Has Instagram Become an Online Portfolio?

  • Amy Bebbington

As you must have already heard from How do Selfies Affect the Modelling Industry and Daria Werbowy Embraces the Selfie the selfie craze and social media have an immense impact on the modelling world. However, our latest findings allowed us to realise just how important social media accounts are to landing roles. With the launch of the brand Glossier, founder and CEO, Emily Weiss, sourced models who demonstrated their natural, free spirit via their Instagram account. Weiss’ career began through writing a beauty blog entitled Into The Gloss where she interviewed models, make-up artists and strong women she admired about products they use. After securing a huge blog following Emily has chosen to create products that focus on a perfectly primed canvas (the skin) and has selected fun loving models to promote it.

The four Glossier girls – Adesuwa Aighewi, Xiao Wen Ju, Coco Baudelle and Annie Kreighbaum (the Editorial Director at Into The Gloss) – were specifically chosen due to their free spirited vibe on Instagram. Emily met Adesuwa after discovering her existence on Instagram and explained the reasoning for choosing her. Adesuwa hysterically replied “Really? My Instagram is so ratchet!” Emily replied: “That’s exactly what I love it! You’re hired!”

In fact, Weiss refuses to look at a models portfolio and simply asks for their Instagram handle! Her reasoning is due to her opinion that a social media account is a true reflection of an individuals personality, which builds an image of the model and their editorial voice without constantly revising or correcting. Weiss demands to witness realness and is inspired by individuals who embrace the truth. She touches on the fact that in today’s society so many are focused on their internet persona – herself included. Prior to an upload each person carefully ponders  how they will be perceived, how much should they reveal, in what voice, action and words. Every post does not portray a true representation of a character yet a revised, diluted version. In the individuals defence with a career riding on your social media presence it is difficult to not edit, add a filter and crop to deliver a perfected yet nonchalant overview.


Weiss was truly inspired by the four girls attitude to Instagram and how they embraced the off moments without becoming dedicated to posing. It almost seems like they do not take 30 pictures of the same still to capture the ‘perfect’ moment. She truly believes that most shots are one picture. To her “these four girls are pretty badass.” Weiss can witness their personality through the selection of images however, are they working hard to create a profile that is free spirited or is this their natural persona?  The reality is no one will ever truly know.

In this case the carefree realness of the models worked in their favour and with the release of the final campaign shots we can see why. Weiss’ vision was to reflect the concept of the brand and move away from carefully poised poses and pouts yet form natural, fresh faced shots that include, laughter and fun with hair flying, eyes shutting and mouths smiling; a beautiful way to promote an inspirational product.

It is important to ensure that your personal Instagram account reflects your own personality and inspirations without causing offence. Remain true to yourself and your morals as it is worthwhile remembering that high profile models have built a strong identity and can get away with using controversial images. The quirky, carefree look in on trend at the moment yet, as we all know, crazes are fickle and so it the modelling industry. Be yourself and the right job will appear and remember that your portfolio is very important. Each employer and casting agent is unique and searches for different qualities. Weiss was searching for models who are free spirited and found Instagram the perfect way to uncover a natural presence.

What are your thoughts on uncovering models via social media?

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Posted by Amy Bebbington

I express my love of fashion through writing, blogging and styling. My creative personality ensures that I produce unique and original work. I am a keen knitter and enthusiatic dancer.