A Photographer’s Modeling Tips

Aimee J. Martin wrote a guest post on my blog to help her fellow models.  It was titled, “What to Look For in a Photographer: A Model’s Perspective”.  After I published her guest post, Don Gianatti had a rebuttal which I posted later that day.

This post, “A Photographer’s Modeling Tips” is intended to be some advice that I would like to share with upcoming models.  I want to share my advice on how to learn, where to find photographers and what to avoid.

Finding Photographers

You know that stereotypical agency that stands in the mall waiting for pretty people to walk by so they can sucker them into becoming “models”.  Well, while the stereotype is not completely true, it does happen.  If someone approaches you randomly, be cautious.  Ask for credentials.  If they work for an agency, check into it.  Use Google to search for the person and agency.  Make sure they are legit before giving them any money.

Use model/photographer websites to network:  OneModelPlace, ModelMayhem, modellaunch, modelurl, etc.  Please also be cautious and look into anyone that you might potentially meet.  Just because they are on these websites does not make them legit.  It’s the harsh reality of the internet.  A side note: I have met and worked with many models through ModelMayhem.

Facebook and Twitter is a great place for photographers to network and market.  It is rare to see model’s marketing on Twitter but that is how I met Aimee, so it does happen.

Learning

Not every photographer enjoys posing models.  That is one of the reasons they want models and not random people.  Because of that, I recommend studying the art of modeling.  I am not model, but I know it is not a simple task.  There is a lot going on during a photo shoot.  You have to stand still during shots and blink little when the flashes go off.  Photographers understand that.  There are many resources on the internet for models to learn how to pose.  Check Google, YouTube and any other source you can think of. Study hard.

Compensation

If you’re getting started and the photographer is offering to trade your services for a CD, then I suggest doing it.  Free work to build your portfolio is better than no work because you might be stubborn about money.

Once you have a portfolio together and are working towards finding an agency then I would say pass up trade jobs.  How much should a model ask for?  I do not have a good answer for that.  Again, do your research.  Network and look online.

© Scott Wyden KivowitzShooting

If you are going to be modeling on a shoot make sure you are prepared.

Ask the photographer:

  • Should I be bringing certain clothes, garments, shoes?
  • What colors?
  • Who is doing the makeup?
  • If  I am doing the makeup, what style should it be?
  • What are the photos for?
  • Should I bring props?

Make sure you know what you’re getting yourself into and are as ready as the photographer.  Things can go wrong, and sometimes they do.  Nothing goes 100% according to plan.  If you are prepared then there will not be any issues.

One last tip I can give is to try to work with the same photographer a bunch of times.  Hopefully the photographer is versatile enough that he can offer different types of photos for your portfolio.    By getting to know one photographer and working with him/her many times, it can lead to something in the future.  But don’t ONLY shoot with one photographer.  Branch out!

So there we go, my tips for models.  I hope that I helped.

Thanks for reading and happy modeling,

Scott

Scott Wyden Imagery offers Trade for CD jobs to help build your model portfolio. Get in touch today and lets connect

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. You seem to have written this in a manner that suits your personal needs as a photographer rather than the needs of the model who wishes to have success and turn modelling into a career.

    “”Use model/photographer websites to network””

    This might be the worst advice possible as these sites are 99% amateurs and 99% of them state they will never pay a model or a photographer. So they are the poorest source for paying clients for either. They are only a spot to find free labour and spend time with people so unsuccessful they have to give their time away. In business if 90% of our effort and communications is spent on people who will not pay you, you are or will soon be out of business. If you wish to be USED rather than respected and employed this is a great spot to hang out.

    “”Facebook and Twitter is a great place””

    YES, for anyone in any business to market themselves and their services. If used correctly they will provide the little bit of local or regional celerity it takes to enhance the value of your images to your clients and therefore increase the amount of work and the quality of work you can expect without agency support.

    “””If you’re getting started and the photographer is offering to trade your services for a CD, then I suggest doing it. Free work to build your portfolio is better than no work because you might be stubborn about money.”””

    I would suggest they find the very best photographer(s) to learn from and arrange the very best deal possible. This may mean and most likely means the model pays her photographer to help take them under their wing, teach them to pose, develop a portfolio and maybe help to present her to other professionals in the field. If she approaches any photographer or any business person with a business proposal that benefits them both they will consider it and respect you for it. If you contact them and beg for a free session professionals may consider you sinmply a free loader or panhandler.

    “” Ask the photographer: Should I be bringing certain clothes, garments, shoes? – What colors?”” Etc. “”

    I suggest if you have to ask you probably have the wrong photographer as most provide you with easy to follow instructions rather then leave it to you to figure out.

    “”One last tip I can give is to try to work with the same photographer a bunch of times. Hopefully the photographer is versatile enough that he can offer different types of photos for your portfolio. By getting to know one photographer and working with him/her many times, it can lead to something in the future.”””

    This makes sense as if you did go to the best available the first time there is not where to go but downhill. And if you chose well you will not need to seek additional support.

    My caveat – I am not and never expect to be a professional model but I have been successful in many businesses prior to becoming a professional and reasonably successful full time retail photographer.

    But the best advice is to find those who are successful and ask them how they achived their success. Here is one such example:
    http://www.facebook.com/notes.php?id=33278007120&notes_tab=app_2347471856#!/note.php?note_id=423798279793

    gus mctavish
    http://www.facebook.com/proshotphoto

    1. Gus, I appreciate you taking the time to comment on this post. I wrote this for models looking for tips on getting started. This is not for a model who already thinks she is a supermodel. With that said, what I have written is very useful for any model looking for ways to learn her craft, practice and network.

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