Models, FIX YOUR ePORTFOLIOS!

There are several things to consider when you are setting up an online modeling portfolio. Whether it is a dedicated page your own website, a Facebook Group, or ModelMayhem, there are certain things to remember. As a photographer who shoots model portfolios, and contracts models for commercial or training assignments, I look at lots of Model Portfolios, and there are a few things that almost all beginners do that can be avoided and result in a much more appealing experience.

This is a portfolio I shot for a local model. Notice, there is a variety of shots, looks, lighting, poses, outfits and emotions. This is all that is needed. And as she gets gigs she will add images, but only by removing one that is not as relevant to what she is modeling.

1. LESS IS MORE!

Treat your online portfolio like you would your physical portfolio book. No, I don't mean put your computer in your handbag and take it to the interview. I mean that you wouldn't tote around 1000 images in your physical portfolio. Because they take up real space, and have real weight, they are by necessity between 15-40 images. Depending on number 2!

Stop putting every shot ever taken in your online portfolio. Don't do it, nobody cares but you. In fact, when I am looking for a model to hire for one of my workshops, or a commercial shoot I will skip right by the portfolio that has 200 images in it. If you want a place to have every photo ever taken of you since the time you were born, then put it on your personal Facebook page. That is the only place that anyone might remotely care. And frankly, most people DON'T care.

I would rather see 10 great images than pages of mediocre images. I have never cared how often you have been photographed, I want to know how well you are photographed.

2. ONLY PUT GOOD PHOTOS IN YOUR PORTFOLIO!

If an image doesn't make you say WOW! Leave it out. Period. Nothing else to be said.

You only get one chance at that first impression. Make sure you have at least 2-3 Jaw Dropper images. And the rest better be good. If they aren't just leave them out.

3. VARIETY!

I'm not talking about different types of modeling, but rather variety in what you show. You shouldn't have more than 2 or three images that are "Obviously" from the same shot. I don't care if the same photographer shot them all on the same afternoon, but they better look like different shoots. Different lighting, different feel. Headshots, 3/4, bust, full body, different outfit. 

You might do one thing very great. You might be the best "Lay on your back and look up at the camera" lingerie model ever. But if I'm looking for a model for a commercial shoot for wedding lingerie, and all you have to show is pin-up, then I will be much more inclined to approach the model who has the two great swimsuit shots, the turtleneck catalog shot, and the steampunk WOW shot. I know this person can do what I am looking for.

Summary

If you have on online collection of images where you are promoting your services as a model, keep them small, 15-40 images, with a variety, and limit yourself to 1-2 shots from the same shoot, and only if they are very different.

This is all just my opinion. But as the target audience for your gallery, this is what I am looking for. When I have to get through 4 year old crappy photos, or scroll through 10 nearly identical poses, in the exact same outfit to find something new and interesting, then I'm already searching Craigslist for new talent!

Self improvement tip: Pretend you are looking for a photographer to do a shoot with. Then open  your model portfolio. Would you consider hiring that person?

Phill HarndenComment