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Models guide to digital and polaroid photos

Models need to showcase their true, unedited self to modeling agencies and clients. One way to do this is through digital or Polaroid photos. In this blog, we will discuss what digital or Polaroid photos are and why they are essential for models. We will also provide tips on how to take digital photos and what clothing to wear for them.

What are Digital or Polaroid Photos?

A digital or Polaroid photo is a natural and straightforward photo of a model. The notable characteristic of these photos is that they should not be edited. Additionally, they should not have any fantasy lights such as yellow or red lights. Only simple and natural lights can exist in this type of photo. Having a digital photo is necessary for models because it shows their true, unedited self, which is required for modeling agencies to showcase to clients.

Why should a model have a digital photo?

let me provide an example to help illustrate this concept:

Let's say a modeling agency is considering signing a new model. As part of the evaluation process, the agency requests digital or Polaroid photos from the model.

The model arranges a simple photoshoot in a well-lit area with natural lighting. The photos are taken with a basic camera or smartphone without any special filters or editing. The model wears minimal makeup and poses in a way that showcases their natural features.

The resulting photos are then submitted to the modeling agency, who uses them to evaluate the model's potential. Since the photos are natural and unedited, they provide an accurate representation of the model's appearance, which is important for clients who may be looking for a specific look or style.

By using digital or Polaroid photos in this way, modeling agencies and clients can get a better sense of what a model truly looks like and whether they would be a good fit for a particular project or campaign. This approach is especially important in an industry where appearance plays a significant role in success.

example of modeling polariod
example of modeling polaroids for men

How to Take Digital or Polaroid Photos?

Do we have to go to a studio, or can we take them ourselves?

Digital or Polaroid photos can be taken at home or at a studio.

The background should be simple and preferably white.

Avoid using harsh sunlight or artificial lights.

Ask someone else to take the photo instead of taking selfies.

Take a full-length portrait facing forward, profile photos, 90-degree photos, profile photos while looking at the camera, upper-body photos, and close-up photos of your face.

How should we dress or do makeup for digital and polaroids photos?

  • Ladies should wear black or blue jeans with an attractive top or T-shirt that shows their body shape.

  • Avoid wearing slashed pants and leggings.

  • Wear heels to make the body look more pulled.

  • Men should wear black or blue jeans with a white or black T-shirt that does not have a pattern.

  • Men with good bodies who want to work in swimwear or underwear can take photos without a T-shirt or in a swimsuit.

What is the philosophy of digital photos?

The philosophy behind digital photos is to showcase a model's real self to clients without any editing or manipulation. Digital photos are taken with simplicity, without any complexity.

In digital photos, there is no room for makeup or accessories such as sunglasses, and sometimes, the background should not be crowded or fantasy-like.

In polaroid photos, one should avoid heavy makeup, excessive accessories such as sunglasses, and crowded or fantasy-like backgrounds.

example of modeling polaroids for girls
example of modeling polaroids for girls

The background for digital photos

A simple background (preferably white) or suitable lighting with a well-taken photo can be the perfect combination for a professional digital photo.

Does every model need to have a Polaroid photo?

Yes, every professional model needs to have a Polaroid photo, and they should regularly update it to reflect any changes in their appearance or style.

In this matter, there is no difference between a professional model and a beginner model. Anyone who wants to work with a model (either an agency or a client) needs to have access to their Polaroid photo.

Anyone who wants to be in touch with a model (whether an agency or a client) needs to see you and understand what situation you are in!

Even very professional models with extensive backgrounds need to have updated polaroid photos.

Do we have to go to a studio to take digital photos?

No! You can take polaroid photos at home.

First, you need to find a white or bright wall in your home with a large window next to it.

One thing to keep in mind when taking a photo is that you should never take selfies! You can ask your family or friends to take these model photos of you.

Note that your background should be simple. We tell you this to pay attention to it. The presence of wires, cluttered wallpaper, or items like air conditioners or pipelines in these photos is unprofessional.

Light bulbs, moonlight, and artificial lights are not suitable options for this job due to changing your face (such as dark circles under your eyes). If you don't have a minimal window or wall at home, you can take these photos outside.

Try not to use harsh sunlight in the middle of the day to take these photos! If you send a selfie to an agency, you will be removed from their list! This is entirely unprofessional.

example of modeling polaroids
example of modeling polaroids

Do Polaroid photos have different standards in modeling agencies?

Each modeling agency can expect different standards for digital photos depending on the type of standards. But in general, the basic standard for digital photos in modeling agencies is the same.

If you're interested in learning more about the various types of modeling agencies, be sure to check out the article Types of Modeling Agencies.

In general, this type of photos includes:

  1. A full-length portrait facing forward

  2. Profile photos (45-degree angle photos where you look towards the camera) and, of course, full-length photos

  3. 90-degree photos (some agencies request this pose)

  4. Profile photo while looking at the camera

  5. Upper-body photo

  6. Close-up photo of your face from up close

  7. AG Model's suggestion for digital photos

  8. If you plan on taking these photos, we recommend incorporating poses. However, this doesn't mean utilizing uncommon or overly fashionable poses.

  9. If you have an attractive smile, it can be beneficial to showcase it in your Polaroid photos. Typically, upper-body shots with a gentle smile work well. It's important to note that the intention is not to capture a laugh, but rather a pleasant smile.

Suitable clothing for Polaroid photos

To capture their physique accurately, both male and female models should avoid wearing outfits like coats and pants that conceal their body shape. Opting for clothing that fits well and accentuates their figure is recommended for a more effective modeling portfolio.

Suitable clothing for Polaroid photos for ladies

For women, especially those who aspire to work in the fashion industry , black or blue jeans paired with an attractive top or T-shirt can be a suitable option.

This clothing is chosen so that the client or agency can easily see your body shape. Therefore, it is advisable to avoid wearing ripped pants or leggings.

Women can also choose to wear heels, and we highly recommend doing so, as they can make your body appear more streamlined and elongated.

Suitable clothing for Polaroid photos for men

For men aspiring to work in the fashion and commercial industries, it's recommended to wear black or blue jeans along with a plain T-shirt in either white or black. It's important to avoid wearing patterned T-shirts as they can create visual distractions for clients. These simple and classic outfit choices allow the model's features and physique to stand out, without drawing unnecessary attention to their clothing. By opting for a clean and minimalistic look, models can present themselves in a professional and versatile manner, making them more marketable for a wide range of clients and projects.

Boys who have good bodies…

Men who have well-defined physiques and aspire to work in the swimwear or underwear shoots can begin their portfolio by taking photos without a shirt, either wearing jeans or a swimsuit. These types of photos will showcase their body shape and provide a better understanding of their potential in the industry.

example of modeling polaroids for boys with good physique
example of modeling polaroids for boys with good physique

Makeup and hairstyles in Polaroid photos

When taking Polaroid photos, women should avoid using heavy makeup. Instead, they can use a concealer with low concentration or lightly cover up under their eyes. The goal is to create a natural look that showcases their true self to clients.

Wearing too much makeup can give the impression that the model is insecure about their appearance and is trying to hide something. Similarly, the hairstyle should not be too fancy, and the model should avoid covering their face or body with their hair.

If the model has long hair, it is best to leave it open in at least one photo to show their full face, then gather it at the back of their head or throw it behind their ears. This way, the client can easily see the model's facial features and body shape without any distractions.

Why digital photos need to be updated?

Models often update their photos to keep them current and reflective of their current appearance. Hair color is just one example of how a model's appearance can change over time. For instance, a model may change their hairstyle or hair color, gain or lose weight, or even get a new tattoo or piercing.

Updating photos helps to ensure that clients and modeling agencies have an accurate representation of the model's current look. If a model sends outdated photos that don't reflect their current appearance, it could lead to disappointment or even rejection from potential clients.

In the case of hair color, it's important for models to provide current photos that accurately reflect their hair color because it can be difficult and expensive to change. If a client is interested in booking a model with blonde hair, but the model's current hair color is brown, it could result in lost opportunities and potentially damage the model's reputation for accuracy and professionalism.

In short, updating photos is a crucial part of a model's career, and it helps to ensure that they are accurately represented to potential clients and agencies.

The Polaroid photo should be the same as the photo that shows you now.


Digital or Polaroid photos are necessary for models to showcase their true self to modeling agencies and clients. They can be taken at home or at a studio, and the clothing worn should show the body shape. Follow these tips to take the perfect digital or Polaroid photo and increase your chances of getting modeling jobs.


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