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To the New Models

Thank you for setting up a shoot with me

A few words of advice from me….

Know what genre of modeling you want to be a part of.  You do not have to stick to one, since you are just starting, you basically fall into the Freelance category.  But, have an idea of which direction you would like to go: fashion, fitness, runway, commercial, etc.

Before our shoot, I would recommend you get on a site like Pinterest (or google images) and search for images on the style you want to capture.  It is very common to have a “mood board” on Pinterest that a Photographer or Model will share, to be sure all talent is aligned to what will be captured.  Screenshot some of the images, and send them to me, with a note of “why” you like the image….is it the pose, the environment, the style (clothing), etc. 


Since you are looking at other models, pay close attention to the details…most importantly, their HANDS.  This is harder than you think.  😊   What your hands are doing, or not doing, can make or break a great photo.  I have studied a lot on the “science” of posing…and just as an example…women almost always want to show only the sides of the hand.  Having the back of the hand(s) facing the camera, makes the hands appear larger.  Having the palms of the hand(s) facing the camera, gives the illusion of guarding.   I will direct your posing, and things may feel weird, but understand that we live in a 3D world, and the images we are capturing are 2D, and they will look “normal” in camera.


Stand in front of a mirror…practice posing.  It is a lot of work.  Pay attention to the small details.


Everyone has an Instagram.  When you are just starting out, it is okay to use IG as your portfolio.  I HIGHLY RECOMMEND you start a second IG account specifically for your modeling images.  If someone is looking for a model, and you send them the link to your personal IG account, they will have to wade through pictures of your mom, cat, dog, etc, to find your model images.  They will skip you over. 


Work with AS MANY DIFFERENT photographers as you can.  It is a great learning experience.  Every photographer has a different style, a different eye, a different way of directing, and you will gain a lot of knowledge from all that you work with.  BUT, please research EVERY photographer you plan on working with…Things to look for: What is his social media, and are they all in sync with each other?  What is his following?  Do they have a website, and it is cohesive with their social media?  On Instagram, do they tag the model?   Send a simple DM to one of the tagged models and ASK how it was to work with the photographer.  Do they allow you to bring an escort or friend to the shoot?  If they say no, then I recommend looking elsewhere.  While there are plenty of LEGIT reasons a photographer may not want you to bring someone, IT IS NOT WORTH THE RISK.

Most photographers will have you sign a simple “Model Release.”  This is basically a contract that is made to make you aware that the images legally belong to the photographer (by law, he owns the copyright).  Even with a TF (Trade For (aka FREE)) shoot, the contract may give you information as to how many images you will receive and in what time frame.  It will usually lay out the method in which the images will be delivered.  The contract should also state what the images are being used for.  It should also state what your compensation will be.  A lot of these details should be worked out, before the start of the shoot.  Always inquire about how many images you will receive and whether they will be “touched up.”  Also, ask how long you will have to wait for the images.  If you have not received the images in the promised time frame, message the photographer and ask. 



There is a graphic floating around, but I won’t share it here, because I do not know who owns it.  But, it answers (broadly) who pays who?

This article is aimed towards the NEW models.  You will most likely be paying a photographer.  There will be a time, and it varies WIDELY, that you will have gained the look and experience to start asking to be paid by the photographer.  Experience will tell you when, but my decisive moment came when I got BUSY.  If YOU contact a photographer because you like their work, you will most likely be asked to pay.  Don’t be offended.  If a photographer contacts YOU, then by all means ask for compensation – money, not exposure!

There are a lot of Facebook Groups for models to network with other models, photographers, stylist, hair and makeup artists.  Join these groups.  Someone will post a calling, a casting, looking for a model.  Drop a link to your Instagram if you are interested in the casting (Your modeling IG, not your personal!)  Most of these groups have rules of posting…what is day, time, pay, etc.  Pay attention.  Do not say you are interested, when you are not available.  There are also websites that network creatives as well, Model Mayhem is the most common (lots of others also).  Do not get discouraged when people do not choose you.


Show up on time and be ready to shoot. 

Bring a variety of clothing, unless we have already agreed on a wardrobe. 

HAVE FUN.  It will usually take several photoshoots before you are comfortable. 

Unless a makeup artist has been hired for the shoot, bring a basic makeup kit.  GUYS, have your girlfriends help you with this, but a simple powder foundation, will do wonders if you start to get a little shine (sweat). 

Be spontaneous and enjoy yourself.  Go with the flow and understand that there are a lot of dynamics that are always changing.  Too bright, too dark, too breezy, too hot, too cold, etc. 

The details of the shoot should have been worked out before this day.  Do not let a photographer talk you into doing more than you want.  There is ABSOLUTELY no need to show more skin than you anticipated.  There is NO SINGLE PHOTOGRAPHER that can make or break your career.  No means no.  THIS APPLIES TO THE MALE MODELS AS WELL.  100% of the experienced models that I have worked with, have “stories.”  Don’t let things go beyond a story.  Stop the shoot.  You did bring an escort, right?  You are better off wasting a couple hours of your day and get no images, then to be violated. 

Most importantly, JUST HAVE FUN.

Remember to TAG your photographer….we love to see you sharing our images to the world!

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