So you have your DSLR camera and some ideas for a shoot, now you need a model! But you don’t know how to talk to models… or possibly girls/women in general. Here’s a few good tips to help you out with that!
1. Don’t Be A Fucking Creep!
Models talk. They do not like creepy dudes with cameras using photography as an excuse to talk to them. Places like Modelmayhem.com ARE NOT DATING SITES. You will leave a trail of disgruntled models who will talk about you to everyone. So, if this is your thing… stop. You’re giving REAL photographers a bad name.
2. Make Your Idea As Clear As Possible
We’re artists, so naturally we’re unclear and spazztic. However, this is not a good trait when trying to explain something. Before even talking to a model, talk to a friend. Tell them your idea for a shoot and see how they react. If they look puzzled or have a lot of questions then you probably need to work on it. Writing it out tends to work well. When you finally talk to the model, be as clear as you can and invite questions.
3. TF*, Test Shoot, or Paid Gig?
You need to inform the model whether this is TF* (time for… whatever you trade for), a test shoot, or a paid gig. This will be one crucial thing the model needs to know. If it’s trade, discuss what each of you will get out of the shoot. If the shoot is paid, tell them how much you want to pay (per hour or for the session).
Let them know whether or not you have a full team of hair and make up or if they have to do it themselves. It’s always preferred if you have a team, but there are plenty of models who can do it themselves. A lot of models have clothes they can use for a shoot, but they may not have the clothes YOU had in mind. You can pick up something for them in their size, or hire a wardrobe stylist to take care of it. Another good tip is to use a local designer’s clothes. They always have cool, original clothing that they WANT photographed.
5. When/Where/What The F***
Tell them about your location (hopefully you already have one in mind), and at some point how to get there (if it goes well). The date, start time, and end time is VERY important. Some models can only shoot on certain days out of the week, or at certain times of the day, others are full-time models. You’re going to have to work with THEIR schedule and be realistic about your calendar. I tend to set the photoshoot time 2 hours away from anything I have on my schedule. That way I have time to pick up food, make it to the location, and chill a bit before the shoot.
6. Get To Know Your Model!
It helps when you really vibe with the model you’re working with. Just be yourself, tell a joke, act like a goof, whatever. If you and your potential model don’t vibe, you’re setting yourself up for an uncomfortable photo shoot. ESPECIALLY if your idea is unconventional, you’re going to need an unconventional model. Make sure that they are the perfect fit for the mood of your shoot. Sometimes it works out without really checking, but it’s always best to chat them up a bit.
7. CONFIRM THE DAY BEFORE. CONFIRM THE DAY OF.
This. Is not. A game. You need to remind and check-in with the model the day before and the day of the shoot. Don’t waste your own time prepping when there’s nothing to prep FOR. Some models flake out, cancel in their own mind but forget to tell YOU, or just plain forget. You need to be in charge and hit them up to make sure that the shoot is still on. Some models will actually message YOU first (which is great, but rare).
I hope these basic photographer tips will help you out in your quest to find the perfect model! Any random questions you have about this topic, feel free to contact me!