How to GUARANTEE a Model for your next Photo Shoot

Written by: Glyn Dewis

Published: March 24, 2014

Category: General

Hi Folks,

I hope you had a great weekend.

I was out shooting both Saturday and Sunday and also putting in more prep time for the upcoming Professional Imaging Show as I leave this Friday for The Netherlands.

Anyway thanks for stopping by; I really do appreciate it and the feedback you folks send in.

So today I just wanted to post about models and to be more specific…how I get models and guarantee them to be in front of the camera.

The other day I was sent an email by Alex who reads this blog and also watches the tutorials I post on my YouTube Channel, and his question was “When you started how did you get people to photograph so that you could build up a portfolio?”

Well to be honest what I did not too long after I’d started out and  is still the same thing I do now i.e. show people what I want to do before the shoot!

Let me explain…

One of the photo shoots I had this past weekend was a personal project inspired by the image below; one of the posters from the movie Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter – I’ve never seen the film but I just love the poster.

I wanted to do a shoot that has this kind of feel so I messaged a friend asking if he was free for a shoot on the weekend BUT also attached the picture below and simply asked “Fancy being in something like this?” … to which the answer came back with an immediate “Yes

Why? Because the model knew what they’re going to get from giving up their time…does that make sense?

I honestly don’t think that asking someone to come along on a Time for Prints / Pictures basis is guarantee to them turning up. I’m a BIG believer in involving the model and getting them excited so it’s not just one sided i.e. you the photographer excited and the model, well…just there (hopefully).

I do this ALL the time without fail be it a personal project or a commission; I always want those people I’m photographing to have a clear idea of what we’re working on. I find it has so many benefits and not just guaranteeing the model turns up but also helps with the trust when you’re asking them to pose a certain way, wear a certain item, act a certain way and so on…

I was recently asked to take one pictures of UK Kick Boxing Champion Steven ‘Pocket Rocket’ Cook so like always before a shoot I’ll search around some of my favourite sites / portfolios purely for inspiration and to get into the groove…

Below is picture from one of my favourite Photographers, USA based Tim Tadder and this image had the exact feel for the kind of pictures I wanted to do with Steve but in my own style…

There’s no problem with looking at other people’s work for inspiration, ideas and motivation. Heck I spend ages searching through places like 500px and Behance and it’s here that I get posing ideas, lighting, location, themes and so on, and then once you have an idea then when it comes to the shoot you just do it in your own style.

Here’s one of the results from the shoot with Steve…

So in short if you want to improve your hit rate if you like and guarantee getting models, people in front of your camera help them and you out by showing them what you want to do as opposed to trying to explain or worse still … “Let’s see what we can come up with”

Now I’ve written about Pinterest on here several times in the past; I absolutely love it for working / collaborating with clients and sharing ideas BUT in it’s simplest form it’s a fantastic way, and a quick and easy way to collect images.

If you’re not using it already I HIGHLY recommend giving it a go and the fact that you can install it not just on your computer, iPhone, iPad or whatever devices you use makes it incredibly easy to build up an inspiration board.

If you’re already in Pinterest, be sure to hook up … here’s a link to my Pinterest Page [Link]

Right that’s all from me for today so whatever you’re up to, be sure to have a good one and I’ll catch you back here next time.


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  1. Robert Huber

    Nice article. Thank you for that. I would love to see your final result of the Lincoln Vampire Hunter inspired image. I really like the look and feel of that poster.

  2. J.R. Maddox

    I so agree! Pinterest is so good for putting together ideas.. Helps so much in making the photography part move much faster… Time is money right?

  3. Alexander

    Hi Glyn,

    thanks 😉



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