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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre People Talk
Thread started 03 Aug 2017 (Thursday) 08:15
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Where do you get your models?

 
StanNJ1
Goldmember
Joined Oct 2006
Post has been edited 5 months ago by StanNJ1.
Aug 03, 2017 08:15 |  #1

I often have ideas for shoots that I want to try and almost always struggle to find models willing to trade their time for images. I shoot mainly for my love of photography and lighting so I would rather not have to pay a model.

I've tried Model Mayhem but that has never worked out. And I think they are charging monthly now if you want replies to your casting calls.

I have also tried Facebook and reached out to a local modeling agency with disappointing results.

Thanks in advance for your suggestions.
Stan
www.stansphotos.com (external link)


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01Ryan10
Senior Member
Joined Aug 2012
OC, California
Aug 03, 2017 18:18 |  #2

It is increasingly tough when starting out. Your best option are friends and family. You've got to be realistic too. You're not going to get a gorgeous model to do TFP. You'll need to start at the bottom of the barrel so to speak. You have to work up your portfolio with models that have little to no experience.

With that said, I've offered $50 for 2 hour modeling sessions and had an overwhelming response of models willing to shoot at that rate. The good ones won't work for free, but sheesh, they'll jump on $25/hour gigs. I've paid a handful of times for models, and I've made my money back easily with leads from those models to friends that want shoots.

Looking at your website, you know how to shoot. You've got great images with great lighting; however, most of the people shots I see on your website look like pictures for grandma, (smiling and looking at camera). Again, a lot of models will see your style and pass.


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paintedlotus
Senior Member
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350 posts
Joined May 2008
Seattle, WA
Aug 03, 2017 18:54 |  #3

^that. You have some decent technical skill, but the style seems a bit dated, so many models probably wouldn't be interested except for pay. I mean sure, most people would "rather not pay" but you have to start somewhere, right? :)

Hiring a pro really is a good investment if you're serious about improving your portfolio and doing more model work (hopefully as unpaid tests down the road). They look better in front of the camera because they know how to move their bodies and faces for good angles, which in turn teaches you a lot about direction with posing; when money is involved, people are most of the time FAR more motivated to actually show up; they can almost always do their own hair and makeup so you don't have to hire extra people for that; they often have a decent selection of wardrobe; and ultimately they just make you look like a better photographer.

That said, please note that there is a huge difference between hiring a professional model with a good portfolio, and paying some random hot girl with barely any experience.... a HUGE difference.

Ultimately in order to work with models without having to pay them you need to get your portfolio to a place where a model (or agency) believes you have something of value to offer their book. Take a look at the boards of model agencies and try to do some work like what you see there. A lot (but not all) is natural light, boosted or lowered contrast, good connection with the camera, and neutral but not bitchy facial expressions highlighting a model's natural beauty.

Also, keep going with the friends & family angle. Hope this helps.


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StanNJ1
THREAD ­ STARTER
Goldmember
Joined Oct 2006
Aug 04, 2017 07:11 |  #4

01Ryan10 wrote in post #18418655 (external link)
Looking at your website, you know how to shoot. You've got great images with great lighting; however, most of the people shots I see on your website look like pictures for grandma, (smiling and looking at camera). Again, a lot of models will see your style and pass.

I appreciate your candidness and unfortunately I have to agree with you. This is why I need to shoot more.


paintedlotus wrote in post #18418675 (external link)
You have some decent technical skill, but the style seems a bit dated, so many models probably wouldn't be interested except for pay.
Hiring a pro really is a good investment if you're serious about improving your portfolio and doing more model work (hopefully as unpaid tests down the road). They look better in front of the camera because they know how to move their bodies and faces for good angles, which in turn teaches you a lot about direction with posing; when money is involved, people are most of the time FAR more motivated to actually show up; they can almost always do their own hair and makeup so you don't have to hire extra people for that; they often have a decent selection of wardrobe; and ultimately they just make you look like a better photographer.

That said, please note that there is a huge difference between hiring a professional model with a good portfolio, and paying some random hot girl with barely any experience.... a HUGE difference.

Ultimately in order to work with models without having to pay them you need to get your portfolio to a place where a model (or agency) believes you have something of value to offer their book. Take a look at the boards of model agencies and try to do some work like what you see there. A lot (but not all) is natural light, boosted or lowered contrast, good connection with the camera, and neutral but not bitchy facial expressions highlighting a model's natural beauty.

Also, keep going with the friends & family angle. Hope this helps.

Some great advice you offered, thank you. And I checked out your work. Very impressive!


1DX, ID MKIII, 24-70 2.8L, 70-200 2.8L, 16-35 2.8L, 100 macro, 600EX-RTs, ST-E3-RT, Einsteins, Kacey Beauty Dish with a cracked grid, yada yada
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albemarledesigner
Mostly Lurking
12 posts
Joined Aug 2012
Concord, NC
Dec 23, 2017 17:03 |  #5

Family and friends are a good place to start. I have found co-workers to be good, depending on what you're wanting to shoot. If you're wanting to shoot G&N type stuff, your best bet is to bite the bullet at hire a pro model. When you first start out shooting this genre, it is well worth the expense.




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mathogre
Goldmember
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Joined Mar 2009
Oakton, VA USA
Dec 24, 2017 01:22 |  #6

StanNJ1 wrote in post #18418181 (external link)
I often have ideas for shoots that I want to try and almost always struggle to find models willing to trade their time for images. I shoot mainly for my love of photography and lighting so I would rather not have to pay a model.

I've tried Model Mayhem but that has never worked out. And I think they are charging monthly now if you want replies to your casting calls.

I have also tried Facebook and reached out to a local modeling agency with disappointing results.

Thanks in advance for your suggestions.
Stan
www.stansphotos.com (external link)

Hi Stan!

I grok. That said...

MM.

Top membership level at MM is $100/yr. I look at what you've included in your sig. You'd have to be a member of MM for five years to trade off the cost of a 600EX-RT. When you consider the 1Ds, the Ls, Einsteins, et al, it's like buying a really nice car and deciding gasoline is too expensive.

On paying models, again, if you're paying $50/hr for a couple hours to get the shots you want, this is in the realm of, "Look at this. I've spent well into 5 figures for photo gear. Isn't that great?! $100 for a model? Are you kidding me?! I'm not paying all of that!"

My Models.

MM has over 1M people on it. Of course not that many are active, but there are enough who are. I get my models from there, almost exclusively. Additionally, most of the work I've done has been TFP, trade for pictures. Regardless, the good models that charge are worth the money. Besides, what a resource is MM! Link is below for my page. Additionally, you are just outside of NYC. I'm jealous!

https://www.modelmayhe​m.com/grahamglover (external link)

I also have a 24/7 model, Aerin. While it's more difficult to find human-like mannequins today, with wig and dress, she was about $200. For experimentation, the return on investment is extraordinary. She stands still, she's patient, she doesn't text, and she doesn't have 17 grandmothers who passed away over the last 3 months. Getting her on the High Line was fun. Michael Kors dress. ;)

http://grahamglover.ze​nfolio.com/p627290396 (external link)

In closing, finding people to photograph is challenging. Even with my work on MM, I struggle to connect with models. No matter, it can be as much of an art and a challenge as photography itself. Money helps but it isn't always enough. You need good work, which you really do have. You need to find a way to connect with the models. It takes time. Maybe MM isn't going to get you what you want, but spending a little bit of money to get models when you have some high end equipment seems like the proverbial no brainer.

Hope this helps!


Graham
Canon A BIG ONE A Small One An itty bitty one
My Zenfolio Collectionexternal link

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Where do you get your models?
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