Model Photography: How To Find Great Models To Photograph

Model Photography: How To Find Great Models To Photograph

Whether you’re working on a personal project, stock photography, or a commercial assignment, finding great models to work with is often paramount to the success of the shoot. Here’s how to find an affordable model who’s a perfect fit for you.

The Secret To Finding Great Models

When you really need a great model for an upcoming shoot, testing potential models ahead of time is the best way to find them.

The most cost-effective and timely way to do this is to host a time-for-portfolio (“TFP”) event. Invite a handful of potential models to meet and snap test photos, all on the same day. You’ll end up with a list of great models to work with now and in the near future.

Here’s how it’s done:

Choose A Time & Place

Pick a date a few weeks in advance on a day that most people are available–Saturday or Sunday, for instance. Schedule the shoot with enough notice to ensure more people will be available.

If your budget allows, book a photo studio for the day. Otherwise, you could meet up at a local park. (Make sure you obtain the proper permit, if required.)

Reach Out Online

You can reach out to models on popular networking sites like Model Mayhem. Create a photographer profile, upload some of your work, and then browse for local models. Message those that seem like a good fit and offer a brief TFP session. Be sure to schedule a specific time for each person to drop by on the day of your event. About 30 minutes per person should be plenty.

I’ve found that people are very receptive to test shoot invites provided you show your work and share your intentions. Link potential models to your website and social media accounts so they know who they’re dealing with, and be sure to mention that they’re free to bring a friend.

Shoot and Deliver

On the day of the event, snap a few photos of each model to get a feel for what they’re like to work with, and how well they suit your photography projects. Take note of whether or not they arrive on time and come prepared. Find out which type of shoots interest them, and ask for their schedule availability.

After your shoot, be sure to deliver a few of the best photos to each model.

A photo event is the best way to discover new models that are perfect for your upcoming photography shoots. Be sure to screen for the three most important characteristics of a great model.

Photo credits
© Hillary Fox /
Written by Hillary Fox

Founder of OnGoingPro, Hillary Fox is an international travel photographer and entrepreneur currently residing in Cape Town, South Africa. Visit her site at