- 15 Jan 2023
How to Find Local Models
Find Models in Local Facebook Groups
Facebook groups are a hub of collaboration. The trick here is to find local groups. Try searching "your city" + "models" in the Facebook search bar and then click groups to see groups in your area or "your city" + "models and photographers". Most groups that are set up for model/photographer collaboration will allow you to post details about what you plan to shoot and what types of models you are looking to work with.
Create Your Own Facebook Group for Model + Photographer Collaborations
If you can't find a group, start your own! We created a Facebook group for St. Louis Models & Photographers to connect with local models because we couldn't find any groups that supported free collaboration. We now have over 1.3k active members and any time we need a model for free collaboration, we are the first person to go. A side benefit of doing this is that you are building a community to support both photographers and models in your area.
Find Models on Social Media Hashtags
Most major cities have a modeling hashtag. It may take some creativity to figure out the hashtags but once you do, you can contact the model of your choice through social media channels. Instagram and TikTok are great places to start. Try searching for your city (or its abbreviation) + model or model or modeling. For example, if you live in Houston, you can search #houstonmodels which has over 300,000 results. We have found that this method may require you to contact more models as the response rate is not as high as we found in Facebook groups, but it gives you the opportunity to find models that fit your project and Provide the best service. ,
Think of Model Mayhem as a search engine for models. You can search for models in your local area. Not only can you review each model's portfolio, but you can peruse the profiles to get an idea of their experience level, salary expectations, and the styles they prefer. We honestly haven't used this method very often, but think it's a good way to find more experienced models and it saves you a bit of time by giving you more information beforehand.
Friends and Friends of Friends
When all else fails, turn to friends. You'd be surprised how many people actually love having their picture was taken (photographers say they really hate being in front of the camera). Friends are also often more than willing to tell you about someone they know who models or wants to get into modeling. While this method tends to result in working with less experienced models, it can be a great skill-building opportunity for learning how to guide models - one of the more difficult aspects of portrait photography.
Meetups & Group Photoshoots
Participating in a group photo shoot is a great way to connect with local models. These types of photoshoots are often done by photographers and are usually themed. Typically, a large number of both photographers and models will be involved, so they're not ideal if you're trying to get a specific image or work one on one with a model for an extended time period, but they do. Give you the opportunity to get to know local models. If you find that you work well with a model, you can always work with them one-on-one in the future. The best way to find these is to search for "group shoot" or "photoshoot event" on Facebook or Meetup.com.
All of the methods above can be done cheaply or even for free, but if you have the money to spend or are working on a project for a company, you can try local modeling agencies to find local models. You can use it. Research the different modeling agencies in your area and take a look at their websites to see what types of models they represent. Once you have found a modeling agency you like, contact them and tell them that you are looking for a model for a project. Make sure you understand the terms of working with their agency before scheduling anything - be sure to understand the rate for the models you'll be working with and the rights to use the images as well as things like hair and makeup. Who is responsible for things?