Saturday, January 28, 2006

Where do you find your models?

I thought it might be useful to put some frequently asked questions in here as well... and by far the most frequently asked question is "Where do you find your models?"

And there's really two answers, depending on why you're asking.

If you're just curious, here's the answer: A lot of them are some kind of referral. I ask models who they think I should work with, models send me friends, friends send me friends. Sometimes people contact me through my website (there's a do you want to be a model page). There are a variety of websites that exist to help models and photographers get together, and I post on Craigslist occasionally. Given that I also like to shoot with people I've worked with before and I only do so many shoots it's not that hard to fill my schedule.

If you're a beginning photographer: The thing is, it's really, really easy for me to find models. I have to turn people away all the time. There's a variety of factors - it helps that I have an established portfolio, I do classy work that appeals to the models themselves, and it's easy for models to check up on me (they don't even ask for a reference, they just recognize somebody I've worked with and ask around). So what you really want to know is how did I get started. If you're just starting out get together whatever kind of a portfolio you can. It's easier if you do non-nude shoots first. Probably the two most useful websites are the artists section on craigslist (although that comes and goes - sometimes you get way more photographers than models) and ModelMayhem is the best of the model related sites right now, although that changes (Update: ModelInsider is the big up and coming site at the moment and the forums are more pleasant if you need advice. Get accounts both places). Obviously it's easier to find people to do nudes in an urban area or college town - if you're in the middle of nowhere all I can suggest is doing what you can and consider meeting up with folks while on vacation.

I've never done some of the traditional things like hand out business cards to pretty girls, put up flyers at colleges (although I really should try that someday), put ads in student papers, etc. etc. but I'm sure they all work to one extent or another.

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