So you have an online portfolio. Great, and not in the sarcastic way, because you need as much exposure as you can get But don’t expect to get discovered or famous with a portfolio hosted on Model Mayhem, One Model Place or any of the others. It just doesn’t happen.

We are sorry to announce Jane Rubin this but, the guys from Ford, Wilhelmina and any other major agency are not surfing the web looking at these sites. You want to model for any of them, you go to a cattle call. If you don’t believe us, try to find a single agency model who was discovered on any of these sites.

So what are you supposed to do as a model?

First, don’t go tearing down your port. There is a huge use and need for them. This is how you gete some experience, and if you follow our advice it will be good experience. Shooting with a range of photographers, MUA’s, etc. will help if you ever do get booked with an agency, but you have to work for that.

Let’s stick with the portfolios. Your online portfolio will help you get experience, which is great, but don’t expect it to translate into a professional shooting situation. So many photographers do not work in a professional manner in any way, no agreements, no stylist, hair, etc. When you shoot for an ad or a fashion shoot, you have all of these things and more, even if it’s a non-paying shoot.

So the point is that these shoots (the ones you find on the MM, OMP, etc., sites) will get you comfortable in front of the camera. They will not get you discovered.

Who uses the online portfolios?

Basically other people in your position. People who are not signed to an agency and if they are signed to an agency and their agency is using one of these sites as their model board, they aren’t a large agency, that’s for sure.

If you were to go to an agency, who usually don’t care if you have a portfolio anyway unless it’s full of tear sheets, and try to pull up your Facebook, MM, OMP or any other online portfolio, they may ask you to leave. Ok, they may not ask you to leave, but they will not take you seriously as a model.

What should I do as a Model?

Again, keep your online port to get shoots with other locals, just don’t expect it to get you discovered. You absolutely need to have a  to carry with you to go sees. Even if you’re marketing yourself to the local fashion stores, you need to take them a physical port for them to thumb through.

But I’ve seen real models on (MM, OMP, etc.)

Yes you have and so have we. The difference is that they are already with an agency, so this is secondary to their agency or they are doing this work for fun.

This could also be used to fight fraud. The more images of a model online the less of a chance someone else will claim to be her.

One way to have a legitimate online presence

Create your own site with your own domain ( and put your “absolute best” work on there. Then you can send people to your online portfolio with a hope of being taken seriously.


Become A Teenage Model – Getting Your Teen Modelling Portfolio Right