The internet can be a great place to find modeling work with small businesses and individual photographers. However, the vast majority of modeling work that can be found through the internet is of the glamour and artistic varieties (of which a large percentage is topless or nude), or is of the 'adult' or pornographic varieties that most models aren't interested in. Commercial modeling work is almost always booked through agencies, not through the internet.
There are several approaches to finding clients through the internet:
- Models can find local photographer's web pages through web search engines, and then individually contact those photographers by e-mail or by telephone to ask for work.
- Models can look for photographer's advertisements for models on modeling-related and photography-related message boards, and then individually contact those that look like a good match for the model's work interests.
- Models can post messages on modeling-related or photography-related message boards announcing their availability for work. Potential clients can respond to the model's message through e-mail.
When contacting a potential client by e-mail, or when posting a message advertising for modeling work, it is a good idea to include all the information about yourself that a client would need to quickly determine if you are a good candidate for his/her project. The following information should be included:
- Location: The city and state (or province) you are located in. Clients in faraway locations are less likely to be interested in working with you, and if you neglect to include your location they may not bother to contact you at all. For personal safety, don't give your complete street address to anyone over the internet until after you've checked them out. Just the city and state is fine for initial contacts.
- Physical characteristics: Age, height, weight, measurements, dress/suit size, shoe size, eye color, and hair color. If you have any permanent marks like scars, tattoos, or unusual piercings, these should also be mentioned.
- A sample photograph from your portfolio, or a link to your web site where the client can view your portfolio.
- The type(s) of modeling work you are interested in doing. If you neglect to include this, clients may assume you are not available for the type of work they are interested in hiring for.
- The type(s) of modeling work you are not interested in doing. If you aren't specific about this, it's possible you may receive offers to work in porn videos or other work you find unsavory.
- The times and days of the week you are usually available for modeling work.
- The rates you normally charge for modeling work, if you work frequently. If you don't model frequently, it's often better to say something like "rates are negotiable and depend on the nature of the assignment."
Once a potential client has expressed an interest in hiring you for a modeling assignment, you can begin discussing the details of the assignment with the client and negotiate what the payment terms will be.
Most of the time, yes. However, there's always a possibility of running into a troublemaker posing as a photographer, so it is advisable to take some common sense safety precautions when dealing with people through the internet. Here are some suggestions:
- Don't give your full name, home address, or home telephone number to anyone until after you've checked them out.
- Ask potential clients for references from other models they have worked with. Check the references.
- As you meet other models in the course of your work, stay in touch with them so you can ask them about good and bad experiences they've had with some of the clients you might work with.
- Make sure all arrangements for a photo shoot or other modeling assignment are decided in advance, or be prepared to deal with unexpected surprises.
- When meeting an individual client in person for the first time, you could arrange to meet in a public place (for example, a coffee shop) or bring a friend with you.
- If you are a minor (under 18 years of age), a parent should be involved in arranging all of your modeling work, and you should always bring the parent with you to any photo shoots or meetings with clients.