Portfolio photograph expectations

First, let’s kick things off with some good news for first-time model models who wish to apply with us:

You do not need to submit professional photos to be a Models Direct model.

We’ve emphasized this a few times, as it helps everyone to keep stressing the point. It also applies to those talented individuals on our books who have changed their looks, and therefore want to let us know about their physical changes. After all, if we don’t know you’ve changed your hair style or  plucked up courage to obtain that much-desired tattoo, we can’t accurately put you forward to our wealth of modelling assignments. So, if you’ve modified your look, please re-send us a couple of photos to reflect the change.    

There’s almost no bad news about our application process. We’re absolutely transparent and there is no hidden “small-print”. And if you can’t find the information on our website – which gets updated with great information and feedback regularly – you can also pick up the phone and speak to one of our booking team members. And it may be obvious to say that without photos, we won’t be able to consider you for modelling jobs; the same should go for other commercial modelling agencies – well, those with a good reputation in the industry, at least!

However, we can’t simply settle for a couple of images taken without thought or care. We have to have some expectations for portfolio images, otherwise the standard of models will decline, and our clients won’t be presented with an accurate reflection of our wonderful talent. Meeting our photograph expectations will give you the best chance to work with some of our biggest clients – and that usually equals a larger fee!

So, which expectations do we need models to meet when submitting photos? Follow this check-list, and you’ll be soon on the fast-track on improving your portfolio, securing more modelling assignments, and keeping us happy!

1. High definition photos, please! We don’t like to reject photos, or to ask for them to be re-taken and re-submitted to us. Getting it right the first time is beneficial for us and you! Don’t have a digital camera, or even someone to snap away? Don’t fret – iPhones are fine, as are using a self-timer. But the end product must be clear, focused and high definition. And keep your hands steady to avoid the irritating “camera shake” phenomenon.

2. We ask as a bare minimum for two photos – a close-up headshot, and a full body length shot. Both must be clear and taken in front of a white background. You may submit two additional photos (your choice), but you don’t send in the two obligatory shots in front of a white background, we’ll ask you to resend.

3. Portrait is much better than landscape, so we ask for photos to have an ideal height : width ratio of 5:4.  

4. We need to have the lighting in the right proportions, so think about the light aspect as you start snapping away.

5. One of our expectations is not to wear or use accessories. This means hats, scarves, excessive jewellery and heavy make-up are a strict no-no! Feel free to show-off any unique features though.

6. Don’t use technical wizardry, filters or Photoshop. We need to see you in your natural state.

Be aware that these simple expectations must be met to give you the best chance of securing assignments and being put forward for bookings. 

We don’t mind repeating ourselves when it comes to crucial aspects of the modelling industry, and submitting portfolio photos in the correct way is one of the most vital. Please be aware of these expectations, and act on them before submitting your photos. Why hinder your chances of secure, exciting, paid work by not following a few simple rules? Above all, be professional, and good luck!