As a photographer, working with models is a vital part of your career. While you may begin photographing the people around you, working with professional models adds a new level of professionalism to your portfolio.
In order to work with models, you need to understand the process. The one mistake you can make is being unprofessional and tarnishing your standing and brand in the industry. In order to avoid any sort of issues or confusions, you should utilize a few practices. To help you understand the process, here are the three professional and personable ways to contact a model.
Contact Their Agency
If a model is signed and represented, you should always contact their agency first. Not only does this reflect positively on you, it shows that you understand the process and respect the business that a modeling agency does.
A modeling agency takes the management of their talent seriously. Therefore, you should never contact a signed model without first consulting their agent or booker. To do this, you can simply start by contacting the agency and referring the model who you would like to work with.
If you have worked with the agency before, mention this. If not, introduce yourself and your work to the person in charge. Tell them which model you would like to work with and highlight in what capacity the images will be used. If you want it to be a test, personal project, editorial or commercial job be sure to explain these details.
Once the booker or agent has received your email and approved the shooting, then you can move forward. The agent will always be the main point of contact for the model. This means that any information the model needs to know should be sent to their agent before the day of the shoot. Developing a good relationship with a model agent is beneficial and can lead to more opportunities down the line.
Find Their Professional Information
Now, many models in today’s industry can also be without an agency or booker. This means that they are “self-employed models” that book projects without any guidance or help from an agent. This is becoming a more popular practice for many young, developing talents.
In this case, you can contact an unsigned model directly to inquire about working with them. Whether you find them on a platform, through the recommendation of someone or on social media, you can directly reach out to them.
The first action should be to find their professional contact information such as their email or a website that they may have for their portfolio. This shows that you are serious about the collaboration or project you are proposing. Also, it gives you the opportunity to write a detailed message and include your website and examples of your work for the model to reference. In this email, you can also link the mood board and ideas you have for the shoot.
Utilize Social Media Profiles
The final way you can contact a model professionally is to utilize social media profiles. After you have sent an email and reached out to the model via their website, you can circle back to the message via their social media channels.
This can be as simple as following them on Instagram and sending a message through their direct messages. You can let them know you sent them an email and just wanted to follow up on your previous request. This message can be short, sweet and to the point.
If the model does not have an email or website, you can use this method as your first point of contact. Be mindful that direct messages will be sent to their requests folder if the model does not follow you. So, be sure to add them, like one of their images and add a comment such as:
“Hey! Would love to work with you, I sent you a message about a project I have in mind.”
“Would love to work together, sent you a message!”
“Sent you a message about working together!”
These are each appropriate and non-spam comments that will remind the model to check their requests and consider working with you. Remember that the more casual and approachable you are, the more the model will be interested in your work and the potential of collaborating.
When contacting models professionally, be aware of the process. If they are signed, reach out to their agent first, establish a connection and explain your project. If the model is unsigned, try to find a personal email, website or social media profile. Be personable and send them a link so they can view your work. As long as you show interest in their style, vision and create comfortable dialogue, you can effectively contact and work with professional models.