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How to Find Models to Test or Trade with You

As creative people in the modeling/photography industry, there are times when taking on a project where no money exchanges hands can be fun, be a learning experience, or otherwise be a positive process. This is what we define as a “test” or “trade” shoot. Unfortunately, finding a model who shares the same vision and willingness can take some time and effort.


Model: IDiivil; Photographer: Michael Magers; Hair Stylist: Karen Bates-Ashley

Here are two lists that cover the reasons why a model may be unwilling to test or trade with you and what you can do to improve your chances of snagging a shoot with the model of your choice.

14 Reasons why a model may turn down a test shoot with you

1. They don’t find your work to be helpful to their book.

2. They don’t find your concept to be helpful to their book.

3. They don’t care about modeling and just use it as a way to get money.

4. They don’t have much time, so if they have the spare hours they’re going to take paid gigs or nothing at all.

5. They have too many images already and don’t care to have more – either in the genre you are looking to shoot or in general.

6. They don’t understand what trade or test is, and/or don’t see the value in it. They may argue, “Why would I work for free?”

7. They cannot tell the difference in quality of images, so they can’t tell if you are better or worse than the average photographer (or they don’t care). In this case, even if you feel your work is much better than the model’s portfolio and can be an asset to them, they won’t see that.

8. They are signed with an agency that determines who they trade or test with and therefore cannot work outside of that agency.

9. They are willing to trade, but your concept infringes upon a boundary they’ve drawn.  For example, a model who would trade for clothed shoots all day may not want to shoot nudity without being financially compensated.

10. Along those same lines, the model is asked to trade a genre they are unwilling to shoot, no matter the circumstances.

11. Something about the photographer offends the model, whether it’s the manner in which the model is offered the trade shoot or the photographer’s profile. Even something as simple as not crediting a single model in one’s portfolio can be of note to the model.

12. The model can’t financially afford to trade.

13. The model may prefer trading in a situation where makeup, hair, wardrobe, cool location or publication opportunity is offered.

14. The model only trades with good friends whom they can trust to be reliable, comfortable and fun to work with.


Model: IDiivil; Photographer: Barry Druxman; Wardrobe Stylist: Vic Sanders

9 things you can do to get models to work with you

1. Pay your model.

2. Improve your portfolio.

3. Write more models. Consider writing models of different looks and skill levels to contact.

4. Make a casting call.

5. Reassess the message you are sending to your models. Maybe something you are writing to them or something in your profile text is sending them red flags.

6. Offer extras such as publication opportunities, makeup and hair stylists, unique wardrobe, gas money, food, amazing locations and anything else that can make your offer stand out among others.

7. Give examples of the genre you are asking the model to do. If you want to shoot fine art and have no examples of fine art, the model may be unwilling to offer their time if they are unsure the image will be useful to them.

8. Find a way to network with models so you can be on a comfortable, level ground with them to offer a trade shoot.

9. Keep an eye on your internet presence. Coming across online as a difficult person will get noticed if a model does a little digging, and that can turn them off from otherwise shooting with you.


Model: IDiivil; Photographer: Joe Gunawan fotosiamo
Hair Stylist: Dinah Raphaelle; Wardrobe Stylist: Samantha Freedman

Please keep in mind that while these potential reasons are extensive, they may not cover your model’s specific situation and/or may not offer the perfect solution for you to improve your chances of getting test shoots.

IDiivil

IDiivil

IDiivil is a freelance art nude model who travels between her home bases of Ohio and Los Angeles. When she is not glued to some sort of screen playing a video game, she lurks the site of ModelMayhem and maintains her own modeling website at http://idiivil.com/.

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52 Responses to “How to Find Models to Test or Trade with You”

  1. September 07, 2018 at 9:27 am, Sarcasticism said:

    I’m in a position of not having shot models in years. When I worked with models in the past, the photos were reference for me to draw or paint from and not portfolio quality photos. I’m unable to register as a photographer on model mayhem until I have photos of models. Models are reluctant to work with me since I have no work to show. All I can show them are my drawings and photos by other photographers with the look and feel I’m going for. I’m currently using a Craigslist ad which has had several inquiries but nobody has committed to a time yet.

    This reminds me of the problem actors have with needing a SAG card to get work but not able to get a SAG card because they haven’t worked.

    Reply

  2. August 12, 2018 at 9:00 am, tsigili said:

    Basically, there are very few models who free lance, on the internet, who have any interest in ANYTHING but money.

    Trouble is, they bring little to the table in terms of skills, experience, make-up and hair skills, etc. These “models” are usually not suitable for most professional photographers, because of their shortcomings.

    Professionals test models all the time…………but only from professional agencies, who have a list of approved photographers to test with. Only approved photographers are used by those agencies, as that becomes a known comparative, on which to evaluate the models, by the agency. That’s how new models are evaluated on their worth to the agency, and how photographers get to experiment, without hiring models.

    Professionals do not typically need to hire free lancers, on their own money, unless they are NOT in model markets at all, and have no access to modeling agencies, which are the only reliable source of talent, for paying clients, in the first place. You have to deliver on real paid assignments, and you cannot do that, without reliable model agency talent, that you know is going to show up, and deliver a competent job. Time is money, and the client expects the photographer to get the job done efficiently, and competently, and within budget.

    New free lance models that don’t do testing with qualified professionals, are not serious models. They have no value to the photographer, except for personal projects, that aren’t paid for by paying clients. Photographers rarely invest their own money in such unproven talent, at all.

    The bottom line is…………models are not worth paying, by the photographer, unless they are doing something very unusual, or dong something outside the normal range of agency models, such as nudity, that might be too controversial for agency work, or the photographer has some paying clients, in a non-agency market, and has to function as his own agency source, to do that work, locally. Truth is, that is very limited, and low budget.

    That’s the reality. Too many people have the impression they are going to free lance and make a lot of money in modeling, without ever being represented by a professional agency of any kind. That is simply not the case. The photographer doesn’t NEED to invest his own money in models, if he has paying clients to hire the talent, in the first place. If photographers don’t have paying clients to hire models, they likely are not doing paid work anyway, and they can use girlfriends, and people they know, to be “stand-in” models for their personal projects, who will do it just for fun.

    Models needing to build a portfolio, either should expect to pay the photographer for his time, or settle for the amateurish results that result from non-professional models working with non-professional photographers. Being offered an opportunity to work with a professional photographer, is something of value, to trade time for, but too few wannabes face the reality. The models need the photographers far more than the photographers need the models.

    Professionals have to make money………….not spend money, of their own, doing shoots.

    Reply

  3. August 11, 2018 at 8:13 am, Rohan Gillett said:

    I’ve had very little luck getting models through Model Mayhem, so obviously I’m doing something wrong. It might be time to pay more attention to articles like this?

    Reply

  4. July 14, 2017 at 8:10 am, AnonGirl said:

    I can see something in this article only another makeup artist will see, and why makeup artists are turning down trade for shoots…. No credit to the makeup artist. I see credits to hairstylists (which may or may not also be doing the makeup) and to the wardrobe stylist but zero credits to makeup whose work can make or break a shoot. And people wonder why makeup artists are now turning TFPs down because they rarely get credited.

    Reply

    • August 11, 2018 at 3:09 pm, Andrew Greig said:

      You are absolutely right. And what an opportunity is being missed. Verified credits work 2 ways. Credit the MUA and you get one too. With MUA on set I take before and after shots for their portfolio. I make sure my model credits them also, so the MUA gets 2 for the shoot.

      Reply

    • August 11, 2018 at 11:02 pm, smransom51 said:

      I always tell the TFP model that a MUA will be at studio as a way to sweeten the deal and make my photos even better. I feel that paying a MUA is more important because they are using materials that cost them so its a fair deal

      Reply

  5. July 12, 2017 at 12:50 pm, Mike Brannon said:

    Great article and includes most of the reasons why shoots happen or don’t. Well put from a models perspective. Overall, things that are meant to happen seem to just happen and be easy. Never force anything.

    Reply

  6. May 29, 2017 at 9:47 am, Michael Murphy said:

    First, be careful when you approach a woman. Do not box her in or make her feel trapped. I usually approach from the side facing the same direction she is so we are side-by-side, casually say hello, and introduce myself and who I am. Remember be confident, be casual, its no big deal its just what you do and ‘No Pressure’ let her decide she wants you to shoot her. Another approach is if you are in a department store or somewhere similar (I usually find ample model opportunities while shopping for wardrobe for another model – doesn’t have to be an actual person just a hypothetical ‘model’ to approach her while she is at a counter waiting to be helped by a sales person in line or whatever. Usually me talking to a sales person in a store about wardrobe and shoes for models will get me noticed and I’ve even had several times where women have asked me for my card without being prompted first.

    Carrying some samples of your work on a tablet so people can see ‘your work’. I separate ‘my work’ into kid friendly, family friendly, more adult oriented artistic nudes with a front page link for them to look through just make it ‘public appropriate’. Also you business card is you key, make it a good one.

    I usually say, “I love the way you look, your style of clothing, etc, etc. I would welcome the ‘opportunity’ to shoot a session with you, if you think you have the time available sometime. Note ‘the opportunity to shoot you’ doesn’t say I’m paying them, they are paying my or ‘TFP/TFCD’.its open ended you can figure out the logistics when she calls you, give her your business card; mines 2 1/4 by 3 1/2, when asked why is my card bigger than standard? “So you won’t loose it so easily in your wallet.”

    I had a recent trip to Famous Footwear trying to purchase some Madden Girl ‘Daphne’ shoes in Black with the stiletto heel (now discontinued) for an actual shoot with an actual model. I was confident stated that I’d been looking for these shoes for weeks and heard they had a few there.

    Two separate store clerks both women and not bad looking assisted me but I only knew the one size of one model so asked the woman helping me the other model is about your size, she tried shoe on knowing her size and said they run a little small for size, so I got the 7 1/2, 8 1/2 and 9 1/2 in black and the 9 1/2 in ‘Nude’ Pink.

    Talked to them about photography, modeling and shoes trying to get a handle on all the different terminology with regard to shoes. Three of the customers, all women shopping with their girls told me they were looking for a photographer to shot their ‘end of year’ photos, asked me for my business cards and what I typically shoot, etc, etc; shot 2 of the women customers and their teenage daughters for end of year’ photos as paid clients already.

    Also the 2 sales women who helped me asked for my cards and shot one already as ‘TF/CD’ and provided a CD of the shoot. Showed the photos as we were shooting to her during session break via WiFi on my laptop and she love the images so much she asked if ‘I would mind’ going a little further than we initially agreed.

    She really didn’t have to twist my arm all that much, have to admit photos were in my top 5 percent I’ve done. Expecting a call from at least the other sales woman and possibly the rest of them at that store. She couldn’t believe she looked that beautiful and even tipped me $50 dollars and thanked me often before leaving.

    I explained to her most people don’t understand how beautiful they actually are, my job as ‘the Photographer’ is just to capture that beauty and not screw it up. She laughed but pretty much that’s the truth. Feel free to use that mantra, with my permission.

    Best of luck.

    Reply

  7. February 12, 2015 at 2:48 pm, Merlin 702 said:

    I don’t understand how a model that has been on MM for a few weeks, with a couple of selfies as their port, will not consider TF’s. Paid work only. I see this a lot on some profiles. Doing a few TF’s will give you a quick boost to your port. These are the 18 year olds, with no experience, that are breaking into the industry. I wouldn’t do them forever, but I think TF’s are an excellent learning tool.

    Reply

  8. August 27, 2014 at 8:46 pm, dab1218 said:

    Fantastic article. A good portion of this I knew from my own experience, and I agree with Lawrence Keeney. I meet up at a coffee shop to meet one another and discuss the shoot before going forward with the shoot. Only half of those meetings actually went through.

    Reply

  9. August 27, 2014 at 3:58 pm, Edel Does Drawings said:

    ….In my case I do my own photo shoots to use the pics as reference to develop my calssy sexy drawings and after trying the Time For Print , I gave up… so I pay every single model I hired, also because I strongly believe that every person deserves a compensation for their time, and I am aware that if you need good talented model you have to pay for it, in case you can not afford to pay than TIP your model! most of them WORK SO HARD in the gym to get those curves 🙂 and they invest in beauty goods, all cost money for them

    Reply

    • July 12, 2017 at 12:49 pm, Mike Brannon said:

      True, but by the same token, models that work out are going to work out anyway, and most photographers have thousands if not tens of thousands invested in gear. Models sometimes forget or don’t know, that once the shoot is done the photographer’s work is just beginning. In other words, for every hour I shoot I might be editing 6, 8 or even 10 hours. Almost double that for a 2 hour shoot, or 2 days work. If its just for our own books we don’t get that time back nor the money we might spend on a model. Not her problem of course. Just saying.

      Reply

      • July 13, 2017 at 3:13 pm, edel ramirez said:

        yep, lots of money invested on gear, still I think we all as a team we can find a balance between models and photographers 🙂

        Reply

  10. August 27, 2014 at 3:27 pm, Viet Ha said:

    Hi everyone, I am a photographer if I did a collaboration shoot and I didn’t sign the contract, according to copy right law, am I subject to selling the images without a written consent from the model?I am now currently in Spain, and I did an exchange shoot with a French girl who happened to be in Madrid. Then, in the future, if I change my country of residence, and I want to sell the images, and the model doesn’t agree, what will happen?

    Reply

  11. March 28, 2014 at 11:32 am, Amaresh Wardha said:

    Not fully sure if you can call this a “test”. Testing is a systematic and disciplines process. The meaning has become very loose in the last few years. Testing goes through specific criteria in relation to pose and performance and to see where the model is at, and the to correct repetitive mistakes [use of hands, eyes, understanding response to light etc] so as to create a strong composure and ability to perform flawlessly for campaign or paid work requirements. Testing really should not be mixed in with TFP etc, as testing in no was is doing portraiture, which often falls into the category of models wanting memories of themselves, or casual photo experiences, or the photographer learning, or doing work for their portfolio. Whats happening here is important fundamentals are spreading too thin now and were seeing things floating away from their true meanings.

    Reply

  12. March 15, 2014 at 7:42 pm, Jason Lupas said:

    Thanks you for this article it does help me think of beter ways to do more test shoots or trade shoots if you will . i just have a question for any photographers here . I dont have a printer for pictures yet thus i cant give out prints and Im still having a quite difficult time understanding the giving a cd . for example do i just upload the pictures to the cd and give it to them ? or is there more than that . I normally just tell them I can only email the pictures to them after a set deadline date … and also whats your take on models or clients asking for the raw images ? personally i dont give out and like to give out raw images . What do they do with it ? i just want to get anyones take on it I’m still practically an amateur and I’m still slowly building up my portfolio . I look forward to anyone’s response to this and thank you in advance

    Reply

    • July 20, 2014 at 12:23 am, Star Diamond said:

      upload the images to a CD and give it to them.

      Reply

  13. March 14, 2014 at 3:20 pm, thriftalina said:

    I’ve yet to find the one girl to take my casting call seriously. It’s just too bad that no one wants to learn & grow and try something new, who knows what it will lead to! modelmayhem/angelinarosesavvy

    Reply

  14. March 13, 2014 at 8:26 pm, Angela Summers said:

    I did not know TFP existed when photographers used to shoot with film. I just paid for the shoot, the photos, and the comp cards.

    Reply

  15. March 13, 2014 at 5:26 am, Alfonso Vidal-Quadras said:

    I normally don’t have problems getting models for trade: I have more positive response than rejections. Actually I never paid one myself (if so, there’s a client doing it). But there is some inconsistency in your second list IMHO: not everyone can pay every model through all the shootings it takes to improve their portfolio. I improved it myself, getting paid by models who needed to improve theirs. There’s something called investing, and it should go both ways 😉

    Reply

    • March 19, 2014 at 2:19 pm, IDiivil said:

      Paying a model was only #1 in the list of things you can do to help get models for trade. I did not mention payment again in any other part of the list.

      Reply

    • August 26, 2017 at 7:13 pm, Brendon Coetzer said:

      Thanks. That was helpful.

      Reply

  16. March 13, 2014 at 1:59 am, Manuel Odabashian said:

    I totally agree with the last statement but models seem to think it detracts from their time and money how would you get round this?

    Reply

    • March 13, 2014 at 3:09 am, IDiivil said:

      Besides the 9 things I came up with that you can attempt, there isn’t much help I can personally offer. If a model feels that way, s/he feels that way. Sometimes a test just isn’t possible and you have to move on (without burning bridges, of course – there’s always a chance for someday in the future).

      Reply

  17. March 12, 2014 at 10:29 pm, janelle said:

    i want to become a model 🙁 . This is my wish 🙁 . #ImBlackBeauty

    Reply

  18. March 12, 2014 at 10:04 pm, IDiivil said:

    Thanks for all the support with this article I put together, everyone! You all rule!

    Reply

  19. March 12, 2014 at 6:04 pm, Tony Lawrence said:

    IDivil makes many compelling points. I am a member of MM also. I didn’t see her mention this but two ways of finding models is to go to fashion shows. Many of the models who do them are reliable and hungry for photos. Another way and its more involved is to approach modeling agencies. Facebook is another place to look. Don’t be afraid to approach women at a store or at a event or club.

    Many times when women join sites like OMP or MM they are overwhelmed with offers. Your email may get lost in the shuffle. Especially if you aren’t paying and on that note. If you have a important project to you then offer some money if you can. It doesn’t always have to be a lot. Even small payments are helpful to models in school or with limited resources.

    Reply

    • March 12, 2014 at 11:50 pm, IDiivil said:

      Very good points. Thank you for adding those for me 🙂

      Reply

    • July 22, 2014 at 10:21 am, Stu Kerr said:

      I appreciate your response to this. I try to remember that I am NOT the only one trying to get in contact with a model. I find them intriguing to shoot for whatever reason, so I am sure others do as well. It is just nice to hear/read reminders to validate ones thoughts.

      One thing I will try to pick your brain about is finding models in public. Approaching those who may not be expecting your attention and catching them off guard when asking them to do a photo shoot out of the blue. What might you give as some helpful hints/tips on how to approach people?

      Reply

      • August 27, 2014 at 4:25 pm, Jon L. Miller said:

        in your question about approaching potential sitters in public, make sure you have a good business card with all the information that a potential sitter will need, such as website, email, phone number. I always carry my iPad so I can show samples, if I feel the conversation is a “tell me more”. If you feel they are reluctant then back off easily and just ask them to have a look first and “if” they are interested to drop you an e-mail or all. never under any circumstance try to force some one to call you… never works.
        I’ve had a many models from the street/public get back in touch with me for TFP shootings. a great many end up being the muse for 6-9 months.

        Reply

      • December 09, 2015 at 9:16 pm, Tonybel said:

        Years ago, I asked someone while out skating at Venice Beach (she was a skater, also), if I could shoot some photos of her. She said no. Turned out she lived half a block from me, and later said that since we were neighbors, she was willing to do a photo shoot. We ended up doing many. She was a professional model and a wonderful person to work with. We are still friends. The point – being neighbors can help (even just a close distance), even more so if you run into the person on several occasions. I hope this makes sense. And BTW, IDiivil – great article, lots of good points. Thanks for your post and sharing your photos.

        Reply

  20. March 12, 2014 at 5:37 pm, Latoya H said:

    Located in North Las Vegas. Willing to always do a test shoot to build my portfolio. Im a beginner.

    Reply

  21. March 12, 2014 at 5:34 pm, Angela Summers said:

    Some photographers do not give any images after they have promised some from the shoot.

    Reply

    • March 12, 2014 at 7:08 pm, Joe Dakota said:

      ANGELA IN THE PAST WHEN PHOTOGRAPHERS SHOT FILM AND IT TOOK DAYS BEFORE YOU COULD VIEW YOUR STUFF YOU WERE AT THEIR MERRCY, BUT NOW WITH DIGITAL YOU SHOULD WALK OUT THE DOOR AFTER YOUR TEST WITH A CD OR FILE OF ALL YOUR PICTURES EVEN IF YOUR ON LOCATION( EVERY PHOTOGRAPHER HAS A LAP TOP )
      THE PHOTOGRAPHER HAS THE RIGHT TO EDIT OUT SOME OF THE BAD SHOTS, NO PHOTOGRAPHER WANTS THEIR BAD STUFF TO BE SHOWN TO THE PUBLIC AND NEITHER SHOULD THE MODEL.
      MAKE THIS CLEAR BEFORE THE SHOOT THAT YOU DEMAND TO LEAVE WITH A COPY OF YOUR DIGITAL FILES..
      NOW FOR THE PHOTOGRAPHER TO GIVE YOU PRINTS OF THE SHOOT IS ASKING TOO MUCH, UNLESS YOU’VE HAD THIS AGREEMENT AHEAD OF TIME, BUT I AS PHOTOGRAPHER NEVER DO THAT. MY TIME, MY ENERGY, MY CREATIVE TALENTS ARE MORE THAN ENOUGH AND YOU CAN GET LAZER PRINTS VERY VERY CHEAP.
      REMEMBER A TEST IS NOT A COMMERCIAL SHOOT SO NEITHER YOU OR THE PHOTOGRAPHER CAN USE THESE PICTURES FOR MORE THAN PORTFOLIO USE. IF YOU DON’T WANT THEM TO BE ON THE INTERNET ON THE PHOTOGRAPHERS WEB SITE MAKE THAT CLEAR, BUT WHY WOULD THEY WANT TO TEST YOU IF THEY CAN’T USE THEM AS PART OF SHOWING THEIR WORK.
      PHOTOGRAPHERS AND MODELS: SIGN AN AGREEMENT, NOT A RELEASE, THAT THE PHOTO SHOOT YOU ARE DOING IS SPECIFICALLY A TEST. IN THE FUTURE EITHER PARTY CAN NEGOTIATE SALE TERMS OF THE PICTURE IF THEY CAN USE IT FOR COMMERCIAL USE.

      Reply

      • March 12, 2014 at 8:49 pm, Bill Mason said:

        Joe, you need to reread copyright law. No one needs a release for a test shoot to designate how they are used. The photographer automatically owns the images and can use them any way he or she wishes. The model has no rights, not even for portfolio use unless the photographer grants them. Commercial or trade/test. Copyright is the same.

        Reply

        • March 13, 2014 at 5:50 am, Yanni said:

          I wish that were true for New Zealand, sadly, here , copyright isn’t automatically assigned to the creator, so a contract (normally the release form) has terms specific to include that, I think it’s not a bad idea to have it in there anyway, just so it’s really clear as to who owns what, and whats going on. keeping everything clear and above board is always a good thing.. 🙂

          Reply

        • August 27, 2014 at 3:22 pm, Viet Ha said:

          Bill, I am a photographer if I did a collaboration shoot and I didn’t sign the contract, according to copy right law, am I subject to selling the images without a written consent from the model?

          Reply

      • March 12, 2014 at 11:47 pm, IDiivil said:

        Demanding a full CD of unedited images is a good way to get rejected for a test shoot, and on top of that, is a poor attempt at “testing” someone’s professionalism/reliability.

        You are making a lot of assertions here with little consideration on how different people work different ways.

        There are things a model can do to help protect him/her from being skimped on the images they were promised, but they are not what you’ve described.

        Reply

        • March 13, 2014 at 11:23 am, Joe Dakota said:

          of course all situations are different. if you know the photographer and he’s reputable, no problem, otherwise what are your suggestions for angela and all other models

          Reply

          • March 13, 2014 at 11:28 am, IDiivil said:

            Get in writing how many images are expected and how long it will take (make sure to make it clear you are asking for estimates unless they are willing to make guarantees).

            Get references from other models to support that the photographer will return the images as promised.

            Have good communication with the photographer (keeping kind and keeping in touch) throughout the process so that there is a good line between the team for when images are delayed, if an idea failed, etc.

            Lastly, accept that there will sometimes be crap situations in the industry (same as in any other) and that some people will sometimes fall through.

      • March 13, 2014 at 5:33 am, Alfonso Vidal-Quadras said:

        I NEVER give a CD with everything, it’s pointless and it’s giving away your talent by weight. People asking for that just don’t know how this works (or should). I try to be quick with the preselection and email it, but taking care that they will not retouch the pics themselves or be able to flood their facebook account with them. The pictures are MINE and you are on them and if I’m asking for permission to use them you should too. It’s just common sense and respect for the other’s time and talent

        Reply

        • March 13, 2014 at 12:50 pm, Joe Dakota said:

          alfonso,i do agree with you to a point and being a photographer / artist it is hard to get demands from others on how i work. When it comes to ownership of the images i think we’re talking apples and oranges. a free test is for the sole purpose of all talents to build their portfolio, model, photographer, hair and makeup person, stylist. If they don’t receive
          images for their portfolio what is the point of them doing the test. we all team up and work together to get better at what we do. in return we all have something to show for it. and the photographers that think that they have sole ownership and can do anything they wants with images from a test, i hope they knows a good lawyer.
          now if it’s a paid test and money is exchanged or a commercial shoot, then all the rules change. but please let’s not get into that discussion
          i agree a photographer should edit their work before it is released and if you are reputable the model will give you time for that. but taking the models side and he /she doesn’t know you, what guarantee do you give them that they will ever she their images?
          i know my work and trust it, so by giving a cd to a first time test with a model does not bother me and starts to build a trust between me and them and if they use it on the internet to show there friends all the better, i now am getting free advertisement.
          i wish photographer would start getting over all there fears on copy right and just make the rules clear at the time of the shoot.

          Reply

          • March 13, 2014 at 1:10 pm, Alfonso Vidal-Quadras said:

            When I say that the pictures are mine, I am talking about intellectual property (or however it’s called in english); of course everyone involved are working for free and everyone has to get something out of it. I just choose not to give everything away, mainly because how I shoot: there are a lot of similar shots until I get what I want, it’s my system and the deal is final and retouched pictures, not everything. The task of choosing belongs to the photographer, not anyone else, just as keeping fit, a nice skin, etc is the model’s duty and no one else. Plus, if I have the idea, organise everything, take the time before and after, etc… I don’t want anyone else to post something with my name in it that I don’t approve. I’m quite serious about it. But how many times I end up retouching some extra pictures I won’t use because the model loves them, because she asks nicely and we had a good time!

          • March 13, 2014 at 2:09 pm, Joe Dakota said:

            alfonso i hate to have to agree with you, but your right. you, the photographer, are the creator of your image and you bring it to life and i totally agree i don’t want my name on a picture that doesn’t live up to my standard. i, like you, used to shoot many images to make sure i got the best shot, but through the years i learned to figure out what it is i wanted and how to get there.
            i shoot a lot less shots and get the job done faster. i come from film and i believe digital has spoiled photographers to just shoot shoot shoot and hope they get a good shot ( this is not an artist ).
            i don’t know what your style is exactly, but your work is fantastic and how ever you get to the end you’ve created great images. any model would be lucky to test with you.
            your style is different than mine as well as 1000 other photographers but for me, at the end of the shoot i am very confident on what i accomplished and don’t need photoshop or light room to tell the story of my vision.. i may be different than most photographers but i have no fear at the end of the shoot putting my name on my work and letting the world see it. ( granted i do agreed your work looks much better than my work at the end of the day )
            rock n roll

  22. March 12, 2014 at 4:43 pm, Wilmar Machado said:

    Shoot me. I have some ideas and I trade for picks. Also meeting before the initial shoot is fine 🙂 add me or call me 786)797-3527. Hope to hear from you -Chados

    Reply

  23. March 12, 2014 at 3:57 pm, Joe Dakota said:

    I WISH NEW MODELS WOULD REALIZE HOW IMPORTANT FREE TESTING IS. I FOUND OUT THAT THE MORE PROFESSIONAL YOU ARE THE MORE YOU WANT TO TEST. THESE MODELS UNDERSTAND THAT IT’S IMPORTANT TO WORK WITH PHOTOGRAPHERS AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE. JUST LIKE AN ATHLETE OR A DANCR OR AN ACTOR, YOU MUST CONSTANTLY EXERCISE YOU TALENT, PLUS YOU NEVER KNOW WHEN YOU’LL FIND SOMEONE YOU CONNECT WITH AND YOU BOTH GET GREAT WORK FROM IT.
    MY OWN EXPERIENCE; I TESTED WITH A VERY PROFESSIONAL MODEL FROM AN MAJOR AGENCY IN SOUTH BEACH THAT HAD A VERY GOOD BOOK. WE DID A BASIC SHOOT, OUTSIDE, NO HAIR MAKEUP OR STYLIST AND I HAD NO ASSISTANT. WE SHOT 3 IDEA IN 2 HOURS ON 3 ROLLS OF FILM ( THE GOOD OLD DAYS ). SHE LOVED HER SHOTS SO MUCH SHE REDID HER COMP CARD SO TO USE MY SHOT IN TNE CENTER FULL PAGE. SHE STILL TELLS ME HOW MANY COMMENTS SHE GETS ON THIS SHOT. MAYBE WE BOTH WERE LUCKY, BUT WHATEVER WE BOTH ENDED UP WITH GREAT STUFF FOR OUR BOOKS.
    MODELS ALSO NEED TO KNOW THAT IF A FREE TEST ENDS UP IN A PHOTOGRAPHER PORTFOLIO EVERY TIME HE SHOWS HIS BOOK HE SHOWS YOUR PICTURE TO A POTENTIAL CLIENT. AND ONE MORE THING. IF A PHOTOGRAPHER HAS THE OPPORTUNITY TO PICK HIS OWN MODELS AND HE TESTED WITH YOU IN THE PAST YOU HAVE GOOD CHANCE OF GETTING THE JOB
    TESTING FOR MODELS IS SO GREAT, IT GIVES YOU EXPERIENCE , IT NETWORKS YOU AND PROMOTES/ADVERTISES YOU ALL FOR FREE
    I HAVE NEVER PAID TO TEST A MODEL AND THE ONES THAT TURN ME DOWN TO DO FREE TEST ARE UNPROFESSIONAL AND I DON’T NEED THEM IN MY BOOK
    MY BEST ADVISE TO PHOTOGRAPHERS IS TO DEVELOP A RELATIONSHIP WITH AND AGENCY. IF THEY LIKE YOU AND YOUR WORK YOU’LL GET ALL THE FREE TESTING YOU WANT.
    KEEP SMILING
    JOE DAKOTA

    Reply

    • August 20, 2018 at 6:58 am, Fred Gerhart said:

      I wish you would not type in all caps. Conversations in caps is equivalent to yelling and not well received. Secondly most photographers will not release any images that have been edited. If a model desires that type of service he or she can hire a photographer at their full commerical release rate. To date no one has been that serious to pay my full commerical release rate. They are willing to wait the 2 to 3 weeks it takes to get images from the shoot.

      Reply

  24. March 12, 2014 at 1:28 pm, Brian Berneker said:

    This is a pretty good comprehensive list. Most of the items are common sense, but some might not be so obvious, like having an agent, or keeping a clean name on the Internet. I especially like the section with suggestions on how to find more people willing to trade – it has some good ideas in there.

    Reply

  25. March 12, 2014 at 12:02 pm, n71i . said:

    Nice article, well covered.

    Reply

  26. March 12, 2014 at 11:57 am, Lawrence Keeney said:

    I always insist on meeting a model in coffee shop a least a few days
    before doing a photo shoot. This gives both of us to get a chance to
    know each other a little, and it gives the model an easy out of the
    shoot if she decides she doesn’t like me. During this meeting we
    exchange showing our portfolios, I give her my business card and a copy
    of the model release form I use. This allows the model to read the model
    release at her leisure and to bring it to the shoot already signed. The meetings usually last about 15 – 30 minutes and I leave it up to the model as to how long she wants to spend talking.

    I have never had a model not show up after having a meeting with them.

    One of the biggest advantages of the meeting is, when the model comes to
    the shoot it is more like meeting an old friend rather than that awkward
    first time meeting. This really shows in the quality of the images I
    get also.

    Lawrence Keeney

    Reply

    • July 12, 2017 at 12:39 pm, Mike Brannon said:

      Absolutely. A must for comfort all around and quality of shoot and images. Plus you often make a friend.

      Reply

  27. March 12, 2014 at 9:43 am, bobbyb123 said:

    If anyone is looking for a test model in south florida I’m interested in building my portfolio

    Reply

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