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The Portrait Photographer’s Guide:

Pro Tips and Insights

Modeling Polaroids Guide in Phoenix and Beyond

by | Headshot Tips, Photography Advice, Techniques & Tutorials, Uncategorized

Embarking on a modeling journey? Your first step isn’t on the runway; it’s right before the lens of a camera capturing what’s known in the industry as ‘modeling polaroids’ or ‘polas’. As a seasoned portrait photographer in Gilbert, AZ, I’m here to unravel the mystery behind these essential snapshots.

Rear view of a tall, skinny black model with short hair, wearing a black top, turning her head towards the camera to highlight her prominent cheekbones in a headshot.What Are Modeling Polaroids?

Modeling polaroids are candid, unretouched photographs that capture a model’s natural look. Unlike the glitz and glamour of fashion shoots, polaroids are all about simplicity and authenticity. They are the unspoken language between models and casting agents, a genuine glimpse into your potential without the distractions of heavy makeup or fancy styling.

The Purpose of Polas

These snapshots are your visual resume. They showcase your natural features, physique, and versatility. Agencies and clients use them to assess your suitability for various roles, making them a crucial part of your modeling portfolio.

The Gilbert photographer’s Approach Frontal chest-up photograph of a black model in a simple black top and jeans, standing with arms straight at her sides, showcasing a basic yet elegant pose suitable for a modeling agencies.

In the sunny locales of Phoenix, the essence of natural beauty is paramount. Here’s how I approach this vital photography session:

  1. Close-Up Shot: Capturing the essence of your facial features.
  2. Chest-Up Shot: A wider frame to include your upper body language.
  3. Over-the-Knee Shot: Think of it as a ‘cowboy shot’, highlighting your posture and attire.
  4. Full Body Shot: A complete look at your physique and how you carry yourself.

Each pose is natural, unforced, and true to your persona.

Why No Retouch?


The beauty of polas lies in their raw honesty. These photos are meant to show you in your most natural state – a blank canvas that potential clients can envision in their projects.

Finding the Right PhotographerOver-the-knee photo of a black model with short hair, dressed in black attire, crossing her arms in a relaxed, confident pose, highlighting her tall, slender figure, ideal for modeling contests.

While these shots are fundamental, they need not be expensive. Look for a photographer who understands the essence of modeling polaroids – one who values natural lighting, simple backgrounds, and the unembellished you. Affordability and quality can coexist, especially when the focus is on capturing authenticity over artifice.

As a portrait photographer specializing in model headshots and acting headshots in the vibrant areas of Gilbert, Phoenix, Chandler, Mesa, and Tempe, I emphasize the importance of genuine representation in front of the camera.


Modeling polaroids are your first step into the world of modeling, a step that should be as true to you as possible. Remember, these photographs are about showcasing your natural allure, not creating a persona. In a world full of filters and edits, your authenticity is your most powerful asset. Keep it real, keep it you.

Full body image of a black model wearing black jeans and top, complemented by black shoes with transparent heels. She poses effortlessly, with one leg straight and the other slightly bent, encapsulating a natural and traditional modeling stance.



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Meet The Author

High school senior girl with a bob haircut, wearing a light purple and gold dress, posing with her hand on her chest at Marie Feutrier's professional portrait studio in Gilbert, AZ, for her glamor senior photo.
 Marie Feutrier, a French transplant in Gilbert, AZ, masterfully captures personalities through her lens. With an accent as charming as her photos, she doesn’t just take your picture, she tells your story, one click at a time.

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