How To Find Models for Your Photography

Written by Backdrop Express Photography Team on . Posted in Model Photography, Photography Tips

red head girl modeling on red brick backdrop

Subject matter is one of the most important factors impacting the quality of photography. Finding the right photo model is crucial for engaging, memorable photos and artistic expression. If you have never used a model before, or are looking for a new subject, the task of searching can seem somewhat daunting. There are some quick and easy techniques for finding models that will not drive you too far out of your comfort zone.

Friends and Family

Looking to friends and family is an effective way to find photo models. You should seek out individuals that enjoy being the center of attention and are comfortable with their appearance. There are numerous advantages to working with outgoing models you are comfortable with. You can dispense with the formalities and get right down to business. Family and friends are typically more patient, and you have a wider margin for error while shooting. If you are new to photography, friends and family can help you start your portfolio and build your confidence.

young boy on red seamless paper backdrop

Professional Models

Oftentimes you can find professional models for $200 to $300 or sometimes less. Using professional models is more demanding than using friends or family, and expectations are higher. However, there are multiple benefits of working with a professional. Pros know exactly what to do when they get in front of your camera and are motivated to get good shots they can add to their portfolios. A no-nonsense attitude and professionalism will lend itself to exceptional photography. Professional models can be found through agencies or networking websites.

Model Networking Sites

Model Mayhem is a site dedicated to helping photographers find photo models and vice versa. This networking site allows photographers and models to create profiles and share portfolios. Photographers are able to search for experienced models in their area based on pricing and skill. This is an effective technique for finding the right model at the right price point. Often-times models are willing to trade services thereby making the networking site invaluable for budget-conscious photographers. It is important to conduct a thorough search and ask for work samples before making a final selection. Utilizing the Professional Photographers of America and National Press Photographers Association are also effective networking techniques.

model posing in green hat on green backdrop


You can find potential models on Craigslist under sections like “creative” or “talent”. Craigslist is a cost-effective way to search for models and also advertise your professional photography services. Contacting models through Craigslist comes with certain challenges and risks. Ask for credentials and sample photos before making your final selection. Craigslist has been host to a number of scams over the years, and it is important to practice due diligence when using this site. Craigslist has a lot of potential for new and aspiring photographers trying to break into the business.

Friends with Pets

If your photography focuses on pets and animals, your model search shares similarities with that of humans. You can start by asking friends and family to use their pets or animals as subjects. This technique produces great results and is cost-effective. It is important to ask permission to use animals as subjects to avoid potential disputes and as a matter of professional courtesy. Photographing pets is an effective way to build your portfolio without spending large sums of money.

dogs laying on blue seamless paper backdrop

Finding models to pose for your photos may seem like a daunting task. There are quick and easy ways to find models at the right price point, without taking you too far out of your comfort zone. You can utilize friends and family or professional models to create professional photography portfolios. Searching the Internet is an effective technique, just be sure to conduct thorough research and verify credentials before making your final selection.

How do you find your models?

-Backdrop Express Photography Team

Interested in learning more about photographing models? Check out A Guide to Working with Amateur Models!

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