Dos & Don'ts of Modeling Snapshots (Female Models)

As you've probably already gained from my blog, the role of snapshots is hugely crucial to new models hoping to get into the industry--namely, those with goals of snagging an agent.

Learning how to put together quality modeling snapshots is a great way to make a strong first impression and improve the chances of getting invited to an agency interview.

Below are some easy dos and don'ts for aspiring female models when it comes to putting their snapshots together (male models, don't worry--I haven't forgotten about you! The next blog post after this one will be filled with snapshot tips just for you). :-)

DO: Follow Any & All Instructions

Agency websites contain all the info new models need to know, including what kinds of snapshots to send. Many even post reference images to copy. If you come across an agency site that has all this laid out, follow the instructions to a tee.

DON'T: Take Random Snapshots

It's great when there's a site with full guidelines but even if you come across an agency with a website where there isn't much info or none at all about what types of snapshots to send, you can follow the bare minimum requirements:

- 1 closeup headshot (smiling if you're submitting for commercial/print/lifestyle, non-smiling if you're submitting for runway/fashion/editorial)
- 1 full body shot (facing the camera, hands at your sides or one hand on the hip)
- 1 full body profile (body and face should be in profile to the camera)
A solid colored swimsuit is ideal for allowing agencies to see your figure without you having to be nude.

DO: Have Someone Take Your Photos for You

Even though I've seen a few agency websites state that "selfies" are acceptable, a larger majority of agencies want better quality snapshots and that can be easily accomplished when someone else is taking the photo of you. Not only will the resulting images look better, it'll give you less to worry about so you can focus on taking a good picture.

DON'T: Treat It Like a Photoshoot

Snapshots are non-professional in quality for a reason: it gives modeling agencies the opportunity to see what you REALLY look like. No makeup, no Photoshop retouching, no fancy hairstyles, etc. The purpose of modeling snapshots is to show what you look like at your most natural. This is also why you don't need to pose. At most, one hand on the hip is enough.
Even the famous models take polaroids without a lick of makeup. If they can do it for agency submissions, so should you!
DO: Wear the Right Clothes

Piggybacking off the "Don't" above, your snapshots should show your figure and the best way to do that is by wearing what's sometimes called the "model uniform": dark skinny jeans and a solid colored, fitted tanktop or t-shirt. A two-piece, solid colored swimsuit is the second most common clothing option for snapshots. Heels are optional so you don't have to wear them, unless the agencies you're submitting to say they want you to wear heels in the photos.
If the agency instructions don't specifically ask you to wear a swimsuit, you can opt for the "model uniform": skinny jeans and a fitted top.
DON'T: Be an Advertising Billboard

Notice that in the above "Do" I said "solid colored" twice? When it comes to choosing the clothes you'll wear, avoid the following:

- brand names/logos
- graphics
- busy patterns (plaids, tiny polka dots, stripes)

The focus of the snapshots should be you, not the clothing. Also avoid accessories so skip the earrings, necklaces, bracelets, hats, sunglasses, etc.

DO: Put the Focus on You

Your snapshots should only have you in the photo. That means no cropping your friends out of the group photo that you think you look fabulous in. Additionally, take your snapshots against a plain, light colored wall with no clutter around it. That means no hanging paintings or picture frames or piles of clothes/shoes on the floor. Anything that can take the agency's attention away from you in the photo is a major no-no.


Emily said…
Great tips!
Remember me , Emily?
Well I sumbitted to Chic Models, LA Models, and Sports &Lifestyle Unliminted Agency. The first and last one I got responded . I ended getting a exclusive contract from SLUAgency ( don't worry they same me first. )
Well now I am a model! Yeah!!!!
I have not gotten any jobs yet because of my work permit.
But, I would just like to tell that i'v learned so much , during that process!
Dania Denise said…
Hey Emily,

Of course I remember you! Wow, that is amazing...congrats on signing with the SLU Agency!!!

I'm sure you're going to be learning a whole lot more once things really start rolling--just make sure you have fun every step of the way!
Emily said…
Thanks !
I am sure having fun on the way!
Unknown said…
Hello do you have any social media sites to contact you through, or an email I would love to connect. I'm looking for model mentors to guide me through the right path, I'm 22
Dania Denise said…
Hi, Lydia!

For one-on-one assistance, you can reach me directly at this email address:

Looking forward to hearing from you!

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