Model trends that work for shoots, not portfolios

Something that budding models need to understand is the art of the portfolio. When you present your portfolio, it’s important that it shows you in the best possible light for potential employers. This is just a visual CV, and it’s essential that you pick the right images to showcase your talents.

So what about all those trends that seem to come and go for models? Some of them are useful for portfolios, and some are not so much. Here are some styles you should be leaving out of your book.

  • Images that don’t look like you - it’s cool to see that a model can be a chameleon and present diverse looks. But your portfolio is about you, and the client wants to hire the person that they see in the image. If you show up looking different, they won’t be happy. Include one or two shots that look different at the very most.
  • Heavy transformational make-up - again, these are nice for one or two images, but never overdo it. The client needs to see your face, not what your face looks like in geisha make-up or blacklight paint.
  • Snapchat filters - yes, your selfie game is strong. And sure, your Instagram followers really loved that particular shot. But don’t even put an image from a camera phone in your portfolio, much less one with Snapchat filters. Not even if you’ve used an existing photograph and then added the filters afterwards.
  • The same thing - it might well be that you are really good at a certain type of shoot, and that this is generally all you get hired for. But try to show some diversity in your portfolio if you can. Having the same image repeated 15 times is worthless - you might as well have included only the first.
  • Back of the head - there are sure to be plenty of artsy shots that photographers love where you’re facing away from the camera. But the portfolio is about you and what you look like, so don’t fall into the trap of including these.
  • Group shots - unless you stand out from the image so much that everyone else gets ignored, don’t include group shots in your port. The danger is that you are overshadowed by another model who might appeal more to the client.

And a bonus - one trend that works for portfolios but not shoots!

  • Signature pout - you might well have a certain facial expression which looks great on you. But please, don’t freeze your face for the entire shoot. Give your photographer something different, and don’t make them ask twice.
Using Format