Your photos are your selling point. They are your only chance to make a great first photographic impression. A viewer will make judgments about your personality, your professionalism, your eye for detail, and your level of expertise based on what they see in your photos.
It doesn’t matter if you have 5 years of modeling experience if that experience isn’t reflected in your photographs. Conversely, you can have very little or no modeling experience, but if your photographs have “wow factor”, people will be more likely to want to work with you.
So you owe it to yourself to only put up your very best. Less is more.
When you’re first starting out (and from that point on!), good photography is important. It baffles me to see what some models use to market themselves. Just a quick scan of many of the portfolios on modeling sites, such as Model Mayhem or OneModelPlace, will reveal an abundance of poorly lit, poorly exposed, uncropped, out-of-focus, and badly composed photos. Photos that would look bad in a photo album, let alone a model’s portfolio!
If you were an agent or a model scout looking for talent, who would you pick, the aspiring model with mediocre photos or the model whose images really catch your eye?
Putting “snapshots” in a gallery online and calling it a “portfolio” does not make you a model. Be critical. Get good photos. Avoid representing yourself with photos that do not accurately reflect your potential and level of expertise.
Variety is important in a portfolio. When creating a portfolio, the photographer you work with should be willing to think outside the box. The last thing you need are photos that make you look exactly like everyone else. I have seen so many photos taken by photographers where the model doesn’t really matter at all in the photo. She’s just filling a space. It could be anyone. You want to create photos that show you, your diversity, and what you are capable of. If it’s been done before, trying to do it differently will help.
I’ve seen a number of models fall into the trap of “Since I worked with a professional, his photos must be good”. Not true. It is true that working with a professional photographer will absolutely increase your chances of getting some decent photographs. However, it is only the best of the best of these photos you should use. No photographer gets an outstanding photo with every click.
Even when all is said and done, there is absolutely no guarantee that good photos will create demand for you. However, bad photos can be damaging to your career and aspirations.