Guest Post & Photo by Joe Farace
“Where DO you find models? That’s a question from a reader and one that I get asked lot. Finding glamour models is as easy or difficult as you want to make it. If you work at it methodically and consistently, you will discover that really good models, like the one featured above, will find you. since people want to know my glamour photography secrets are, I’ve prepared the following list.
Secret Number 1: Be a Pro. You must be honest, professional, ethical, and above reproach in all of your dealings with glamour models, beginning with the initial telephone, e-mail, and every other contact and photo session thereafter. You must show by your actions, not your words, that you are a professional and treat her in a respectful manner.
Secret Number 2: Build a portfolio. In order to find models, you should put together a portfolio and keep it up to date. Go to an art supply story and get the classiest one you can afford, even if it’s the cheapest one they have. Try to avoid the ubiquitous 8×10 format and get a 9×12 portfolio at a minimum; 11×14 is even better. My portfolio is 11×17 and it elicits wows from models mainly because they don’t usually see portfolios that large. Only show your best work even if initially there’s not a lot of it.
Don’t fill up all of the pages the book but be sure to add a new image after each session so the portfolio stays fresh. When the pages get full, edit the number of photographs so they blend together showing your newest work along with your style. All this doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. The use of ink jet prints printed on nice paper is more than adequate, especially when placed inside clear plastic pages.
Secret Number 3: You Can Work with Agencies if You Try. Contact every modeling agency in your town and tell them you will provide free or low cost test shoots for new and aspiring models. Not many modeling agencies are interested in glamour images but more than a few of their models are. I supply new models with a CD-ROM of all images made during the test shoot. Some photographers only provide a few, edited images from test shoots but I like give them everything because it’s a more of a fair trade and they are
more likely to want to shoot with you again. It’s your call.
Secret Number 4: Surf the Internet. There are many different modeling websites on the Web that let photographers and models post images and casting calls. These sites vary in effectiveness depending on where you’re located in the country. People in populous states such as California and Texas seem to do well finding models using the Internet, while other states, including Colorado where I live, don’t do as well but my overwhelmingly positive experience with some local models tells me it’s worth the effort. Use these sites as part of an overall approach to finding glamour models but don’t count on them as a major source.
Secret Number 5: Your own Website. If you have a website be sure to include a Model Search section and provide information about test shoots. Initially having a model search section on my website was the single best source glamour of models but I’ve found that having a portfolio on sites such as Glamour Models (www.glamourmodels.com) works best for me but as the EPA says, “your mileage may vary.” Nudity Advisory: Keep I mind that such sites will have photographs that include nudity. If this offends you please don’t visit.
Secret Number 6: Ask Them to Tell a Friend. Another good source of glamour models is referrals from other models you’ve photographed but don’t count on them remembering. At the end of every shoot, I give each model several of my business cards and ask her to hand them to any friends that might be interested even if that person never thought about modeling, other than it might be fun. Some photographers give money to models for anybody that they refer and I’ve tried this method but it didn’t work.
Secret Number 7: Hand out Business cards. While it may seem obvious, handing out business cards to potential models you see on the street is a more than good idea. Since this can sound like a pick-up line to them, I only approach potential models if they are with friends and when I’m with my wife. I just tell them to visit my website and send me an e-mail if they’re interested. I also give business cards to my wife and friends who are not bashful about handing them to potential models that they might meet in their everyday lives.
Secret Number 8: Let Everybody Know That You’re looking for Models. Show your print portfolio to everybody. Show it to other photographers, friends, and the waitress at Denny’s. If people know you are looking for aspiring or amateur models, they can refer these models to you.
No matter which of these eight “secrets” you try, the most important thing to remember is to be yourself and always be honest, respectful, ethical, and courteous in all of your dealings with glamour models.
Joe is the author of a new book called Joe Farace’s Glamour Photography