What are digitals?
Digitals are well-lit, unretouched images that modeling and talent agencies use to book jobs for the talent that they represent. Typically, they’re taken in dark, neutral colored outfits that are standardized across an entire agency. Digitals are different from portfolio images because they are not styled, they are not retouched/edited, and no makeup is used.
Why do agencies require them?
Generally speaking, digitals provide a good baseline to see what someone looks like without any complicated outfits or makeup. They also provide an opportunity to showcase some of the personality and energy of the talent they represent. Some agencies will even have you record a short video clip to accompany the images.
What differentiates “good” digitals from average ones?
Good digitals are well-lit with natural or artificial light to avoid weird color casts from fluorescent indoor lighting or reflections from the surrounding environment. Most agencies look for a simple background (preferable white/gray) that allows the viewer to focus on the talent, not what’s behind them. From the talent side, good posture, focused eyes, and a relaxed frame take average digitals over the top!
How many digitals do I need?
This varies from agency to agency, but most require a straight-on headshot, ¾ shot, and full body, along with a few images at an angle to show your profile. If you have a specific agency in mind, be sure to call/email them to confirm if they have specific requirements beyond the basics.
Should I pay for digitals?
You have several options here and I encourage you to discuss with your agent or reach out to me to discuss your personal situation. In some instances, digitals should be taken directly on a smartphone by you or a close friend. This is particularly important for time-sensitive submissions.
In others, it may make sense to book a quick shoot with a professional. When working with a photographer, it gives you the option to put more energy into how you present yourself and reduces the amount of time going back and forth with framing and setting up self-timers. If you’re interested in booking a session, fill out the interest form at the bottom of this page!