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When it comes to photoshoots there’s few things, aside from your own skills, that are more important than the model you are working with. Get it right, and the photoshoot will run smoothly and you’ll end up with some fantastic shots; however, get it wrong and you’ll end up with a real headache on your hands.
There are many ways that you can go about finding a model for your photoshoot or project and regardless of your budget you should be able to find a model that fits your vision and you can work well with.
Where Can You Find a Model?
- Sign up to a Model Community Website: One of the cheaper and easier ways to find a model for a photoshoot is to join a model community website. There is a wide selection available on line that offer very low membership fees although in some cases you join for free to see if it’s going to work for you. After you’ve had a look around the site you can decide whether to sign up for a paid membership. The models on these sites will have a portfolio of images and you’ll be able to contact them directly to arrange a photoshoot.
- Modelling Websites: Another option for finding models in your area is to join a modelling website. Many of these websites have tens of thousands of models looking for work. You can quickly narrow down your search based on location, gender of the model and the type of work they do. These websites are a much more cost effective approach than by going through a modelling agency although you’ll have to make all the arrangements with the model yourself. Some modelling websites can also put in touch with agencies. Depending on the genre you’re working in you’ll have to tailor your search, however, some good sites to start with include models.com or purpleport.com.
- Use Social Media: If you want to begin your search for a model for free then you can use your own network of contacts on social media. Put out an advert, or a post, explaining what you’re looking for, the nature of the project and what the pay arrangements will be and you might be surprised by how many responses you get. Don’t forget to specify your location so that you don’t get flooded with offers from people in other cities or even countries! Alternatively, you can join modelling and photography groups on social media and then put out a call for models that way. This will mean that the people who see your advert will be more likely to get back to you.
- Put Up Adverts Locally: When you’re looking for a model you can also put up posters in your local area. There are many suitable places where you can advertise for models that include art and photography schools, photo shops and even the local library. Advertising locally will ensure that the only applicants will be near by which will make arranging the photoshoot much easier.
- On The Street: When you have a photoshoot planned you might already have a very clear idea of the types of characteristics that you are looking for in your model. This means that if you happen to see someone on the streets who fits the bill then you can very politely approach them and ask them if they would be interested in working with you on your project. Remember to be extremely respectful when approaching a stranger and if they refuse then accept it and move on! Never be pushy because it could be misunderstood as rudeness.
- Modelling Agency: The safest way to find an experienced and professional model is to go through an established modelling agency. You’ll be able to look through their portfolio of models and locate one which fits your requirements. You will need to pay a fee for their services as well as pay the model; but since you’ll be getting an experienced candidate who is comfortable working in the front of the camera and won’t need a lot of direction the extra expense may well be worth it.
What Are the Qualities That Make a Good Model?
There’s a big difference between an amateur model and an experienced pro who has worked in many photoshoots and situations. A good model will look natural in photos and be able to follow directions and instructions without a problem. They will already have the confidence to be themselves and will be more likely to turn up on time!
Characteristics To Look For in a Model.
- Consistency: This is one of the most important characteristics of a good model. They will be able to look great in all the photos and won’t have a bad day while they are at work. The model will continue to look good throughout the shoot, even if it runs over time. As a photographer this is really important because it means that you’ll get a lot more top quality photos from the shoot than if you were working with a new model who hasn’t got the experience to maintain their composure and posture throughout the shoot.
- They have a Strong Portfolio of Images: When you’re selecting a model you want to check their back catalog of photos. If they only have one or two photoshoots under their belt then unless they are offering their work for free then you might want to steer clear. What you want to see is a model who has done a wide range of photoshoots and looks natural and engaging in all of them.
- A Good Model Looks Natural in Photos: This might sound like a contradiction in terms because of course we know that models do pose for photos, however, part of the skill of an experienced model is the ability to look natural, even while they are posing. You’ll instantly be able to tell if they look natural in photos by checking their portfolio.
- They Want to Learn and Push Themselves to be the Best: The first few photoshoots will always be a bit hit or miss for models but once they have established themselves there can be a temptation to stagnate and stop pushing themselves to improve. Ideally, you want to be working with a model who is keen to continue learning and adapt to suit the needs of your photoshoot. A model who is confident in their own abilities will be far more willing to learn from you so when you’re arranging a shoot do ask them about these types of details.
- A Good Model has their Own Unique Style: The very best models stand out from the crowd because they have mastered a hard to define look that is graceful, natural and stylish. It’s a rare thing to find so if you do then make sure you set up a photoshoot. Some models develop an unspoken ‘character’ that they work with while on set; if you can incorporate this into your own project’s objectives then you’ll get some stunning results.
- Innate Talent: Not everything about being a model can be taught or picked up through hard work because there always has to be an innate spark which works on camera. Some of the most successful models have very unusual styles or looks that somehow translate into magic on camera. It might sound like a hard thing to spot when you’re looking for a model but a quick glance through their portfolio should help you to pick out this kind of detail. Traditional ‘good looks’ don’t always work out well on camera and sometimes the more unusual models are the ones that have the most impact – so stay open minded and ready to be surprised!
Good Communication is Essential to Create a Successful Working Relationship with A Model.
One of the most important things that you can do to ensure that your photoshoot goes well is to maintain good communication with the model throughout. Whether you’re working with a new model or a more experienced one you still need to give them plenty of direction and instruction so that they understand what it is you are trying to achieve during the photoshoot.
It’s not only direction and clear instructions that you should be giving the model though because giving them encouragement and praising them when they are getting it right is equally important. You want them to know when they are doing the right thing; not only so they feel more relaxed and come across more naturally on camera but also to create a good working relationship together.
Finding the Right Subjects for Your Photoshoot Is An Essential Skill To Master For Any Photographer.
You don’t have to work with a highly experienced model to get fantastic photos at the end of a shoot but you should always take the time to look through their past work. This will allow you to make sure that their style, attitude and composure will fit with the aspirations of your project.
When you do find a great model then you may well want to work with them again in future. Building up a good working relationship through effective communication will help the shoot to go well, leave you with some great photos, reinforce the confidence of the model and leave the door open for future projects together.
How do you normally select your models?