Tips For Choosing The Perfect Model For Your Photo Shoot

Perhaps, you know your way around the camera. Pushing that shutter button to take still images seems relatively straightforward. But, you need to practice the skill before you can start calling yourself a “good” photographer.

panoramic shot of photographer taking photo of model and hairstylist

However, a reliable camera and excellent photography skills are only two pieces of the formula for an excellent-looking photo. You also need to choose the perfect model for the photo shoot.

Thus, here are four tips to help you choose the best model for your upcoming shoots.

  1. Learn the Craft

If you’re a photography newbie, it can be very challenging to hire a model for a photo shoot. Remember, you may have the most expensive, highly-advanced camera to use, but pictures can still look awkward.

Selective focus of beautiful model on camera display in photo studio

Hiring models for your photo shoots need you to put your best foot forward. Thus, study about the different photography terminologies, such as:

  • Aperture – The opening of the camera lens wherein light can pass through.
  • Shutter speed – The length of time the camera shutter remains open.
  • Exposure – The amount of light that passes through the camera to the device’s sensor.
  • Depth of field – The acceptable level of sharpness for the main subject in an image to remain in focus.
  • Focal length – The distance between the camera’s lens and image sensor.
  • Bokeh – A photography effect wherein the main subject is sharp, whereas the background is a nice blur.
  • Picture noise – Also called picture grain. These tiny particles may make or break an image, depending on how you use them.

Several models like to work with seasoned professionals in the industry. But, you still have a chance to get the perfect model if you’re still new in the photography sector. However, you need to research about the jargon associated with the craft. Also, don’t forget to practice a lot.

Model photography is a skill acquired through plenty of practice. Take note that many photographers spent years trying to perfect their image-taking skills before communities call them the true masters of the industry.

  1. Create a Mood Board

At this point, you now know the different terms associated with model photography. But, don’t start calling modeling agencies, yet. Instead, create a mood board for the model’s photo op.

Think of a mood board as a collage wherein you put pictures of different items to help build your concept. These images will help you visualize the composition and effects of the upcoming photo shoot.

If you only have an idea at the beginning, it’s still possible to convince models to work with you. “Winging it” on the day of the shoot may present excellent results. However, going through the photo shoot with random thoughts can delay the progress, and this setting can be detrimental if time is a luxury you can’t afford to lose.

Choose between two options when creating a mood board. First, you can create a physical mood board that comprises of different cut or printed images. Otherwise, you can save pictures from the Internet to your mobile device or computer.

Mood boards are excellent points of reference to help you and your model progress through a photo shoot. Plus, the collection of images shows professionalism, which can be your advantage to acquire the services of the perfect model for the shoot.

  1. Find a Model

Before, it can be very challenging to look for models as you’d need to visit different modeling agencies on foot. Now, you can check the different profiles of your preferred models on the Internet.

However, you can’t send a message to any model you find on social media. Remember, first impressions will last; be professional from the beginning to gain the attention and respect of your model.

Also, study the model’s social media page. Some models have more experience than others when working with particular photo shoot moods and settings. For example, one model has expertise in posing for wedding photographers. Another model is keen on working with you for casual fashion shoots.

Thus, it’s crucial to have a plan at the beginning so you can have a concrete answer when the model asks you, “What are your plans for the shoot?”

  1. Talk About Pricing

If you went through the initial stages of talking with your preferred models, chances are the conversations will lead to talent fees. Many professional models won’t work without a price. After all, years of experience and practice allowed these individuals to become experts at their crafts. Hence, it should come to no question that fees will be part of the process.

Hiring professional models might be the perfect solution for your next photo shoot. Professionals can work in your favor, especially if you’re a beginner. These experts know how to emote, pose, and compose in front of the camera. Plus, you might also learn a thing or two on how to progress with your photography.

Also, remember to know your worth when negotiating with your model. Many photographers, especially beginners, feel like they can only make a name for themselves in the industry if they hire a popular model. But, you might think about lowering your prices or accepting expensive costs when hiring models because you “think” you’re still not good enough.

As an individual of the arts, remember to find confidence in doing your work. Even if you’re still a beginner, you can still prove to the model that you can make them look astonishing and marvelous in your images. At this point, you should show your client the portfolio of your best shots.

Prove to your model that you’re worth the negotiated price before the start of the shoot. Once both parties agree to a fair price, you can start talking about other factors for the photo shoot, such as clothing and location.


Looking for the perfect model for your photo shoot seems daunting. But, a bit of patience and determination can go a long way.

Remember to learn as much as you can about photography before searching for models. Then, create a mood board, and make sure to be professional when talking to models. That one person you hire might be your ticket to photography stardom.