5 Things you need to know when building modeling portfolio

We live in a time and age where everyone has access to affordable technology. Numbers of self proclaimed models and photographers growing every day. Social media platforms such as Instagram, Snap Chat and Facebook becoming extremely popular among amateur models and photographers. Such platforms typically have a huge following up and great first step to start your career ! However, there is a one big mistake that everyone does ! With a growing number of followers it is very easy to skew of your initial goal. With thousands of followers, many models and photographers thinking they are on the right track,but this could be very deceiving ! Let’s take a look at the reality of things !

Start young !

It is very important that if you decide to become a professional model you need to start at a young age. The market is very competitive and every year more and more people want to try their skills in modeling. Perfect age to start practicing could be as young as 8. A log of modeling agencies would love to sign up young children for commercials. When it comes to actual fashion modeling 12+ could be a great beginning. Ideally by the time you 18 you want to have a professional portfolio and experience ready, so you can start a real professional career.


Building a portfolio is one of the most essential steps in pursuing your modeling career. Start by contacting local photographers who is interested in collaborating with you. It’s a great first step. Once you have a few photo shoots completed, you can move on to the higher quality photographer. Never do photo shoots with photographers whos quality is lower than previous photo shoot. The key is always to keep moving forward. Sometimes you can find a professional photographer who will be willing to do free “trade” shoot with you, however it is not very common. Most professional photographers charge for their work. I have personally shot a lot of modeling portfolio sessions, and helped models to book acting roles and fashion magazine gigs in Elle, Vogue, HBO, Coca Cola and many others. Professional portfolio is a very important next step in your career !


Connections in this business are everything ! I can’t tell you how many people I dealt with who burned bridges behind them. In this industry, it is very important to be social and keep good people around you. If you have attitude problems or bad temper, you should keep it to yourself. I photographed a few models who had terrible attitude problems ! Not only it makes it difficult to work with those kind of people, it is also ruining the relationships which in the professional world are everything. I keep good relationships with all my clients and it is very beneficial in many ways. Photographers and make up artists are your friends in this business. Don’t burn those bridges. Every single model with attitude who I worked with, still on the same level and haven’t moved up, while good positive people shooting feature films and modeling for top magazines.

Boutiques, Designers, and Local Shops

Surround yourself with fashion designers, boutique owners and local shop owners who sell clothing. Having a good relationship with those people could be very beneficial to build a modeling portfolio. Sometimes they will give you free clothing to model for them, which is win win situation for both parties. You combine that with great photographers and makeup artist and you are on the way yo Hollywood !

Ass and boobs

Ass and boobs been trending on Instagram and other social platforms for a little while now. Girls getting thousands of likes and followers because of the “semi” nudity they post. However, keep in mind that if you are going to choose this route, you pretty much going to stay in this quagmire. Close up pictures of your ass might be sexy, but they are not favored among professionals and may ruin your future reputation. Keep your portfolio clean and try to avoid cheap popular way by doing such photographs. If you want to show off your body, do a good sexy swimwear photo shoot.



In conclusion, I want to summarize the important steps in building modeling portfolio. Start as young as you can, always step up in your modeling game, have lots of connections and keep them and don’t do skanky photographs !



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Share your modeling portfolio experience in the comments below !


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Modeling Portfolio


Aram K

Photographer, Cinematographer, DI Colorist at FILM LUT
Fashion, Portrait and Commercial Photographer.
DI Freelance Film Colorist.
San Diego - Los Angeles - WorldWide