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5 Days Ago   #1
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Hiring models, where and how?

I started first personal project, and soon will need models to wear my work, and of course I'm going to be a photographer, that's the whole idea I'm thinking to hire models for this project. Is any other way outside Model Mayhem? I had brief experience with that site, it seems dead pretty much, I deleted my account.
I probably will contact the local agencies. Does anyone have the experience hiring models? Bad or good, I appreciate if you share your knowledge.

4 Days Ago   #2
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Contact an agency and make an appointment for a chat. Take a portfolio of your best photos and tell them about your project.

You would probably want to do a test shoot first. The photos would be available for your portfolio and the models' portfolios.
4 Days Ago   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Billk Quote
The photos would be available for your portfolio and the models' portfolios.
If I pay the model, why should I provide her with the pictures for her portfolio?
4 Days Ago   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by micromacro Quote
If I pay the model, why should I provide her with the pictures for her portfolio?
It is a cheap way for you to boost her compensation.

4 Days Ago   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by rangercarp Quote
It is a cheap way for you to boost her compensation.
Where is the line when I don't need to boost model's compensation? I plan to stay within 30-50 dollars per hour.
4 Days Ago - 4 Likes   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by micromacro Quote
Where is the line when I don't need to boost model's compensation? I plan to stay within 30-50 dollars per hour.
If you are hiring out of an agency, the agency will pretty much determine what your compensation will be. Model Mayhem used to be a pretty good source for amateur models, but I dropped my account a year ago, as I found there were just too many flakes.

Regarding giving models files for their portfolio, if you go with an agency model, you might find it's part of the package, you might not. If you hire an amateur, it's a nice touch to pass some work to the model to help improve his/her portfolio.

It's important to remember that working with models is not purely transactional. You are not walking into a store and buying a loaf of bread and a jug of milk. It's permitted, and appreciated by the people you will be working with to help them along by improving their portfolio. Being nice and helping them out will pay dividends, if nothing else by helping you network with the modeling community.

You can be the guy who pays $30.00 - $50.00 bucks per hour, pure transaction and cast the person off, or you can be the person who pays the same amount, passes a few images over to the model to help them out (it costs you absolutely nothing to do this). Being the latter person will incentivise the model to both work with you again and to give decent references for future models.

Your choice, but I've noticed far too often in that end of the industry that photographers can be a bit full of themselves and have a tendency to treat models the same way they would treat a bowl of fruit. If you were on MM and read any of the forums you would have seen this attitude in spades.

Photographers forget at their peril that their work is useless without the input of their subjects. Treat people well, and they will want to come work for you again, treat them like so much meat and you will have trouble finding models down the road.

Model photography is more about relationship building than it is about pictures. If you are going to get involved in that game, you would do well to keep this in mind.
4 Days Ago   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
If you are hiring out of an agency, the agency will pretty much determine what your compensation will be. Model Mayhem used to be a pretty good source for amateur models, but I dropped my account a year ago, as I found there were just too many flakes.

Regarding giving models files for their portfolio, if you go with an agency model, you might find it's part of the package, you might not. If you hire an amateur, it's a nice touch to pass some work to the model to help improve his/her portfolio.

It's important to remember that working with models is not purely transactional. You are not walking into a store and buying a loaf of bread and a jug of milk. It's permitted, and appreciated by the people you will be working with to help them along by improving their portfolio. Being nice and helping them out will pay dividends, if nothing else by helping you network with the modeling community.

You can be the guy who pays $30.00 - $50.00 bucks per hour, pure transaction and cast the person off, or you can be the person who pays the same amount, passes a few images over to the model to help them out (it costs you absolutely nothing to do this). Being the latter person will incentivise the model to both work with you again and to give decent references for future models.

Your choice, but I've noticed far too often in that end of the industry that photographers can be a bit full of themselves and have a tendency to treat models the same way they would treat a bowl of fruit. If you were on MM and read any of the forums you would have seen this attitude in spades.

Photographers forget at their peril that their work is useless without the input of their subjects. Treat people well, and they will want to come work for you again, treat them like so much meat and you will have trouble finding models down the road.

Model photography is more about relationship building than it is about pictures. If you are going to get involved in that game, you would do well to keep this in mind.
Excellent advice, Wheatfield. It is amazing how many people do not understand what you have explained. It should be obvious to any thoughtful adult but, sadly, it is not. Thanks for taking the time to discuss this important topic which is not limited to hiring models.
4 Days Ago   #8
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@Lerolls might chime in here. In past discussions with him he had recommended Model Mayhem as a way to get started but @wheatfield seems to have experience that says that may not be a viable way to go anymore.

4 Days Ago - 1 Like   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mikesul Quote
Excellent advice, Wheatfield. It is amazing how many people do not understand what you have explained. It should be obvious to any thoughtful adult but, sadly, it is not. Thanks for taking the time to discuss this important topic which is not limited to hiring models.
Thanks.
To add to my post, even if the model is from an agency, it's still a nice touch to hand over a few files for their portfolio. If they use them, that's free advertising, if they don't, it's no loss. Either way, it is a nice touch that will make the model feel appreciated. Making people feel appreciated will always pay dividends down the road.
I haven't tried to hire a model in several years, my understanding is that Facebook and Instagram groups are now about as good as anywhere to look for amateurs. Depending on location, and I expect Florida is probably pretty good (where I am isn't), Model Mayhem might still be good, try reactivating and putting out a casting call if you didn't try that route. Sometimes these things pay off.
The problem with amateur models is that they often seem to have a limitless supply of grandmothers whose funeral needs to be attended.

---------- Post added 07-13-18 at 11:11 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by UncleVanya Quote
@Lerolls might chime in here. In past discussions with him he had recommended Model Mayhem as a way to get started but @wheatfield seems to have experience that says that may not be a viable way to go anymore.
Where I am, it's all amateur models on MM now, and the flake rate was just far too high. Whether MM is going to be good will depend entirely on location. I'm in a bit of a desert.
4 Days Ago   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
To add to my post, even if the model is from an agency, it's still a nice touch to hand over a few files for their portfolio. If they use them, that's free advertising, if they don't, it's no loss. Either way, it is a nice touch that will make the model feel appreciated. Making people feel appreciated will always pay dividends down the road.
Thank you so much! I hoped to get that kind of advise from the pro.

As for sharing images with models, it's not like I'm going to treat them badly, I actually give the pictures away all the time to people I shoot if they want those pictures. This time it's different, I create something that the models suppose to display for me, and I don't want they share those ideas and designs with anybody before I do. I may, or may not submit my creations for the fashion show, but if I do, I prefer to have the total control over my submission.
Hm... seems like the dress form will be better model in this particular case
4 Days Ago - 1 Like   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by micromacro Quote
Thank you so much! I hoped to get that kind of advise from the pro.

As for sharing images with models, it's not like I'm going to treat them badly, I actually give the pictures away all the time to people I shoot if they want those pictures. This time it's different, I create something that the models suppose to display for me, and I don't want they share those ideas and designs with anybody before I do. I may, or may not submit my creations for the fashion show, but if I do, I prefer to have the total control over my submission.
Hm... seems like the dress form will be better model in this particular case
If you need to keep the work close to your chest for whatever reason, that is perfectly legitimate, and any professional model will understand. Amateur models might not. The reason why they are amateurs is because they are not in the business full time.
I shot years ago for a local jewelry manufacturer, and often was under an NDA. At the same time, they didn't have a budget for pro models, so I was often hiring amateurs, sometimes literally off the street. In those days I always had a pile of comp cards along with a portfolio, and if i saw a likely prospect, I would introduce myself, hand over a comp card and ask her to consider giving me a call.
Believe it or not, I had a better success rate doing that than I did when things went online and I joined Model Mayhem.

I think it's important that if you are hiring an amateur that giving them more than money is important. Even if you just do a few headshots and perhaps a few shots in whatever street clothes they show up in for the purpose of handing them over in the future, you will be rapport building.

I'm not a big fan of mannequins, I really do prefer the look of product on models, and I suspect that most marketing people do as well. The mannequin has the advantage of not needing to be paid or given prints, but it has the disadvantage of having all the personality of a lump of plastic. They really don't do a very good job of value adding to a product.

With jewelry, it was OK to have the product on a plain backdrop for the main catalogue, but when we went to Christmas or Valentines day fliers, we knew our target market had changed from female to male, and our photography had to change to appeal to that market.
A necklace on a hanger will sell to a woman fairly easily, to a man, not so much, but put that same necklace on an attractive young lady with an artfully placed pendant, and men will line up to buy it when the traditional jewelry gift seasons come along. We are very easily led.
4 Days Ago   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
The problem with amateur models is that they often seem to have a limitless supply of grandmothers whose funeral needs to be attended.
I used to teach at College/University level (astronomy and physics). It was always amazing to me and my colleagues that grandmas seemed to die like flies during finals week. Sometimes, more than once!
4 Days Ago   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by AstroDave Quote
I used to teach at College/University level (astronomy and physics). It was always amazing to me and my colleagues that grandmas seemed to die like flies during finals week. Sometimes, more than once!
I recall hearing of a model on MM who couldn't keep track of her stories very well who, by the photographer's count, had something like a dozen grandmothers pass away over the span of six years or so. He liked her look so he kept trying, and he did very nice work, and had good referrals, he wasn't a creep. At some point, he was contacting her to see if she would flake via grandmother's funeral just for fun. He knew he wasn't going to get a shoot.
The model's portfolio was completely stagnant as well. She really wasn't interested in working, I think she just liked to be in demand.
4 Days Ago   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
I think it's important that if you are hiring an amateur that giving them more than money is important. Even if you just do a few headshots and perhaps a few shots in whatever street clothes they show up in for the purpose of handing them over in the future, you will be rapport building.
That's a great idea, thanks again. You gave so much information, it helps a lot.

As for amateurs, I do have one girl, we had a few sessions together. She likes me, and like her, and it's easy to work with her. So, I offered her to participate in the project, she said yes, and seemed to be so excited about it. But when I asked her to give me her measurements, she promised and it was the last time I've heard from her. It was actually the red flag right there. What if I spend months making something specifically for her, but she changes her mind? What if she suddenly will have a bunch of grandmothers? Thank you, but no.
3 Days Ago   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by micromacro Quote
That's a great idea, thanks again. You gave so much information, it helps a lot.

As for amateurs, I do have one girl, we had a few sessions together. She likes me, and like her, and it's easy to work with her. So, I offered her to participate in the project, she said yes, and seemed to be so excited about it. But when I asked her to give me her measurements, she promised and it was the last time I've heard from her. It was actually the red flag right there. What if I spend months making something specifically for her, but she changes her mind? What if she suddenly will have a bunch of grandmothers? Thank you, but no.
Did you seriously ask her for measurements? Seems like a bad idea.
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