How to create a fashion portfolio, you ask? Images from paid shoots, personal projects and test shooting. There a many ways to produce work but putting together a fashion portfolio that resonates with your target market is no easy task. It requires a fine balance to attract the top clients and entice collaborators you want to shoot with. To help solve this timeless conundrum, The Freelancer Club dipped into our little black book and asked one of London's biggest modelling agencies, M + P Models, how to create a fashion portfolio that gets you noticed.

6 steps to consider when creating a fashion portfolio:

How to create a fashion portfolio step 1 - Size Matters 

A portfolio shouldn’t be more than 12-16 pages. Chances are most clients will skim through portfolios and judgment will be quick (often after the first couple of pages), so it helps to keep it streamlined. If you're showing your portfolio online, categorise your work into sections using unique URLs so you can send a link with the appropriate type of the work. Clients act quickly when shortlisting their applicants and first impressions count. It takes only one bad image for a client to dismiss the rest of your work so start with something strong that embodies your style. 

How to create a fashion portfolio step 2 - Quality not Quantity

Images need to be of the highest quality, ideally, tell the viewer a story about your work and show what you are capable of. We asked model agency M + P what they look for in a portfolio. 

“It’s better to have 4 exceptional images than 8 where only half are of a ceratin quality. Each page must impress so it is essential you are selective. Quality over quantity is vital.”

How to create a fashion portfolio step 3 - Consistency is Key

If you are looking to work in the fashion sector, define the area you're you're interested in and focus your work around it. Editorial fashion and commercial fashion are very different. We see a lot of beauty work amongst fashion shots when a freelancer is applying to a fashion role. The temptation is to include everything you are proud of but it makes the job of an agent a lot tougher when we have to edit down freelancer's work. 

Images should be consistent. Ask yourself, are you marketing yourself as an editorial, high-end fashion freelancer or aiming your work at the commercial market? It’s best to pick the style that suits you the most. Should you have examples of work in multiple areas, you may have to amend your portfolio depending on who you're showing it to. Clients like to see examples of each style so be prepared to demonstrate this.

how to create a fashion portfolio

Image: MYE

How to create a fashion portfolio step 4 - Add Personality

Good images do not only show off a freelancer's work, they show personality and confidence too. Large scale productions provide an agent with an immediate sense that this individual can work in a team and collaborate at the top level. Who you are should shine through your work.  

How to create a fashion portfolio step 5 - Diversify vs Niche

Add some diversity to your portfolio for general consumption when starting out. Freelancers with diverse fashion portfolios are shown to land more entry level work while experienced freelancers who develop a style often find more success with large scale jobs. 

How to create a fashion portfolio step 6 - Presentation

A major bugbear in agencies is seeing great work presented. Invest in an attractive, hardwearing portfolio book and high quality prints. There's nothing worse than sitting down with a new freelancer and being handed a plastic binder or a plastic bag (true story) with tatty fashion images falling out. Facing images on each double page should always complement each other. Be careful not to over airbrush your photos too much, which can lead to tackiness. This goes double for makeup artists. Work that is post produced to an inch of its life does not show your quality - it shows your photographer didn't trust you! 

“If styling, makeup and settings are all over-embellished it will detour from the model’s beauty. Avoid this where possible.”

Quotes from Sophie Evans, M+P models.