top of page
  • Writer's pictureNelly

How To Find Models For Photoshoot If You Have No Budget or Portfolio - Nello Johnson Photography

It's now 2020 and you want to start taking Photography serious and build up your portfolio. But unfortunately you don't have a budget or portfolio.I will give you 5 tips how to find Models and build up your Portfolio.

I will keep it 100% real with you. When I first got into Photographing people I had only photos of my 2 kids an Perfumes. So basically I had nothing to present to the model and even worse I had no budget. To make it even more complicated, I had no studio and my apartment had no extra space for Photographing anything bigger than a perfume bottle. If anything I say resembles your day to day life, here are my tips to overcome this problem. The images on display are from my very first Model photoshoot. Lets get started.

1.Tip Number 1 How To Find Models For A Photoshoot. FRIENDS or FAMILY.

It’s probably the easiest to start with friends, co-workers, or family. This is something I did when I want to practice photographing people and build up my portfolio in the process. But NEVER EVER tell a Model you are only Practicing.


2.Tip Number 2 How To Find Models For A Photoshoot. INSTAGRAM.

I would like to say social media in general but that's not the case, Instagram is all about your image. Instagram the first thing people take note of is what your image says about your portfolio.

( But Nello I have no images to begin with? )

So true but let look at this from starting up a small business for the first time. An example you are a carpenter and you want to start a renovation business. Sure you have years of experience but in many cases you never think about photographing your carpentry work. I would argue using images from a free stock library for short minimum amount of time can help you get started. BUT WARNING! Using very simple images you feel that you can recreate. Use little as possible and try to recreate those images. Once you do even if the images you Captured don't come close to what you got from the stock Library, start to remove the stock Library images and replace with your own.

Used and follow hashtags in your area. For example. I lived in Stockholm Sweden. I followed and Used Hashtags like #stockholmmodels #swedishmodels.

3.Tip Number 3 How To Find Models For A Photoshoot. FACEBOOK.

There are a lot of Facebook groups for all kinds of stuff – so it’s logical to assume that you’ll find some for connecting models and photographers. You can easily find them by typing, for example, “Los Angeles model” and browsing through the “Groups” tab. Or TFP model New York or whatever area you live in just for an example.

4.Tip Number 4 How To Find Models For A Photoshoot. MODELMAYHEM

You can also look for models on ModelMayhem. At the point you are just starting to build a portfolio, you can connect with new, aspiring models and collaborate with them. They are looking for someone to help them expand their own portfolio, and you’re looking for someone to help you create a portfolio, so it’s a win-win situation. If you opt for this method, Nello recommends two methods. The first is to put out a casting call and make sure to include these elements: The compensation: note that it’s TFP (trade for pictures) and that you don’t have a budget The look: if you’re looking for a specific look, vibe or style in a model, make sure to note it What’s included: you can offer wardrobe, hair, and makeup, or you can note that the model should provide their own What’s required: note some specific things you expect, like clothing, nail color, makeup and here (if they’re providing it) and so on. Mood-board: if it’s possible, also add a mood-board to the ad to show the general mood and vibe of the shoot and make sure everyone’s on the same page. The second method Nello recommends is using the Browse feature. This can be more time-consuming, but it lets you filter the models by very specific parameters and choose the perfect ones for your shoot.

The final tip will surprise many of you. It's right in your face. Here's a photo of my fiance at the time. 5.Tip Number 5 How To Find Models For A Photoshoot. Your spouse/girlfriend or boyfriend. (And yes as of 2020 she is my wife. Image captured at a Hotel in The Bahamas)

He or she is someone you care about and to you he or she is attractive. Models comes in all shapes and sizes. More than most likely he or she believes in you to be successful in photography or whatever it is you're trying to accomplish. Working with your spouse can be quite fun because you can really take the time to examine he or she from head to toe to get the most out of the photo shoot.

If you find yourself not in a relationship. Well unfortunately tip number 5 may not be for you.

But we all have a best friend. So that would be the person you want to target as your potential first model photoshoot.

Thank you for taking the time for reading this post and if you would like to see more of my work don't forget the check me out on glamour retouching Studios or my website Nello Johnson Photography.

You can also find me on YouTube

Nello Johnson

187 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page