Finding Models – Part 1

INTRODUCTION

First of all, I would like to tell you how I got into this industry and then you will see just how easy it is to cash in on nude photography if you go about it the right way!

I trained as a photographer and spent the first three years of my working life travelling around the Far East taking pictures of anything and everything. I returned to England and was offered a full time position on the magazine I had done a lot of freelance work for in the Far East. Again, it involved a lot of travelling, this time around Europe, the Middle East and the Americas. During all this travelling I managed to get myself married between trips and after one exceptionally long trip to South America my wife announced she was pregnant. I handed in my notice at the magazine and found a position on a local newspaper near to where we lived. This way I could watch my family grow up.

During those years I supplemented my income by taking glamour photographs. I sold these to various men’s magazines in England. It certainly helped with the luxuries of life, as they paid quite handsomely. During those years I even set up a national model agency for amateur photographers, who were always moaning at me because they could never find models to do glamour work. I had always found it easy – but more of this in the ‘Recruiting Models’ section.

Many years later when my children were teenagers, I made a trip to Amsterdam in Holland with a journalist friend of mine. He had a little side line too – he used to write the Teletext pages for what was then ‘The Adult Channel.’ He had a meeting planned with the directors of the TV channel and being a typical journalist had arranged the meeting in a bar! While they were having their meeting I got chatting to a chap at the bar who ran an adult video distribution business. At that time, porn was still illegal in England so he based his distribution company in Holland where it was legal. After a few questions about what I did he suggested that he would be prepared to buy some footage of my glamour models just doing a simple striptease.

Over the years the single females doing striptease soon developed into couples having full blown sex, and it wasnt long before I explored the possibility of publishing my material on the Internet. Hence this ‘Guide on how to recruit nude models, photograph and sell nude photos.

So good luck with the guide and I trust that you will find lots of interesting material. If you have any comments or would like some advice which is not listed, just contact me through this website – I am always there to help if I can.

Paul Barrington

Part 1 – FINDING YOUR MODELS

As I mentioned earlier, during my working career as a professional photographer many amateurs used to ask me, ‘Where can I find models and how much do they charge?’

Here is a guide to finding and working with models.

First of all, notice that I said working with, not hitting on, flirting or hooking up with models. This has to be very clear in your mind. If you want to obtain results and get models to work with you again, you must be professional. This implies that you are very clear with your motivations. Forget chatting up a pretty bar maid after you’ve had three pints. Go back to the bar when you’re sober, order a soft drink and THEN ask her. If you think this is a dating activity, give up photography and join a dating website.

WHERE TO GET STARTED?

That being said, let’s start by looking at the main website that I use : www.modelmayhem.com . It’s free (of course there are some pay-to options but they are not essential), and you can search by geographic location. There are many more sites, depending on your country, but I found them all either outdated (inactive models) or a little spammy. Modem Mayhem (or MM) is as far as I know the best. Its forums are pretty rich too.

Another option is advertising. I once put an advert in the local paper that read: ‘MODELS WANTED – Large or small, short or tall, give me a ring, I need you all.’ I was completely inundated with replies, but that advert gave me enough models to work with for many months afterwards. Don’t constrain your model type. Nude models come in all shapes and sizes. They range from the classic busty babes to stick thin models and the genuinely mature woman.

I would also recommend trying friends first for one reason, you want your first hired model pics to be useful and convincing to others for your portfolio. Friends are great because you can try more, still have a good time with them, and no one’s wasting their time.

THE IMPORTANCE OF A GOOD PORTFOLIO

Now the most important thing, your portfolio. By starting off shooting friends and perhaps your local barmaid, you can get together a few pictures to show other prospective models. Or a very clean professional looking website will help a lot. Why? because it means that you are serious enough about it to spend time & money on a nicely presented website. Wix.com is a good place to start. Remember to only show your best work, even if it means only 15 photos on the site.

For posing ideas see the galleries of the various models.

ASKING STRANGERS

Sometime you see the one girl in the street or in a shop, that would be fantastic model. What you need there is a way to make a impression quick, a business card is essential, same idea as the website that will be listed on it.

It will be easier if you are a lady photographer of course, since the girl won’t think it’s a cheap trick.

WHAT IF YOU WANT TO SHOOT NUDE?

I’ve done many nude photo shoots, so I’ve got some sense of what to avoid. First of all, even if you’re hiring a girl that advertises nude posing, avoid the direct approach. Show your work first, ask for her terms, then introduce the idea. Even if she states that she does it doesn’t mean you can’t be a gentleman about it. In the end she will get naked in front of you, the more you show a class attitude, the better. In cases where you are working with an amateur, it’s better to work with the girl once, make her happy with both the shots and your attitude, then ask again.

If the model specifies she does not shoot nude, don’t ask, she said it because she means it.

A FEW MORE THINGS:

Have a clean warm room where she can change with a door that locks if possible.

Make her sign a model release contract. So both of you clearly know what they can / cannot do with the pics.

During the photo shoot: don’t stare like you’ve never seen boobs before. You can look carefully when framing anyway, so once again, behave like a gentleman. Even if the girls seems to be playful, she is playing with the camera, not you.

Always accept if she wants to bring a friend, suggest it actually, but prefer someone who is not the boyfriend or the dad, they might interfere for no reason.

If you are going to shoot nude photos, ask the model not to wear anything tight for at least an hour before the shoot. There is no need to be specific, just point out that elastic marks take an hour to disappear.

Ways to help them get undressed and become your model for nude photography are:

  1. promise you will take no photos of their face

  2. promise that they can see every photo on the memory card

  3. promise that they are allowed to delete any photo on the memory card that they don’t like

With these three rules that you must stick to you might find some willing participants.

Once you have had some success with photographing friends they may be able to put you in touch with others who may be willing to pose nude for you too. And because you have built some confidence with your friends you will come across as a true professional photographer.

SHOULD YOU PAY?

It depends – can you? Do you want to?

If you’re a professional then of course you’ll pay. It’s a job, you pay for assets and raw materials. If you’re an amateur, well you can pay if you are rich, or for nude / erotic shots, but otherwise you should be able to agree of a TPF kind of job. (TFP = time for prints). Many prospective models are familiar with TFP as they want to build up their portfolio as well as you do.

FINDING MODELS ON THE INTERNET

This medium changes so fast and furiously that it’s impossible to have up-to-date information. Also, being an ‘oldy,’ this medium is better known to youngsters. But I will go through two of the sites that I use.

INTERNET CONTACT SITES

Nearly all the sites let you register for free. You can then set up a profile, real or not, and wait for the replies. You can go a stage further and pay for membership for three months, or longer, and that will entitle you to send e-mails to any of the people who advertise. This is a good investment if you want to find couples willing to take part in a sex film. Of course you are only looking for people in your own area, but be prepared to travel if you want to make this a full time job.

OTHER PLACES TO FIND MODELS

As an amateur who wants an income booster or as a professional who wants to work at this full time, we have established that you probably cannot afford to walk into a model agency and book a model. You don’t really want to spend out vast amounts of money on adverts in glossy men’s magazines, but for very little expense and a good return we have established you can advertise in contact magazines. You have looked at the girl or boy next door or the young typist that works in your office and they are all unprepared to whip off their clothes and jump into bed with a partner and be filmed. So where do you look? The answer is to look in places where young models tend to start off in a modelling career.

Beauty Contests ……… If you live in America, a good jumping off point for aspiring young models of the female sex is the beauty contest. These can be small affairs running up to Miss World. May we suggest you start with the smaller of these. Maralyn Monroe started her professional career at a beauty contest, where she was spotted by a photographer – and the rest is history! Then there are places like Night Clubs that run contests such as Miss Wet T-Shirt, Miss Topless, etc.

Which ever one of these you pick it is not a good idea just going along with a cheap camera or camcorder around your neck and approaching the girls to ask if you can take a sex film. In this day and age there are some perverted and downright dangerous people on the streets, children are educated ‘not to talk to strangers,’ police are continually chasing up perverted phone calls and sex attacks are on the increase. With this in mind there is a definite and professional way to approach this arena.

Firstly you must have a good calling card. Professional, mentioning the fact that you are a ‘Model Talent Scout’ or ‘Professional Photographer.’ It is a simple thing to say to a girl that you think she is pretty and would probably make a good model. Tell her, “If she is interested,” she should give you a ring to arrange an appointment where you could show her examples of your work or you could hand her our model hand-out which is printed later in this lesson. It is also a very good idea to approach the organisers of such events and explain fully that you are looking for prospective models – there is no need at this stage to go into great detail about sex movies, This is all explained in our model hand-out. They will probably then extend full co-operation and you can approach the girls without the risk of getting arrested!

START YOUR OWN MODEL AGENCY

You could go a stage further and start your own agency, like I did. This way you are certainly professional. If you require any further information about doing this – I am quite prepared to help you as this is exactly what I did when I was looking for fresh models for the men’s magazines many years ago. Depending on the country you live in, you will have to check with your various authorities as some countries require that you register before setting up an agency.

It is also naive to think that you can pop down to your local bar and ask the barmaid to pose for you. But having said that, it is sometimes possible with the right approach. Here in Holland they have a different attitude to sex, people are not offended if you ask them this sort of thing. But not all countries are as sexually liberated as Holland. But if you do approach your barmaid, for Christ sake ask her when you are sober. She has heard all the chat-up lines from drunks! Just be honest, again give her your card and she will ring you if she is interested.

See Part 2 – Setting up a Boudoir Photography Business

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