When it comes to making a lasting impression on top agencies and clients, your modeling digitals (often referred to as “polaroids”) are really important. 

Modeling digitals are raw, unedited photographs that showcase your natural beauty, poses, features, and proportions. Basically, it is a crucial tool for agencies and clients to evaluate your potential.

In today’s digital age, agencies and clients receive thousands of submissions daily. So, having a set of flawless modeling digitals can be the difference between getting noticed or lost in the crowd.

So, what exactly are modeling digitals, and how can you ensure that yours stand out? Let’s dive in and explore the ins and outs of modeling digital.

What Are Modeling Digitals?

Modeling digital


Modeling digitals, also known as polaroids, are a collection of simple, unedited, and unretouched images that show a model’s natural appearance. 

These are not like professional portfolio shots, which are often heavily edited. Digitals are meant to provide a raw and honest representation of what a model looks like without any makeup or filters.

These images are usually taken against a plain white or neutral-colored background, with natural lighting and minimal styling. The goal is to showcase the model’s unique features, proportions, and overall look in the most authentic way possible. 

Why Are Modeling Digitals Crucial?

In the modeling industry, having high-quality modeling digitals is crucial for several reasons:

  1. First Impressions: Your digitals are often the first glimpse that agencies and clients have of you, making them a powerful tool for creating a lasting first impression.
  2. Evaluation of Potential: Agencies and clients use digitals to assess a model’s unique features, proportions, and overall look, helping them determine if the model has the potential to book jobs and fit their specific needs.
  3. Staying Current: Even for signed models, agencies typically require updated digitals every few months. This is to ensure they have an accurate representation of the model’s current appearance, accounting for any changes in hair color, weight, or other physical attributes.

Preparing for Your Modeling Digital Shoot

Now that you understand the significance of modeling digitals, it’s time to prepare for your shoot. Here are some essential tips to ensure you capture flawless shots:

What to Wear

When it comes to clothing for your modeling digital shoot, the golden rule is to keep it simple and form-fitting. Agencies and clients want to see your natural shape and proportions, so baggy or loose-fitting clothing is a no-go.

For women

  • Black jeans or leggings
  • Form-fitting, neutral-colored tank top (black or white)
  • For fitness or swimwear models, a black bikini and black heels (heels are optional but recommended)

For men

  • Form-fitting jeans
  • Slim-cut, neutral-colored t-shirt (black or white)
  • For fitness or swimwear models, consider shirtless shots to showcase your physique

Hair and Makeup

When it comes to hair and makeup for your modeling digitals, the keyword is “natural.” Most agencies prefer little to no makeup, as they want to see your true features and complexion.

  • Avoid heavy makeup, eyeliner, and mascara
  • Light concealer or tinted moisturizer is acceptable for evening out skin tone
  • Natural lip balm or gloss is okay
  • Hair should be minimally styled, either down or pulled back in a ponytail

Posing and Expressions

Your poses and expressions should be confident yet natural. Avoid overly exaggerated or forced expressions, as these can come across as inauthentic.

  • Stand tall with good posture
  • Relax your shoulders and facial muscles
  • Subtle smiles or neutral expressions are best
  • Vary your poses and angles to showcase different sides of your face and body

Hiring a Professional Photographer

Hiring a Professional Photographer

While it’s possible to take your own modeling digitals, hiring a professional photographer who specializes in this area can be a game-changer. 

Here are some benefits of working with an experienced modeling digital photographer:

  • Expertise in lighting, posing, and capturing flattering angles
  • Knowledge of industry standards and agency requirements
  • Access to professional equipment and studio space
  • Guidance on wardrobe, hair, and makeup choices

When choosing a photographer, look for someone with a solid portfolio of modeling digital work and positive reviews from past clients. Be prepared to invest anywhere from $250 to $500 for a professional modeling digital shoot. The remuneration mainly depends on the photographer’s experience and location.

Taking Your Own Modeling Digitals

Taking Your Own Modeling Digitals


If hiring a professional photographer is not an option, fear not! With the right preparation and technique, you can capture high-quality modeling digitals on your own. 

Here’s a step-by-step guide:

Step 1: Find the Right Location

Look for a space with a plain white or neutral-colored wall, preferably with natural lighting from a large window. Outdoor locations with even lighting can also work well.

Step 2: Enlist a Friend or Tripod

Having someone else take the photos can help ensure consistent framing and angles. If you’re shooting solo, invest in a sturdy tripod.

Step 3: Lighting is Key

Natural lighting is best, but if shooting indoors, consider using a ring light or other soft lighting sources to evenly illuminate your face and body.

Step 4: Capture Different Angles 

Follow agency guidelines for required angles, but generally aim for:

  • Full-body shots (front, side, and back)
  • 3/4 shots (from different angles)
  • Close-up headshots (with and without smiling)

Step 5: Watch Your Posture

Stand tall with good posture, shoulders relaxed, and maintain eye contact with the camera.

Step 6: Minimal Editing 

Avoid heavy editing or retouching. Agencies want to see your natural features, so stick to basic adjustments like cropping or minor exposure tweaks if needed.

Remember, practice makes perfect. Take your time, and experiment with different angles and poses. Don’t be afraid to do multiple takes until you capture the perfect shots.

Post-Production and Submission

Once you’ve captured your modeling digitals, it’s time to prepare them for submission. Here are some best practices:

  • Editing and Retouching: As mentioned earlier, agencies prefer digitals that are minimally edited or unretouched. Stick to basic adjustments like cropping, exposure tweaks, or minor color corrections if needed.
  • File Naming: Clearly name your files with your full name and the word “digitals” (e.g., “JaneSmith_Digitals_01.jpg”). This ensures agencies can easily identify and organize your images.
  • File Format and Resolution: Most agencies prefer high-quality JPG or PNG files at a resolution of at least 300 dpi. Check agency guidelines for specific requirements.
  • Submission Process: Follow each agency’s submission guidelines carefully. Some may request digitals via email, while others may have an online portal for submissions.

By following these best practices, you’ll ensure that your modeling digitals are presented in a professional and organized manner. Which in turn increases your chances of making a lasting impression.

Should You Submit iPhone Modeling Digitals To Agencies?

While it’s possible to capture decent digital with a smartphone camera, most agencies prefer images taken with a higher-quality camera. But, if you’re just starting out and cannot invest in professional photography, high-quality iPhone digital can be acceptable as long as they meet the agency’s guidelines for lighting, posing, and image quality.


As a model, having a set of flawless modeling digitals is more than just a requirement. It’s a major investment in your future success. 

Remember, your modeling digitals are your calling card, your first impression, and your ticket to countless opportunities in the industry. So, enjoy the process, stay dedicated, and don’t be afraid to seek guidance from professionals along the way.

With the right mindset, preparation, and execution, you can create a set of modeling digitals that will leave a lasting impact on agencies and clients alike. Now, it’s time to put these insights into action. All the best!