5 Ace Tips On How To Find Models To Photograph

Find Models To Photograph
Image by Bess Hamiti

Find Models To Photograph

Ok, you’ve been photographing for a while, and so far all is going well, but you feel like you need something more to up your game.

This is probably where you might introduce the part when you want to consider working with models. It doesn’t matter whether they are professional models or just people who aren’t your close friends.

It's hard at the beginning, since that social anxiety is quite present, and it pushes your confidence down. However, do not let this deter you, it's completely understandable, especially if working with models is something that you're just beginning to learn.

Therefore I have provided some great tips to help you find models to photograph:

1. Social Media

You can definitely use social media to find models to photograph. Why not? It's a huge networking resource of people and businesses!

The trick is to be precise and confident in your idea. Don’t do a shout out with the details being too general, nobody will take you seriously, and nobody can read your mind.

If the specifics aren't explained properly, potential models won't know if they are a good match. Be clear on exactly what you want.

Find Models To Photograph
Photo by Denis Poltavskiy

If your idea is properly explained and well thought out, you'll have a higher chance of finding an appropriate model for your session. Simple.

2. Confidence Will Help You Find Models To Photograph

As mentioned before, confidence is key. Even if you aren't feeling confident enough, fake it. No, seriously, fake it until you make it as they say.

Faking confidence actually generates confidence, it's scientifically proven. You are putting yourself into a loophole where you feel more confident due to the reactions you get from the fake confidence. It's really that easy.

3. Use Your Family And Friends

It might be cliché but in any case, it's not such a bad idea, is it? You surely have some cousins/nephews who would be perfect for a photo shoot or ten.

Since working with family basically means not working with strangers, it helps you to build up your confidence better, with less stress. Not having the stress of a stranger in front of your lens lets you focus on the shooting part more, instead of fighting with your nerves.

This impact will help you improve the final result.

Find Models To Photograph
Photo by Dhiky Aditya

A better final result means more belief in your ability for the next shoot since there is now less fear of failure. Win Win.

4. The Old Fashioned Way

Find models to photograph the way it's been done for years (talking, face to face – or at least over the phone). It would appear people rarely communicate with possible models without the use of social media nowadays.

This is probably due to social media being the easiest way to do it, but actually approaching a possible model and striking a conversation will likely be more comfortable for the model.

The old fashioned way allows for the model to form a direct impression for you and leaves them no choice but to confront you. However, with the social media approach, things can be avoided for weeks due to the fear of confrontation. This only causes delays and procrastination.

Find Models To Photograph
Photo by Andrey Sukhorukov

If you are speaking with a person comfortably in front of a camera, chances are that you’ll be having models to shoot with right away. Of course – if you aren't too creepy!

Three tips: Be natural, forthcoming and polite, and you'll have no problem getting yourself some models to work with.

5. Explain The Mutual Benefits

Don’t bother lying to the model about the results. Be forthcoming and honest. Tell them that you don’t have much experience working with models, but offer them something that will make their time spent with you worthwhile.

Usually, beginner models would settle for photos and mentions since as you do, they need material for their portfolio. Most of the time, photos are a sufficient trade for models as long as you aren't using the photos commercially.

If you offer a mutual promotion and photographs to an amateur model, that would often be a good outcome.

Find Models To Photograph
Photo by Matteo Kutufa

If you plan on monetizing the photos, it wouldn't be fair if you don't pay the model as well, and everybody else involved in the process too.


Whether you are using social media to find models to photograph, or you are doing it the old fashion way by direct contact, there are things that you need to have in order:

  • Have a properly thought out project that you are sure is doable,
  • Be really confident in yourself (even if you aren’t, fake it),
  • And lastly, be fair.

Don’t be discouraged by your lack of experience – your models will probably feel the same, so be forthcoming about it, open and honest, be yourself and everything will be just fine.

Remember, if you love photography, if you feel like a photographer, you won’t completely fail a shoot, I promise.

Need some further help? The “Art Of Portrait Photography” is a fantastic eBook guide for understanding what you could be doing to drastically improve your portraits and make them, “outstanding”!

Further Resources

About Author

Photographer who loves challenging and experimental photography and loves sharing his knowledge about it.

My brother is a photography student and he is looking for some models that he can use for his senior project. So I like your suggestion to offer them the material to use in their portfolio if they are an amateur. I’ll make sure to tell my brother that a great way to hire some models would be to explain to them that they will also be able to use the photos he takes as a part of their portfolios as well.

I started out shooting my family and friends. Unfortunately social media, like Instagram never really worked for me but then I’ve personally used modeling agencies like IMG and Ford, which are always great. However, I was searching for somewhere where I didn’t have to be in contact with agencies all the time going back and forth with communication. So recently I tried this app called AGENT and I was able to book the model I wanted directly through the app, so it was very convenient, easy, and also saved me money.

Great article! I started out shooting my family and friends. Unfortunately social media, likeInstagram never worked for me but I’ve personally used modeling agencies (like IMG and Ford) which are always great. But then I was searching for somewhere where I didn’t have to talk be in contact with agencies all the time communicating back and forth with them. So recently I tried this app called AGENT and I was able to book the model I wanted directly through the app, so it was very convenient, easy, and also saved me money.

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