Choosing The Perfect Photographer For Your Modelling Portfolio

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Author: Akira Milton

So you want to be a model?

Or maybe you’ve already started but want to know how to choose the perfect photographer for you. Whatever your reason may be, stick around and I’ll tell you how to choose the right photographer for you!

The first step will be to determine what you want in your portfolio. One who wants to primarily book makeup work may have quite a few beauty shots and only one or two editorial shots. You will always want to have a little bit of everything in your portfolio so you can be experienced in all aspects of modeling but by aiming your portfolio towards the type of modeling/jobs that you want to book, it will make it easier for clients or agencies to see what you are all about and where you want to take your career.

Model: Akira Milton @apmmodeling
Photographer: Dia Caster @photoartstudi0

Once you figure that out, you can start searching for photographers who specialize in those types of photo shoots. Just like models, some photographers prefer a certain type of photography over others and may be better at taking those photos. You can search for your photographers on Lensational Magazine.The photographer you choose should have good quality photos with good editing skills.

Great! You found the photographer you want to work with! 

The next step is to set up a photo shoot. You can message or email them to let them know that you are an aspiring model who needs to build a portfolio and ask them if they had any shoot ideas that they wanted to try out and if they were willing to collaborate (also called TFP – Time For Print) on it.  You may get lucky and they say yes, or they may not be taking collaborations at the time. If yes, you start talking to them about the photo shoot details and both of your availability. This collaboration should benefit the both of you, not just them or you. Be sure that what you are getting from the shoot will benefit you as they did when they accepted to work with you. Having your own contract in place is a good idea too because unfortunately there are some people who like to keep the photos to themselves and not hold up their end of the agreement.

If the photographer has their own model release contract, read over it and be sure that you are covered in it too for legal purposes.

If any photographer for any reason makes you uncomfortable, it is not recommended to keep working with them. As a model we have to protect ourselves and no amount of followers that the photographer has or how talented they are will make up for the regret that you will feel if something goes wrong because you didn’t follow your instinct. It is always better to be safe than sorry.

Cheaper Isn’t Better in Terms of Photography

If the photographer declines, it may be because they aren’t looking for collaborations. Not all photographers collaborate. Another reason may be because they didn’t need that concept for their portfolio or you might be too inexperienced for them to benefit from the shoot. If you choose to reach high and contact more experienced photographers, that’s great too but because you are still learning to pose, dress, etc., you have a lesser chance of them agreeing. It is more common to see beginner models working with beginner photographers. You can choose to try and negotiate them to say yes or you can accept the no. If you accept no, you should be willing to pay for their time and talent.

Model: Akira Milton @apmmodeling
Photographer: Ray Garbaldi @_visionarydreams

lways price your options and have backup choices if one photographer is out of your price range but always remember that cheaper isn’t better in terms of photography. 

Stay safe, determined and educated. In a competitive industry, not working hard is never an option and having a good portfolio is key!

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