What To Wear To A Photoshoot Modeling

Tailor the outfits to the kind of modelling work you want to book. Think about what your dream modelling jobs might look like. Are they magazine editorials, walking in fashion week, featuring in Nike campaigns, or modelling e-com for Zara. Your model portfolio should reflect the kind of modelling work you want to book, outfits included.

Maybe you have big ambitions for modelling and want to do it all, or maybe you actually aren’t sure what you want to do and where to begin (see post – Different Types of Modelling Jobs).

If you’re starting out with no previous modelling experience or want to appeal to a wide range of brands, it’s a good idea to keep your outfits simple. Start with a neutral base of a plain top or bottom, like the kind you’d wear for model polaroids or digitals, and go from there.

Reference Successful Models and Their Portfolios

Look at model profiles on agency websites or models.com for inspiration. If there are modelling agencies or professional models you admire, look at their portfolios!

Make note of the type of jobs they’ve booked, the images from portfolio shoots earlier on in their modelling career and use the outfits as inspiration for your own.

If it’s an agency, look at their ‘New Faces’ and ‘Development’ boards becuase these models will be early on in their careers so it’s a great way to get outfit ideas for your own portfolio shoot.

Try On Your Outfits

Try outfits on and see how they photograph before your photoshoot. Taking pictures of the outfits you’re thinking of bringing to the shoot is the best way to test them out. Are they fitting the way you want and creating a flattering look overall? How do they look in motion or in certain poses? Do they give off the impression that you want them to?

Mens Portfolio - Model Portfolio What to Wear

Have Multiple Outfit Options

Bring a range of different styles. Having a variety of clothing options to wear for your model portfolio shoot will give you a wider range of images to use. Bring simple fitted pieces, casual shoes, simple heels, lingerie or swimwear, jackets, and accessories.

To appeal to a range of audiences include a mix of smart, casual, and personal style in your outfits. It’s worth considering how many outfit changes you’ll realistically have time for. Only bring one or two extra outfits than you need for insurance. The last thing you want after a long day of modelling is to be hauling an extra ten outfits that you didn’t need home.

Ask Your Photographer for Advice

Depending on the shoot location, duration, and photographic style, some outfit styles will work better than others. Check in with the team you’re working with on your model portfolio shoot and run your outfit options by them. They may have ideas to elevate your outfits (and the overall outcome of the shoot) that you didn’t think of!

When you book a model portfolio photoshoot with me, you get a comprehensive pre-shoot email that includes all the information you need to ensure you have awesome photoshoot experience, including advice on what to wear for your model portfolio photoshoot.


Remember, this photo shoot is to sell YOU, not the clothes. So keep it simple but give yourself a broad range of looks and styles so you can be seen as marketable to a wider range of agency clients. I suggest my models wear outfits that make them look suitable for jobs in a slightly younger category and a slightly older category. I also suggest something casual and something more editorial. Here are a few good Do’s & Don’ts:


Agencies want to see your body shape so make sure what you choose fits well. If you are going to choose a baggy top, make sure the bottoms are fitted so we don’t loose your shape (and vice versa).


This is not about fashion, so keep the wardrobe simple. No busy prints, bold patterns or ultra trendy outfits. Trends become dated fast and uber stylish clothes are appeal to some and turn off others. You don’t have to be boring, just keep it Stylishly Simple.


Let’s face it, we all have a closet full of little black dresses and every slimming outfit in black. Resist the urge and make sure to bring a few outfits with color. Color will make you pop, give your photo some warmth and energy. Avoid florescent colors as they can over power you as the subject.


What a fascination there is in a renowned name! There sat the man, in actual flesh, whom I had heard.


Stretch your style choices. Choose a variety of outfits that make you look suitable for catalogs jobs from (say the GAP) to editorial jobs (say the cover of Vogue or Vanity Fair). Choose outfits that make you look right for jobs in a wider age range. Resist bringing all your favorite similar type/style outfits.


Your modeling photo shoot shouldn’t break the bank! So if you don’t have much in your wardrobe, beg your friend to borrow that outift that makes you look amazing. Go shopping and leave the tags on, decide what’s best to wear with your photographer and return the rest. Another popular option is renting great simple but stylish outfits from www.RentTheRunway.com.

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