Tell Me! What Pictures Do I Really Need in My Model Portfolio?

Established models know this information by heart but what if you are a beginner just starting out in entertainment? What do I need in a model portfolio is one of the first questions asked so here are some tips in helping you build your book or get comp cards printed to make you look more professional.

Breaking into the modeling industry can be a lot of work, but the right portfolio can really help you out. However, there is no one size fits all answer to the question “What do I need in a model portfolio?”.

Requirements for Portfolios and Comp Cards for Models

Whether you are looking to be a fashion, commercial, or catalog model can effect what images you decide to use. Preteen, teen, female, and male models also might want to focus on different types of shots.

There is a lot of room to be creative and to help yourself stand out and get noticed, which can help you get work. There are, however, some types of shots that are typically included.

Pictures to Include in Your Modeling Portfolio Book

Portrait of a beautiful young teenage girl wearing black hat (Bob Pardue Email: stock@bobpardue.com)

When considering the question of putting together a model portfolio, the main answer is really great photos of yourself in a wide variety of poses or situations so that you can showcase your versatility.

The standard shots include a head shot, a full body shot ( usually taken in a swim suit), and a close up shot (usually shot outdoors with ambient light and with little or no makeup ) at the very least.

Usually you want to include some sort of artistic or commercial shot as well.

There is no fast set rule either about whether the images should be black and white or color, so you might want to use a mix.

Give It Your Best Shot!

Although you want to be able to showcase your work and your versatility, it is important not to go too overboard with the photos.

There is such as thing as having too many photos. Only the absolute best should go into your portfolio, and you want to limit the number to a reasonable amount, such as something between eight and twenty photos tends to be considered optimal.

What are Comp Cards?

Another related question has to do with composite cards commonly known as comp cards. These are usually 6×9″ cards with a headshot on the front. Flip it over and you’ll see anywhere between 4 to 6 images on the back along with the model’s statistics. A sample of the stats to include is …

  • NAME
  • ADDRESS
  • CONTACT PHONE NUMBER
  • EMAIL and/or WEBSITE
  • TYPE OF MODELING ( i.e. commercial, fashion, runway, event, glamour, artistic, etc.)
  • HEIGHT
  • WEIGHT
  • BUST SIZE (WOMEN)
  • WAIST SIZE
  • HIP SIZE ( FEMALE )
  • SHOE SIZE
  • EYE COLOR
  • HAIR COLOR

These are things the modeling agency or talent scout will be interested in. Comp cards are great because they are very inexpensive (+ or – $100 per hundred, full color) and you can leave them with the agent to keep on file. Professional models use them and so should you.

Stock photo of a fashion shot of a beautiful caucasian teen girl. USA (Bob Pardue Email: stock@bobpardue.com)

How Many Pictures Do I Need in My Model Portfolio?

Not only can the number and type of photos in your portfolio vary, the size can also vary.
It might be a good idea to check out what is standard in your area since this can vary greatly from city to city.

You’ll want to have the right size photos for the market you are looking to enter.
It is also a good idea to check out the submission requirements of the agencies that you are hoping to work for before creating your modeling portfolio.

Ford, IMG, or Elite, for example, might require something specific ( especially geared toward tall girls and guys ) and you want to make sure that both you and your portfolio fit what they are looking for.

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Filed under: Modeling Tips