Modelling agencies are the best source of models if you are in the photography business. Unfortunately, if you are a boudoir photographer, modelling agencies tend to be tougher to get to. Our style of images can be quite risqué, and generally speaking modelling agencies tend to be fairly conservative.
In this post we will analyse the options you have as boudoir photographer to source your models. From modelling agencies to social media, we will dig deeper where you can find your models.
Modelling agencies and test shoots
Modelling agencies are a great source of models to use for portfolio shoots. If you want to expand your portfolio, contacting one of the reputable modelling agencies in your area is the best thing to do.
Our best advice is simple: research the agency and their style, prepare your portfolio, show the work you do and get an appointment with one of the bookers. Face to face meetings are always best. Also, please remember that saying that you get in touch with modelling agencies means nothing; the meaningful relationship is with a booker!
Ask if they have new faces to test, and try to plan a simple shoot with a good team.
The modelling website route
Don’t despair if modelling agencies think your style is too “boudoir“. Even if the quality of your images is not at a good level yet (we have all been there), there are other solutions. The first alternative route is to signup to modelling websites. In this time and age there are many: Model Mayhem, Purpleport, Model Management, Purestorm and StarNow to name a few. They have all pro and con, but they remain a good source of models.
The main difference between modelling agencies and modelling websites is the quality of models. In these websites not all the “models” are very professional, the rate of no-show can be an actual problem and the quality of the persons is not vetted. Please don’t misunderstand me: we have some extremely strong models through these websites.
Our word of advice: make sure you value your contacts’ communication skills. The stronger the skills, the lower the risk of finding a bad model.
Whilst a bit more difficult than using modelling agencies or modelling websites, social media has everything you need to find models for your portfolio. Casting calls become more difficult to manage and models harder to vet; however, the huge advantage of social media is its reach: on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, the number of models (or wannabe) is huge.
Models VS Instagram Models
One of the things I have heard many times is that being an “Instagram model” means nothing. If we are talking from modelling agencies perspective, I totally agree. Social media and modelling websites are full of unreliable, “un-modelly” models, but everything depends on what kind of models you are looking for. As Boudoir photographers, we focus on photographing women that not necessarily have a high fashion look. Size 8, 10, 12, 14, small breast, large breast, tiny hips, large hips, they are all welcome to us, because our portfolio have to show variety! We want to show our potential clients that we have the ability to photograph them.
You also have to remember that nowadays social media is the new hunting ground for reputable modelling agencies!
Where can you source your models
Our word of advice is to learn to source your models from every single place: modelling agencies, modelling website, social media and when talking to a person face to face. The more you learn how to show the benefit of modelling for you, the more you will learn about women and photography: a win-win situation!