Forums > Model Colloquy > Best way to approach a stranger to photo them

Photographer

Anton Arlund

Posts: 28

Murfreesboro, Tennessee, US

I feel like I am a victim of idiots with cameras. And I have no self confidence, but I'm working on that.

I'm an observer and often see 10-20 people a day I would love to capture in some way. wether it just be a street portrait of them where I see them or actually set up a session.
I'm so afraid of freaking people out to just approach them.

I feel like I should take a big portfolio book with me and tell them to look, I'm not a GWC (I might be, look at my port and tell me. www.chuckarlund.com)

How have you as a model or just a regular person been approached that feels less threatening.

Sometimes my appearance might get the best of me and I don't realize it rather. I'm tall, crazy hair sometimes, wear guy-liner on occasion. Or should that matter?
Me on Facebook. facebook com/chuckarlund/  follow if you'd like.

I'm being TOTALLY serious about this question. Should I just grow some and stop being afraid to approach people? But what is said. (I have also never asked a girl out) Thank God my wife called me. smile

Thanks in advance.

Nov 03 13 06:32 am Link

Photographer

figurativearts

Posts: 5723

Cottonwood, Arizona, US

me too
I can barely hail a cab parked with a door open.

have a beautiful woman ask for you instead.
works almost every time

Nov 03 13 06:37 am Link

Photographer

Glamour by Glenn

Posts: 977

Nashville, Tennessee, US

Anton, I'd suggest having some business cards made with a QR code that directs a smartphone to your website. Just give them a business card and tell them you'd like to hire them to shoot. This isn't the critique forum so I can't say more, but I think you will find some success with this method. It's worked for me before.

Heck, I live just outside Murfreesboro. I'd be glad to show you how it works sometime. I'm told I look like Jerry Garcia on a bad day but somehow I don't freak them out too often.

Nov 03 13 06:45 am Link

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Model

Koryn

Posts: 36712

Boston, Massachusetts, US

Anton Arlund wrote:
How have you as a model or just a regular person been approached that feels less threatening.

That is how I first started modeling. In 2005, a random guy in a bar approached me and asked if I wanted to participate in his nude photo project. I'd never been photographed before, other than school pictures as a little kid, and have never been any kind of "beauty," so I was totally shocked. He gave me a business card, and had a website, and told me to call him if I decided I wanted to do it. I did. The photos were technically pretty awful, but I had a lot of fun, and he was a very nice person. It was more just about the positive experience than anything else, and pushing myself to do something that I would have not otherwise even thought to consider.

Mostly, it was just in the approach. He was a nice person, came across as sincere, had a business card and a website I could go look at. There was no bullshit, no excessive flattery, the way a man might do if he's handing you a line. It was just, "Hey, you should pose for me. Here's my card. Here's my site..." yada yada yada...

If people feel threatened by you at all, it's a pretty good indicator that they are not a good match for you to shoot with. Just my opinion. People with no balls, and no sense of adventure/daring just aren't going to make very good models.

Nov 03 13 06:58 am Link

Photographer

BlueMoonPics

Posts: 4429

New York, New York, US

When I was younger I used to literally sweat bullets when trying to talk to a girl.

I had to quickly outgrow that if was to ever date anyone.

People will sense fear and nervousness from you if you approach them that way.  All I can say is to keep it short and sweet.  Have a business card if possible pointing to a nice website.  Think of keeping it purely professional and end the conversation first and walk away.  Have a nice smile on your face too.

I've done this a couple of times on the NY City subways.  One time it turned out that the girl was an actual agency model and she showed me back some interest.

Practice makes perfect and good luck to you.

Nov 03 13 07:13 am Link

Model

Elisa 1

Posts: 3344

Monmouth, Wales, United Kingdom

Anton Arlund wrote:
I feel like I am a victim of idiots with cameras. And I have no self confidence, but I'm working on that.

I'm an observer and often see 10-20 people a day I would love to capture in some way. wether it just be a street portrait of them where I see them or actually set up a session.
I'm so afraid of freaking people out to just approach them.

I feel like I should take a big portfolio book with me and tell them to look, I'm not a GWC (I might be, look at my port and tell me. www.chuckarlund.com)

How have you as a model or just a regular person been approached that feels less threatening.

Sometimes my appearance might get the best of me and I don't realize it rather. I'm tall, crazy hair sometimes, wear guy-liner on occasion. Or should that matter?
Me on Facebook. facebook com/chuckarlund/  follow if you'd like.

I'm being TOTALLY serious about this question. Should I just grow some and stop being afraid to approach people? But what is said. (I have also never asked a girl out) Thank God my wife called me. smile

Thanks in advance.

Yes take the portfolio if you want to do work with them or at least give them a z card. I think a few snaps there and then can be ok but not if the person is in a hurry. Nothing wrong with asking. However some may feel self conscious so don't make a nuisance of yourself. Respect peoples reactions ...many will decline and then that may have an impact on your,self confidence.

You are certainly an accomplished photographer so I would ask whether you want subjects or models. A beautiful or interesting subject doesn't make them a model; as many find to their cost. Not everyone will be flattered you ask and often if they are beautiful they will think you are either hitting on them or they may think you are going to pay them money.

So generally I'd advise against approaching people in the street. It's a weird thing to do in many peoples eyes. Unless of course you don't mind the knockbacks and awkward moments and the camera shy. I get asked at least once a month sometimes more. It has been the same since I wad 18. Took me until 25 and then it was a photographer I met through working at the RGS so I knew he was kosher. Every other I declined and didn't hang around  as just assumed it was a chat up and in most cases probably was. So that is what you are up against: the gwc who does that and they are legion. Nowadays I give them my card. Unless its an event of course in which case it's my job to be photographed to get in the press.

Nov 03 13 07:19 am Link

Photographer

Mark C Smith

Posts: 885

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Bringing a portfolio book to proposition girls on the street with will come off very strangely.

Even if it isn't the case, it should seem like you saw them just by chance, not that you were walking around looking for models off the street. (Yes, scouts do this I know)

If you don't have business cards, get some. Even before I had some I would approach girls I wanted to photograph and ask them to e-mail me if they were interested. Easy to remember e-mail address, but business cards make it so much easier and make you look so much more professional.

Having no self confidence will be a problem so just try to fake it. You're not asking them out, you're saying they are attractive (I assume) and you'd like to photograph them. That's where a business card comes in handy, let your portfolio do the talking. It's a very simple interaction "Excuse me, do you have a second? I'm sorry to bother you but have you ever done any modelling?" And then just take the conversation from there and end it with "I'd love to work with you, take my card and check out my work when you get a chance."

30 seconds tops. Worst they can do is say no or never contact you, luckily business cards are cheap. You never know, they might like your work and just not be interested in shooting. I've booked most of my engagement shoots through models telling their friends about me.

Nov 03 13 07:21 am Link

Model

Elisa 1

Posts: 3344

Monmouth, Wales, United Kingdom

Mark C Smith wrote:
Bringing a portfolio book to proposition girls on the street with will come off very strangely.

Even if it isn't the case, it should seem like you saw them just by chance, not that you were walking around looking for models off the street. (Yes, scouts do this I know)

If you don't have business cards, get some. Even before I had some I would approach girls I wanted to photograph and ask them to e-mail me if they were interested. Easy to remember e-mail address, but business cards make it so much easier and make you look so much more professional.

Having no self confidence will be a problem so just try to fake it. You're not asking them out, you're saying they are attractive (I assume) and you'd like to photograph them. That's where a business card comes in handy, let your portfolio do the talking. It's a very simple interaction "Excuse me, do you have a second? I'm sorry to bother you but have you ever done any modelling?" And then just take the conversation from there and end it with "I'd love to work with you, take my card and check out my work when you get a chance."

30 seconds tops. Worst they can do is say no or never contact you, luckily business cards are cheap. You never know, they might like your work and just not be interested in shooting. I've booked most of my engagement shoots through models telling their friends about me.

Thats the problem right there: 'attractive'. That blows it every time. Better to say 'you have poise, or have great style or a great look. That suggests objectivity and a belief they may actually make a good model. Most intelligent women know being a model is more than being attractive so will automatically be suspicious. I certainly am. Of course there are the other kind who will likely be plaguing anyone with a camera on a night out to take their photos as they think they should be models. smile

Nov 03 13 07:31 am Link

Photographer

BTHPhoto

Posts: 6816

Fairbanks, Alaska, US

Anton Arlund wrote:
I feel like I am a victim of idiots with cameras. And I have no self confidence, but I'm working on that.

I'm an observer and often see 10-20 people a day I would love to capture in some way. wether it just be a street portrait of them where I see them or actually set up a session.
I'm so afraid of freaking people out to just approach them.

I feel like I should take a big portfolio book with me and tell them to look, I'm not a GWC (I might be, look at my port and tell me. www.chuckarlund.com)

How have you as a model or just a regular person been approached that feels less threatening.

Sometimes my appearance might get the best of me and I don't realize it rather. I'm tall, crazy hair sometimes, wear guy-liner on occasion. Or should that matter?
Me on Facebook. facebook com/chuckarlund/  follow if you'd like.

I'm being TOTALLY serious about this question. Should I just grow some and stop being afraid to approach people? But what is said. (I have also never asked a girl out) Thank God my wife called me. smile

Thanks in advance.

First of all, the internet model photography world is the only place anyone ever heard of a "GWC" so don't bother telling them you're not something they've never heard of.

Secondly, it's not that difficult.  Don't make it a formal thing, just say, with a camera in your hand, "could I take your picture?" Some will say no.  Many will say yes.  Take a picture on the spot of those who say yes, then hand them one of the business cards in your pocket (you do have a pocket full of business cards ... yes, you do) and tell them that if they contact you in a week or so you'll give them a print.  Some will not contact you, but many will.  Tell those who do that the shot turned out great and you'd love to get them into the studio for a proper portrait session.  Some will say no, but many will say yes.  When they get to the studio, that's when they see your portfolio.

Nov 03 13 07:43 am Link

Photographer

a HUMAN ad

Posts: 1148

Miami Beach, Florida, US

Anton Arlund wrote:
I feel like I am a victim of idiots with cameras. And I have no self confidence, but I'm working on that.

I'm an observer and often see 10-20 people a day I would love to capture in some way. wether it just be a street portrait of them where I see them or actually set up a session.
I'm so afraid of freaking people out to just approach them.

I feel like I should take a big portfolio book with me and tell them to look, I'm not a GWC (I might be, look at my port and tell me. www.chuckarlund.com)

How have you as a model or just a regular person been approached that feels less threatening.

Sometimes my appearance might get the best of me and I don't realize it rather. I'm tall, crazy hair sometimes, wear guy-liner on occasion. Or should that matter?
Me on Facebook. facebook com/chuckarlund/  follow if you'd like.

I'm being TOTALLY serious about this question. Should I just grow some and stop being afraid to approach people? But what is said. (I have also never asked a girl out) Thank God my wife called me. smile

Thanks in advance.

1. Get a business card to hand out

2. Refer them to your fb page so they can also see your work, you can remind yourself about them and you can communicate with them via FB instant messenger

3. Add photos to your smart phone, so you can show your work when yo approach them.

The rest is confidence, chemistry and how you approach people.

Nov 03 13 07:49 am Link

Photographer

Philip from Scotland

Posts: 203

Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom

If it is a street portrait you don't HAVE to ask.  It might be polite to, and you may get more for asking, but you can also take discrete photos including people in the street without specific permission from the people in the picture.

Approaching someone to model for you is different.  I agree with those suggesting you get a business card made up smile great idea.

Nov 03 13 08:00 am Link

Photographer

LA StarShooter

Posts: 1868

Los Angeles, California, US

BTHPhoto wrote:

First of all, the internet model photography world is the only place anyone ever heard of a "GWC" so don't bother telling them you're not something they've never heard of.

Secondly, it's not that difficult.  Don't make it a formal thing, just say, with a camera in your hand, "could I take your picture?" Some will say no.  Many will say yes.  Take a picture on the spot of those who say yes, then hand them one of the business cards in your pocket (you do have a pocket full of business cards ... yes, you do) and tell them that if they contact you in a week or so you'll give them a print.  Some will not contact you, but many will.  Tell those who do that the shot turned out great and you'd love to get them into the studio for a proper portrait session.  Some will say no, but many will say yes.  When they get to the studio, that's when they see your portfolio.

This is advice is good, however, it needs to be tailored to your situation. You're a fashion photographer. "So, excuse me. I'm (say name) the fashion photographer (you can be more modest and declare that you are a fashion photographer). Here is my card. (tell them if they have great style but so sound low key and relaxed). Oh, I forgot to ask your name.  . .

You can roll into a conversation if she is open to it. If you use a small portfolio. "I am doing a project. I'm the fashion photographer (if you want to be more modest "a fashion photographer) and here is my card. I have some photos so you can see if you would like what I have done. (You open to the best image) If she takes the portfolio and looks it, you're fine.

Lot's of good fashion photographers have done this. You might only have to say "Hey."

I'm going to be doing this soon.

Nov 03 13 08:03 am Link

Model

Elisa 1

Posts: 3344

Monmouth, Wales, United Kingdom

Should be a z card ideally. This works for models and I'd be more inclined if I could see some quality images. You'd be surprised how many guys who hit on women just because they have a camera. Some of them even have cards printed out. You can usually tell when it's a badly cut one with 'international glamour photogroper' (spelling mistake intentional based on one I was given)
on it. Or  you have actually noticed them following you for fifteen minutes enjoying
shooting pictures of your heels (amazing how many 'photographers' appear from the woodwork when you have 6 inch patent boots on. Or then the initial interest in shooting turns to being asked for a drink. Women get all this so that's what you are up against. So making your pitch sound professional with some legit proof will help.

Nov 03 13 08:19 am Link

Photographer

Anton Arlund

Posts: 28

Murfreesboro, Tennessee, US

Glamour by Glenn wrote:
Anton, I'd suggest having some business cards made with a QR code that directs a smartphone to your website. Just give them a business card and tell them you'd like to hire them to shoot. This isn't the critique forum so I can't say more, but I think you will find some success with this method. It's worked for me before.

Heck, I live just outside Murfreesboro. I'd be glad to show you how it works sometime. I'm told I look like Jerry Garcia on a bad day but somehow I don't freak them out too often.

LOL
Thanks, one reason I want to make small port books from Magcloud

Nov 03 13 08:19 am Link

Photographer

Anton Arlund

Posts: 28

Murfreesboro, Tennessee, US

Koryn Locke wrote:

That is how I first started modeling. In 2005, a random guy in a bar approached me and asked if I wanted to participate in his nude photo project. I'd never been photographed before, other than school pictures as a little kid, and have never been any kind of "beauty," so I was totally shocked. He gave me a business card, and had a website, and told me to call him if I decided I wanted to do it. I did. The photos were technically pretty awful, but I had a lot of fun, and he was a very nice person. It was more just about the positive experience than anything else, and pushing myself to do something that I would have not otherwise even thought to consider.

Mostly, it was just in the approach. He was a nice person, came across as sincere, had a business card and a website I could go look at. There was no bullshit, no excessive flattery, the way a man might do if he's handing you a line. It was just, "Hey, you should pose for me. Here's my card. Here's my site..." yada yada yada...

If people feel threatened by you at all, it's a pretty good indicator that they are not a good match for you to shoot with. Just my opinion. People with no balls, and no sense of adventure/daring just aren't going to make very good models.

I should just try that. Actually Most people think Im the nice guy. It's just that initial contact that I suck at

Nov 03 13 08:21 am Link

Photographer

Anton Arlund

Posts: 28

Murfreesboro, Tennessee, US

Eliza C  new portfolio wrote:
Should be a z card ideally. This works for models and I'd be more inclined if I could see some quality images. You'd be surprised how many guys who hit on women just because they have a camera. Some of them even have cards printed out. You can usually tell when it's a badly cut one with 'international glamour photogroper' (spelling mistake intentional based on one I was given)
on it. Or  you have actually noticed them following you for fifteen minutes enjoying
shooting pictures of your heels (amazing how many 'photographers' appear from the woodwork when you have 6 inch patent boots on. Or then the initial interest in shooting turns to being asked for a drink. Women get all this so that's what you are up against. So making your pitch sound professional with some legit proof will help.

Great suggestions, thank you all.
I'm googling Z card.

Nov 03 13 08:25 am Link

Photographer

Mac Intosh

Posts: 308

Cleveland, Ohio, US

Anton Arlund wrote:
And I have no self confidence, but I'm working on that.

this is the most important thing^^^

Approaching people on the street to make a photo of them is a numbers game, not unlike sales. You'll have to get used to a good amount of rejection.

Take a cue from this fellow. He approaches interesting people all day, every day in NYC and asks if he can make a photo of them and, from what I understand, 2 out of 3 say yes.

Nice, professional looking business cards will help.

Kudos to you for taking constructive action at following your craft.

Best of luck. :-)

Nov 03 13 09:01 am Link

Model

Amber Dawn - Colorado

Posts: 6243

Castle Rock, Colorado, US

I say have a business card and portfolio on hand when going up to people ...A way to prove you are who you say you are and not just some perv.

Nov 03 13 11:09 am Link

Photographer

Hank Shiffman

Posts: 379

Mountain View, California, US

Go to moo.com and order yourself a set of Mini Moos and a keychain card holder.  I don't think I've ever handed someone a Mini Moo without getting an oooh! reaction.  And you can put a different picture on the back of each card, so you can offer a bunch of cards and let your subject pick their favorite.

After that it's easy.  Ask if they've done any modeling and offer them a card.  Maybe they'll follow out; maybe they won't.  But after a few tries you'll find that asking gets a lot easier.

Nov 03 13 01:18 pm Link

Model

wrongsideofthirty

Posts: 543

Boston, Massachusetts, US

Glamour by Glenn wrote:
Anton, I'd suggest having some business cards made with a QR code that directs a smartphone to your website. Just give them a business card and tell them you'd like to hire them to shoot. This isn't the critique forum so I can't say more, but I think you will find some success with this method. It's worked for me before.

Heck, I live just outside Murfreesboro. I'd be glad to show you how it works sometime. I'm told I look like Jerry Garcia on a bad day but somehow I don't freak them out too often.

beat me to it, have a card made up, with your photography samples on it, email addy and phone number, all the legit jazz and try to be somewhat confident, although i realize its a struggle for a lot of people, if you approach people less than sure of yourself, they are going to pick up on your "bad vibes"

Nov 03 13 01:28 pm Link

Photographer

eos3_300

Posts: 1508

Brooklyn, New York, US

Funny Im dealing with this problem right now
I started a photo class this month and 1st assignment was shotting a stranger on the street with their permission.
I had a few rejections, was successful once but its still an agonizing experience.
I would need years of therapy before I could be comfortable doing this

Nov 03 13 01:39 pm Link

Photographer

-fpc-

Posts: 616

Port Chester, New York, US

just ask them nicely
I do it all the time...

very few say no..

Nov 03 13 01:47 pm Link

Photographer

Lee K

Posts: 2411

Palatine, Illinois, US

Smartest advice I can give you is make sure you let them know you're in a hurry even when you're probably not.  Lie if you have to, and say "hey I gotta go catch up with my friends but I just wanted to give you this because I'm a photographer I'd love to photograph you.  Check out the site and you can see what I do!  Gotta go catch up with em, see ya!"  That way right off the bat they will know you'll be out of their hair almost immediately and it's not going to turn into some awkward situation where you're lingering.

It helps to be very attractive, and charming.

The other option is to spark up some sort of conversation, but then once you bring up the photographer thing, it's going to seem like you asking them if the light cream cheese really tastes as good as the regular cream cheese was just a ploy.

Oh, another thing, really helps to be attractive and socially intelligent.

Nov 03 13 01:53 pm Link

Photographer

Francisco Castro

Posts: 1735

Cincinnati, Ohio, US

Be honest. Never underestimate the power of sincerity. Take a look at this guy. Not only did he get people to agree to pose for him on the spot, he got them to pose with other complete strangers ina very intimate way:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SELDTUaHRxQb

Nov 03 13 01:55 pm Link

Photographer

Mark C Smith

Posts: 885

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Eliza C  new portfolio wrote:
Thats the problem right there: 'attractive'. That blows it every time. Better to say 'you have poise, or have great style or a great look. That suggests objectivity and a belief they may actually make a good model. Most intelligent women know being a model is more than being attractive so will automatically be suspicious. I certainly am. Of course there are the other kind who will likely be plaguing anyone with a camera on a night out to take their photos as they think they should be models. smile

Good point. I didn't mean it as literally saying to them "you are attractive". More that there is nothing to be nervous about in the interaction. There are much better compliments more conducive to approaching a female to model for you. "Great look" being my personal favorite.

That's where the business card comes in more than handy, almost vital. You simply leave it at "Check out my work and if it interests you, maybe we can work together". You aren't forcing her to commit to anything then and there, so it takes a lot of the pressure off.

And also to add, don't take it personally if you never hear from them. And don't be discouraged. Some will take your card to be polite (and possibly just to end the interaction so they can be on their way) Some will not like what they see on your portfolio. Some will like it so much that they are intimidated by it. Much like MM, you need to take a shotgun approach and fire off invitations/contacts to everybody you are interested in working with.

Nov 03 13 02:00 pm Link

Photographer

Photographe

Posts: 2350

Bristol, England, United Kingdom

I show people a card, which links them to a webpage. I don't make any attempt to "recruit" people, I simply hand the card with a lot of indifference and wait for the phone to ring. Doing things this way ensures I am dealing with people who definitely want to be photographed.

My advice is be totally indifferent. What you have to remember is that you are basically cold calling and two step "selling" is in order here. Let people see your work and make their own decision.

Nov 03 13 02:09 pm Link

Photographer

JONATHAN RICHARD

Posts: 652

New York, New York, US

Anton Arlund wrote:
......Should I just grow some and stop being afraid to approach people? But what is said. .....Thanks in advance.

You can try this Song and Dance routine it may just work ? smile

On a more serious note ..your work speaks for you

Nov 03 13 02:44 pm Link

Photographer

Stephen Fletcher

Posts: 7206

Norman, Oklahoma, US

I may have had 3 take me up on it in 40 years of photography.

They were all worth the effort.

Nov 03 13 05:27 pm Link

Artist/Painter

sdgillis

Posts: 2444

Portland, Oregon, US

Step 1: carry a camera.  It's so much easier to take a photo when you have one of those.

step 2: Smile and look enthused.

step 3: hey I caught you out of the crowd and really dig your style, you mind if I take a photo of you?

step 4: take photo

step 5: ask for their email, fb etc address so you can send said photo, and duh, now that you have their email you can bring up the idea of a future shoot. (also the best time to give your card)

things to consider how to do and not to do: show them your portfolio if they don't have time, give them a business card they will throw away, chat up yourself.

Nov 03 13 05:59 pm Link

Photographer

GH-Photography

Posts: 9421

Jacksonville, Florida, US

Be professional.

"Hi, My name is Greg Holt, I do a lot of portrait photography and I would love to take a portrait of you."

If they are not at all interested, move on. If they are, I usually have a tablet on me, show them my portfolio or have good business cards.

Just talk to them, don't be creepy or pushy. If they are busy don't bug them.

It is amazing what you can accomplish by just talking to people.

Nov 03 13 06:21 pm Link

Photographer

Charlie-CNP

Posts: 2644

New York, New York, US

Greg Holt Photography wrote:
Be professional.

"Hi, My name is Greg Holt, I do a lot of portrait photography and I would love to take a portrait of you."

If they are not at all interested, move on. If they are, I usually have a tablet on me, show them my portfolio or have good business cards.

Just talk to them, don't be creepy or pushy. If they are busy don't bug them.

It is amazing what you can accomplish by just talking to people.

^^ +1 and people will read confidence like a book. If you are at ease and confident in your work, they will be too. If not, then practice.

Funny story also, there was a time that I was driving through an Outback Steakhouse drive through to pick up dinner. The girl that came out to deliver my order was exactly what I was casting for on an upcoming project. I simply asked her straight up if she had ever modeled before (she said no, but seemed interested when I told her what I do). I gave her my card, and told her to check out my portfolio and to give me a call or drop me an e-mail if she was interested in shooting. 2 days later she called me. Simple.

The more that you get out there and talk to people of all sorts too, the more comfortable you get talking to people in general. I talk to random people on the street, subway, or wherever I am all the time. It is amazing how fast one can make a valuable contact for a shoot, and I have even made a couple friends along the way by simply talking to people too. good luck

Nov 03 13 06:31 pm Link

Photographer

Creative Image

Posts: 1327

Avon, Connecticut, US

I have done this any number of times, with a pretty good success ratio.  I simply say: "Excuse me, I am a photographer and I would be interested in photographing you.  Here is my card.  It lists my studio address, phone number and web site.  If you are interested please let me know."  Then I leave, unless the person asks me "why me", in which case I reply "because you have an interesting look."

I do not use the words "model" or "beautiful", etc.  My card has a small photo on the front and a larger one on the back.

I have had greater success with people in restaurants, counter people in dry cleaners, etc. than on the street.  If the person is in a space with me (store, etc.) I always speak to them and give them the card as I am leaving.

Nov 04 13 10:05 am Link

Model

Lanna_

Posts: 829

Seattle, Washington, US

Hey man! I worked with you in Seattle with creativeLive - you seemed really nice and approachable, don't be concerned about introducing yourself to strangers smile

I've gotten approached several times, both by model scouts and photographers.

Scouts always seem to say "Have you thought about modeling?"  Then they follow up with an agency card.

Photographers are kind of all over the map.  I have been approached by creepers and genuine professionals.

Creepers are just ... creepy.  What makes them creepy?
- They talk for too long.  Interaction should be way under 5 minutes
- Can't tell if they're hitting on me or just very awkwardly asking to shoot
- Some repeatedly say "you're so beautiful" or variants, which is mega awkward
- Some try to show me their work, which gets in the way if I'm just trying to go about my day.  If I'm actually interested I'll check out the website, I don't want to watch you fumble around with your iPad or worse, "check out these shots on my phone."  If you attempt to show me pictures while I'm trying to make my way from point A to point B, I'm likely going to be annoyed at the slow down.  If we're in a stationary setting (in line for coffee) then I'm a captive audience, for better or worse...   
- I don't like it if anyone asks for my contact information.
- I'll just repeat that last one: I don't like it when anyone asks for my contact information. 

Here's the approach I appreciate (and it has worked on me):

"Hello, I'm sorry to bother you but my name is Joe Awesome.  I'm a photographer and I noticed you have a great look. Here's my card (a nice business card with a real website). I'd love to work with you sometime.  Please contact me if you'd like to shoot or have any questions."  Then a nice handshake and we part ways.       

To me, a card with no real website says amateur hour.  Facebook is a supplemental site and MM can get a bad rap. I'm not going to take someone seriously if they're running their work solely off facebook. I'm going to be even less impressed if they only have a MM.  Websites are cheap, easy to make, and they definitely make a better impression.

To be fair, I will admit that I'm extremely picky about who I work with (I'm looking for agency book material).  However I think this approach would go over well with non-models too.

Nov 04 13 11:40 am Link

Photographer

nudeXposed

Posts: 1135

Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

a photographer NEEDS loads of self confidence, charm, wit, creativity, a well developed sense of humour & personality. and be a gentleman too. if you don't have these qualities you won't get far photographing people.

models choose to pose for me not just for my work but also they hear of my sparkling mad fun personality. I approach strangers all the time, give them my card & tell them they look fucking fantastic & I NEED to shoot them. works EVERY time.

Nov 07 13 02:50 pm Link

Photographer

RacerXPhoto

Posts: 2469

Brooklyn, New York, US

nudeXposed wrote:
and be a gentleman too. if you don't have these qualities you won't get far photographing people.

Terrys no gentleman, he got pretty far
Anne L is not either

Nov 07 13 06:46 pm Link

Photographer

rp_photo

Posts: 42494

Houston, Texas, US

I would be no good at it, and thankfully I don't need to since modern technology such as Modelmayhem.com and Meetup.com allow me to prearrange shoots with interested individuals who look as good or better and are more skilled at modeling than those I see on the street.

Nov 07 13 06:55 pm Link

Photographer

R Byron Johnson

Posts: 767

Norman, Oklahoma, US

BlueMoonPics wrote:
When I was younger I used to literally sweat bullets when trying to talk to a girl.

I had to quickly outgrow that if was to ever date anyone.

People will sense fear and nervousness from you if you approach them that way.  All I can say is to keep it short and sweet.  Have a business card if possible pointing to a nice website.  Think of keeping it purely professional and end the conversation first and walk away.  Have a nice smile on your face too.

I've done this a couple of times on the NY City subways.  One time it turned out that the girl was an actual agency model and she showed me back some interest.

Practice makes perfect and good luck to you.

This.

When women say they like confidence, they're not kidding.  And that's not just with dating, but really with anything.  Acting nervous makes them nervous, simply put.

Nov 09 13 01:43 pm Link

Photographer

dragonpancakes

Posts: 82

Denver, Colorado, US

Go to a local convention where the guests dress up (comic, sci-fi etc.) and just ask random people. ALL k ow to expect it and many appreciate it. Dont forget to offer a card afterwards. Once you do this for a while if you still don't feel up to asking strangers try the same tactics at local events.

You think strangers are hard... I'd love to photograph my boss.

Nov 09 13 01:56 pm Link

Photographer

Nytetym

Posts: 66

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

http://www.flickr.com/groups/100strangers/

100 Strangers is a project you can use as an excuse to talk to random people on the street, to talk with them & take their photos.  Having something to talk about to break the ice can sometimes help.  "Hi do you mind if I take your photo for a project I'm working on?"  They tend to ask what it is & then you explain, the best conversations are really just asking questions, being interested in their lives, people respond to you if you take an interest in them, just don't be stalkerish in those questions. hehe

Dive headlong into it & it'll erode your fear of talking to people, eventually.

Nov 10 13 12:23 pm Link

Photographer

Film Exclusive

Posts: 2

Berkeley, California, US

Nov 10 13 05:32 pm Link