How to get models for your product photo shoot cheap
Having a great model to show your merchandise gives your products or services context and appeal. If you are a business or photographer, looking for models to present your offering, than this article is for you. This editorial will teach you how to find great models inexpensively for your marketing projects.
As a photographer, your ability to help customers defines your ability to get the job. Being able to source and find great models for your clients will help you get more work to increase your revenues.
As a business owner, most can testify that finding good talent is always a challenge. Finding a model or models to present your merchandise is not difficult, but there is some etiquette needed to do it successfully.
Where to look for models
My favourite go to site to find models is www.modelmayhem.com. For a very reasonable fee, you can do a casting call to search for a variety of models and you can either contact them yourself or have them contact you in droves.
Other sites that have also worked for me include fashion-modelling groups on Facebook and Kijiji ads. I have also gone to venues looking for “types” of people with physical attributes. For example, I needed a model for a balance beam photo shoot I was doing for an Amazon Client. I went to a gymnast gym and I asked the general manager to point me to a star performer. In doing so, he connected me with a bright little woman (and her parents) to do the assignment. The net results were fantastic. See photo.
Using a professional modeling agency
can go to a modeling agency to get your models but this can be more expensive. The advantage is that they have screened the talent for quality and reliability. Modeling Agencies have many models to choose and they can be an efficient option; however, service and pricing is relative to the company you hire.
Screening the models
Typically, when you are going to hire a model, you want to make sure that they will fit the job. Just like in online dating, people tend to fib about their appearance; so it is always a good idea to meet and see the model prior to the day of the photo shoot. Make sure to leave yourself ample time to find another one if the model you need is not a good fit.
To meet the model, simply ask to meet them for 5 minutes at a coffee shop or a public venue. Do not make it complicated for the model; especially if the job is small. Models are often kids and do not own a car. Moreover, their time is as valuable as yours is.
Your credibility is important to the model
Be ready to demonstrate your credentials to the model to establish credibility and transparency. Models are often good looking and frequently hit on. These days with the proliferation of online predators, the onus is on you to prove you are not a creep.
If your project includes video, it does not hurt to do a screen test. Meet them and get them to read a test script. Alternatively, ask them for samples of projects they have done.
I have made the erroneous assumption that all individuals can perform- not so. Some people just cannot improvise if their life depended on it. Moreover, coaching someone is sometimes very difficult because frankly, some people are not coachable. Make sure they can perform by asking them to do a script reading in advance.
Paying a model
When you pay a model to show up, they are more likely to be there as hired. Do not get cheap or ask them to model in exchange for recognition.
At the time of this writing (2018), I propose that you pay the model somewhere in the neighbourhood of $150-$200 CAD/ USD for an easygoing six to eight hours photo shoot. In most cases, models under 25 are very willing to do great work for this amount of money.
Pay the model at the end of the photo shoot. I like to do so because often they do not make a lot of money and you want to do the right thing.
The Model Release Forms
The bigger you are, the more liability protection you need. Get your model to sign a model release form prior to the photo shoot. There are many free and paid model release templates available online.
You do not want a model to come back to you years after the photo shoot and look for an additional payment you already made. Cover your tail and a get a model release form signed in advance of the photo shoot. Do not rely on Goodwill. Make sure you keep it on file in a findable place.
Getting a model for a photo shoot or video is not complicated, but there are certainly some steps involved. Use the web to find great talent, and like any hire, meet them before you give them the job. Be sure to pay them adequately and cover yourself and get a model release form signed.
About the Author
Jules Design is a leading Toronto Fashion Photography and Product Photography company. We produce video, photo and graphic media for Social Media, Print and Websites. We offer in-house and on-location fashion photography. We can source your models or we can show you how to do so.
Our studio is located in central Toronto near the DVP and Eglinton. Call us or visit our studio by scheduled appointment to discuss your next commercial media project.
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