How do you find new models????

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by NJMAN, Sep 12, 2007.

  1. NJMAN

    NJMAN TPF Noob!

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    Simple question...How do you find new models for portraiture???? I'm not looking for experienced models, just ordinary everyday people, young, old, male, female, it doesn't matter. How do I approach interesting looking people I don't know, and convince them that I they would look good in a portrait without sounding like a creep. I would like to get to know them, and show them that I can take good photos of them.

    I need to build my portfolio. I crave to do the work, but I am running out of subjects. What suggestions do you have?? :)
     
  2. wildmaven

    wildmaven TPF Noob!

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    I just told one person that I was looking for models and that they'd get a free 8x10 and, BANG, I have tons of people coming out of the woodwork, especially parents who can't afford pictures of their kids. :)
     
  3. NJMAN

    NJMAN TPF Noob!

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    Thanks wildmaven! When I do occasionally hook someone though, I'm having trouble securing an appointment. It seems that I am catching people who are extremely busy, and they keep putting it off!

    Anyone else have any other suggestions??
     
  4. ~Stella~

    ~Stella~ TPF Noob!

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    Do you want kids? Try the playground on a weekday (during school hours) and catch the stay-at-home parents who might have a more flexible schedule.

    As long as you have business cards and don't dress like a stalker, I'm sure you will find some takers.
     
  5. momof2girls07

    momof2girls07 TPF Noob!

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    Hello! I posted on Craigslist and got a boatload of responses! I offered a free 8x10 and after I got done editing them, I offered a cd for $100 and 3 out of the 4 families I picked ended up buying the cd! :)
     
  6. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    That was going to be my suggestion. TFP...Time for Prints. It's a common arrangement, even with actual models.

    I think a good way to get in contact with people, would be to have a business card for it. Have it say something like...Hi, my name is 'NJMAN' and I'm a photographer looking for models to photograph for my portfolio...no experience necessary. In trade for your time, I am offering one 8x10 photo from the shoot (or a CD of the digital images etc). Please check out my web site and contact me if you are interested.

    The idea is that you see someone and just give them the card. You don't need to really do more than introduce yourself and give them the card. Let them make the decision on their own. This is on the borderline of a cheesy pickup line and being creepy...so it's important that you have a good web site so that they can see that you are somewhat professional.

    Another option would be to check sites like www.onemodelplace.com and look for models who will work TFP or Time for CD.
     
  7. NJMAN

    NJMAN TPF Noob!

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    Yes, I will accept kids. Child portraits are a huge favorite of mine to do, but I dont think I will be spending any time around school playgrounds. I just would not feel comfortable approaching parents there. Besides, I work between 8-5 Monday through Friday. But thanks anyway for the suggestion.

    So, on Craigslist, do you just advertise your service by location?

    I like this idea. I have a new business card that I just designed recently, which turned out really nice. But for this kind of approach, I think maybe something the size of a postcard would be better, so that I could write more on it and arrange text and graphics a bit better. I don't like the idea of approaching total strangers, because I think if someone was to approach me like that and hand me a business card, I would be like "whatever, ok", and it would make me leery of them. But this may work if I know someone who knows someone and so on.
     
  8. elsaspet

    elsaspet TPF Noob!

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    When I use models, the best ones ever are friends and family. Connection with the model is so important. They don't have to be rocking gorgeous. A lot of how they turn out is up to you. Keep it real, but pretty.
    No reason at all to go around giving stuff away, or paying for high priced models. You are hopefully trying to attract real live paying folks, and they will respond much faster to someone more like them. We built our business on "being real" as far as our wedding shots go. They like the trumped up bridals and engagements, but they hire us for the real weddings. Good luck and Hope it helps.
    Be sure to share.
    Many Hugs,
    Cindy
     
  9. NJMAN

    NJMAN TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the reply Cindy. The problem is that I have used family and friends so much already. I hate to keep asking them. What I am looking for are fresh faces. I dont need anyone stunning, just interesting and comfortable in front of the camera. So I figure there has to be some people around town who know people that I know, and if approached, might gladly exchange their time for a free 8x10.

    As a matter of fact, since I first posted this, I talked to a couple of co-workers and asked if their kids would be models for me. They agreed, so I may have some a few new clients next week. :)
     
  10. ~Stella~

    ~Stella~ TPF Noob!

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    Well, I meant public parks, not stalking schoolchildren, lol. See I would have no problem, but I'd have my own kids there with me, so I think they would neutralize any wierdo factor. I don't know if you are a man or a woman, but that would make a difference too, from a mom's perspective. I can see this would not work for some people, but for those it woud work for, it has the benefit of giving the photographer a chance to look for the types of models/ages they were more interested in.

    Good luck and let us know what you find to be effective.
     
  11. NJMAN

    NJMAN TPF Noob!

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    LOL, thats better. Sorry for not understanding what you said in the first place. Ya, I can just see me walking up to a school playground with a big lens and start snapping pics, and then watch the look of absolute horror in the eyes of the playground teachers/monitors. :shock:

    Anyway, I see what you are saying about the public playground thing, but I think that would be easier for a woman to pull off. Even though I have 4 kids myself and they are with me at parks a lot. I thought my name NJMAN gave it away that I am a man. ;)

    I am going to try the idea of handing out postcards to friends of friends advertising Time for Prints, and see where that gets me. Thanks! :)
     
  12. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    One thing to note...especially when dealing with families & children. If you offer them something free or almost free...they won't respect your time. You might find that they make an appointment with you...only to not show up etc. By charging a fee...you give your work value and they would/should respect that.

    I know that they whole point was to get more people for your portfolio...but even still...be careful of giving away too much...or worse, building up a reputation as a 'cheap' photographer.

    It's a fine line between finding people to shoot and charging too much to make it work...but I'm just suggesting that you think about it.

    The exception would be when working with a model, or people who could be models...because they have the potential to make for outstanding portfolio shots. I don't mean to sound snobbish...I know that anyone can be 'portfolio worth'...but do you get what I'm trying to say?

    Of course, if they are friends and family, that's different. Do them for free...you are helping them and they are helping you. But it starts to get fuzzy when you are doing it for free, for a friend of a friend etc.
     

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