Model Casting


Getting a Model For Your Next Fashion-Beauty Shoot

As many of you reading this article might already know, getting the appropriate model for your project can be very challenging. As far as I am concerned, the quality of the model available for a photo shoot is proportionate to the quality of the project you are embarking on. Well, at least most of the time.

There are many sources for acquiring models for your shoot. What IS important, is, will the model you cast be up to the challenge and quality that is expected if you wish to eventually compete on the world stage.

Finding great talent is not an easy task, but I have been amazed at where that talent has been found. There are many ways ones can find the right model for your project. There are several sources out there like Model Mayhem, One Model Place, Net Model, etc. for models that in general are not represented by an agency. Pretty well all of the Major Model Agencies have Development sections or New Faces Departments that are there to develop the book the look and the strategy of the models they have employed.

It is generally a good sign if a new model is signed to one of these power houses as it is often indicative of where they might be in a year or so. Major Model Agencies invest heavily in their new talent and are seeking ways of getting them on the map and eventually getting them their $25,000 per day tariff.

However, there are gems to be found on sites that I cited above, that have yet to be discovered by the majors. Your job is to know if they are of that standard and to jump at the opportunity of discovering them and casting them for your next personal work, submission to a magazine or commissioned shoot.

But beware. In order to give them the same chance as those under the umbrella of a major agency, it is your obligation to get the best team to enhance your shoot and make it as credible as the competing agencies. That means, the best fashion stylist, hair, make-up and manicurists as well as an incredible theme worthy of the best fashion magazines out there.

Shooting a nude, glamor or portrait shoot will not aid in either your or their goal and will only lead to frustration. There are exceptions to the rule, where  they are so outstandingly gorgeous that one of the majors like Elite, IMG, Next, DNA Models, Marilyn Agency or Ford would jump at the opportunity, unless they were all blind at the same time not to have noticed.

Always treat your personal work (test) as if it was an assignment for a major magazine. Remember that your shoot is only as good as your weakest link in the team.

Also don’t forget that if you are shooting Fashion that, the model (in ALL cases) should be taller than 1.75 m or 5′-8″ MINIMUM and ideally 1.78 or 5′-10″.

If it is beauty you might get away with a shorter model, but their appeal to the majors will be diminished.

Where ever you find your Next Model, remember that you might be discovering the next Karlie Kloss!

Karlie Kloss by Patrick Demarchelier for Donna Karan
About Benjamin Kanarek
Fashion and Beauty Photographer. Some of the magazines I have shot for include: VOGUE (China, Portugal, Brazil, Italia, Paris and South America & Mexico editions), RG VOGUE Brazil, Harper’s BAZAAR (China, en Español & Latin America, Hong Kong, Italy editions), L’Officiel Paris, ELLE (Spain, Portugal and Greece editions), Madame Figaro (France), Cosmopolitan (France and Italy editions), Glamour (France), Votre Beauté, Jardin des Modes, Dépêche Mode, New York Daily News, Fashion District News, New York Times Magazine, W (British edition), WWD, Fashion Magazine (Canada), Flare (Canada), Oyster, Tank, WestEast…