There are great model photographers all across the United States.
There are however very few that are really good at shooting modeling portfolios. That doesn’t mean they aren’t good model photographers, it just means they don’t really understand what makes a great modeling portfolio. They don’t teach that in photography school.
So here is what YOU need to know as a model…
Start your search by looking at the business websites of model photographers in your area. Notice I said business websites. If you are looking at Facebook or some modeling website then you are looking at mostly amateurs, and while some of them may be very talented, why would you trust the most important photo shoot that you will ever do to an amateur?
Do a Google search for “commercial advertising photographer”. Look for photographers that are taking pictures that look like what you would see in ads – after all – that’s where you want to be. Make sure you like the photographs and more importantly how the people look in them.
Pay attention to the details. How is the makeup? Is the hair sloppy? Do the the models look amazing? If not – what makes you think your portfolio will turn out different or better? I promise you that you can learn a lot about the person behind the camera and how they will treat you, just by taking a good look at their work and simply paying attention to how it makes you feel.
Your next step is to contact the photographer. Sending an email or using the form on their website is fine for the initial contact, but sooner than later, you want to either meet them in person, or if you are going to be traveling a long distance to work with them, you want to meet them via Skype or at least talk to them on the phone, so that you can get a sense of whether or not you connect with this person. After all, you are going to trust them with your first and most important photo shoot. I promise you, if the photographer is NOT willing to spend some time and talk with you and answer your questions – this is NOT a photographer that is going to go the extra mile on your photo shoot.
The last part of your decision process requires understanding that there are very few photographers who specialize in modeling portfolios. That means that there are very few model photographers that understand exactly what kind of photographs you need and what you should be wearing in them. So if you choose to work with a photographer that is unable to guide you through proper shot selection and outfit election, you need to own that part of the process. Meaning you need to do your own research, possibly consult via Skype with someone like myself that can help you develop a shot list and outfit list that you can take to your photographer so that they know exactly what shots you want and what you intend to wear.
Bottom line – do your research. Make careful decisions. Your modeling portfolio shoot is the most important photo shoot you will ever do. These are the photos that will get you signed by agencies and get you hired by clients. Don’t think that will happen if your photos aren’t great and if they don’t sell your ability to model.