How to Create a Modeling Profile That Gets You Work

We all compare our portfolio to other people on Model Mayhem. What we don’t look at enough, however, is whether our profile is selling who we are and our abilities. I am not saying I have the perfect profile. I constantly change mine as I find information more or less relevant to the people I am selling myself to. I have, however, learned some simple guidelines which I would like to share. I am going to keep this focused on model profiles, but much of this can apply to other members of the community.

Model: Tristin Huntamer; Photographer: FSJ Photography

Profile etiquette: Don’t make people regret reading your profile

Sometimes members of this site don’t read profiles because many of them tell nothing about the person, and—on the other extreme—some of them tell every detail including about how happily married they are, and all about their dog Scooter. These members are why I am writing this. If we all learned to just include information important to shooting then profiles become tools instead of novels filled with nonsense.

Profile etiquette: Read their profile before asking questions

Maybe it is because my momma used to repeatedly yell “I do not like to repeat myself.”, but the first line of my profile is: “Please read my profile before contacting me about shooting.” Consider your profile your first message to anyone on this site that you may work with. Do you want to repeat that message over and over again? Probably not. It is one thing to clarify information stated on your profile, and it’s another to be asked something that is already clearly stated.

I’ve had photographers ask what my travel schedule is when it is on my profile. They have asked what they have to do to get me to travel to their area. Well, that’s on my profile as well. I’ve been asked what my rates are. It’s on my profile. You get the point.

Having this included won’t ensure that you won’t have to repeat what is on your profile, but it will be easier to say “If you refer to my profile…”than it will be to restate every detail (that they would have known if they read it before contacting you). One rule, if you do include this, is that you must read every profile before contacting people on this site to keep from being a hypocrite.

Model: Tristin Huntamer; Photographer: FSJ Photography

If you do something special, be sure to keep it simple and orderly

Next is optional, but I’ve found it has gotten me more work. I have a video of me modeling. I feel that it has shown a little bit of my ability beyond the still photos in my portfolio. For models this is especially helpful because it shows you can pose and emote without direction. I recommend showing yourself in action. Just make sure you keep links to a minimum and don’t clutter your page with images and video. If it takes forever to load your page you’ve got too much code on it! Keep it simple!

Here are some helpful articles on how to embed images on your profile and how to format text. But remember; only Premium and VIP members can embed images, videos, and format text on their profiles by using BBCode.

Do you have a webpage, Tumblr, or Flickr account that has even more of your work shown? Post it above your “About Me”. Take advantage of that area by linking to a site that has even more of your portfolio. That lone website linking area above the “About Me” section should be reserved for either your modeling website or a site like Tumblr or Flickr, where all your modeling images can be hosted. It is in an uncluttered place and you can label it as “Extra Images” or “Extended Portfolio”.

Link to your professionally-relevant sites

Think of it this way: You did a few art nude shoots, but your focus is on glamour and your portfolio here displays that. An art photographer likes your look, but doesn’t know if you are good with art nude posing. He goes to take a look at the link provided at the top and sees, from your images on the linked site, that you are capable of posing for the photos he is looking to create, and he hires you. That is more beneficial to you than linking to your Twitter or personal Facebook page in that premiere spot. You can add your Twitter and Facebook to your profile, but don’t make them as prominent on your profile as you would a modeling website or image hosting platform.

Model: Tristin Huntamer; Photographer: FSJ Photography

Thematically order profile information into visually distinct sections

If you travel, then provide a section on your profile just for travel plans. Keep travel days listed and updated. Also if you are willing to travel, but cannot afford to, you may put your requirements for any travel inquires.

For example: I have included that I have a passport. I have also explained two options to get me to travel to work:

  1. I will travel to model in exchange of flights, hotel and a minimum of 2 hours booked at my normal rate.
  2. I am willing to travel if my full day rate is paid.

This provides two ways that photographers out of your area can work with you, and it provides a specific, easily located place to refer people to when they leave you tags like “When are you coming to my area?”

Important points to emphasize

Next if you have built your portfolio to a point that you deserve pay for your time and work, list yourself as paid only—BUT we all have those “wish list” people we would love to work with just for images, and we don’t want to drive them away. That is why I include an “I will consider TF*” section, and I recommend you include a similar area in your profile. Mine explains that if you have a great port, a concept that will knock my socks off, and a team that can make it a reality, I will consider TF*. I also explain that, if it is a guaranteed published opportunity, I may consider TF*, if I like the publication. This section saves me from missing out on working with great artists and keeps my portfolio fresh with new images that I’d be proud to have in my portfolio.

Now this next part has been debated in the forums for a long time. To post or not to post your rates? I am on the post them side of the debate. I do recommend keeping it clear that they are negotiable, though—especially if you travel. What you can get in one city is not the rule for another.

I provide my hourly rate, as well as my half day and full day rates (which saves them a bit of money, compared to hiring me hourly). Posting rates can deter some from working with you, but those people were unlikely to pay you anyway. Posting can show those that are serious about your look that, if they hire you, you will be charging pretty much the same of them as you did the last person you shot with.

Model: Tristin Huntamer; Photographer: Fototails Photography
Makeup Artist: Heathyrre Kautz; Hair Stylist: Hair by Berenice

Clearly state your standards and expectations

If you have had a bad experience with things—like holding your schedule open for shoots for which details were not yet finalized, or being flaked on, etc—feel free to put a disclaimer such as the one I added to my profile:

“If I do not have a time and location set within 24 hours of the day of the shoot I will not hold my schedule open. If I get another offer for the day with all the details in place, I will take it. So please provide time, location, and any other info quickly to ensure your shoot.”

Make sure to be professional, to the point, and not sound bitter.

Now you can post things like how long you have been modeling, as well as what markets you’ve modeled in. Post what your limitations are and what sort of modeling you are focused on. If you can’t drive and need someone to drop you off, or need a ride to and from shoots, be up front about it. These details can show what type of model you are, but keep it short and sweet.

Keep your details up to date

Finally, remember to update your credits, as well as relevant information such as hair color and length, and measurements that are accurately up to date. Don’t advertise as something you are not. People search for specific height, skin and hair color when casting for projects, so keep it updated and factual. Also, choose an avatar that shows your current look, as this is the first image that will be seen—it must represent what they will be seeing on set if they cast you for a project.

I believe that covers the basics! Like I said before, my profile is ever changing and is not perfect, but this is what people have positively responded to. Keep information prudent to your cause and use your profile as a tool to get more from this site.

Tristin Huntamer

Tristin Huntamer

Tristin Huntamer has been an international freelance model since 2005. Focusing on, but not limited to, glamour and nude modeling. Her images are featured on many websites and in art galleries across Europe and Russia. You can find more of her portfolio at:

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