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Modeling Portfolio Essential Shots

Updated: Apr 19, 2023

Entering the modeling industry requires determination, talent, the right height and build, and killer photos. To get signed by a professional modeling agency, you need to create a modeling portfolio that showcases your looks and versatility in front of the camera.


You don't need a huge portfolio to start out. In fact, you only need five essential photographs and one or two professional Polaroids, which should be taken by a reputable photographer.


Let's start with the Polaroids, which may surprise you. The modeling industry still uses Polaroid cameras because they produce instant, unedited photos that show your bone structure and build without any airbrushing or retouching. You'll need two Polaroids: one headshot and one full-length body shot. These photos should be taken in natural light with minimal makeup and simple clothing that shows your figure clearly.


Now, here's your shot list for the essential portfolio photos:

· Headshot: a close-up photo of your face and shoulders, looking directly at the camera with a neutral expression or a slight smile. This photo should highlight your bone structure and facial features.

· Full-length: a photo of you standing straight with your arms relaxed, wearing a plain white t-shirt and blue jeans or similar casual attire. This photo should show your body proportions and posture.

· Swimsuit: a photo of you wearing a simple one-piece swimsuit that shows your figure from the front. This photo should demonstrate your confidence and comfort in your own skin.

· Editorial: a photo of you in a commercial or high-fashion style that showcases your ability to pose and express different moods and attitudes. This photo should reflect the type of modeling work you want to pursue.

· Smiling headshot: a close-up photo of your face and shoulders, looking directly at the camera with a natural smile. This photo should show your personality and warmth.


Remember to choose a photographer who has experience working with modeling agencies and can capture your best angles and features. With these essential shots in your portfolio, you'll be one step closer to achieving your modeling goals.

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