In my last blog, I gave a few ideas of how to find models for stock photography. The next step is picking the right model your image concept. This is one of the most important steps, because if the model does not convincingly sell your concept idea, the image will not sell. Resources, such as your time, props, editing, and retouching are all getting increasingly more expensive as time goes on, so picking the wrong model is a waste of time and energy. Everyone makes wrong choices when it comes to hiring models, and yes, I still continue to make gigantic mistakes. It's a learning process and you learn as you go. It's all part of shooting stock photography.
One suggestion, is to have a pretty solid idea of what type of image you are trying to produce. If it is a youth lifestyle photo shoot, try thinking though a range of ideas, so you have the concept in mind as well as how you are going to accomplish your goals for the shoot. After conceptualizing your idea, it will be much easier to pick a model.
Another suggestion is to think in terms of the keywords that will sell the photo. You are already keywording your images, so why not think in terms of the most relevant 3 or 4 keywords? For example, when picking keywords for the image above and to the right, I chose the keywords of wholesome, adorable, lively, and fun. With the keywords in mind, you can begin to look through the model portfolios, and match up the concept/theme with a face. It is certainly not a fool proof plan, but it helps to put things into perspective.
For the image left, the keywords might have been summer, kids, fun and play.
Remember to consider, most models look different than the photos in their portfolio, this is especially true with child models. Many times, the model is a few years older and much bigger, which can create stress on shoot day. I get around this by having a pre-shoot meeting in which I meet the model or models with my makeup artist. This way, there are no surprises on shoot day, and it allows me to put a live person into the concept in my head. From there, I am able to work further on the concept mentally before shoot day.