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Submitted on
November 7, 2009


409 (who?)
So you're looking for a model for a photoshoot and you don't know where to start?

Whether you're a photographer just starting out, an amateur or professional photographer looking for further advice then this is the guide for you.

Firstly - ask yourself what sort of model you're looking for -
*Is the model important in the shoot?
*What sort of look do you need?
*Special requirements (for example if you're doing a fashion shoot you need to consider height

SO where do I look?
Models are quite easy to access as long as you know where to look and you know what you're looking for.
Top agencies (Storm, Elite etc) are going to want a lot of experience before they feel confident with you using their models. So if you're starting out an easy way is to look at a website called Modelmayhem ( It's a worldwide known website and you can browse people by city/country etc - perfect if you need to organise someone and you can contact the model directly. There's a mixture of experience on the website and you'll find some of the beginner models will begin to grow with you. Remember that building relationships are vital at the start of any photographers career and it will define how successful you are later on.

Remember a model can make or break a shoot, so have an idea of what sort of look you want your model to have before contacting agencies or contacting the model directly.

How do I approach them?
First and foremost - be confident. You don't need to sell yourself for a test shoot if someone is at the same level as you. You just need to be confident about the shoot you have in mind.
Planning is vital. Always have an idea in mind first then book your model accordingly - a model will feel more confident if you already have an idea set up, so they know they can turn up on the day and everything is set up. Remember they will be in front of the camera nearly all day! So making them confident on first approach is a very good tactic into getting them to work with you.

When contacting a model for a personal shoot or a 'test' you need to tell them it's TFP or TFCD (meaning their time for prints or pictures from you) - so no one is paying out and everyone is equal.

TIP - A confident and experienced model will show on your pictures. It may be worth investing in a shoot if you're just starting out and perhaps paying a model a little bit for her time. Unless you have an amazing porfolio already, the more experienced models will continue working with the experienced photographers. Please keep this in mind when looking for them.

How do I know what to look for?
You need inspiration - what sort of shoot do you want to do? Me and my boyfriend who are both photographers always collect fashion magazines and we have a collection of hundreds, it's always helpful to look through and find inspiration and also they are timeless - trends and themes are always circling and you'll find they are also helpful showing to a model on the day - to help with poses.

What websites are helpful?
*Modelmayhem -
*OneModelPlace -
*Net-Model -
*List of Model Agencies -…

I hope this is helpful to all you photographers out there. If you have any questions please note or email me at
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ParisLynne Featured By Owner Oct 14, 2011
willowindawn Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2011  Student Photographer
I would kill for confidence ! :D
KarinaGlamorous Featured By Owner May 24, 2010  Hobbyist Photographer
Thank you so much! :D
E1ecTRiCA Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2010   Photographer
Thanks Lara :)
oddstalker Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2010
Thanks very much for this post! Any little bit of information is certainly worth knowing. =)
eduardocassus Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2010  Professional Photographer
Amazing post. I did not know this Modelmayhem site. It made my life so much easier.
Thank you!
leongrafico Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2009  Professional Photographer
Hola Lara, muy buenos tips. Para mi las cosas mas importantes es hacer buena quimica, tener claro el mensaje que deseas transmitir con la fotografia y siempre mantener el respeto. Si creas el ambiente apropiado y hay quimica con la modelo, las fotografias saldran casi solas. Despues de lograr tus fotos, experimenta con las luces, encuadres y angulos. Si hay algun momento de tension, de incomodidad, de cansancio, te recomiendo que descansen 5 o 10 minutos y retomen, puedes aprovechar para pedirle que se cambie de ropa, de esa forma las fotos saldran mas naturales, mas frescas.
Y cuando son fotografias de desnudo, tienes que tener muy en cuenta que el desnudo es algo muy natural y nunca veas a tus modelos con morbo. Saludos, Leon.
JayMbj Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2009
Do you have any tips on posing as well?
mashnash Featured By Owner Nov 14, 2009
thank you very much!

you've helped a lot =D

such an inspiration.. what you do and how you do it! brilliant :)

nash x
dakoo Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2009
A very good guide.. Thanks a lot LARA..
Please do another one on MAKEUP.. That one is much needed too :)
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