What is an acting portfolio?

What is an acting portfolio?

What is an acting portfolio?
What is an acting portfolio?
What is an acting portfolio?

An actor’s portfolio is a set of materials that introduces an actor to art directors and helps him get roles in TV shows, movies, commercials, and other projects. It is necessary for theater and film actors, ballet dancers, presenters, stand-up comedians, etc.

Usually art directors pay attention to the education, appearance, past projects of the artist. An acting photo portfolio helps potential employers learn about you and your potential, invite them to a casting.

A good acting portfolio is not just a set of technically competent personnel. Images should create a coherent visual story, reflect your features, highlight your strengths, and tell about your skills.

What is an acting portfolio?

What is important to know about portfolio

There are two types of acting portfolio – theatrical and advertising. In the first case, the actor should look natural, there should be no bright makeup and noticeable retouching. Clothing should be neutral and not distract from the face – I wrote in detail about what to wear in this case in the article about clothes.

In an advertising portfolio, shooting in different roles is acceptable – in unusual clothes, with rich makeup or a strange hairstyle. This is an option for those who want to get a role in some kind of creative project, its goal is to sell your services.

It is better to have both photoportfolios.


One of the main myths about the acting portfolio is that you need to look perfect on set. This is not true: there is no standard of beauty for actors, there is no need to strive for model parameters – the type is important, so the main thing is to be yourself.

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But there is something that really needs to be taken into account. Primary requirements:

  • Images should not have deep shadows and bright colored backgrounds;
  • Most of the shots are close-ups showing your appearance and charisma;
  • There should be shots with a calm expression on the face, with a smile, a stern look and with the most strange expression on the face;
  • For full-length photos choose well-fitting clothing that emphasizes the figure, showing height and body type.

What else should be in a portfolio?

Often to get to the casting you need not only photos. Additional materials increase the chances of success.

What is an acting portfolio?


A one-minute video in which you talk about yourself: about roles already played, education, advantages, etc. You will need to come up with a speech and speak it. At the end, it is worth walking a little in the frame (so that you are in full growth). During editing we will take the most successful video and add text: first name, last name, height, weight, contact details, education, special skills.

Photos from the set, showreel, trailers

Photos of the workflow, lifestyle shots (images that convey your hobbies) are suitable for the site, social networks, blog posts. Such pictures show you as a person, not an artist.

Show how you can act: add clippings from recent projects, teasers to your portfolio, shoot a showreel – a video showing the level of your acting skills.