WHAT ARE digitals?
Digitals are basic "no-makeup" images, that showcase your natural beauty, without retouching, editing or filters.
(Your Portfolio Images have a lot of styling: hair, makeup, wardrobe, background, lighting, filtering, retouching, etc...)
*Modern Portfolios also include a Digital "Intro Video", to better showcase your personality, movement, professionalism, and comfort with the camera.
*Digitals were originally named "polaroids" and were shot with an instant Polaroid™ camera, so are currently referred to as Digitals, Polaroids or Digital Polaroids. (We found some fun historical Polaroids, that show you the early budding careers of some well known models, for fun / inspiration :-)
The future of Model & Talent marketing is all about videos. (professional multimedia portfolios)
Alexa is leading the way by creating a next generation online marketing platform.
Models & Talent will be ideally showcased with Video Introductions, Personality Reels, Commercial Clips, etc...
*Note: All featured Alexa Voice-Over Artist will be showcased with "digital-audio" sample reels.
Digitals show clients a "current image" of what you naturally look like, which helps them make better choices. And it give models / talent an opportunity to showcase natural beauty, unique physical qualities, comfort in front of the camera, personality-presence, and ability to pose.
Alexa is growing into an elite national Model & Talent agency, with a next-generation multi-media marketing website,,, and all portfolios need to be at a professional level, to help you succeed. All great portfolios start with ideal Photo & Video Digitals.
WHY are they also called Polaroids?
Digitals were originally called "Polaroids", and were shot with an instant Polaroid camera. (we found some fun historical Polaroids :-)
You should update your Digitals on a regular basis, to ensure they represent your current natural look. (every 3 to 12 months average)
*or whenever a significant change is made to your look, including hairstyle, hair-color, tattoos, weight, build, height, aging, etc...
(note: clients may also request current digitals sometimes, so they can confirm how you look TODAY)
Lighting should be simple "soft natural window light" or "cloudy day" light. (nothing dark or dramatic, that may hide any features)
The standard wardrobe rules are:
- Simple (tee shirts, tank tops, shorts, skirts, jeans, underwear, swimsuits) *nothing overly styled.
- Form fitting (show off your shape) *do not hide your body shape with baggy clothes.
- Neutral colors (Black, gray, white, tan, olive, soft natural colors) *blue jeans work well too.
- Show your skin (if you want to get jobs that show your skin, include bathing suit or underwear digitals too)
- No designs (no graphic tees, no busy prints, no sequins, no rhinestones, etc...)
While these rules are best to follow... some top models break these rules by wearing whatever they feel makes them look best. This can work, but is not suggested for most models. If you are well known, you can wear whatever you want :-)
The idea here, is to use this as an opportunity to show off your natural beauty, so don't make your wardrobe the "hero". YOU should shine through without any help from "fancy wardrobe". The client and stylists need to see your shape, skin, moles, tattoos, scars,,, so show them :-)
Backgrounds should be clean, simple, well-lit and un-distracting (white wall or backdrop) *soft light gray is good too.
Again, the idea is to not distract from you. Make your natural beauty, presence and visual impact the hero of the picture.
WHAT ABOUT HAIR & MAKEUP?
Everything about modeling digitals is supposed to be natural. This means your hair should not be overly styled, and no heavy makeup. Some say that absolutely no makeup should be worn, but this is not entirely true. Extremely light concealer that gives off a completely natural look is fine. No eyeliner or heavy mascara. And if you wish to go without makeup, that works too, but very light makeup and natural lip balm is ok.
WHAT EXPRESSIONS ARE BEST FOR MODELING DIGITALS?
With modeling Digitals, much like with the idea of being natural and not going overboard on makeup, it’s typically best to not go overboard with expressions as well. Subtle/casual smiles are fine, but it’s best to keep expressions more on the subdued side, and remember that you want to appear to a wide variety of clients. This typically means a more professional demeanor, so extreme poses or expressions should be avoided.
WHAT POSES DO I NEED?
Show a variety of views, from different angles that show off your front, left & right. (close up, mid and full)
From a client's pov, they wan to see your body shape, height, and how you look from all sides, and with your hair out of your face.
You can shoot your Digitals yourself.
Please ensure they are shot as needed, per the requirements listed above, matching the samples provided below.
Avoid these problems (very common with phone cameras):
- wide angle lenses (can make you look shorter and wider)
- oversaturated colors or high-contrast (can make your skin look much worse) *redder, more blemishes.
- bad white balance (discolors skin, and looks unprofessional)
- blurry (looks like a mistake)
- over-sharpening (can make skin texture a bit harsh)
- busy or messy backgrounds (distracts from you)
- preset looks & retouching filters (can look fake, and like you are trying to hide something)
- too high camera angle (shooting down on a model will distort shape and height)
- video specific: unstable video (too much camera movement or shake distracts from the model / actor)
- video specific: poor camera audio (bad audio sounds unprofessional) *best to use a "lav" mic or "vo" mic.
If you want to shoot your own digitals, our new partner Cre8ive Studio™ will be happy to provide you or your photographer with free guidance / training.
(contact info below)
PROFESSIONALLY SHOT digitals?
It's best to have a very skilled or professional photographer take your digitals.
(They can clean up your skin without retouching,,, light, style and pose you ideally, etc… and make you look better overall, while keeping your natural look)
Digitals are a marketing opportunity,,, so best to have them “make you look as good as you can”, without any obvious makeup, retouching, filters, etc…
You can shoot digitals yourself, or with a skilled photographer, if the Digitals meet the quality level needed.
High quality Digitals will help market you ideally, showcasing your beauty, personality, talent and professionalism.
Alexa has partnered with an elite LA based Photographer (with Cre8ive Studio™), in town for 9 months, to help provide ideal Digital Images & Videos.
Cre8ive Studio™ is Alexa's preferred professional resource for photo & video services, and will help manage the growing list of qualified / approved photographers and production talent in Florida and Los Angeles. (yes, we are expanding to LA soon!)
Cre8ive Studio's lead photographer has worked with Celebrities & Models, including Paulina Porizkova, Dian Lane, Jennifer Connelly, Catherine Zeta Jones, Jessica Biel, George Clooney, Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, Marisa Tomei and Jennifer Aniston.
(Alexa does not receive any pay or commissions for referrals. Our goal is only to improve your marketing, by helping you get ideal Digitals)
The perfect Digitals will showcase your physical attributes, your comfort in front of the camera, your ability to make a simple pose work well, and your ability to convey some emotional presence.
A Digital does not need to look look like a "mug shot". Its ok to make them BEAUTIFUL. The key is to KEEP THEM NATUAL.
(Simple Lighting, Simple Outfit, Simple Expression, No-Makeup or Very-Light-Makeup, Simple White or Light Gray Background).
The important purpose to remember is... Digitals are provided so the Client can see how you look naturally, so they can make a well informed choice. And so the stylists can see your body shape, skin tone, freckles, beauty marks, tattoos, scars, hair cut & color, etc...
The Digitals samples on the Cre8ive Studio™ website show a range of photo digitals & video digitals, that are considered acceptable.