Creating an effective model portfolio.

A modelling portfolio’s purpose is not to show that you are attractive; it is to show your ability to portray different looks and personalities. Model portfolios should showcase twelve to fifteen images (six to twelve if you are just starting out) and include only your best shots, and tearsheets if you have them. You will need at least one headshot, ¾ body shot, and full body shot.

Another necessity for models are composite cards, also called comp or sed cards. These are an abridged version of your portfolio and a model’s business card, and most agencies require them. (You usually don’t need these until the beginning stages of aquiring an agent.) This two-sided postcard will feature your headshot and contact information on the front, and three to four shots on the back along with your statistics. Unless you are with an agency or have some sort of representation, no logos should appear on your comp card, including your photographer’s logo or name.

Find photographers whose specialities includes model photography. Your photographer will also be able to recommend a make-up artist (don’t skimp on this no matter how great you are with your own).

Your photographer (or agency) will either offer printing or be able to recommend someone who does. Agencies will notice the quality of your shots and comp cards. Comp cards should be printed on durable card stock. We can also offer professional portfolios, which are priced reasonably. It isn’t necessary to spend $100 on one, but don’t use a photo album, either.

Use a variety of shots to show your versatility – this includes make-up, hairstyles, expressions, outfits, poses, and looks… even photographers, depending on your budget. Include both black & white and colour shots, but stay away from sepia, desaturated, selective colour, and over-saturated images. Keep your portfolio and comp card updated as time, and your career, progress.

For more tips, subscribe to our blog. For a personal consultation, visit

Copyright Bella Muse Photography. All Rights Reserved.

0 notes + Add comment