"Models have relied on them to book work for decades, but many new models don't understand their importantance or why it is helpful to be very intentional about building their portfolio around the type of modeling work they want to get. Here are our thoughts on the topic."
Many, if not most, modeling agencies still require you to have a physical portfolio, and if you don't, helping you develop one will be one of their very first priorities.
Depending on your level of experience and the type of modeling you want to do, your portfolio will likely have between 8 and 20 photos in it. That's not a lot of photos, so each one carries a lot of weight.
Agencies and clients simply do not have the time to look through even dozens of photos of you, let alone hundreds or thousands. Don't make them have to.
With portfolios having so few shots in them, strive to have each photo you insert capture a unique look or style. With that in mind, pick the very best photos that you have of yourself from different shoots or in different hair, makeup and wardrobe.
Speaking of hair and makeup, hire professionals if you can at all afford it. If you can't right now, understand that you may have to find a way to in the not too distant future. Some professionals will provide their services to models in a styled shoot if it provides an opportunity for them to showcase their skills in a dramatic and effective way.
Wardrobe is important as well. If you're just starting out you may have to draw from your own closet, but as you progress your photographer or others that you are working with may be able to arrange clothing from local merchants or designers to help you create those dynamic images you want for your portfolio.
Little known fact... All models require a basic "head shot," which is commonly taken with a minimal amount of make up as its purpose is to show the models skin colour and facial structure. It won't be the prettiest photo in your portfolio, but it is a must.