Many people dream of being a model, but as alluring as the idea might be, it is quite challenging to break into this cut-throat business. However, if you’re determined to get some work—whether in print, runway, on TV, or on the big screen—the best place to start is by investing in the cost of a professional modeling portfolio.
A modeling portfolio usually consists of multiple specific photos that will show perspective clients your natural beauty and the range of different looks you can achieve. This will usually include a few head shots and full body photos from different angles, and several types of styles and poses. What you wear in your modeling portfolio photos can also play a big part in deciding whether you will land a modeling job or not. Generally, you’ll want to avoid loud prints, and very dark or very light colors and go for simple but bright clothing that will help you stand out.
When considering the cost of a modeling portfolio, there are many elements to consider. For instance, you need to consider the cost of the photographer’s time, the cost of a hairdresser, makeup artist, stylist, the cost for photographs, the cost for a portfolio book or binder, and the cost for a composite card or modeling resume, which is what will often be submitted to the client for consideration for the job.
A composite card is usually a card that has a close-up or head shot on one side and a medley of a few different looks on the other. The card will also include your name, age, height, weight, clothing size and the modeling agency’s contact info. When clients are deciding who to use for an ad, the cards make it easier to compare different models to narrow in on the best fit for the job. The modeling resume is an 8" x 10" sheet with a Head shot of yourself and your name below. On the back of the sheet is your name, age, height, weight, clothing size and the modeling agency’s contact info on top, and all the recent modeling or acting experience you have.
Ordering prints for your portfolio can cost about $20 for a single 8 x 10 photo. Touch ups of images can be about $15 each. Hiring a professional to do your hair and makeup for the shoot could cost $100 or more. A stylist who provides clothing and accessories for you to wear and helps you to get just the right look could charge about $150 to $250 and up for a shoot. Purchasing a portfolio book or binder to hold your photos starts at about $50 for the most basic book and goes up to about $300 for a fine leather portfolio. A batch of 100 comp cards (also referred to as zed cards) can be about $100 to $200 ($1 to $2 a card). The per-card price goes down with larger batches. To be included on a model agency’s online database or on a wire service can cost between $100 and $250 a year. A video clip of your photo shoot can cost an additional $250 to $300 or more.
Note: Keep in mind that photo shoots need to be repeated periodically, as your looks change, and clothing styles and trends change.
While many modeling agencies and photographers are reputable, there are also some that are just in the business to scam unsuspecting people. Make sure you check out the agency and the photographer with the Better Business Bureau and do a search for them online to read reviews before you invest any money. Also keep in mind that modeling is a fickle business and even the best modeling portfolio won’t guarantee that you will get a job.
When you have a modeling portfolio, it’s the first thing that agencies and clients will look at, and its critical to make a great first impression. It helps to have a look at how you can be or could be for a client showing different styles. It is made to impress them and show something special, something that will show not only your appearance, but also your skills, experience and personality.
You can have the best face ever, but it doesn’t mean that you are good at posing, your portfolio is here to make a difference and stand out because agencies receive dozens of books and profiles.
Check out our modeling portfolio package made just for you. We researched and compared other agencies' portfolio costs and we created package that we hope fits your needs best with reasonable prices. Check it out!
research links here