Motivated by their frequent use in quantum mechanical studies of entanglement, we give a brief overview of Schmidt modes and Schmidt decompositions of two-particle wave functions. We discuss methods of their derivation and include a little-known approach used in the original work by
E. Schmidt [Math. Annalen, 63 (1906), 433]. This employs the bipartite wave function itself rather than the more complicated two-party reduced density matrix. As an illustration, Schmidt modes for two-photon polarisation qutrits are derived in a general form. The derivation is accompanied
by a series of simple examples with special choices of parameters. Relationships between Schmidt modes, polarisation Stokes vectors and entanglement are also discussed.