Let’s start with a little story: Two photographers meet and talk about their equipment. So far so good. Well, at some point they start to discuss how to get models and to turn their ideas into pictures. That’s the moment where they start to complain how hard it is to get models.
Is it really that hard to get models? I’d say NO!
Most human beings like good pictures of themself. Girls do even more than men. So first thing to do is showing them what you are capable of and build up a portfolio. Put it on flickr, facebook, your own blog, instagramm, you name it, but have something to show them to get an idea of what you are doing.
Secondly ask them directly. Don’t wait until world finds out what a genius you are in photography. That doesn’t work. That works only if you are famous allready like Annie Leibovitz, Carl Lagerfeld, Erik Almas and so on. So take your luck in your own hand and just ask. You only can gain a model for a project. You can’t lose because you haven’t got a model allready…
Thirdly describe your project as accurat as possible. Show examples of other photographers who did a similar project or the same way of pictures that you want to shoot with the model. It is so important that a model can get the idea of what you want. Let them know which location you want to use and where that is. Best thing is to have allready a few shots made of the location.
Fourthly describe how you work with the model and during the shooting. Are you more a planned type of person or more a spontaneous shooter. Do you like to listen to music while shooting etc.
In the fifth place talk about the rules and live them. So the model can always have, if she/he wants one, an accompanying person. That’s out of questioning. If you are smart use the accomanying person as an assistant especially when you’re not in the studio an on location. Never touch a model! Only if the model asks you to or you clearly asked first and had a clear permission to do so! Don’t ask girls for the first shooting to do dessous, nude, etc. It’s their decision how much they want to show from their body. Think about those things how you would like to have it on your shootings when you would be the model…
Sixthly talk about if you have a make-up artist or not. Or that the model has to bring the outfits etc. Don’t be embarrassed if you don’t have that. Just communicat clear
Seventhly let the model know how many pictures she gets in the end, does the model get all of them, on how many pictures will you do post production, for what do you want to use those pictures etc.
Eighthly do it professional and prepare a TfP (time for picture) or any other contract. You find examples of them on a lot of photography communities. That gives the model a security and it’s clear for what the pictures can be used, for what not, and so on.
In the ninth place use model platforms like modelbase.ch, model-kartei.de, fotocommunity.de etc. Just write the models everything detailed as described in here and I’m sure you’ll get an answer from at least one of them. Be honest and tell them, if you don’t have a portfolio at the beginning, that you are about to start.
Tenthly use for certain projects and especially in the beginning professional models. It is like night and day working with an amateur model or a professional one. Take the money and invest it in your pictures. It’s worth it! The reason why is pretty simple. Professional models pose by themself and know what to do. So you can simply be more focused on with your camera and forcus on the composition. With amateur models you have to do everything and give all instructions. That’s a lot to do!
Well, in the end I didn’t actually wanted to do an enumeration but I think if you take those tips you get models. As in all things in life if you do it with commitment and a lot of effort you get to your goals. Of course the list is not the end of the flagpole but I think a good overlook to start. If you have to add good tips that i’ve missed, add them in the comments below.
PS: And it’s about having fun and get good pictures in the end 😉