Sunday, September 27, 2009

Finding Models for Stock Photography Shoots

Finding models for stock photography can be a challenge, and finding the right model is even harder. For many, this is a challenge that seems insurmountable. Well, I am here to tell you, finding a great model is not as hard as you might imagine. Today, I thought I would share of couple of tips I have used to find models for free, yes, for free.
The first tip is You can enter advertisements for models on Craigslist for free, with great results. I place my ads under Salt Lake City Craigslist/Gigs/Talent Gigs. I found the model above on craigslist and shot with her several times. I always offer the model a deal where we shoot images for the model's portfolio that I need for my Lifestyle Portfolio. It's a collaborative effort where we both get what we want out of the deal. Instead of payment, I have the model sign a model release in exchange for a disc with both full res and low res images from the shoot. On the disc, I give the model the best 7-10 images, so the people that are seeing the model's work are actually seeing my work. The models can print (but never sell) the large images for their portfolio, and send the low res images out to prospective clients, and of course, all images are watermarked with my name and copyright info.
The second tip is to build a website with a dedicated page seeking out models. This way, models can find you through google and other search engines.
The model to the left contacted me though my website after finding me though Google. I loved her look and worked with her several times doing Lifestyle themes in the areas of fitness, medical, and business. I offered the same deal of full res and low res images burned onto a disc in exchange for signed model release. In addition, I always cover the cost of the makeup artist.
Most of the models have little modeling experience, which is fine because today’s stock is getting less and less posed. You just need to make sure you get someone that is fun loving, daring and never shy. Models love the experience in front of the camera, making this a winning strategy.
A word of caution though, it's been my experience that models rarely look like their photographs. Most often, hair color and length are different, and weight can fluctuate.
I make sure I have current pictures of the model, and then I schedule a pre-shoot meeting, where we discuss the specifics of the shoot. In doing so, you have met the model, keeping the surprises to a minimum, but also, you will find the model is much less likely to be nervous on shoot day, if she has already met you.
So, what are you waiting for? Jump in with both feet, and take out an ad to get started. There's a lot of models out there wanting to get photographed! Good luck to you.