Portfolio Books for Working Models
Professional models and their agents have some specific requirements for portfolio books
Things to consider when selecting your portfolio
The standard photo size in the modeling industry is 9″ x 12″ but there are a few secondary markets that use different sizes. You will see a lot of other sizes on our website, and if your agent says you should use a different size, follow their advice. But you can’t go wrong with a 9×12 model portfolio book.
Professional portfolio books are almost always black. You’ll occasionally see clear books, colored vinyl books, and even metal books. These are usually portfolio books that have been custom branded to match a modeling or talent agency’s look and colors. But for an independent model, unusual books can be gimicky. At a go-see interview, the last thing you want to hear when you hand a client your book is, “Cool book!” What you really want is for them to ignore the book, look inside and say, “Great photos!” Even if they don’t say anything, you want your potential client to be focused on you.
A professional portfolio has a rigid cover, like a hardback book. It’s usually made of leatherette-covered pressboard. The pages are crystal clear, and they’re permanently bound into the cover. It is imperative that a professional book is flat-as-a-pancake when it is closed. It can be thick…as long as it’s flat. This is so that a pile of books can be stacked on an agent’s desk without them sliding off onto the floor.
Professional modeling portfolio books can hold either 20 or 40 photos. The pages don’t have to all be filled. Quality is more important than quantity. In our opinion, your book should contain 5-11 great professional photos, that show your various talents and your best features. After that, the book should display tear sheets that show where you’ve appeared in print, and then snapshots that reinforce and legitimize your resumé. (Get someone to take snapshots if you appear in a fashion show, on a billboard, or if you do promotional modeling at events and in retail shops.)
A working model’s portfolio should have a pocket on the inside back cover, to hold comp cards (zed cards), a couple copies of your “raw shots,” a few copies of your headshot and your resume.
Best Portfolios for Commercial Models
The Vienna Modeling Portfolio Book (made from man-made leather) is the premium portfolio book of the modeling industry. Portfolio Mart’s Vienna Portfolios are handmade using classic turned-edge bookbinding methods and our highest standards of craftsmanship. They’re built to withstand the daily travels of a professional model and to make you look your absolute best.
The Scuba Portfolio is the durable workhorse of the modeling industry, especially in New York City. Handmade Scubas are built to withstand the daily travels of a professional model. After being passed from model to agent to photographer to stylist; in and out of cabs, subway trains and airliners; the Scuba’s Neoprene cover can be scrubbed back into shape with a washcloth and a spritz of blue glass cleaner.
The Scubette Portfolio Book is a lighter pressbook-style sibling of the Original Scuba Portfolio. Wetsuit material makes an amazing portfolio cover! It feels like soft, smooth, matte leather at much less cost! And it’s built to withstand the daily travels of a professional model. After being passed from model to agent to photographer to stylist; in and out of cabs, subways, trains and airliners; the Scubette’s Neoprene cover can be scrubbed back into shape with a washcloth and a spritz of blue glass cleaner.
Choosing the right self-promotion products can be a daunting task. If you have questions about any of our products or services, contact us and we’ll give you some friendly customer-service! Simply call us at 412-436-0343 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for free personal advice about portfolio books and other model marketing materials, including headshots, comp cards and photo prints.