If #Iwokeuplikethis ever applied to someone (other than Beyoncé, of course), it’s you: You’ve got the look, you’ve got the drive, and you’ve got a handful of killer photoshoots in the bag, ready for agents and editors to peruse. But how do you go from undiscovered to the pages of Vogue? While a fierce walk and iron-clad self-confidence are key to the modelling world, putting your work online is the fastest way to get noticed by the right people.
Here are our top 10 tips for making your modelling portfolio website glow:
1) Do You
Maybe it’s the special curve of your nose, your goth-girl fashion sense, or your girl/boy-next-door look. Casting agents and photographers see dozens of portfolios every day, so showing off the traits that make your appearance unique is crucial. Ask photographers and friends in the business to describe the mood you give off and the features of your look that stand out the most, then use the characteristics they point out as the design anchor that holds your website together.
2) Go Bold With Your Cover Image
Your cover image is the first point of contact a photographer or casting agent has to your look. Choose high-contrast images that will catch their eye immediately, but don’t use a photograph that doesn’t correspond to the way you want to market yourself: a model who works best in commercial photography shouldn’t use an editorial look for their cover image, and vice versa. Instead, think of your cover photo as a 1-second window into your entire modelling career; be sure to choose a photo of you at your most iconic, one which exhibits your fiercest features.
Don’t be afraid to mix a striking cover photo of yourself with abstract images, too. Juxtaposing a relevant photo with an ambient pattern helps to build a sense of mood in your portfolio, while showing off your sense of personal style. Check out some of our templates on IM Creator for inspiration.
3) Show Off Your Look With Big, Crisp Photos
In a visual world like fashion, pixellated images simply won’t do. Big, bold photos are the best way to create a professional, eye-catching portfolio, so make sure that you use only high quality images on your website. When you do a photo shoot, ask the photographer or photo editor to send you a file with a variety of image sizes, from HD quality TIFFs to thumbnail size .jpegs. This way, you’ll have the appropriate size of photo to work with on hand when you’re uploading photos to your website. Once you’ve got your photos, IM Creator makes it easy to edit your photos right in our editor. You can crop and resize your images to fit into your template, as well as add crucial information so that they will be easy to locate on search engines and in your own files.
If you’re just getting started, try to pair up with ingenue photographers who are also looking to build their portfolios; you will both get something out of the shoot, and best of all, it won’t cost you any money.
4) Show Off Your Versatility With Photo Galleries and Walls
IM Creator offers plenty of different templates for photo galleries that will let casting agents and photographers effortlessly sift through the different projects you’ve completed. A wall of thumbnails on your photo gallery page will let visitors instantly pick and choose the photos that jump out at them first.
5) Get Organized
Most models do a combination of work, from commercial to editorial to runway. On your navigation bar or photo gallery page, separate the different kinds of work you do into categories so that casting agents will have instant access to the kind of work they’re considering you for. Providing shortcuts to the different kinds of work you do also gives your potential employers an instant overview of your versatility.
6) The Real You
Besides your past work, many casting agents want to see what you look like when you’re not behind studio lights. Make sure to include a series of basic photographs in your portfolio that showcase your face and body without makeup, and in a variety of different angles. If you’re taking these photos yourself, use a neutral background (a white wall works best), with daylight as opposed to flash.
7) Try Video
Modelling isn’t just about taking a great photo; video helps to show off your acting ability and your catwalk strut. IM Creator makes uploading videos from YouTube, Vimeo, or other video sites easy: simply drag and drop a video window onto your web page, then add a hyperlink. Your video will instantly appear on your website, and can even be resized to fit any design.
If you would like to get into runway modelling but don’t yet have the experience, try uploading a basic video of yourself in neutral hair and makeup walking toward and away from the camera. As with your “basic” photos, your “basic” video should be shot in natural light, using a neutral background.
Casting agents want to see that you can hustle, and showing off your knowledge and connections of the modelling business is crucial. Add links to your social media feeds to your online portfolio so that the people who want to hire you can instantly tell that you are doing your part to stay connected. Social media widgets like Instagram also lets photographers and casting agents see what you look like when you’re out off the set, while showcasing your personal style.
9) Include a Downloadable PDF
Providing a link to a downloadable version of your portfolio in PDF form allows the people interested in working with you to keep a record of your work on hand.
10) Know Your Resources
- At IM Creator, we offer plenty of beautifully-designed, visual templates designed for model portfolios. IM Creator is free to use, and with a simple “drag & drop” editor, you can create your online portfolio in a matter of minutes.
- FolioDrop, is an online portfolio builder made specifically for models. Along with plenty of templates to choose from, FolioDrop has a built-in function that allows potential clients to create their own PDF of your work simply by clicking an “add to portfolio” button next to any of your pictures
- BriefSend connects casting agents, photographers, and designers to models, artists, and creatives. Employers simply upload a brief to BriedSend’s website, and anyone who thinks they’re qualified for the job can respond with a personalized portfolio.