfolio that is representative of your experience. While it’s important to have good photos of varying poses from a professional photographer, you might still wonder how many photos your portfolio should include.

Without compromising quality, you should have at least 8 to 20 different pictures. These pictures should include both a simple headshot and a full-length body shot. The images should all be different and show the range and depth of your modeling ability. For instance, if you are a high fashion model who specializes in underwater shoots, you should add a photo that showcases it.

Modeling agencies can be specific about their requirements of a modeling portfolio. Keep in mind that a model portfolio can refer to both your formal one and a collection of unprofessional photographs to give the agency. Some agencies require a headshot with simple make-up and a full-length body shot in a bathing suit. Many of the top agencies request even just simple Polaroids! The key takeaway is to make sure you research what the agency wants so you will always be ready.

Once you create a strong portfolio, you can be confident that you are ready to move forward with your modeling career.


Essentials of a Strong Portfolio

  • The standard size of your photos should be 9” by 12”. After a photo shoot, always ask the photographer for high resolution images that are already
  • It would be a great idea if you have 1 or 2 black and white photos as they show contrast.
  • Invest in a good 9 x 12 inch portfolio (book) if you are not signed. Most agencies have a book of their own for them to give you or for purchase.
  • For portfolio versatility, you can include a regular body shot, headshot, and styled headshot. In case of a body shot, you should wear conservative lingerie or swimsuit to showcase your figure. Also go for fashion shots showcasing your movement, length, height, expression, etc. The action, editorial and catalogue shot should also be included to complete the portfolio.
  • Many upcoming models make the common mistake of not updating their portfolio regularly. When you progress, start replacing your old snapshots with new ones to create a better impression of you. For leaving a long lasting impression, make it a point to keep the best picture in the first and last section of your portfolio. Filter your pictures and keep about 8 to 20 of the best pictures in your portfolio.
  • Avoid using two photographs of the same look or from the same shoot unless they are strong tearsheets or have wardrobe/makeup changes. Also, avoid distracting jewelry, make-up, or clothing because it will detract from your facial beauty.