What To Do For Modeling Digitals?

Written By: Alyssa Buffington

What To Do For Modeling Digitals

Modeling digitals are photos taken without complex design - no makeup, no fancy clothes, and no beautiful sets. Digitals are useful because they let directors and clients see their models in a natural, raw state. Directors often ask for new digitals every few months or so to see if anything about your look has changed.

Since digitals are meant to be simple, you won’t need to go all out for them. You can even take these pictures on your phone if the camera is high enough quality. However, just because it’s simple doesn’t mean you shouldn’t put in the effort. These are the basic steps you should follow to create effective modeling digitals.

Listen To Your Agency

Your agency is the one that wants to see the digitals, so you need to discuss with them what they expect from you. Some agencies might want you to have digitals in plain clothes, a swimsuit, or both. Depending on the work you do, they may even encourage you to wear a certain type of outfit or hairstyle. This is all to help the agency understand your appearance, so be sure to touch base with them so you know the expectations.

Wear Solid Colors

The name of the game in modeling digitals is simple. When picking your wardrobe, avoid anything with patterns, bright colors, or logos. The focus of the photo is on your body, so your clothing shouldn’t distract and you shouldn’t wear any accessories. Stick to muted colors such as black, blue, and gray.

When picking your outfit, you should also make sure the clothes you pick accentuate your body. Your clothes should not be too baggy or too tight, but just slim enough to show how your body looks. When in doubt, a form-fitting pair of jeans and a tank top are models’ go-to outfits for digitals.

As for your hair and makeup, they shouldn’t be distracting either. Your hair should look natural, not heavily styled. Makeup is okay, but you should use as little as possible to keep your face maintained. Directors want to see you in a natural way, so your makeup should look as though you’re not wearing any at all.

Background and Lighting

The background of your digitals should be plain. A wall or door that is a single, muted color won’t distract from your modeling. Avoid spots where a wall might have decorations or eye-catching objects. Even the wall in your bathroom can be perfect as a backdrop if it’s empty enough.

Most digitals benefit from using a natural light source. If it’s a nice day outside, try to find a mute backdrop with even lighting. Steer clear of any areas with a glare, as you don’t want to squint in your photos. If there is no good lighting available outside, find the best lighting within your house and take test pictures if you aren’t sure about the light quality.

The Perfect Pose

Digitals don’t call for extravagant poses, but there are a few poses you’ll need to strike. Typically your agency will tell you what poses it is looking for, but not always. There are four recommended poses for you to take:

  • Headshot - Take a front-facing headshot photo that highlights your face and upper body. You should take both a smiling and non-smiling digital.

  • Profile - Take a full-body, profile photo that highlights the side view of your body. You should not smile in this digital and not look at the camera.

  • 3/4th Headshot - Take a 3/4th-angled headshot photo that highlights your upper body at an angle. You can choose to look at the camera or not in this digital.

  • Full - Take a front-facing full-body photo that highlights your body from a front angle. You should take both a smiling and non-smiling digital.

These four poses give directors a clear view of all your important angles. Remember that you’re not going for style here, just giving an accurate portrayal of how you look. Keep it simple and your appearance will do the rest.

These are all the steps to creating effective modeling digitals. Your director will gain insight into what jobs you are suited for, and you will gain valuable photography and modeling practice. Use each digitals session as a chance to learn and you will continue to develop your skills.