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How to Find Models to Grow Your Portrait Photography Portfolio

How to Find Models to Grow Your Portrait Photography PortfolioToday we’re going to talk about how to find models to build your boudoir portfolio & how to get them to sign a model release so you can use those images online & in your marketing.

Before you start looking for models you need to define who your ideal client is.

You need to get as niched down as possible – what is their sex, age, where do they work, where do they like to shop, etc.

Because when you’re finding models and building your portfolio you need to know who your ideal client is and who your portfolio needs to appeal to so you can attract more of your ideal customers.

You want your portfolio to really have the look and feel that your ideal customer would want so that it attracts them.

Once you have the next step is to get models! The easiest way to get started with this is to just to ask friends and family. Find people who are similar to your ideal client and you can be in charge of what they’re wearing and how they’re styled etc.

How to Find Models to Grow Your Portrait Photography Portfolio

You can tap into any existing audience you might have. Your social media following, personal fb page, your email list, any groups, etc.

Post that you’re looking for models of a certain age, etc. that matches the makeup of your ideal client. You need to be clear that they will need to sign a model release.

Another place you can look is you can look – if you’re in a smaller city there might not be a ton of models on model mayhem in your area but if you’re in a larger city this will most likely work really well for you.

Another option is to ask any business owners or influencers in your area to model for you because if you can get them to model for you and they love getting a shoot with you they will have SO many people to tell and it will really help to not only build your portfolio but also build your business.

How to Find Models to Grow Your Portrait Photography Portfolio

The next thing you can do is a Model Call. Now this is my system I created one month when my studio was slow. I created this Model Call system so that I could get clients into my studio without them having to pay so that there wasn’t a barrier to entry for them. Because I knew that if I could just get them in and get them to see how amazing their photos were then they would WANT to purchase them.

So here’s how my Model Call system – I have a word for word script I post to any of my social channels, email list etc – I’m looking for X models between the ages of X and X to model for X type of shoot on this time at this place, etc. You can get the full script at

Then I say: if you’re interested in modeling email me a photo or two of yourself and why you’d like to model & I will be choosing a couple within the week.

Then I go through the emails and select the models I’d like to have in for the deal and those who didn’t make the cut. The ones who didn’t make the cut still get a deal though that still a good % of the time gets them into the studio.

How to Find Models to Grow Your Portrait Photography Portfolio

So the next thing is to get them to sign the model release.

Now the main way in how to do that is simple, you require it.

In order for them to model for you it is required they sign the model release. Just be up front about that and mention it a couple of times so that they’re aware of it and have them sign it before you begin shooting.

If you enjoyed this post and would love to learn from me on how to shoot smarter in your boudoir business I’d love to invite you to learn from some of my freebies:

Free MasterClass: 4 Strategies to Wow Your Boudoir Clients with Better Posing, Lighting & Facial Coaching, grab your seat here now.

Free Posing Sheet Mailer: 14 Perfect Boudoir Poses Posing Sheet for Your Shoots, get a copy mailed to your door here.


What are your best tips for building your portfolio to attract your ideal clients?

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Molly Keyser

Boudoir photographer and business coach, I am dedicated to changing the world with the power of a camera. Originally from Wisconsin, I'm now in Texas, but I help photographers around the world learn how to go full-time with boudoir photography.