There isn’t much you need to get started with your modeling career, but two things are crucial;

your comp card 

and your portfolio.

When you present yourself at a casting or have the opportunity to meet with someone in the industry, having your portfolio at hand will make a great first impression. This is what sets apart the dreamers from the doers!

Your portfolio looks like a binder, and it holds your modeling photographs.  They’re usually about 8×10 sized pictures, and while there’s no rule as to how many pictures you should have in it, we will say, quality over quantity.

“But how do I get modeling photographs?”  You may be wondering. Let us be the first to tell you, you don’t need to spend $500 on a photo shoot with a professional. If you are on instagram, we’re sure you know a thing or two about taking good photos. All you need is a day with a couple outfit changes and a friend who’s willing to run around town with you taking photos. Invite your friend to do the same so that you both end the day with tons of shots!

Make sure you’re always aware of the lighting, you don’t want the sun directly in front of you because you’ll squint, or behind you, because the photos will be dark. Find well illuminated areas that aren’t getting direct sunlight. You’re going for variety in backdrops and outfits, as well as headshots and full body shots. A variety of facial expressions will also help to create a great portfolio. Go for an 80:20 serious/smile ratio. (We rarely see models smiling on the runway or in advertisements – this is because it detracts from the clothing – so if you can master your serious model look, you’re half way there!)

Pick your absolute best pictures, and do some light editing on your phone. An extra tip – make one photo a black and white shot. It always looks really clean and professional. Make sure you get second opinions on the photos you select for your book, what you think are your best may not always be. An objective opinion can really help in your final selection.

Upload them to vistaprint or print them at your pharmacy in 8x10s and get a thin black binder book to slide them into. Your FMO profile can also serve as your portfolio and you’ll see other models bring digital portfolios to castings, but its always better to have hard copies to leave with clients.

So now you’re all set! Show ’em what you got!