How To Find Models For Photography


But, over time, any photographer would like to work with people. Photo shoot models are the most crucial element in creating an author's photographs.

But finding the right model for a photo shoot can be a daunting task for the photographer. This is due to many factors like:

  • Payment for work.
  • Model type.
  • Photo shoot concept.
  • Relationships between people.

It is necessary to take into account all these factors. But, in this case, searching for a model for photography may take several weeks.

Our helpful guide will walk you through the working methods of hiring a model for photo shoots. We will also touch upon several important aspects of the work of an assistant with a photographer. Stay with us and get the necessary knowledge for searching for a model.

Where to Find Models to Photograph

Where to Find Models to Photograph

In the following paragraphs, we will look at working methods to find a model for your shoot. With these methods, you can find both free and paid models. Also, tips will help you find a model for photography from different platforms. This will allow you to make a unique photo shoot and achieve unusual results.

But always remember that searching for an assistant can take quite a lot of time. This is due to your photo shoot's theme or the model's professionalism. In some cases, the search for a photo shoot model can take months. So be ready for this and use as many methods as you can. This will help you reach as wide an audience as possible.

Also, remember about professionalism in communication, respect and the interests of the assistant. By combining all these factors, you can more effectively find a model for a photoshoot. And now, let's look at working life hacks.


Hiring models using social networks is a very convenient method. It is enough to write the hashtag #YOURAREAmodel or #YOURAREAphotography. And you can choose the most suitable options for you.

After that, you can go to the profile you like and send the assistant private messages. It is the best way to hire models for photoshoots. Be sure to write an original and formal letter. And include the next parts:

  • Representation.
  • Work examples.
  • Explaining the concept of your photo session.
  • The conditions under which you want to work.

You can also add links to your work profiles and websites if you have them.


One of the easiest ways is to search for models for photography among friends. Most often, this method will be completely free for you. This will help you find your feet in the shoot. And in return, you can offer your friend great photos for their pages on social networks.

Also, you can ask your friends to look for candidates to hire models among their friends. Thus, you can find new acquaintances and gain the necessary experience. And most importantly, you can do it all completely free of charge.


Facebook is also a great place to find an assistant for your photoshoot. It is best to find several groups dedicated to the modelling business.

You can find potential models for photography to build a profitable partnership. For communication, use private messages and the same letter as in the case of Instagram.

But Facebook does not give a 100% guarantee that you will be able to find many assistants there. But we guarantee you will find at least one.


Working with agencies is one of the best ways to find an assistant for your photoshoot. This method is great for both paid and free photo sessions. The thing is that many agencies need to test models. To do this, they need free photographers who will also not pay models for photography work.

If you are a beginner artist, you should contact less popular agencies. To do this, write an official letter and provide examples of your work.

But even if you live in a small town, you still have a chance. Many agencies can collaborate with models remotely. This means that the model from the agency may be near you, although the agency itself may be in another city.


This method is one of the most difficult for finding candidates. This is because people can be wary of strangers. And even talking to people on the street can sometimes be difficult. But, if successful, you can find a unique assistant and take professional shooting to a new level.

To search for a model for photography on the street, you will need a portfolio, a camera and a business card. When you start a conversation with a person, be polite. 

You can talk about the concept of your photoshoot and offer to take some test shots on the street. You can then send photos via email to the person. Also, be sure to give your business card to a potential assistant. This will help build trust, as you want them to take you seriously.

Actors and Dancers

Models and dancers have incredible plasticity and are not afraid of the camera. This allows you to do easy and professional photo shoots. You can visit local theatres and dance clubs to hire models for photoshoots among dancers and actors.

There you can distribute business cards to people and invite them to a free photo session. Be professional and use a few sample photos as a portfolio.

Should Photographers Pay Models?

Should Photographers Pay Models

Whether a photographer should pay a model for their time and services is a debate in the industry.

Some photographers believe that they need to pay when hiring a model. Especially if the photographer is profiting from the photos, but others believe that assistants should work for trade or on a time-for-prints basis. Particularly if they're new to modelling or the photographer is also starting.

Often, it can be a good idea for photographers to pay an assistant. Especially if the model has experience and a strong portfolio. This can be especially true if the photos are for commercial purposes. It can be advertising or editorial work. It's because the model for photography is providing a service, and the photographer is profiting from it.

But some assistants are open to working on a TFP (Time for Prints) basis. It is mutually beneficial when the model and the photographer expand their portfolios.

Ultimately, whether a photographer is hiring a model should be discussed and agreed upon. But you should do it before the shoot takes place. Take into account:

  • The specific situation.
  • The scope of the project.
  • The assistan’s experience.
  • The intended use of the photographs.

The Advantage of Working with Professional Models

The Advantage of Working with Professional Models

The main pros of hiring professional models for photoshoots is gaining valuable experience. This can help create a great portfolio if you are an amateur artist.

Also, a professionalist will be very useful for you if:

  • You don't know how to explain to the photo shoot model how to pose. A professional one will offer you options and help you find a solution.
  • You want to explain to the model what you want to get. A professional has enough experience for more complex shots and an understanding of the photographer.

Also, it can be noted that professional models have more flexible bodies. This will be very noticeable in the pictures in comparison with the amateur. When hiring a professional model for photoshoots, you can get complex elements.

As a result, working with experienced people brings positive results. But such cooperation can severely consume the budget. What about free collaboration? Let's explore this topic in the next paragraph.

Are There Any Benefits of Working with Amateur Models?

In fact, working with beginners can bring a lot of useful effects for a photo maker. Let's look at the most important ones:

  1. Price. The most obvious advantage of working with a novice is low rates. This is great for beginner photographers who have just opened a studio.
  2. Desire to develop. Beginning photo shoot models are ready to work for the result. It is important for them to get a quality portfolio as well.
  3. Flexible terms. Beginners are more open to new experiences. So you will be able to work with such assistants in different spheres of photography.
  4. A fresh look. Newcomers to the modeling business may have a fresher and more out-of-the-box look. Assistants like these can help keep your product fresher for a modern audience. Such collaborations often bring something new to the work of the photographer. And it helps them to be on trend.
  5. Mutually beneficial cooperation. This is often due to the fact that the photo shoot model and a photographer can work on a barter basis. This means that the photographer and the model are getting great work in their portfolio.

How to Interact with a Model as a Photographer

How to Interact with a Model as a Photographer

If you want to get great shots and build trust when hiring a model, there are a few rules you need to follow. Let's look at the most important aspects of communicating with the model:

  • Effective communication. First of all, your task is to take amazing and professional photos. To do this, you need to clearly and accurately explain the concept of your photo shoot. Also, talk about key aspects of the photo, like pose, clothing, and the result you want to achieve.
  • The trust. Before shooting, get to know the model and build a trusting relationship. Your task is to make the assistant feel comfortable being near you. A trusting relationship helps improve the photo experience. Thus, the photo shoot model will be open to experiments and new experiences.
  • Show your respect. First of all, be polite in your communication. Also, remember the personal boundaries of each person and their comfort zone. You can also ask about the model's wishes, which you can consider during the shooting.
  • Pay attention to ingenuity. Even though you may be a professional photographer, you must give models freedom. So, small experiments during shooting can bring something new to your photos.
  • Be prepared. You must have all the equipment and clothing for your shoots. This will help you not waste time looking for missing items. This way, you can make the most of your time at work.

Bottom Line

As a result, now you know how to find models. And this can be quite a challenging process. But with several methods at once, you will find the first clients to create your portfolio. 

And to make finding models more successful, you should consider portfoliobox. With our platform, you can create a high-quality portfolio of your work. With flexible tools and settings, you can highlight your best work. And it helps further attract beginners and experienced assistants. With an intuitive interface, you can construct an individual and unique portfolio. And the feedback function from customers will help you improve and grow as an artist.


Do photographers pay models?

It depends on the situation and the agreement between the photographer and the model. Some photographers may pay models for their time, while others may not. In some cases, models may be paid a flat fee. In other cases, they may receive a percentage of the profits from any sales of the photos.

Can a photographer date a model?

No rule prohibits a photographer from dating a model. But both parties should be of legal age and consent to the relationship. But in a professional setting, it may be viewed as unprofessional. And it could create a conflict of interest.

How do fashion photographers get clients?

Fashion photographers often get clients by building a portfolio of their work. And they promote it to potential clients through various channels, such as:

  • Social media.
  • Networking events.
  • Agent or agency.

How can I ensure that a model is a right fit for my photography project?

It's important to consider their experience and skill level. Make sure that they have a portfolio. Additionally, consider factors such as their availability, reliability and communication skills. Above all, ensure they fit your aesthetic and vision for your photography project.

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