By Jenni Sellan

The pursuit of a successful career as a fashion model, along with a win in the genetic lottery, requires courage, thick skin, confidence and a kick ass model portfolio. And like everything else in life your portfolio needs a great foundation to start with and to grow from; It’s the gin to your tonic and the flute to your champagne.

More than a collection of images, it’s important to consider your model portfolio as an opportunity to tell your own unique story and define your personal brand. It’s one of the greatest marketing tools you have at your disposal and while it might be tempting to throw every single favourite image at it, trust us when we say that unlike your social media following, less is definitely more, and a discerning eye fundamental, because you want a portfolio that stands out for all the right reasons.

As a continual work in progress, your portfolio isn’t really ever something that you can call complete as it will develop and broaden along with your experience, but there are a number of images that it will always require and we have pulled together a list of essentials, or if you like, the “bankable” shots you’ll need.

You’re welcome!

#The beauty Shot
Fresh faced, clean skin, with minimal to no make up.  This is the shot that illuminates you in your most natural form, allowing both clients and agencies to see you without all the editorial bells and whistles – without make up and excessive styling. Generally speaking this will be taken from the shoulders up and should make a strong statement as the first shot in your portfolio

#The Full-length body shot

This is the shot that allows both agency and client to see your body type and proportions. Think off duty style with this one – denim and a tee the perfect option and just like your beauty shot, this one doesn’t require heavy-duty styling.

#The Swimsuit or Lingerie Shot

Time to show some skin, but keep it classy ladies. Lets avoid the motorbike straddle. Think VOGUE and remember your audience is focused on fashion.

#The Fashion Editorial Shot

This is where you can be a little more creative, so gather your team and engage a great hair and make up artist and fashion stylist to help you pull together 2-3 really strong looks. This is your chance to let your personality come through; show some moves here; study your favourite top models and practice moving for the camera. Posing isn’t about standing still and often the most awkward feeling movement will produce the most amazing shot; bring your energy, be expressive and captivate.

#The Smiling shot

Similar to your beauty shot, this will be from the shoulders up and quite simply it showcases your smile and your teeth for agencies and clients but remember its’ not about perfection, just think Lara Stone, Jessica Hart and Lily Aldridge

Let your portfolio tell your story and show the world the direction you are going in and remember a picture tells a thousand words.