How to Hire Models
By Andrew Hudson Published: June 7, 2011 Updated: November 26, 2013
Searching for Models
For free, you can search for models that have posted online ads. Such listings on Craigslist are usually under “gigs > talent gigs” or “gigs > creative gigs.”
A typical posting would be:
Female Fitness Model Available
Experienced model available to shoot. 28 years old. I’ve shot with national fitness magazines and websites. Will provide pics if responding. Reasonable rates.
Asking for Models
A better approach is to post a free ad looking for models. This way you can control the discusssion. On Craigslist, your ad should be posted under “gigs > talent gigs” or “gigs > creative gigs.”
A typical posting would be:
Models Wanted for Stock Photo Shoot
I am looking for people who will model for my stock photography business. I pay $50 an hour and will give you professional-quality images for you to use. I am an experienced stock photographer and have shot for (name references) … See my portfolio at (promote your website) … These pictures will be licensed on microstock sites and your picture could appear in many places worldwide. No nudity, this is a real gig, you can bring a friend if you want. You do not need prior experience. This is a great opportunity to start or expand your portfolio. I will mail a CD of great images to you within a week of the shoot. Please email me with a photo of yourself. Thanks!
Be specific as to what you’re looking for, what the shoot is for, what the payment or trade is, and what you expect of the model. Potential models reading your ad will want to see that you are serious and not just some person looking for a date (in industry parlance, a “GWC” — Guy With Camera). You are selling yourself here so state any well-known companies where your work has appeared. The last sentence should be a “call to action,” asking them to email you photos.
How To Respond To Models
When you get responses, reply to all of them with polite emails. For the ones that you are interested in, strike up an email conversation to start building a relationship and use as a screening device. You can usually tell quite quickly if this is going to be a reasonable and easy person to work with.
When you’ve selected your model(s), provide all the relevant details about the shoot. For example, the address of the location, the call-time, how long the shoot will last, what clothes to wear, and what props to bring.
At all times, be professional and courteous. Be on time, be polite, be relaxed and accomodating, show samples of your prior work, supply some coffee and snacks, ask the model about themselves — be a good host. Pay in cash after they sign the model release, make sure they have your contact info, and follow up promptly with the CD of images or whatever you have arranged.
It’s important that you make a good impression as your long-term business success may depend on getting good models. You may want this model to return for other shoots, and you certainly want them to recommend you to their friends and other models for future work.
How to Work with Models
Our next skill needed is how to work with models.