There are several options to choose from for amateur and professional photographers alike when finding models to work with on photo shoot projects. In my personal opinion, Model Mayhem has been a fairly good site in order to find these models. You can find a wide range of models, ones with little to no experience that are trying to get their foot in the door and ones that are experienced and knows how to work with the photographer.
I will not claim that I am all knowing about model photography but I have seen some good points and bad points when working with models. First thing that I do when looking for a model is to know what type of photo shoot that I want to do, the concept, what type of clothing I would like for the model to wear, how their hair should be, etc. Then I will contact the model and ask them if they would be interested in working with me on a photo shoot project that I have coming up. I always try to give the model at least a week prior to the photo shoot. I will also research each model that I am considering prior to sending them a message. I try to find models that will fit the look of what I am trying to go for and not just choose any model that will work with me. Below are some recommendations for Do's and Don'ts when looking for models.
- Do look for a model that compliments the photo shoot project
- Do look at each model's portfolio to get a feel of their experience
- Do ask the model what type of compensation they are looking for (TFCD/TFP, Paid)
- Do be upfront about your project concept so they can get an idea of what to expect
- Do let them know the location, directions if needed, time they would be expected, and your contact info so that they can call if they maybe running late or have trouble finding the location
- Don't choose a model that asks to be paid and also a CD of all images taken, in my opinion this is a concept of double dipping, asking to be paid is one thing or asking for TFCD is another, there is no consideration of your time by the models even though it takes you much more time to photograph the model and process the images where the model only has to model for the photo shoot
- Don't be afraid to work with models that are wanting to break into the industry, of course this will come with a learning curve for you as the model will look to you for guidance of what to do, how to stand, what to do with their hands, and so on (This will require some research on your part of how to do posing and what to look for)
- Don't forget to have a model release for the model to sign either before or after the photo shoot