You might have a lot of questions when first starting out in the modelling industry! Therefore, in this post I thought I would explain what the word “Polaroids” means (often also referred to “Digitals”). 

A “pola” (this word is often used from your agent) or “polaroid” is usually known as an instant photo further more known as “a type of camera which uses self-developing film to create a chemically developed print shortly after taking the picture”. 

I’m sure everyone has seen and/or taken a polaroid picture before :) When models gets their ‘polaroids’ done now a days it’s all done digitally, but I guess the word is still being used as it’s meant to be a “quick snap” of the model.


Let me explain to you what polaroids means in the modelling industry.

Polaroids are very important as these pictures are showing the models in a very natural way. The models are usually photographed bare faced, or with only a little bit of make up. The hair should be naturally styled, and the clothes simple and basic. As you can see in these pictures, I’m wearing a simple black vest and some tight black jeans with a pair of heels. My hair is in a soft wave and I’ve created a natural make up look.

Also underwear or bikini digitals are part of polaroids, to show the shape of your body. This is of course especially important for models who do a lot of underwear and/or swimwear shoots, but not something all models have to do. Doesn’t apply to me for example ;) haha! But still my agency wants some pictures of me in underwear, just in case a client requests me for an underwear shoot.

Often the photos from shoots, like editorials for example, can be very full on and heavily edited. With this I mean, the make up and hairstyling might be super creative, with strong make up looks and crazy hairstyles, not to mention the clothes… 

Often you won’t even recognise the model in those shots, sometimes the model can’t even recognise herself due to the make up and/or the heavy retouching. I’ve been on shoots like this before and the final results were not what I expected, as my face had been retouched so much that I couldn’t recognise my self any more…

Therefor you should go monthly into your agency to have fresh new pictures taken, which show your skin and hair in its natural way.

Maybe you had a new haircut and got shorter hair, this means you should see your agent immediately so that they can take new pictures of your new hairstyle in order to update your polaroids and send those new pictures to all their clients - letting them know about your new look. 

Also agencies have started to organise little shoots where you meet up with a videographer to shoot you either on location or in a studio, to film you moving around, dance, smile and show personality in a short video. See my recent video below. These videos are sometimes also part of a models portfolio online, or it will be send out in the portfolio package that agencies sends out to clients. 

Please note, you should never be charged for your polaroids!

My agency for example shows the polaroids also on the models portfolio online, this is quite unusual as usually polaroids are only getting sent out when clients are requesting to see a models portfolio. However my agency shows all the polaroids online, which I think is great as it shows transparency and clients can get a proper impression straight away whilst browsing on the website for models. 

The portfolio is basically a collection of your professional photoshoots from jobs you had or test shoots you had done.

Annabell’s polaroids

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Annabell’s latest Polaroids

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BEAUTY polaroids, with my hair tight up.

BEAUTY polaroids, with my hair tight up.

Underwear digis.

Underwear digis.

Older polaroids with different styling.

Older polaroids with different styling.

Another beauty shot.

Another beauty shot.