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Becoming a Model Photographer

Updated on March 14, 2014
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A large portion of amateur photographers have dreams of becoming professionals and seeing their work featured in magazines and other publications even traveling the world with all expenses paid to do a modeling shoot in an exotic land. Let's face it, this is a long shot, but others have done it and why can't it be you too?

You have to start somewhere and the best way is probably to do a lot of shoots for friends, family and non profits. If they like your work they are likely to recommend you to others and they will in turn recommend to more possible clients. If they regularly post on the many social sites your work can begin to get a foothold this way.

Another way is once you have a decent portfolio of your best work, then its time to start approaching smaller fashion outlets and similar establishments.They sell their goods just like major retailers but the majority do not have the resources to hire big name models or photographers and this opens the door for you to get your name out there. Start by charging a small reasonable fee and look at the opportunity of increasing your portfolio.

One important factor to consider is that you need to start working with real models as soon as you can. Being exposed to real models gives you a sense of styles, routines, fees and can also lead to other work.

If the models are happy with your professionalism and work, they are likely to introduce you to designers and advertising producers. Many models will charge you a fee, after all that is how they earn a living, but some may pose for your for free just to get updated samples for their own portfolio this can also lead to more experience.

Try to find a middle ground and work closely with models as much as you can. It is good to join a modeling site that not only is a source of models, but many allow you to post your work with them as they also work closely with producers.

A good site that functions at the national level is Model Mayhem. They are a social networking site for models and photographers.

Very important is to make it easy for customers to find you. Make sure to make some creative business cards and distribute them often. Create a web presence such as having your own web site and one like Blogger and join as many social sites as you are able to in order to promote your work.

A good idea is to create a catalog of your work much like a portfolio.This can be expensive to set up the first time but becomes less expensive as you print more and more copies. You can do this at home but try to use a professional printer if you can.

Your catalog is usually distributed to possible customers and can be mailed to market decision makers. Become a part of any local art show or festival and use the opportunity to showcase your work as well as maybe selling some of your work there too.

Remember to update your portfolio regularly. Keeping your work fresh goes a long way and always feature your best work. Your customers need to see the best that you can do. Never include "so so" samples.

Do not focus so much on just doing portraits. The majority of your shots will be a combination of a portrait and a fashion shoot. Researching the most popular trends and browsing popular publications that feature this type of work can often keep you in pace with the hot trends. This also lets you see what style and what locations or set ups are getting the most attention.

One more thing to remember and make it a priority, you must be creative and willing to try things that are fresh and new. If you just do more of the same then there is no reason for a client to choose you and seek you out.

You must place yourself above the competition and always maintain a strict level of professionalism in all of your dealings.

No matter how good your work is, if you gain a reputation for un-professionalism and shady deals then clients and producers will more than likely stay clear of you.

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© 2013 Luis E Gonzalez


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    • LuisEGonzalez profile image

      Luis E Gonzalez 4 years ago from Miami, Florida

      Phoebe Pike: Thank you

    • profile image

      Phoebe Pike 4 years ago

      An interesting hub for sure.