Forums > Model Colloquy > Do you ask photographers for shoots or wait for


Jeff Fiore

Posts: 9225

Brooklyn, New York, US

NicoleNudes wrote:
If I like the photographers work and I haven't talked to them before, I'll send them a message and see if they are interested in shooting.

If I think they are 'out of my leauge' then I wait until I feel my work is good enough to ask them. I used to do this all the time when I was newer. Now, not so much. I'm very confident with the work I have, and if I ask someone to shoot they are likely to say yes.

Nicole, right now, I don't think there would be many photographers that will refuse you smile

Oct 07 12 02:43 pm Link


Eleanor Rose

Posts: 2526

Oakland, California, US

Neil Snape wrote:
Yet sometimes perhaps the pictures presented put the expectations out of reach. If that is true then it may have models thinking it's not worth asking as they might be up to their idea of what to expect.

In the end I am very humble, quite shy, and accessible.

Normally if I see someone I want to trade with I just send them a quick message inquiring if they're interested in trading with me. However, when I thought I was going to be in your area I was actually quite terrified to message you and only did so because you indicated in a critique that you might be interested in working with me. Your work is so fantastic I think most models who don't know how kind you are in the forums will just assume that you'd have the pick of any agency model you want and decide not to contact you for fear of being laughed at.

Edit: I am definitely contacted for TF much more than I offer it. I'm very limited in the time I have available for trade, and so am very picky about who I trade with. Unfortunately that means I have to reject a lot of offers.

Oct 07 12 04:03 pm Link


JDF Photography

Posts: 1996

Marengo, Ohio, US

It has been about 50/50. Sometimes the model contacts me first, sometimes I contact them. Have thick enough skin to accept rejection.

Oct 07 12 04:08 pm Link



Posts: 3978

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Jeff Fiore wrote:

Nicole, right now, I don't think there would be many photographers that will refuse you smile

That's what I'm striving for smile
Everyone that I want to shoot with also wants to work with me.

Oct 07 12 05:51 pm Link


Larry Quick

Posts: 117

Boynton Beach, Florida, US

QuietAsKept wrote:
For me, I've had a mixed bag of results when it comes to asking photographers to shoot with them on a TF basis.

I messaged this photographer a few weeks ago. He gave me this extremely LONG explanation about why he wouldn't shoot me. I'm thinking, dude you could have said no or gave me the no response and kept it moving. hmm geesh

Oct 07 12 06:00 pm Link


Larry Quick

Posts: 117

Boynton Beach, Florida, US

I would shoot with you

Oct 07 12 06:00 pm Link


Dekilah Divine

Posts: 21

Detroit, Michigan, US

Neil Snape wrote:
Does it  take courage for you to ask photographers to shoot?
What would it take you to do so, if at this point you are shy of doing that.

I do not really feel it takes courage, but then I do not tend to ask people who I feel are way out of my skill/level range. Oddly for me, a fairly experienced model used to shooting often back in East TN, when I first moved here to Detroit I contacted several photographers as well as a ton of MUAs and did not get the responses I expected. I actually got no responses from the MUAs and very few photographer responses. After that I picked up self portraits partly because I could not find any shoots. It was really discouraging and I have been doing this for a while, so I can imagine that newer models might take this even harder and not try contacting people again. In my case I have kind of just said "screw it" and I do my self portraits and work with a few photographers at an event. Occasionally I will contact someone I would really like to shoot with, so I still do contact photographers, but less often. Plus I am way busier with other aspects of life so I do not have nearly as much free time to shoot so I do not care to "beg" people to shoot with me and take up what little free time I have. So I ask once, and after that, I let it go, usually.

Edit: Just realized I posted this from one of my other accounts instead of my usual. Oh well.

Oct 07 12 06:42 pm Link


Image Magik

Posts: 1515

New Orleans, Louisiana, US

- BP Photo - wrote:
One the one hand, I wish more models would message me about shooting.  I would be very flattered.  They should not be intimidated because it should be fairly obvious (although maybe not to a newbie) that I am a hobbyist and not a professional.  If I didn't want to shoot, I would just not reply.

On the other hand, almost every model that has initiated contact with me (newbies almost entirely) has flaked away and we never shot.  So by now, if anyone did message me, I would probably pursue but always with the assumption that the shoot was never really going to happen - which I typically assume anyway for newbs and especially TF.

I've had that experience some. I would say out of the models I contact I want to shoot and the models that contact me that want to shoot only about 10 percent actually show up. It's starting to get a little better. I think as you work your way up with models and not working with newbs so much you'll get less flakes. In the meantime just book more than one model for the same day:-)

Oct 07 12 07:08 pm Link



Posts: 1374

Houston, Texas, US

I get occasional messages from traveling or local professional nude models (and by that I mean models who exclusively do this for a living), but so far have never had a message from a model who is simply interested in adding to her portfolio and wants to to a TF shoot.

Maybe it's because my focus is on artistic nudes, but as I mention in my profile, "If you want head shots or clothed images for your portfolio but are willing to shoot nudes for mine, we have the makings of a collaboration."

I would certainly welcome hearing from someone who wants to shoot. Don't be shy.

Oct 07 12 07:28 pm Link



Posts: 124

Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia

I still get a shy about it, but I do it from time to time and I think it's really worthwhile.

Sometimes I'll wait a bit and see if they put up a casting call that I'd suit. Or I'll post a nice tag and comment and hope they get in touch. Still other times, I'll suck it up and send a short, polite message. I do sometimes get that little twinge of, "Oh, they probably get hundreds of messages like mine, and I'm just bothering them", but it's a bit exciting when they write back and are totally into the idea of shooting. Once or twice I've received radio silence in return, but this never bothers me as much as I think it will.

Location is a consideration - asking to shoot with a photographer in my area means that I can be more flexible with availability. When I travel, I usually try to book paid work to cover expenses first, and any free time after that gets filled with photographers I've been chatting with about collaborating, or I'll look around to see if there's anyone amazing that I'm feeling brave enough to say hello to. :-)

Oct 07 12 07:33 pm Link


Laura UnBound

Posts: 28383

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

I've gone way out on a limb and asked people I had no buisness asking to shoot with me. Few have said yes, of that only one of them has worked out. Most ignore me, some say no, some quote rates, a few get angry.

I generally only request shoots from people of I think that we're pretty close to the same level of experience and I feel that I can genuinely add something to their portfolio and they mine. There's nothing more annoying to a full time model than tons of "I wanna help you build a portfolio"s from people who joined yesterday and didn't even look at my port, or they're absolutely delusional when they compare their work to what I've done. So I never want to be that person, I try really hard to make an not-batshit-crazy assessment of where I'm at and if they're going to feel the same way, or if I'm going to be utterly insulting.

I also need to be able to commit to a shoot with them and reach them. There's a handful of people in LA I've gotten the green light from but now I have no idea when I'm ever going to make it back to LA, so that sucks.

I also go by what's in their portfolio. If their port is NOTHING but fashion/commercial work with agency girls, what on earth do I think they're going to be able to use me for? Maybe they've got some secret stash of work with non-agency girls somewhere that I don't know about, but I'd rather just not bother them than wind up the subject of someone's daily rant about "this stupid short nude model thinks I want to shoot her, what the hell was she thinking?"

I also feel guilty approaching someone to shoot me without having a fantastic idea or concept. Realistically, if I like their portfolio, I want something like what's being shown. If that's what they do, then I want that. But so often the forums are crowded with "so this model asked to shoot, but I had to do all the work, she just wanted to show up and look pretty, I had to come up with the concept and the location and the styling". Some people have their niche and love shooting the same type of work over and over again with a new face, some people get super offended if you point to a photo in their port and say "I want to do (something like/more of) that!"

Oct 07 12 08:01 pm Link


_ Robyn Elizabeth _

Posts: 436

London, England, United Kingdom

I don't really like asking for stuff in general so asking people for shoots is always a bit scary, but as someone said earlier, the worst they can do is say no.  So if there's someone I really want to work with I will often suck it up and ask.

When I'm feeling wimpish I send them a message saying how great their port is but with no mention of shooting and then judge from their response whether they are likely to be interested.  As I said, this is me being wimpish.  If you want something you should ask.

Oct 08 12 02:27 am Link


Lee Nutter

Posts: 160

Phnom Penh, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

I've asked models to shoot trade, and had models ask me. I find models generally polite, and often humbled. I know I'm certainly humbled whenever I get contacted by a model, no matter who they are. Even if I'm not currently looking to shoot their particular look or style, I'll certainly keep them in mind for future projects.

These days everyone's busy and everyone has preferences, but there's so many interesting and creative people on this site, anyone not willing to make contact is missing out smile

Oct 08 12 04:53 am Link



Posts: 15446

Brooklyn, New York, US

_Mini wrote:
I must say that I am so shy when it comes to this, I really dislike the feeling of 'bothering' someone who's on a (much) higher level than I am. It improved a bit with the years, but it still takes a lot of courage to ask.

This is me.

But I've always been a coward. sad

Oct 08 12 07:34 am Link


Art of the nude

Posts: 12054

Olivet, Michigan, US

Laura UnBound wrote:
I also feel guilty approaching someone to shoot me without having a fantastic idea or concept. Realistically, if I like their portfolio, I want something like what's being shown. If that's what they do, then I want that. But so often the forums are crowded with "so this model asked to shoot, but I had to do all the work, she just wanted to show up and look pretty, I had to come up with the concept and the location and the styling". Some people have their niche and love shooting the same type of work over and over again with a new face, some people get super offended if you point to a photo in their port and say "I want to do (something like/more of) that!"

If a model, even one who was quite a bit less accomplished than you, but who had a suitable look, approached me without a concept, it wouldn't faze me.  Or, with a concept, as long as it didn't require me to spend a fortune.  Most of my "concepts" are pretty simple, and when they aren't, I'm not going to get into detail about it until someone commits to shoot with me, so it only seems fair to view model requests the same way.

As far as relative "skill levels", for whatever reason, I actually seem to have better luck with models who are fairly to very accomplished than novices.

Oct 08 12 08:21 am Link



Posts: 59

Kennebunkport, Maine, US

It is a cold day in hell that I get contacted by a model who wants to shoot with me. Happens more on Facebook, to be honest. Not really sure what's up with that. Maine is a really small pool of models. Makes me think my work isn't very good when no one contacts me. This, of course, makes me kick ass on the shoots I do eventually end up setting up, so...... what are you waiting for? Contact me already, damn it!

Oct 08 12 10:34 am Link


Miroslava Svoboda

Posts: 555

Seattle, Washington, US

I have very little experience, or at least I think so.

In a way I tend to treat photographers as I would men of interest if they do not show any slight interest in me, even things like a comment or a tag or a hello in Shout I would most likely not talk to them. I hate being considered annoying or a bother, it sets a wrong tone. I also had photographers contact me about a shoot and go back and forth with me about it for month but never making any concrete plans, at some point with those even if I would love to do it I just give up. I understand that people get busy but again, I don't want to be bothersome so if they are not interested enough to make it stick then it's best to move on.
So far most work I have done from MM were casting calls, two photographers that contacted me, and a few people I talk to here on regular basis.

Oct 08 12 11:01 am Link


Lovely Day Media

Posts: 5807

Vineland, New Jersey, US

Most of the models I shoot with answer my casting calls.  If I email them without prior contact, 99% of the time my messages get ignored (no response).  The other 1% ends up being no shoot for whatever reason (normally they just vanish, a few have flaked and one went through the exchange of messages to get the shoot planned to tell me her rates are $500 an hour with a 2 hour minimum). .

  I have had a few male models contact me (usually because of a casting call).  They usually end up not being shoots, too.  One wanted to do something I'm not interested in (nudes).  Another made the plans, set up the date, etc etc ... then 2 days before said something happened and he couldn't shoot.

Oct 08 12 06:18 pm Link


allison mindy

Posts: 1495

Oxford, England, United Kingdom

I ask, but sometimes it takes me a long time to finally message someone that I really wish to work with as it does take courage. I am often initially nervous messaging those who I really admire. It would DEFINITELY take a lot of courage for me to approach you for trade!

Oct 08 12 06:25 pm Link


SPV Photo

Posts: 808

Las Vegas, Nevada, US

I definitely like to be approached by models, but it only happens occasionally. That's somewhat strange to me, as I have pretty good luck with reaching out to models I want to shoot.

Oct 08 12 06:52 pm Link


Sabine Luise

Posts: 890

Boston, Massachusetts, US

Augustine York wrote:
If I see someone I like, and I think it's feasible to shoot with them (meaning I can actually get to them, not someone across the country), I'll send a message and ask.


Oct 08 12 07:46 pm Link


Kitty LaRose

Posts: 12735

Las Vegas, Nevada, US

I do a little of both. I reply to castings, I send PMs, and I receive offers. And I'm nervous as heck talking to someone I haven't worked with before, but the worst that will happen is they'll say "No," so I just go for it smile

Oct 08 12 08:03 pm Link



Posts: 2225

Rochester, New York, US

i generally ask, then i wait...and wait...

Oct 08 12 10:04 pm Link


Sophia Be

Posts: 6355

Portland, Oregon, US

Neil Snape wrote:
The opposite.

Assuming TF, to take rates out of the question.

I'm curious as I may be missing out.

I don't ask models to shoot outside of big agency tests.
I've had really great models come through from MM, and FB.

Does it  take courage for you to ask photographers to shoot?
What would it take you to do so, if at this point you are shy of doing that.

Or if you never ask, and always wait for photographers to ask first, what are your reasons for doing so.

There were multiple posts recently where new models are hounded by photographers in particular where they are being pestered with offers to do styles ( nudes or other) they are not listing nor comfortable with.

Taking this into consideration state your experience level, as it must have a cause and effect.

I never asked. I should have, but I just didn't. I figure most local photographers browse models, if someone wanted work with me they'd probably ask? I don't know, feels rude to ask I guess

Oct 08 12 11:32 pm Link


Herman Surkis

Posts: 10592

Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

Joseph William  wrote:
I know you are asking models, but just so folks know I rarely get models approaching me to shoot.  I think that is typical for most mid-level MM shooters like myself.  So models I think most photographers appreciate being approached, even if some write back long explanations of why not.


Oct 11 12 12:26 pm Link


Alivia Autumn

Posts: 610

Seattle, Washington, US

I'm proactive and seek photographers my self and PM them with my proposed idea.  Worst case scenario is they say no, here's my rates.

Oct 11 12 12:28 pm Link


Jessie Shannon

Posts: 2004

Las Vegas, Nevada, US

I'm not shy and never have been.  If I really want to shoot with someone they know it smile  I also get far more requests than I send.

Oct 11 12 12:46 pm Link



Posts: 38224

Detroit, Michigan, US

Interesting thread

Oh and to answer the OPs question, every time I've modeled, I was asked to by the photographer or the model that wanted to work with me

Oct 12 12 05:51 am Link



Posts: 14859

Fayetteville, Arkansas, US

I'll ask, though sometimes it might take me a bit to get up the courage.  LOL

I mean, not many people have accused me of being shy, but I am.

Oct 12 12 06:47 am Link



Posts: 83

Richmond, Virginia, US

I just wait for what comes by. I'm not the llama professional, It's just fun and hobbies.

Oct 12 12 09:31 am Link



Posts: 3

Exeter, England, United Kingdom

I'm fairly new to modelling, but i've sent so many messages to photographers asking to work with them.
You never know who'll be interested.

Oct 12 12 10:39 pm Link


Miss Andria

Posts: 46

Phoenix, Arizona, US

If I come across the portfolio of a photographer I admire, I absolutely feel comfortable to send a PM just to say hi and put out the feelers if they would be interested in working with me. I feel that just leaving a TAG gets kind of lost among all the generic tags. If the photog doesn't respond then I just know that it wasn't meant to be. I am sure the super busy photogs get soooo many tags, comments, FR, and PMs that it can be difficult to stop, look at a port, then respond.

Oct 21 12 10:56 am Link