If someone ever told you that making a good first impression is essential for a successful modeling career, that person is one hundred percent correct.
Agencies and companies often hire models even without seeing them in person, as many of them have a digital modeling portfolio to let agents know about their features, skills, and abilities.
The question is, how to make an online modeling portfolio that stands out from the rest?
In this article, we’ve listed a step-by-step process to create an eye-catching portfolio to wow anyone that sets their eyes on it. So, are you ready to take the leap and begin your journey as a model?
Then let’s head right in!
What Is a Modeling Portfolio?
A modeling portfolio is a set of photographs taken by a professional to showcase someone’s performance as a model. In many ways, the portfolio is a digital modeling CV, which models use to promote their talents and skills in front of the camera.
Modeling portfolios are unique and impossible to replicate. Each model has unique physical and psychological features, which they showcase in the portfolio. Therefore, the very first step before creating a portfolio is understanding what type of model you are.
What kind of model are you?
While there are many types of models, some of the most popular are:
- Commercial modeling.
- Promotional modeling.
- Runway modeling.
- Fitness modeling.
- Fashion modeling.
- Glamour modeling.
- Instagram modeling.
- Baby/Child modeling.
Each modeling style has different requirements and techniques. Once you fully grasp what people expect from those styles, you’ll have more chances of success.
The Advantages of Having an Online Modeling Portfolio in 2023
Showcase your Work Professionally
Creating an online modeling portfolio allows you to build your brand and polish your expertise. A portfolio website is creative, innovative, and customizable as well. Therefore, you can update them regularly to add newer photos or remove outdated photoshoot sessions that no longer show your current appearance or skills.
Reach Larger Audiences
Portfolio books are great, but it’s difficult to have them readily available at a moment’s notice. On the other hand, an online model portfolio is more accessible and can reach wider audiences. You can also take advantage of newer technologies and share your portfolio in social media posts.
A Portfolio Shows Your Commitment
Deciding to start a modeling career may get some eyes rolling, but companies can tell you’re serious when you build a modeling portfolio professionally.
This medium also works as a first impression, which is why you must be as professional as possible. The list includes contacting qualified photographers, make-up artists, and more.
Organize Your Work
A model portfolio website gives you the option to create different categories and organize your work under each one. Use an online modeling portfolio to showcase your editorial, advertorial, beauty, or commercial work. It will make it easier for companies to find what they’re looking for.
Convenient & Easy
Starting an online modeling portfolio is as easy as using a computer. Furthermore, a website builder like WordPress, Wix, or Weebly will help you get the job done faster. Some of these sites also offer free modeling portfolio options, giving you more room to save some money.
Who Requires Digital Modeling Portfolio?
If you are a professional model who works in the digital modeling industry, you should have a portfolio of your work. Digital modeling portfolio showcases the portfolio of a modeler and the quality of his works.
The modeling portfolio looks different depending on who requires it. Male and female portfolios are more mature, whereas teenage portfolios tend to be more vivid to satisfy audiences within the same age range.
There are also children modeling portfolios, which showcase the innocence of the little ones to grab the parents’ attention. These are the main modeling types that require a modeling portfolio.
Types of modeling portfolio websites
If you’re just starting out in the modeling industry, or have struggled to create your own portfolio website, this post might come in handy for you. Below, we have discussed different types of modeling portfolio websites with model portfolio examples.
Male Modeling Portfolio
For male model portfolios, the most important elements to highlight are face structure, shape, physique, and confidence.
To achieve that goal, male models focus on choosing well-fitting outfits to meet the expectations of their preferred modeling style. There are other tips to put in practice, such as keeping the shoulders back to expand the chest area and make the model look bigger and manlier.
While the modeling world has countless female models, men also need models to represent them. Therefore, having a proper male modeling portfolio can open many doors in different marketing campaigns.
Female Modeling Portfolio
In a modeling industry filled with female models, newcomers may have a hard time getting their names out there. That’s why setting high expectations are important before starting a portfolio, as it helps to get into the right mindset to showcase performance talents.
The first impression is key, meaning that female models need to be as selective as possible. Models must ensure that their selected photos can wow future modeling agencies and customers.
Agents and companies will focus more on the bad photos rather than the perfect ones, which is why using the right lights, clothing, and gestures is a must.
Teenage Modeling Portfolio
A modeling portfolio for teens is more than just taking a few pictures in trendy clothing. The whole process is a comprehensive learning experience for young models, in which they can prepare for what lies ahead in their careers.
For example, teens must know which genre they feel the most comfortable with, how to position, and how to take directions.
Capturing a teen model is harder than it may seem. There’s a fine line between satisfying children’s market while also preparing the teens to take that next step towards the runway or commercial work.
Children Modeling Portfolio
A modeling career is one of the most effective methods to channel children’s energetic personalities. Naturally, the child must also have good behavior and a decent amount of focus. Otherwise, their careers will fail even before starting.
Children can start their way into the modeling world by contacting agencies. However, parents will need a proper portfolio to leave a good impression of their children and get that second call.
A child modeling portfolio should have the same as the other types of portfolios: a head shot, full-length body shots, and physical descriptions. Since kids grow fast and change constantly, parents must be ready to swap the shots every couple of months.
How to Build a Modeling Portfolio – Step By Step Guide
If you are interested in becoming a model, it is important to know how to make a modeling portfolio. There are some simple steps that anyone can take when they are making a modeling portfolio. These steps can help you create the best possible portfolio and help get you noticed by those in the industry who can help you get your modeling career started.
1. Figure Out What Type of Model You Are
Dive deep into the different modeling types and take a closer look at their requirements. Commercial models have different heights and ages, whereas promotional models in contact with the public must be friendlier and engaging.
Figuring out your ideal modeling type allows you to know how to make a portfolio for modeling and appeal to the right audiences.
2. Schedule a Professional Photoshoot
Your photos are your primary asset to catch anyone’s attention. Therefore, you must arrange a professional photo shoot to show off your skills. Choose the right photographer, pick your outfits, practice your poses, and wear make-up if needed.
3. Showcase Your Skills
During the photoshoot, bring your A-Game to showcase your full range of abilities. For example, include photos with different styles and artistic visions.
You also need to include photos taken from different angles, capturing all of your features on the camera. This way, you will prove to prospective employers that you can work on different projects.
4. Choose a Template
With your photos ready, it’s time to choose a modeling portfolio template. This template should capture your style and personality to increase the visual value of the pictures. Once you find your ideal template, you can customize it as much as necessary to add your own style to it.
5. Show off Your Best Shots
Knowing how to create a portfolio for modeling is the first step. Then, you have to choose only a few of all your pictures to display them in it. Curate your pictures wisely and make sure to include only the best of the best. Here are a few tips you may want to try.
- Start with a headshot. It must be a clear image of your face to let people see you. Don’t use excessive make-up or styling products. The more natural it is, the better.
- Then, you can add a 3/4 and a full-length shot.
- Variety is key, so spice it up a little. Don’t use too many pictures taken in a single photoshoot. Since the lighting and styling are the same, the pictures will look boring. Add photos with different clothing, settings, and angles.
6. Share a Brief Description of Yourself
Looks are not everything in a modeling portfolio, as you also have to include plenty of your personal information.
For instance, you have to specify your name, age, height, body measurements, dress size, and shoe size, among other things. This information will allow potential employers to tailor fitting clothing or accessories for you to promote.
7. Update the Portfolio
Creating a modeling portfolio is a lot of work, but the job doesn’t end there. Approximately every six months, you should check it thoroughly and see if anything needs a change. Whether it’s because you changed your hairstyle or your body measurements changed a bit, keeping the portfolio up to date is essential.
Top 10 Modeling Portfolio Examples and Ideas
Have you ever wondered what are the best model portfolio websites on the internet? This article will give you an overview of 10 of the best known sites for models.
Considered a world-class supermodel, Karlie Kloss’s evolution is visible through her online professional portfolio. In it, you can see how Kloss and the photographer capture the many facets of a successful model, showing how to create a modeling portfolio correctly.
If you’re looking for online modeling portfolio examples, Karlie’s website is the best.
- When posing as a business entrepreneur, Kloss’s photos highlight the model and buildings that rise around her.
- As a fitness model, the primary focus is always Karlie. In this case, her photos are as beautiful as they’re inspiring.
- In a photoshoot for WMagazine, she takes the role of Cowboy Karlie. This session is another perfect example of Karlie’s ability to show off extravagant, colorful, and fun outfits.
Kristina Smolyar’s portfolio is a perfect example of how a simple online modeling portfolio website is just enough to get yourself out there. There’s a big heading with the model’s name as the introduction, followed by four categories of different photoshoot styles.
Whether companies are looking for commercial, fashion, editorial, or beauty shots, Kristina’s online modeling portfolio makes it easy to track her performing skills.
In the entertainment world, your modeling skills can speak more than a thousand words. Caitlin Christine’s modeling portfolio is one of our favorites because it goes straight to the point.
There aren’t many words written, just Christine doing what she does best: modeling. If companies like her work, they can navigate through her website’s well-designed categories to find the contact information.
If you want to give everyone a taste of all your modeling talents, then Chanelle Renee’s portfolio could be of great inspiration to you.
This portfolio is a complete display of her captivating facial expressions, outstanding posing skills, and her ability to work in different environments with colorful visuals.
But there’s another thing we like, and that’s Renee’s idea to include video footage. She has commercials, beauty reels, and interviews that give companies a glimpse of how charismatic and charming she can be.
You’ll find that this portfolio doesn’t have organized categories like the others that came before. However, it doesn’t really need it. There’s beauty in this type of portfolio because you can see the contrast between two photos next to one another.
Kayla may be wearing bright colors in one picture, while the next one is all black and white. The juxtaposition between all of the photos makes it a sensational online portfolio and highlights the features of a gorgeous model.
A photoshoot is exciting and can produce a ton of beautiful pictures, but only a few of them should make it into your portfolio.
We love Michelle Carney’s portfolio because she manages to transmit more by using fewer photos. It’s a risky idea, but a portfolio like Carney’s allows companies to catch sight of your many facets concisely.
This idea makes a great modeling portfolio if you’re starting your way into the modeling world.
Lorelei Black’s portfolio shows that she’s a high-stakes model, using her stunning physical features to showcase beautiful imagery and tell stories.
Black’s killer modeling portfolio is simple but still captivating, varying between commercial, advertorial, and beauty photoshoots. Unlike the other portfolios, this one scrolls horizontally instead o down.
It doesn’t seem like a big deal, but it does set itself apart from other professional modeling portfolio ideas. It really shows how to set up a modeling portfolio that looks different.
As someone who’s just starting a modeling career, seeing the portfolios of popular models is overwhelming. But most of them started from the bottom and climbed their way up, with barely any quality photos and no experience.
We encourage you to check out Jihyuck Mun’s modeling portfolio for that particular reason. Mun has participated in different events like the Walk Fashion Show NYFW 2020, but his example modeling portfolio shows that you can make a modeling portfolio using only a handful of pictures.
Frequently Asked Questions
What does a modeling portfolio consist of?
A modeling portfolio usually consists of test shoots, campaigns, editorials, advertorials, magazine tear sheets, and catalogs.
What to include in a modeling portfolio?
Make sure to include the following in your modeling portfolio.
- A clean head shot
- A full-length body shot
- A swimsuit shot
- An editorial fashion shot
- A commercial shot
- A smiling shot
- A strong closing shot
How many photos should be in a modeling portfolio?
Your modeling portfolio must have between 10 and 20 images. As suggested before, make sure to pick the best among the best photos that display your facets, styles, and profiles.
You can ask your photographers for their opinions and insights, but it’s ultimately your choice what ends up in the book.
How much to build a modeling portfolio?
A professional photographer to start a modeling portfolio is usually between $200 and $1,500. Packages with more photos are expensive. On the other hand, the portfolio book’s average price is $15-$70.
This price range can be higher, depending on the quality of the materials. For example, a portfolio book with a hardback expandable-width design is around $50.
The photo business cards used by models, called Comp Cards, are between $70 and $165 for a 100 printed card set. These cards are 5.5×8.5 inches, which is the standard size. Companies also offer discounts when you buy the cards in bulk.
The prices shared here are mostly for freelance models, as they have to do it all by themselves. If you go with a modeling agency, the agents may cover all of the expenses for you.
Where can I buy a modeling portfolio book?
Online platforms are the easiest methods to buy a portfolio book. Try Amazon and Etsy, two stores that have a considerable amount of book styles for you to choose from. Alternatively, The Model
Shop is another popular manufacturer of hand-crafted portfolio books.
Where to find modeling portfolio photographers?
Look for modeling photographers’ business websites near your area. Instagram and Facebook are also good sources, but keep in mind that many of them will be amateurs.
While there’s nothing wrong with that, you don’t want to leave your most important photoshoot to someone who doesn’t share your vision and style.
Another option is ModelMayhem, a site designed to find photographers, make-up artists, professional model stars, and more.
The Bottom Line
If you’re starting a modeling career, knowing how to start a portfolio for modeling is essential. This medium will let you display your skills and reach wider audiences, potentially resulting in more job opportunities.
So, start building your own portfolio website today, and don’t let your career depend on luck.