Types of Modeling

The first step for getting into modeling and building your portfolio is to decide which type of modeling you’re going to do.

While fashion modeling and other categories have specific physical requirements, others are more flexible. Here are some general categories of the modeling industry: 


Fashion models must be tall, thin and young. Female fashion models are generally 5’9” to 6”, and their measurements are usually bust 33”, waist 23”, hips 33”. Male fashion models are 5’11” to 6’2”, with waist measurements between 29” and 32”; shirt size between 15-15 1/2 neck, sleeve sick between 32-34, and jacket size 40-42.

Fashion (Editorial) Models - 
These are the models you see in fashion magazines like Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Elle, etc. 

Runway / Catwalk Models - 
Runway models are a minimum of 5’9” and must have precise measurements to fit the designers’ clothes. They must know how to walk the runway to showcase designer clothes to potential buyers.

Catalog Models -
This refers to the models you see in clothing catalogs or modeling clothing in online stores. Catalog modeling is slightly less restrictive in terms of measurements and height requirements. 


There are no height, size or age requirements for commercial models. They do advertisements, magazines, TV and more. This category includes many different types of looks and potential jobs.


Swimwear and lingerie models are curvier than fashion models. They are fit but not overly toned. They appear in swimwear catalogs, resort advertisements, suntan product ads, etc.


Glamour modeling generally refers to the posing — it is sexually suggestive. Pinup models and models who appear in magazines like Playboy are glamour models. They are generally curvy and have beautiful faces.


Plus-size models have become a part of the fashion and commercial modeling markets. They may be represented by agencies with plus-size divisions. They are generally determined by size (such as 12 and up) rather than measurements.


Fitness models should be athletic and toned. There are no size or height requirements, but fitness models must be in shape.They appear in ads for athletic wear companies, health and fitness products, and in trade magazines such as Runner’s World.


Promotional models book gigs at trade shows and conventions. They may be required to talk about their clients’ company or product and answer questions. They must be very outgoing and friendly.

Actor Headshots: What You Should Know

Color or black and white?

Color is the industry standard — it’s no longer black and white. Black and white headshots look dated.


Headshots are sized 8 x 10”, and are typically oriented vertically.

Commercial vs. Theatrical

There are two main categories of headshots: commercial and theatrical. It’s best to have both of these at your disposal.

Commercial headshots are meant to appeal to the advertising industry. They should be warm and bright. Smiling is usually recommended. The goal is to look relatable and trustworthy. 

Theatrical headshots are meant for castings in film, TV shows and plays. It’s typically more artistic, and is meant to show off your personality and show more depth and nuance. Some actors choose to smile, others do not. Decide what kind of impression you’d like to make, and how to best reveal who you are as an actor.


It’s common practice to either staple or have your resume printed on the back of your headshot. It’s easier to hand over to people in the industry this way, and it ensures that both pieces travel together and that casting directors will have access to both.

When deciding whether to use a stapled or printed resume, just keep in mind that resume changes more often than your photos. It’s a good idea to print only a small batch of headshot/resume combos, and then have a stack of stand-alone headshots which you could always staple your resume to if needed.

Getting the Right Look

It’s important that your headshot is honest and gives an accurate portrayal of what you look like. Directors are searching for a certain look, and they will not be happy if you show up for your casting and don’t look like your headshot. With this in mind, you should update your headshot at least every five years (many actors do once a year), or after any major physical changes such as weight loss or gain, a change in your haircut, etc.

Again, the goal is to appear trustworthy and show who you are as an actor. It’s not a fashion shoot, so avoid angled poses, and remember to look at the camera.

Should You Get a Professional Headshot?

Professional headshots aren't just for actors, models, and real estate agents. As we're moving online and our photos are more readily accessible, many individuals are opting to use a professional photographer for their profile photos, websites, and more. Should you get a corporate headshot? Consider the points below.

A professional headshot will help you ... 

1. Look the part. It will help lend credibility and show that you’re a professional. Furthermore, it will help you out on LinkedIn (it’s a professional platform, so your profile picture should reflect this).

2. Make a good first impression. This may be the first contact people have with you. Before working with you, headhunters and other professionals will first look you up on social media. Consider how you’d want to present yourself in an interview. When it comes to your headshot or profile photos, you should have similar concerns.

3. Take yourself seriously. An investment in quality photos is an investment in yourself. This works on a personal level by inspiring confidence. It also helps to show others that you care about the details.

4. Stand out from the crowd. A corporate photo will give you an edge over individuals without one. This is critical in a competitive market, especially as professional headshots are becoming more common.

5. Avoid photo mishaps. By using a professional photographer, you'll eliminate the awkward lighting, bad angles, and distracting backgrounds that my result from a do-it-yourself approach.

6. Have something handy for emergency situations. It’s helpful to have a photo ready to go for anything unexpected that might come up, such as an article being written about you or your business. A corporate headshot can also be used for PR announcements, newsletters, or marketing materials.

7. Capture the right look. When you’re taking your photos yourself, it may be difficult to capture a natural look. A professional photographer can continue shooting until you look relaxed.

5 Ways Professional Product Photography Will Help Your Business

Great product photography is essential when you're selling online. Eighty percent of people remember what they see and do, while only 20 percent remember what they read, and 10 percent remember what they hear, according to an infographic from Wyzol. So even if you have great copy and product titles, if you don’t have high-quality images, you’re missing out on a core segment of potential customers. Here are some other ways professional product photography can help your business.


If you’re selling online, people don’t have the benefit of getting up close and physically handling your products. You’ll want to fill in that gap by providing them with as much information as possible through your images. Put yourself in your customers’ shoes and try to consider any questions they might have. Show every size, color, and style option. Include different angles, show the product in-use, and highlight all of its features, such as interior pockets and lining, zippers, etc. This information and visual proof will help customers feel more confident in making a purchase, and you'll also decrease the likelihood of returns.


Online marketplaces like Amazon, Ebay, and Google Shopping have set image guidelines. Amazon, for example, requires a white background on products’ primary images. These websites are a major opportunity for your brand. If you have high-quality images on a white seamless background, you'll have more opportunities to submit and sell your products.


If your products are nice to look at, people are far more likely to share them on imaged-based social media platforms such as Pinterest and Polyvore. Many people use Pinterest to bookmark things they want to buy, or to discover new products — but they want their boards to be visually appealing. If you have impressive images, your products have a better chance of being re-pinned or clicked on by others. Polyvore is dedicated solely to shopping, and some people even share products on platforms such as Tumblr, Instagram, and Facebook.


Press exposure is a huge opportunity for your business. If you want your product to appear in magazines, newspaper, blogs, and other publications, professional photography is essential. While certain publications will want to take their own photographs, some blogs might want you to provide the images. You should also consider that editors are constantly overwhelmed with pitches. You need to make an impression very quickly, so your photos will need to stand out.


Professional photography will give your brand consistency. If your photos are taken in the same style, by the same photographer, your collection pages will look clean, professional, and aesthetically appealing. And in addition to having a better overall look, large high-quality photos may allow you to implement additional features on your website. A zoom feature, for example, requires very large, high-resolution images.

What Is a Comp Card?

Comp cards are the business cards of models and actors. They display a headshot on the front with an additional 3-5 images on back, along with the individual’s stats. They’re handed out to potential clients and agencies during auditions and castings, and they’re also used by agencies to market their models. “Comp card” is short for composite card, and it may also be referred to as a Sed Card, Zed Card, or Z Card (they all mean the same thing).

What You Should Know

  • Cards are typically 5.5” x 8.5”.
  • They should be printed on quality, heavy cardstock.

Front of Card

  • Show off your best headshot. To allow agents and potential clients to consider you for a variety of jobs, this headshot should ideally display a versatile, more “natural” look.
  • Include your name, printed in a simple, easy-to-use font, such as Arial or Times New Roman, in size 12 or 14.

Back of Card

  • Include three to five images that show variety. Ideally, they will convey your experience, range, and the type of work you’re seeking. If you’re a model, you’ll want to include a variety of looks. Actors may show different types of lifestyle shots, especially if they’re looking for commercial work.
  • Most women include these stats: hair color, eye color, bust, waist, hips, dress size, and shoe size.
  • Men typically include: hair color, eye color, height, suit or chest size, was it, inseam, and shoe size.
  • Provide contact information: your cell phone number, email address, and possibly your website. Again, use a simple font, size 12-14.
  • You may also display your agency's logo.
  • The card may be vertical or horizontal.

These cards are your first impression, and a great marketing tool. Be sure to convey your professionalism with high-quality photos, a clean design, and quality printing production.

See our pricing for comp card photography and printing here.