One key concept to always keep in the back of your mind as a growing model is the opportunity to upgrade your photos and the things they influence, i.e. composite cards and portfolio. If an individual has a small assortment of low-grade photos, their comp card and portfolio will be just that, small and low-grade. Remember, your comp card and portfolio are your business cards. Your comp cards are what you will leave behind with the client as a reminder of how great you are. Your portfolio is a 9×12 book that compiles and showcases all of your very best photos and tear sheets (examples of work, typically from magazines). So that is what we must do, fill it with only the very best and we do this by shooting often and with a variety of photographers.
The idea is to get new and updated photos and replace the lesser, not as powerful ones. There are few models in the world who could not benefit from better photographs. Even the models we see in Versace ads could be booking more Versace ads if they had better photographs. The idea is to filter out your less impressive photographs and replace them with remarkable ones. The stronger they are, the more professional you will appear in front of clients; and one thing is true, you can never have too many strong photos.
A strong portfolio will have roughly 8 – 20 diversified, striking photographs in it. Diversified relates to a variety of one, photographers, and two, versatility, i.e. head shot, body shot, athletic shot, etc. Different photographers shoot in different styles. Some use different lenses, some use different lighting techniques, some create different moods, some use different clothing and color. There are infinite diversifications between photographers and this is why you want a good variety of them; to show experience and variety. In fact, once you have established a strong portfolio, you will likely have no more than a couple photographs from any one photographer.
The other important aspect worth noting is versatility. What this means is to have a few different “looks” of you and what you do best. If are going to be a fitness model, your book will consist of many body shots and fitness related shots. But some of the other important photos that successful models will have include: strong head shots, body shots, athletic shots, playful smiling shots (and hopefully lots of tear sheets). These are standard for whatever type of modeling you are into. The rest of your photographs should be versatile, but focus on the things you do best.
So make sure to shoot with a variety of photographers and to include a variety of photographs in your portfolio. This way you will appear professional and experienced in front of any client.