How To Find Models For Photoshoots
Something that can be challenging when putting together photoshoots, is find the model who fits your vision. Whether you're looking for a couple, a girl, a boy, or some one with a very specific look, it can be a challenge! But over the years, I've come up with ways of finding models (even in Cornwall, where we're 4h away from the nearest model agency!)
1. Instagram: One of the easiest ways to find models is to check out Instagram! I guarantee you that there are photographer in your area shooting with models, so get on Instagram and search for #YOURAREAmodel or #YOURAREAphotography and you'll start to see who's around. Click on their profiles, and what they look like. If you're interested in collaborating, send them a DM and ask them if they'd like to test with you. Always be polite, share your website address with them so that they can see your work, and explain what kind of imagery you'd like to shoot. They may be interested, or they may not. Either way, it can't hurt to reach out and ask, can it? :)
2. Friends of Friends: One of the best ways I've found models has been simply asking my friends if they know of any girls or boys who they think could make good models, or know any who actively like modelling. Most of the people I've worked with have come as recommendations, or simply were people I already knew. For example, Jessie Berryman is a longtime friend, and someone I knew would be great in front of the camera! And Shanice was Ione's friend, who had modelled in the past. Don't be afraid to ask!
3. Facebook Groups: I've not had a huge amount of luck with this, but most areas now have Facebook groups dedicated to models of that area. Pretty much anyone can join these, so you probably have to do a lot of digging to find someone who will fit your look. But don't discount these places, I've definitely found a couple of models thanks to Facebook groups of these kinds! Just search for "Models in YOUR AREA" on Facebook, and see what comes up.
4. Agencies: If you're in London, or any major city, stop everything you're doing and get in touch with one of the model agencies in your area. You're blessed with the fact that agencies are surrounding you, and are always looking for photographers to do tests with their models! If you're just starting out, I recommend getting in touch with a smaller agency, sharing your portfolio with them, and seeing if they have any girls or boys that need testing. "Testing" is the word used in the industry for free photoshoots. Essentially, everyone works for free to get work to go towards their portfolio.
However, if you live far away from a major city (like me!) and still want to work with agency models (like me!), don't think you can't. I regularly work with agency models, and get in touch with agencies nationwide. Many agencies have girls who live far away from them, so it's worth asking if they have any models who live near you, and if they'd be up for testing with you. I've done this many times, and have now shot with quite a few agency models who live in the South West, but who's agency might not have been South West based.
5. Scouting In The Street: This is harder, and I've got to admit I'm not very good at it, but if you're really brave, there's no reason you can't scout for models in your town! Head out for a walk, keep some business cards close to hand, and when you spot someone you'd like to photograph, approach them and politely explain what you'd like. Offer to take their email address, and say you'll get in touch. Leave them a business card so that they can see you're a legit business, and not some creepy person!