So, you’re ready to taking photos of more than buildings and trees but don’t know where to begin?  When I first started looking to take photos of willing models and move away from the candid street photos, I was so confused on where to find people I almost stopped before I started!

After a few days of asking the internet and hearing that I just needed to ask my family and friends I was left with standing with another question “what am I supposed today since my friends said no?” Through trail, error, and wasted time I came up with a working strategy that I am here to share today.

1. Advertise on Craigslist.

Easily the most sketchy idea on this list so we can get it out the way first. While it can be a little tedious screening out the people who just want you to do crazy things, Craigslist has put me in touch with some talented up and coming models. For me personally, I’ve posted a few ads with many call backs. The cost of the ad depends on your location but is free for most places. Once you have a model set in mind, remember to meet over coffee or somewhere else public. Meeting first takes away some of the awkwardness of working with a stranger as well as makes sure you’re working with someone who doesn’t have bad intentions. Safety first y’all.

  2. Model Mayhem

While this is a little more tedious due to having to get your account approved,  This website offers access to models, photographers, make up  artists and other creatives who offer their services. The profiles are quite detailed and even have a line that indicates if the model is open to a time for print exchange or if they only wish for paid gigs.

 3. Social media

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Photo by Tracy Le Blanc on Pexels.com

My favorite method of meeting new models is to advertise on Instagram and other social media platforms. Now I know what you’re thinking, “I don’t want to pay for an ad when won’t be charging for a photo shoot.” but hear me out. Make a post saying something along the lines of FREE photo shoot or Free headshots. . .people love free! Add a few hashtags and you’ll be getting some potential models in no time. The great thing about these platforms is that you can check out whose trying to work with you right then and there, which is great to get a feel for what their style is.

As an extra tip, I suggest you include a request for a make up artist in your ad. Some of the models reaching out to you will be completely new and need guidance and assistance in pulling together a look. Nevertheless there is much talent out there just looking to work with no photography in sight .No matter if you try one or all of these methods, you’ll have some portrait work in your portfolio in no time.

If you don’t want to go through the screening process, try inboxing. A few messages in you should have a few interested people. The bonus of this is your guaranteed to work with people who you have some interest in working.

Either way you go it’s important to start getting some practice if you want your skills to develop so get out there and make some contacts!