I am often asked this question, "How many photographs will be there in a Portfolio?"
"well", I reply, "there are no restrictions on the number of Photographs as such, It's all about the number of looks. a portfolio with about 5 looks is good enough and works for all"
"Just 5 Images ?" .......
Let me explain the difference between the number of photographs and the number of looks.
When any good professional photographer shoots, he or she does not shoot just one photograph to get one final photograph. One needs to take a number of photographs to get the one, the photographer is looking for. Well, it does not mean that it's a hit and trial method. It's all about how you look at a person. The aspiring model in front of the camera needs to be shot in such a manner that it enhances her or his over looks, beauty and personality as the case maybe. The whole exercise is gradually build up to achieve the desired results. As you look through the camera, directing the model, you take a picture or two to further direct the model and continue to improve the posture, expressions and the overall performance of the model, who may be facing the camera for the first time.
When you pay a good Photographer, you pay him for his talent and ability to photograph you in the best possible manner, using the lighting and the camera angles to bring out the best in you. A slight shift of face in one direction may make you look better and more beautiful and gives the photographer and the model the required variations in terms of lighting and expressions. You do not want to settle for just one shot. You want to do the pictures without a smile, a faint smile and a big one as well. Some models have a great smile, some are just beautiful while some have that killer look even though they may not be conventionally very good looking. Some may be quite introvert and open up only after a few clicks under the guidance of an able photographer entrusted with the task of making a great modelling portfolio.
So, if you are looking for one good image, it certainly needs more than one shots to get that perfect shot. Not because the model may not know exactly how to pose or the photographer may not know how to click but simply because, when there are more options, you get the opportunity to pick up the best shot.
A lot of aspiring models would say, that they need just two or three photographs because they are participating in a contest and the application requires them to submit a close up, a mid shot or a side profile and a full length shot. so this does not mean that you need to send just about any three photographs for a beauty contest. You need your very best shots to be submitted so that you clear this very first round of a beauty contest.
I would need to work on your looks, your expressions, the body language and the overall feel of the photograph, before you send across anything for a Beauty Pageant. This is why you are paying for a good professional photographer. otherwise you could have easily clicked these three specified photos yourself or asked a friend to do it.
I generally recommend going for a portfolio with the five different looks as it shows a models versatility very well.