How To Make A Modeling Portfolio: Beginner Model Portfolio Tips

17th August 2021

How To Make A Modeling Portfolio: Beginner Model Portfolio Tips
Julia Hanlon

Julia Hanlon

Having a compelling and original modeling portfolio is essential for aspiring models wanting to get into the industry. Although there is no doubt successful models are distinct, being a standout doesn’t rely on beauty alone. The presentation and structure of a modeling portfolio can also be a make or break. So look no further for a step-by-step guide on how to make a modeling portfolio.


We will unpack what a modeling portfolio is, how to build a portfolio, and tips on creating a body of work that will make you shine!

What Is A Modeling Portfolio?

female model

A modeling portfolio is essentially your resume for the modeling industry. It’s a collection of your work as a model that is most commonly presented as an online website or printed book.

It will contain some of your strongest images and personal details. This includes things such as height, weight, measurements, dress size, shoe size, age, hair colour, eye colour. Also, any noticeable body aspects like freckles or tattoos. 

It’s also an opportunity to tell your story and give impressions of your personality. This all helps to paint the whole picture that is you.

Why Are They Important?

A modeling portfolio is important because it’s the first impression of yourself as a model. It will be the very first thing that agencies and clients look at before they consider seeing you in person. 

For that reason, it is fundamental that your portfolio is an impressive and authentic representation of yourself for it to kickstart a successful career as a model.

How To Build A Modeling Portfolio

female model

If you’re ready to create your modeling portfolio then follow our step-by-step guide below.

Deciding On Your Modeling Type

Making an informed decision about the type of modeling you want to pursue will bring clarity and focus on how to shape your modeling portfolio. 

There is lots of different categories within modeling, such as fashion, commercial, runway or stock photos. It is beneficial for your portfolio to communicate the specific type of modeling you are best suited for. 

This boosts your chances of success for it helps to market yourself for the right role; making it an easier and quicker process for clients and agencies to book you. If you are unsure of which category you would be best suited for, look into each modeling type and its set of requirements to see what feels like the right fit for you.

Arranging A Professional Photo Shoot

On the basis you have identified which type of modeling you feel best suited to, you should arrange a professional photo shoot to capture a relevant collection of images for your portfolio. Shots submitted to clients and agencies without a high-quality finish can greatly impede your chances of getting booked. Therefore, hiring a professional would be advised.

Find A Photographer

It would be wise to take your time finding the right photographer for you, whose style and vision is parallel with yours. This will in turn generate the most authentic and professional photographs for you to use in your portfolio. Even if you are on a budget you can still find a great photographer. 

Emerging photographers also need to create a portfolio, or online portfolios, of their work and will often be looking for subjects to photograph so collaborating with someone at this stage would be a win-win!

Once you’ve found the right photographer you should also consider using a professional hair and make-up artist, particularly one who’s experienced in doing faces for modeling shoots. Even if you are great at makeup yourself, studio lighting and the camera flash are another ball game. There are some tricks only professionals know to create a flattering look in the surrounding light. 

Practicing posing beforehand will help give you a headstart when in front of the camera. Having a few poses you’ve practiced to fall back on will be full to ease into the flow of the shoot. 

If you can get in front of a full-length mirror beforehand, have some fun experimenting with a wide variety of poses and facial expressions. This can also help you find your strongest angles and decide what poses flatter you best.

Photographers can help direct you on the day but it’s important to have the confidence to try a range of poses and present your full range of abilities. Potential agencies will want to see versatility in your portfolio so having a range of shots to choose from will help cater for that. 

Choosing The Best Shots

You need to have the best pictures for a professional modeling portfolio.

You will probably have collected lots of photos from your shoot. But, for your portfolio, around 10 to 20 images should be enough. The strongest portfolios will display a range of your skillset so be sure to include a variety of headshots, mid-shots, and full-body shots in different poses. 

Remember—quality over quantity. Often people who view your portfolio won’t have the time to look through all of your shots so always give centre stage to your very best images. 

Creating A Visually Striking Layout

With agencies receiving lots of portfolios and photos every day yours must be a standout. You can do this by making it visually striking and doing justice to all of your work. Think carefully about the layout of your portfolio to provide a slick and professional look. 

To maintain focus on the images, the minimal approach will more favourably maximise the content. Overcrowding a page with images can look unprofessional. 

Personal Information

Although by now you’ll have your professional photos in the bag, A personal touch is conducive to attracting more attention. Therefore do not be shy to add your own flair with a short biography where you can talk about your hobbies, interests, modelling work you are willing to do and any related experience. 

Some key personal details to also include are your age, height, eye colour, hair colour, body measurements, any distinctive features such as birthmarks, tattoos, freckles etc. 

Finally, there wouldn’t be much use to your portfolio if those viewing it don’t know how to get in touch! Ensure you have contact details available so clients or agencies can reach out.

Now You Know How To Make A Modeling Portfolio


After this guide, you should now know what makes a great modeling portfolio and most importantly, what to put in a modeling portfolio!

You should also be nearing the status of a seasoned pro when it comes to making a modeling portfolio. After reading this you’ll be ready to make your portfolio which will become the passport to launch you to the next destination on your modeling journey.

Remember, your best asset is you and as there is only one of you, you will always be distinct and shining! 

Hopefully, this article gave you food for thought! Whilst you’re here, why not check out some more of our articles on our blog? We recommend our guide on How To Get Scouted For ModellingHow To Prepare For A Model Casting, and Model Networking Guide to get you started! 

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