It is their calling card, their CV and what they use to get them noticed.
A modelling portfolio is a way for models to easily show potential employers their best work.
It is basically a photo book filled with the best pictures the model has taken in the past.
The pictures should vary as much as possible.
They should be both colour photos as a well as a few black and white ones.
Also, make sure that your portfolio includes different angles and dress styles as well.
A head-shot and profile shot are very important.
Following those it's good to include a picture of you in a conservative swimsuit, a formal dress, casual clothing, and an editorial picture.
What you also need to consider is how you will arrange the photos in the portfolio.
Always start with a close up beauty shot, just of your face.
As you go through the portfolio you should keep photos from the same shoot together.
Often models choose place the more relaxed ones at the start of the portfolio and then follow by the edgier ones which can be used in editorials and high fashion magazines.
Towards the end of it, place the more revealing swimsuit pictures as well as formal, glamorous clothing.
This method of placing pictures gives a steady increase in visual impact and will prevent the viewer from being shocked at the start.
When you go to a casting it is important to show off the right kinds of images which shows you in the light that the casting director is looking for.
So if it's a swimsuit casting, then put your swimsuit and lingerie photos to the beginning of the portfolio.
This way the casting director will see what your swimsuit body looks like straight away.
Casting directors do not have time to waste so the bigger the initial impact the better.
This is why it is important that your portfolio is as versatile as possible so that you can use different photos for different castings.
All photos should be taken by a professional photographer in a fully equipped studio.
You should also invest money in a good makeup artist as well as a stylist.
The things that you do right in the beginning with your portfolio will pay off later when you start booking great jobs.
If you have a very low budget, there is a way around the money issue, but it will probably result in lower quality photos as well.
Once your portfolio pictures are done, you need to take care how you are going to place them in the portfolio and what their overall impression will be for the viewer.
Above all, your portfolio must always look neat and well organised.
There should be no torn or stained pictures, as well as no bent edges.
Everything should look clean, professional and immaculate if you are going to leave a great first impression.
Also, never forget to take your portfolio with you! Not bringing your portfolio means that you will almost certainly not get the job.
Your potential employer will have no time nor interest in trying to figure out what your pictures look like without your portfolio.
Do not take a CD to a casting.
A casting director will be very unlikely to start downloading your CD on a computer and viewing your photos.
Neither should you take a Kodak envelope full of snaps.
You must have a book and a z card to leave behind.
As you gain more experience and more photos, you will replace the old ones with new shots.
Your portfolio should always be up to date with your latest jobs, and you should be able to easily explain to the viewer what the purpose of each picture is and what it represents.
Every photo shoot has a purpose, and if it looks like you have no idea why you were there, it will not be leaving a good impression on your potential employer.