Let's face it, to work as a fashion or beauty photographer you are going to need some models to work with. While working with agencies is an option, agencies may be hesitant to work with you while you are developing your skills and portfolio. In this post we will look at some other ways to find models for your next project.

Model: Kayla Odenthal Makeup: Kendra Jones

Model: Kayla Odenthal
Makeup: Kendra Jones

Model: Danielle Conlin Makeup: Kendra Jones

Model: Danielle Conlin
Makeup: Kendra Jones



Often times scouting is most easily done online because you can see how a model photographs and easily contact them for availability and more information. There are a few areas that lend themselves well to scouting online: Facebook groups, Instagram and online networking sites.

If you are considering joining groups on Facebook look for groups that are specific to your location and become involved in the group's community. Comment on the model's work and share your own work where applicable. Such groups lend themselves well to getting to know other creatives in your area. You will also be able to obtain a general idea of personality by looking at a model's posts in such groups.

When I scout on Instagram, I tend to find models through other photographers that I follow. Photographers should be listing the entire creative team under their post or with tags and you can follow the link to a model's page. If they are a good fit for your project you can easily contact them on IG through a private message.

Online networking is also an option through sites like ModelMayhem and BeScouted. These are portfolio sites that connect people from all walks of the industry and allow you to communicate via messages. They strive to breed collaboration and have developed sites perfect in doing just that.


In some cities, there are group shoots hosted by local photographers, designers, etc that are a great place to meet new talent and even test shoot with a model before you ask them to work with you on an upcoming project. These shoots often have several photographers and models during the day shooting for fun and to build portfolios. I have met countless models at these events, some just starting out, some with innate talent, and others who are experienced in modeling.

Model: Kanda Mbenza-Ngoma Makeup: Kendra Jones

Model: Kanda Mbenza-Ngoma
Makeup: Kendra Jones

Have you noticed that the teller at the bank would be a fantastic model. Don't be afraid to hand them a business card and ask if your could contact them about a potential modeling job you think they'd be great for. Be prepared for many people to be a little nervous about such scouting methods as they don't really know you and may have never modeled before. Still it will always be a "no" if you don't ask and it is possibility if you do ask.

Ask your friends and colleagues for referrals. Talk with them about your idea and ask if anyone comes to mind. If they are a colleague they may have even worked with the model before and can provide details about how the model worked, if they are punctual, et cetera. This is an invaluable resource so don't hesitate to ask!


Now that you have a list of some places to scout for models both online and offline I wanted to wrap up this post with a selection of tips to keep in mind while you are scouting:

  • Be mindful that some models do require payment to work with them because modeling is their career. Be clear when communicating with models whether or not the shoot will be paid and if there is compensation what the compensation will be.
  • Look for models with a reputation of being fun, punctual and professional.
  • Meet with your model before the shoot in a social place like a coffee shop to discuss the shoot and get to know the model.
  • Keep a list of models that you love so that you can tell others about them in the future when they ask you for referrals.
  • Stay in touch with the models that you work with, you never know when they might be a good fit for another project.

Where do you find your models? Share in a comment below.