Photo: Joe Woods

How to start if you don't have photos

Holiday photos, travel photos or personal photos are not the best options for your model profile, learn here how to do your first basic model photos.

If you haven't had any job as a model and haven't yet a book, here you'll learn how to take your first model photos for your Litmind profile by your own. You'll also discover what are the requirements other professionals and agencies expect from your photos when they see your profile.

All photographers, stylists and model agencies need to see how you physically are before choosing your for a job. Bad quality photos, selfies and photos taken with a phone won't be of help. Even worse, bad quality photos make your profile look really unprofessional. Let's see first what kind of photos you must avoid in your profile and in your book:

  • Of course, no selfies!
  • Casual "tourist" photos, party photos, holiday photos, hanging out with friends or similar, they're not valid.
  • Screenshots are not valid. Make a little effort and crop them! You can even crop photos after uploading them to Litmind.
  • Photos where you cannot be clearly seen, too close or too far photos where you appear too small are not valid.
  • Photos where your body figure cannot be seen are not valid. Both because you're wearing too thick or too loose clothes, or even because of your posing. Upload at least some photos fulfilling this requisite.
  • Too much retouched photos, photo montages, simulated magazine covers; none of them are valid.
  • Erotic photos or simply bad quality spicy photos, they won't serve you to start your career (in photography) and they're also not allowed at Litmind.
  • Generally speaking, blurry photos, fuzzy photos and bad quality photos are not valid.

If all your photos are like the ones above, don't panic! We've prepared this tutorial so you'll learn how to take your first photos that will be perfect for signing up at Litmind and to create your very first, super-simple yet effective book. Read the following steps and follow them carefully:

You'll need the following

  • A digital camera. If you don't have one, you can try with your mobile phone, though it's not recommended.
  • A tripod to hold the camera. If you don't have one, find a chair, a table or something else to put your camera on and keep it steady, at your chest's height.
  • A place in your home with a uniform wall: No corners, no pictures on the wall, no furniture ... we need the most simplistic background you can find. If the wall is white, even better!
  • Choosing the proper clothing is important. You should chose clothes that let your figure be seen: Do not use loose or thick clothes. Find the following:

    If you're a girl:

    • Jeans, shorts or leggings that fit you nicely.
    • A shirt. Better if it has short sleeves.
    • High heels, or barefoot!

    If you're a guy:

    • Jeans that fit you nicely.
    • A t-shirt or a shirt, preferably white and with short sleeves.
    • Any shoes, or barefooted.
This kind of photos are really appreciated by model agencies and stylists, and they're called "polaroids" because they're simplistic, straight to the point, with no distractions, where the model can be clearly seen, just as he/she is in the real life. Even top models have photos like this on their books.

Prepare yourself for the photos

If you're a girl, don't use makeup! The best polaroids are those showing an all-natural model, where your real face features can be seen. Don't worry id you don't find yourself as pretty, remember that polaroids are natural above all.

If you're still not convinced, use just a bit of makeup, simple and very natural. Don't use eye shadows nor eyeliner. Also don't use lipstick.

Let your hair loose, just to see how long you have it.

Don't use sunglasses. If you use glasses, take some photos with them and some others without.

Setup the camera and the room

  • Setup your camera to the highest quality preset: Maximum resolution and maximum JPG quality. Deactivate any black and white or sepia modes, we want color photos.
  • Setup the camera in auto mode and be sure the flash is on.
  • Place the camera on the tripod or on whatever other furniture you found in such a way that it rests at the same height as your chest.
  • If you can, turn the camera 90 degrees to take portrait photos (tall) instead of landscape (wide)
  • Turn on all the lights of the room, open the blinds and the curtains, we want all the light we can get!
  • Learn how the shutter delay mode of your camera works so you'll be able to set up the camera to take the photo automatically and let you some seconds to prepare.
  • Find a completely empty region on your wall and place the tripod and the camera directly in front of it, pointing straight to the wall and as far from it as you can. Try to leave a gap between the wall and the camera at least 4 meters (13 feet) long.

Take the photos

How to pose? It's actually quite easy, polaroid photos like the ones we want are really natural, so you're not even required to perform complex poses. First, prepare yourself:

  • Place yourself in really close to the wall, just about to touch it with your back, but don't use the wall to hold yourself.
  • Be sure nothing else can be seen on the photo: Pictures, furniture, posters, curtains ... Only you, the wall and the floor should appear on this photos. Nothing more.
  • Take some test photos until everything looks ok as per this guidelines.
  • Take at least the following four photos:

Photo 1, completely facing the camera

  • Point your body to the camera.
  • Don't hold your entire weight in just one leg, use both.
  • Let your arms fall down or put one of them in the pocket. Don't cross your arms.
  • Don't force your chest out, but don't huddle. Simply act normal, try to avoid tension in your face and your body.
  • Point your head to the camera.
  • You'll kinda feel like a robot. Perfect, that's the pose!

Photo 2, sideways

  • The same as before, but turning yourself 90 degrees. Keep your head also 90 degrees from the camera, the same direction as your body.

Photo 3, three quarters

  • This time neither entirely facing the camera nor completely 90 degrees away from it, just an intermediate angle like, say, 45 degrees. Keep your head pointing to the same direction as your body!
  • Now try to hold all you weight with just one leg. Cross them, or whatever pose you find comfortable.
  • If you feel more natural, put one of your hands in your hips.

Photo 4, only your face

  • Adjust the zoom of the camera so only your head and your shoulders can be seen on the image.
  • Take a photo with you facing straight to the camera.

Be careful with the following, often fails:

  • Be sure on the first three photos that all your body can be seen: From head to toes! If that's not the case, try modifying the zoom in your camera, or simply move it further away.
  • Sometimes it might be that to make your entire body appear on the photo you must also move your camera or zoom out and that causes some furniture or other unwanted objects to appear on the image. If that happens, try putting the camera sideways 90 degrees. Anyway, you'll be able to crop your images when uploading them to Litmind.
  • Be sure the flash fires!

If you follow this steps you'll end up with some improvised polaroid that are perfect to start on Litmind: Model agencies, photographers and stylists will really be happy to be able to see you as you are naturally, clearly and without distractions.

Now you have your whole improvise photo studio ready, why don't you take some additional, not-so-conventional additional photos? If you're able to show different roles, expressions and poses your profile will look a lot better and useful. Here are some ideas:

  • Take some photos with a serious attitude, others being joyful, happy and even laughing.
  • If you have long hair, take a photo with a ponytail so your face and neck contour can be seen.
  • Take some photos where you can be seen from your hips to your head.
  • One photo with your back towards the camera is not a bad idea.
  • Try to copy poses from other photos you like, but only copy the pose, do not change the clothing or the background!
  • Try to take some improvised-looking photos, for exmple: Talking to the camera, turning towards the camera, dancing ...

Upload your polaroids to Litmind

It's better if you create a folder titled "Polaroids" for this photos. On the folder or on the photo description, enter the date you took them so people will know how current they are.


It's not about taking super wonderful photos, but about taking polaroid where you can be seen as you naturally are. This is exactly what model agencies, photographers and stylists want to see when searching for new models, don't miss the opportunity!

If you're thorough about starting your model career, we recommend you to find a professional photographer to start building your book and your polaroids. You'll find thousands on Litmind.

When you're ready, you really should try the noticeboard and of course our castings section!

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