Photographer

Jerome Gibson Photograp

Posts: 4

Indianapolis, Indiana, US

Is it me?.... Starting out in a new direction can be hard. I can do the job very well, but can't attract models to build my portfolio, to attract models. In my city, I noticed every photographer knows every model, were all friends with the same people.

I checked out what models charge, but I got to work to pay them :-) I know it takes time, but does anybody have any advice?

Jan 08 13 06:12 pm Link

Model

IDiivil

Posts: 4110

Los Angeles, California, US

Would recommend posting in the critique forums since people may not speak freely here about that.

Jan 08 13 06:37 pm Link

guide forum

Photographer

Rays Fine Art

Posts: 6305

New York, New York, US

Welcome!

Getting started can be hard, especially for a photographer since it's more a case of photographers chasing models than the other way around.

You'll get a lot of comments about having a portfolio that attracts models and if you want specific advice about your portfolio or profile, you'll need to post a request in the critique forums.

But without critiquing, let me suggest that the best way to get started is to simply send a brief (not more than 3 or 4 short paragraphs) private message inviting models to review your portfolio, telling them a little bit about what you'd like to shoot with them in terms of boundaries and style, what your expectations and boundaries are and whether you're offering pay or trade.  You'll want to use the browse feature at the top of the page to go through the profiles of the models in the area, but as a relative newbie, you might want to contact newer models first in order to build your portfolio, especially if you're working on a budget and want to concentrate on trade shoots.  You should also review the casting notices posted by models in your area and post a casting notice or two yourself.

Don't over-sell but at the same time don't hide your talent under a bushel basket, either.  Just be open, straight forward and honest.  You're fortunate in that you're in a good-sized market so it shouldn't take you long to get rolling.

Jan 08 13 06:37 pm Link

Photographer

Good Egg Productions

Posts: 15702

Orlando, Florida, US

What makes you think you can do the job very well?

Shoot friends.  Shoot friends of friends.  Shoot everyone.  If you're good enough, post your best and attract others.  It's often more about delivering a good product. Sometimes, it's delivering a good experience. 

So get going.

Jan 08 13 06:45 pm Link

Photographer

Vector One Photography

Posts: 2776

Fort Lauderdale, Florida, US

Yes, it's a chicken and egg problem. If you're new mostly only new models will work for you for free. So you'll probably get few really good shots. And you need really good shots to attract really good models.  So you shoot...and shoot.... and shoot.  Your portfolio slowly grows until you have enough good shots to attract better, more professional models. It can take years to get together your first portfolio. And once you have it you may find you take out some so-so shots to replace them with better ones.

After you plug at it and finally get a book that is good enough, then the models may flock to you.

Of course, if you have money to burn, you can skip right over paragraph one and go to working with professional models that should give you better results. And if you don't, I refer you to paragraph one.

Jan 08 13 06:51 pm Link

Photographer

AJ_In_Atlanta

Posts: 12825

Atlanta, Georgia, US

Good Egg Productions wrote:
What makes you think you can do the job very well?

Shoot friends.  Shoot friends of friends.  Shoot everyone.  If you're good enough, post your best and attract others.  It's often more about delivering a good product. Sometimes, it's delivering a good experience. 

So get going.

QFT

Jan 08 13 07:00 pm Link

Photographer

EdwardKristopher

Posts: 3377

Tempe, Arizona, US

Jerome Gibson Photograp wrote:
Is it me?.... Starting out in a new direction can be hard. I can do the job very well, but can't attract models to build my portfolio, to attract models. In my city, I noticed every photographer knows every model, were all friends with the same people.

I checked out what models charge, but I got to work to pay them :-) I know it takes time, but does anybody have any advice?

One foot in front of the other...You'll get there!

Jan 08 13 09:30 pm Link

Photographer

Looknsee Photography

Posts: 21637

Portland, Oregon, US

Jerome Gibson Photograp wrote:
Is it me?.... Starting out in a new direction can be hard. I can do the job very well, but can't attract models to build my portfolio, to attract models. In my city, I noticed every photographer knows every model, were all friends with the same people.

I checked out what models charge, but I got to work to pay them :-) I know it takes time, but does anybody have any advice?

Well, sure -- if you have to pay models to get them to work with you, you'll just have to do that.  Here are some options:

...  Get someone else to pay both you & the model.
...  Get so much better than everyone else that models will want to work for TF*.
...  Barter.
...  Find new models.

For example:  I post my images on my own web site, and visitors have the option of making a voluntary donation to support the web site.  I do get donations -- not enough to live on, but certainly enough to pay models, ISP, web hosting, props, business license, tax, and other incidentals.  It works out fine.

Or, you can always photograph bowls of fruits.

Jan 10 13 08:48 am Link

Model

Lynn Elizabeth

Posts: 1336

Coral Springs, Florida, US

You can contact a local model with your idea and a rate you would be willing to pay. If a model has an open schedule perhaps they will take your offer (which may be lower that their normal rate) The worst you can be told is no.

Jan 10 13 01:20 pm Link

Photographer

ontherocks

Posts: 22603

Salem, Oregon, US

i can get TF models interested but i can't get them to show up for the most part (and it has gotten harder over the years, not easier). whereas 100% of the traveling nude models i've paid have shown up.

i have better luck meeting them outside of mayhem, even if they are on mayhem.

check out meetup.com group shoots

Jan 10 13 01:29 pm Link

Photographer

sammyspade

Posts: 98

Portland, Oregon, US

Be willing to pay (something) and run a casting call.

Jan 10 13 01:32 pm Link

Photographer

Bravo Magic Images

Posts: 765

Temple City, California, US

Take a jr college photography class then look for girls that are looking to get phtographed. I found it very easy when i was going to jr college and takeing photo classes to find nice sexy girls to photograph with.

Jan 10 13 01:34 pm Link

Photographer

Wolfy4u

Posts: 1103

Grand Junction, Colorado, US

I notice that  you've been on MM for a very short time. It took me at least
six months to start getting any positive feed back from models and even then, most wanted to be paid and many flaked on the shoot.
All businesses take start-up capital, and yours will be for paying good models to start with.
Learn what models like in portfolios and create those type images for your portfolio. I'd guess that you'll need between 10-16 images to attract most models. Think of some concepts that you think models would like photos of and put them in your port along with the more standard images.
You might want to post in the critique section to see what others think of your abilities. If you do, understand that you'll get good advice, bad advice and some intentional hurtful advice. In all cases, remember that advice is never worth more than you pay for it.

Good luck,

Jan 10 13 01:51 pm Link

Photographer

sammyspade

Posts: 98

Portland, Oregon, US

Also, flattery goes a long way.  When you reach out to a model let her know why you want to work with her, in specific, rather than just "looking for someone to shoot with."

Models spend a long time developing their look and style - if you show you appreciate that it might buy you a bit of charity. 

Their most attractive characteristic should be something other than zipcode.

Jan 11 13 07:29 am Link