Teenagers (Over age 13) and older do need portfolios. Children under the age of 13 rarely need portfolios.
The types of pictures in your portfolio are determined by several criteria:
Your age and your age range: Your pictures need to show how old and young you realistically can look. Your age also determines appropriate characters for you to portray in your portfolio. For example, if you are a woman in your 40s, it wouldn’t be appropriate to dress you as a college student for a picture. If you are a teenager, it would be foolish to take a picture of yourself in a business suit.
Your height: Your height determines whether or not you will be a fashion model. In most markets, you need to be at least 5’8″ (5’10 or taller in major markets like New York) to be considered for fashion work. If you are a petite, you do not want to include fashion images in your portfolio.
Types of work you are trying to get: What kind of work do you want to do? Do you want to do some fashion modeling? Glamour and lingerie modeling? You need to determine this before you shoot a portfolio. If you are horrified at the idea of being a glamour model, it probably isn’t a good idea to include a bunch of lingerie or swimsuit pictures in your book. If you are open to doing a wide range of work, your book should reflect this.
The market that you will be working in: Before you put together a portfolio; you need to consider your market’s needs and the advertising that goes on in your market. For example, in Philadelphia, where so many major medical companies are located, it is more important to have a picture of yourself as a nurse or doctor than it is to have a picture of yourself in a swimsuit.
Regardless of your situation, your portfolio needs to do more than just make you look amazing. It is important to have a good selection of pictures that make you look absolutely terrific and sell your personality and ability to do the type of modeling that you are trying to get work from.
You need to be extremely critical of your images. Use only the best. You won’t get more work for having lots of pictures in your portfolio.
Never use more than one shot of the same outfit or two pictures that are obviously taken at the same time and place.
Remember – “LESS IS BETTER” Make sure your pictures say “WOW!”
Recommended Reading about Modeling Portfolios
- What makes a great modeling portfolio?
- What does McDonald’s have to do with your modeling portfolio?
- Do I really need a portfolio? What kinds of pictures should be in it?