How to Find Models If You Don’t Have a Big Budget or Portfolio

Finding models to get started with your portrait or fashion photography projects is easy with these tips!

Many of us who want to finally get started with portrait photography or fashion shoots often come across a road block; how do we find a model? By trying out these quick tips, you may be on your way to finally get in touch with a model to learn the ropes of portraiture and put together a portfolio.

Wedding photographer Chelsea Nicole knows how challenging it can be for budding photographers to find models to practice with, especially since there’s a budget constraint and they’re still looking into building their portfolio. So, in her recent video, she shares some alternative ways to find models even for those who have very limited budget or have no work to show.

The first tip is actually the path many pro photographers take to get started. More often than not, friends (or friends of friends, coworkers, and even relatives) would be happy to help you get some photos to build your initial portfolio — for free! What’s also good about this method is you can practice how to pose and establish a connection with your models without being too conscious or uncomfortable. Once you’ve scheduled a shoot with a friend, we suggest taking notes from Sheldon Evans on how to pose your friends like models.

Model sites also make great options to look for new and upcoming models who are looking to expand their own portfolios as well. For this tip, Chelsea recommends two things: putting out a casting call and using the site’s search feature to narrow down your choices. If you’re not sure about how to do a casting call, Chelsea has also made a casting call checklist for you to refer to for those who want to go this route.

Lastly, you can also use social media to your advantage, specifically Instagram and Facebook. With Instagram, Chelsea shows how easy it is to look for models and even fashion bloggers and make-up artists who you can get in touch with for collaborations. Facebook Groups that help bring models and photographers also make great resources to look for people in your area to shoot with.

If you found these tips useful, go ahead and subscribe to Chelsea Nicole Photography on YouTube for more of her photography tutorials.

Screenshot image from the video by Chelsea Nicole