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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre People Talk 
Thread started 07 Aug 2015 (Friday) 21:30
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Getting into Portrait photography question.

 
Camlee0814
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Aug 07, 2015 21:30 |  #1

Im getting into portrait photography and was wondering whats the best way to get a subjet for portraits...I have tried posting on my personal facebook page and also made a instagram with some work on there while asking if anyone would like to shoot with no luck. Would model mayhem be my best bet?

Thanks in advance for any help!


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gonzogolf
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Aug 07, 2015 21:58 |  #2

Model mayhem would connect you with people of a similar interest, but they often want to get paid. Plus they are looking for something slightly different than traditional portraits. When you say you are getting into portrait photography, at what level do you aspire? If its just for a hobby that's fine, but if you are aspiring to shoot professionally and you can't find subjects wanting your work gratis, then you are going to find it difficult to sell your work.




  
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Camlee0814
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Aug 07, 2015 22:23 as a reply to  @ gonzogolf's post |  #3

Looking at moving it from a hobby to something more serious. Thats the reason im wanting to find more people to shoot with so i can get a bigger portfolio together and actually book more jobs.


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flowrider
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Aug 07, 2015 23:24 |  #4

What kind of people photography do you want to do? If it's actual portraits then family and friends. More challenging? Try a strangers project.

If you want to try modelling or fashion, do yourself a favour and an experienced model. It'll make the process of getting better photos easier if you know how to work the light.


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gonzogolf
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Aug 07, 2015 23:51 as a reply to  @ Camlee0814's post |  #5

Again I ask the question, if you can find people to pose for free, how do you expect to find people to pay for the product? Portrait photography is as much about networking than the actual skill of photography. Instead of paying strangers start working your acquaintances as clients.




  
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Camlee0814
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Aug 08, 2015 01:26 |  #6

I guess i was thinking that i could find a model in my area that wanted to try and get their name out there and would still get paid for my work and be helping them out. For some reason thats what i was thinking model mayhem was used for sometimes.


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flowrider
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Aug 08, 2015 01:42 |  #7

Camlee0814 wrote in post #17660586 (external link)
I guess i was thinking that i could find a model in my area that wanted to try and get their name out there and would still get paid for my work and be helping them out. For some reason thats what i was thinking model mayhem was used for sometimes.

This is the catch22. If you don't have any work to show someone they won't pay you. If you're both trying to get your name out there then usually people do a "trade for" of services. Gonzo is right though, if you always give away your work, no one will ever pay you for it. That being said I've always said that if I ask you, it's free. If you ask me, I charge.


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Camlee0814
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Aug 08, 2015 02:36 |  #8

Thanks for the advice!! I know it's going to take time to build up a clientele and have those people tell other people. Just wondered what the best way to start out was.


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mike_311
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Aug 11, 2015 11:25 |  #9

trade work is the best way to build a portfolio. you can usually find some friends and family to model for free.

model mayhem is a great resource and you can usually find the newer models to do trade work but be ready to deal with flakes, cancels and not much of a selection.

if you really need to put together a good portfolio, pay is the best way to get models. if you arent shooting nudes you can get them pretty cheap for an hours worth of work and you will have a pretty good choice of the look you want.

be aware that as the better your portfolio gets the more models that may work with you for trade, your style has to be something they want to add to there own portfolio.


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tdlavigne
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Aug 11, 2015 19:13 |  #10

There's easily dozens of places to get models, and all of them have their ups and downs. As a general rule: getting started shooting is never easy, especially not models. There is no magic site/place/resource where you get quality models who are reliable and are capable of helping your portfolio....without some type of effort put forth. In reality: You'll spend most of your time looking for models, and very little actually shooting. The same goes for when you start working as a photographer: the majority of your time will be spent on marketing, networking, and looking for work...instead of actually shooting.

Now, that being said...off the top of my head some resources for models:

Modelmayhem
Facebook
Instagram
Twitter
Tumblr
Craigslist
College Campuses
Friends, and Friends of Friends/referrals
Meetup groups
Strobist groups
Workshops/groupshoots
modelmayhem knockoffs (Brokendollmodels, Onemodelplace, Purestorm, Musecube, etc etc)




  
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randizzle
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Aug 12, 2015 09:41 |  #11

My wife and I just went through this same issue so I'll share a bit. We started by offering to do shoots with family members and friends for free to build a bit of a portfolio. It was simple stuff like pictures for Christmas cards, maternity shoots, pictures of kids, etc. It only took a couple months of shooting for free or very cheap to start to get inquiries from people we don't know who were willing to pay more for shoots.

What was really nice about it is we improved dramatically from mistakes in the first few shoots. I'm now very confident we will be able to deliver shots that will please our customers regardless of external factors, and confidence is extremely important when you're giving directions to people who are usually not models. We were also able to figure out what we liked and didn't like from an equipment standpoint, learned about lots of local locations for outdoor sessions, and have been able to define a workflow that keeps things moving from booking to shooting to editing to delivering.

We're still doing some cheap work if it will help the portfolio, but we don't offer up free time anymore. It will never be our full-time job but it's been nice to have a little bit of side money coming in.




  
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mike_311
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Aug 12, 2015 09:52 as a reply to  @ randizzle's post |  #12

this is me. i started the same way, free shoots for families and friends and then when i need more variety i did a bunch of trade shoots with models. yeah they inexperienced and so was I. even if I only got one great shot from a shoot for the portfolios it was wroth the effort fro both of us, after all the experience was worth the most.

now a few year later, i have my site with some work I'm proud of and more importantly i know i can deliver solid results for pay.. i dont advertise really, people know im available by word of mouth and i usually do a 3-4 weddings a year and a portrait shoot once a month or so and its perfect for me.

the extra money is a bonus but i really just do it for fun. i love the interaction with my subjects, weddings are just a rush and their happiness makes it worth it when they see the final images.


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itsallart
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Aug 12, 2015 09:55 |  #13

I was in a similar situation: started shooting friends for free, attended a pro photography school that provided us with free models and eventually I had enough shots for my small portfolio. No more free shots now. I have a bunch of weddings booked, shot one recently and the business has taken off; it's only a side business though but I'm quite happy :)


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Camlee0814
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Aug 12, 2015 15:31 |  #14

Thanks for the advice everyone! Sounds like family and friends are my best bet right now.


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Getting into Portrait photography question.
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