When I started beauty/glamour photography, I signed up for an on-line model/photographer networking website. I was one of the first members (member number 544 – they’re now into the six digit member numbers), and for quite some time that site generated a lot of the model shoots I did. Suddenly in December of 2016, without warning or notice, and for a minor rules violation in a casting call on the site, I was kicked off – no appeal, no second chances. Poof. Gone.
I wasn’t too concerned about it since I haven’t been doing as much model photography as I used to, and other photographers said they’ve found good talent on Facebook and Instagram. But I have a photo project I want to work on – a personal project that started a long time ago I want to get back to. I went to the old on-line site to look for models for this project and found quite a few that interested me. Then the problems started.
Anyone who wanted to work with those models had to be a member of the site. The models indicated no other way to contact them about work. Their profile information was sometimes very detailed, but no website was listed, no Facebook page, no Instagram account, no email address, and certainly no phone number. Only members of the site could contact them, and I am no longer a member.
This is a basic rule for marketing yourself – make it easy for people to find you. If you are a model without an agency and you are on one or more of the internet modeling sites, don’t limit yourself to just the people registered on those sites. Be accessible to everyone. Don’t think that those sites are screening members and only letting qualified photographers on. They aren’t. They want high membership numbers to drive up the ancillary advertising they do with their site. The more members, the more eyes see the ads. They don’t care about the talent, honesty, or even legal status of the members.
This is also a problem on other internet models pages. Models don’t indicated where they are or how to contact them except on that particular internet site. I’ve even stumbled on a few model pages on Facebook that were private!
When creating an on-line profile page – no matter how you are doing it – you really should include:
- Your location
- Your travel availability
- Type of modeling you are interested in
and – most important –
- More than one way for interested people to contact you!
Get an email address that is only for your modeling connections.
Get a “disposable” phone number (try Google Voice).
Create a basic and simple website (try Two Dogs Webs)
You want to get found. You want photographers to contact you. Don’t limit yourself. Don’t make it difficult or even impossible to get in front of a camera.
(*The photo is Brittney – part of the mentioned but unnamed project. )