StanNJ1 wrote in post #18418181
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.
I grok. That said...
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!"
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!
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.
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!