Test Shooting. TFP. Collaborating. Whatever you like to call it, putting together the perfect portfolio is no easy task. It requires a fine balance to attract the top clients and entice the collaborators you want to shoot with. So The Freelancer Club dipped into the little black book and asked one of London's biggest modelling agencies, M + P Models, to provide us with a breakdown of what works when creating the perfect portfolio.

These are the six things you need to consider to create the perfect portfolio:

Size Matters 

A portfolio shouldn’t be more than 14-16 pages. Chances are most clients will skim through portfolios and judgement will be quick, so it helps to keep is streamlined. If you're showing your work online, categorise your portfolio into sections with unique URLs so you can send a link with the appropriate type of the work. 

Quality not Quantity

An old saying but it’s true. Images need to be of the highest quality. We asked model agency M + P what they look for. 

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

Consistency is Key

If you are looking to work in a particular field, your images need to be consistent with this area. For example, are you marketing yourself as an editorial, high-end fashion photographer 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 crop and change your portfolio depending on who you're showing it to. Clients like to see examples of each style so be prepared to demonstrate this.

Add Personality

Good images will not only show off a freelancer's work, they show personality and confidence too. Demonstrate that you are adaptable to a variety of environments and can bring your own style to all situations.


Add some diversity to your portfolio for general consumption. Include images that are simple, natural, or beauty work (especially if you're a model), and minimal makeup (black and white shots for example). These portray a classy and raw beauty to the client and look great against editorial and more colourful specimens. 


Remember your images need to be complementary to the rest of your work. Facing images on each double page should always complement each other. Lighting should be flattering and carefully applied. Be careful not to over touch or airbrush your photos too much, which can lead to tackiness. Look at your style and makeup as this should never be distracting from your skills or beauty. M+P say

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

Now that you've got the perfect portfolio know-how, why not update your profile page? Pro Members can add as many portfolio images to their Profile as they wish. Go Pro.  

Quotes from Sophie Evans, M+P models.