Picture perfect – how to take the perfect modelling photographs

They say a picture speaks a thousand words – and what could be truer!

If you want to apply to be a model you need to send us the best images of yourself that you can.

And, while your snaps certainly don’t have to be professional, it is important to follow certain guidelines when you ask a relative or friend to step in as your photographer.

Here a few essential dos and don’ts from the MD Team….


  • Send us two basic images

These should be one close up head shot and one full-length body photograph. If you would like to send us a half body picture too, plus a side-on, full-length profile, then you are also very welcome to.

  • Take portrait shots

We prefer to see portrait (upright) photographs if at all possible. The ideal height to width ratio is 5:4. As long as the shots are vertical, however, rather than horizontal (landscape) they should be fine.

  • Use a digital camera or phone

Phone pics or camera snaps are perfectly fine. If possible save them at the original size, as jpegs, without compressing them as this can sometimes corrupt them.

  • Consider the background

Take your photographs against a clear, simple background. Ideally, stand in front of a plain white wall or other background. Don’t try taking your pictures inside a cluttered space or outside where there is too much going on behind you. The simpler, the better…

  • Make sure your photos are well lit

This is vital. We need to be able to see you clearly. Dark, shadowy or moody shots taken in the half-light will not be good enough. Whether you are taking the snaps in natural sunlight or artificial light, the light needs to be behind and to one side of the photographer.

  • Keep your clothing simple

Wear something plain and simple that shows us who you are. Try to avoid hats, scarves or any other major accessories that might cause you to look overdressed and detract from the main focus of the photograph – you!

  • Tie your hair back

Try to do this in at least one of the photographs – the close-up. Then we can really see your face. If you have a long bob, which is too short to tie back, then use a clip.

  • Steady the camera

Shaky cameras won’t provide clear photographs. Ask your photographer friend or family member to rest the camera on something solid. Mini-tripods can also be useful and are cheap to buy.

  • Have the camera at eye level

Look directly at the camera so the person looking at the final photo feels as if they are making eye contact with you.

  • Think about your pose

Try a gentle pose if you wish to – but do not overdo it for these initial shots. A slight incline of the head can be enough. Practising a few poses, however, might be fun and give you some confidence before you take your pictures.

  • Reveal any unique features

If you have a tattoo, piercing or other unique feature that is normally visible then do show it to us. Clients sometimes look for models with particular features, so this could be helpful.


  • Pay a professional photographer

You really don’t have to! We are not expecting professional standard photographs. We just need to be able to see you clearly and in the right format.

  • Send us any selfies

It is much better to ask someone else to take the shots. They will be at a better angle and you will look more natural in them. Selfies are fun but we don’t want to see them here!

  • Photoshop your images

Models Direct and their clients want to see clear, natural photographs, which have not been edited. Do not put the images through any apps and do not apply any filters to them. Modelling agencies, clients and professional photographs looking at your snaps will be able to tell if they have been photoshopped or altered in any way.

  • Wear too much make-up

Less is more! Go for a natural look. Heavy make-up will hide who you really are and limit the possibilities for you when it comes to potentially taking part in a range of assignments.

One of our models, Deborah, took part in an assignment for a photographic supplier Wex. See it here and why not also hear what Deborah has to say about her work with Models Direct!

Click here to apply to us and get your modelling career started today…