5 mistakes you're making when hiring models for your photoshoots

May 15, 2023

Hey brands, here are 5 mistakes you're making when it comes to hiring models for your photoshoots, and how to fix those mistakes. Ready?

1. You aren't incentivizing your models.

It's unlikely that you're working with your friends for every photoshoot, who may be willing to work for free, and even if you are, at some point, you're going to need to work with experienced models for your brand's photoshoots. Regardless of how long they've been modeling, their time is valuable, and deserves compensation. Obviously, the best way get the right model for your photoshoot is to offer them a competitive hourly rate (I advise my clients to consider $50 an hour at a minimum). However, if you can't offer cash, you could considering offering them a generous amount of your company's products, a gift card to a local spa,  or making sure that they are well fed before, during, and after the shoot. Just know, that if you're not offering cash, you'll have fewer model options, and it's unlikely that you will get your top choices.

2. You aren’t working with people of color or diverse body types.

This is a big one. We'd like to believe that many brands are becoming/are more inclusive, but you'd be surprised at how many, sadly, are not. By not working with people of diverse backgrounds, skin colors, body types, etc., you are communicating a lack of intention in your business as a whole, you are feeding systemic biases, and you are misrepresenting the majority of the human race. Real people are quirky and uniquely proportioned, with bumps, and scars, and birth marks, etc. It's important that you celebrate the human body and the human experience by who you choose to work with.

3. You aren't preparing your models.

In the early days, we were part of many photoshoots where the small business we were shooting for did not brief models before hand, did not communicate that hair/makeup wouldn't be provided, etc. This inspired a passion for creative direction and producing in us, so that we could be the one managing the models and making sure these details were taken care of, but it's important for brands to know what's involved as well, and to know things such as the importance of asking models to come prepared with a manicure, or not only bring graphic tees to set, etc. If you can't get the models prepped for your shoot, make sure you hire someone who can.

4. You aren't budgeting time in the schedule for food, breaks, changing, etc.

We feel like this is pretty straight forward, but so many brands don't budget time for things like, well, USING THE BATHROOM! People, let your models use the bathroom. Okay? Okay.

5. You aren't having your models sign a release.

This is an important step that's often overlooked. Just like you sign a contract with your photographer, the model release acts as a contract between you and your models. This protects all parties involved regarding how the photos will be used,  as well as the rights the model has to the images. Avoid a potential lawsuit and protect your business.

Have any thoughts or questions? Ask away! If you found value in this article, be sure to share it with a fellow business owner or creative who could benefit from these insights!


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