Model's Book

HOW TO BUILD A GREAT PORTFOLIO

Models have zed cards (also called composite cards or comp cards) and a portfolio. Actors have headshot cards.

Rule 1: A portfolio should include quality pictures, that show diversity in looks, over the quantity of pictures in a book. Models have a book off of one or two really great pictures to start. 

Rule 2: The first picture in your portfolio should be the best picture that you have ever had taken of you. It is your first impression. Make it that!! 

Rule 3: Make every picture interesting. When a client of agent turns from page to page they should be surprised at the different looks and concepts you have to offer.

Rule 4: When starting out it is acceptable to use one great photographer. You should, however, use different photographers that can help you bring different looks into your book. 

Rule 5: Be very open to allowing the stylist and/or make-up artist develop unusual or different looks for you. Practice in front of a mirror to develop the use of your face with a variety of expressions. Study your body and how it best looks in a mirror. Take a photo posing class. Practice by taking selfies on your smart phones. 

Rule 6: Only include pictures that show your realistic marketability. If you are not athletic, don’t do athletic type pictures. If you are not tall enough to work in fashion, don’t shoot fashion type pictures. If you have great beauty, make sure to capture that great beauty in many different face shots. If you are a commercial model, make sure you include a great smiling picture and perhaps a variety of product endorsement pictures 

Rule 7: Include both Black & White and Color pictures in your book.

Rule 8: If you are looking sideways or off the page, make sure that you have the picture facing into the center of the book. This is an old advertising trick. Never have a picture placed in your book that has you looking off into space. ;Also, never turn a picture sideways in your book.A portfolio needs to flow…client’s should not have to turn your book to see a picture.

Rule 9: If a client does not like a certain picture in your book do NOT pull it out. Every client has a different opinion. Your agent and/or manager should review your book and make the decision to remove pictures.

Rule 10: Do NOT use your portfolio for a storage unit. Your book should include your pictures and a few copies of your zed card in the back. Do not carry around slides, contact sheets, or any other junk! Respect your book!

Rule 11: All of the photos should show your photogenic ability and look stronger that you do in person. Leave the bad pictures at home! Your agent should have the final say on your book. (Give your bad pictures to your Grandma…she will love them no matter what.)

Rule 12: If it is evident that you are using several pictures from the same photo shoot(same look, same hair, same make-up, and same clothing) keep them grouped together. Do not think you a fooling anyone by moving them to different locations in your book.. 

Rule 13: A portfolio is a work in progress…always! It is the deciding factor in the modeling industry if you work or not.