Working with Models: My Rules & Tips

Video Transcript

Hi! So, I’m Kristina and I am Bozanich Photography. And this video is for the models out there. This is to actually explain what I am looking for in a model when I am contacted about future projects and some of the criteria that I look for. The first thing, when I put out a model call, I usually have something in mind, or I am just trying to get a general list, and I just want to say that I am still trying to keep my personal Facebook PERSONAL. I DO NOT accept friend requests from people I have not met. So I don’t like being contacted through Facebook about future business endeavors, doing any photo shoots, or planning makeup together. I know that when I do post in a group, I can’t post as my “Bozanich Photography” page, which is really aggravating because I really wish I could do that. So, I try to tell people in my post “Do not contact me on Facebook” or “Here is my email – please send me an email!”. So, when I do get messages on Facebook or tons of friends requests from people that might be responding to a post and aren’t following instructions, it doesn’t really give a good impression for me. It tells me that they didn’t read my full post, and they can’t follow instructions. That’s the first thing that is kind of aggravating for me because I am trying to keep what is personal for me on Facebook to only those who are in my inner circle, or who’ve I’ve actually met in person. And, once I do meet a model in person, I am more than happy to add them on Facebook because I know them – I’ve worked with them, I know their personality, and I do want to get to know them more. So that is the first thing that I want to say.

Second is, when someone wants to work with me, I always ask for their Instagram, or other social media, or just a photo of their image, their work. And, when I go to someone’s Instagram, for example, the thing that I appreciate most is if a model has a really good image posted on their page. For example, something that is classy, fashionable usually, or just shows very good, professional work. If someone has almost nude photos, or very nude photos, that are are NOT TASTEFUL, I will not consider that person at all.  Because when I invite a model to work with me, they are becoming part of my branding and I do not want my brand to reflect any poor quality work. So if you want to work with me and you don’t quite have that image set for your Instagram or other social media, that is definitely something you can work on. Work with photographers that maybe have a different style, different kind of quality to their photography, and definitely things that are more fashion forward and tasteful. So that is one thing that I definitely, DEFINITELY look into.

Another thing when I am talking with a model when I am considering working with them is the correspondence, whether that would be through email, text, or by phone. If someone has a different personality through messaging than in person… sometimes it’s hard to tell, because text something and you don’t really know their tone until you meet them. But I haven’t met these people in person, so setting that tone through text message, through email, is super important. Because, if you seem unmotivated or not passionate, I am not going want to work with YOU just because you don’t seem like you want to work with ME. So, that is one of the basic things – just corresponding with people. When people are enthusiastic through their correspondence with me, sometimes I will go the extra mile to work with them because I can see how excited they are. One example is a friend – Keith Vowell. I already had an entire shoot planned, and he emailed me and said “I know your booked up, but I really like your work! I want to work with you! Here are images of a design that I can wear. Please, please, PLEASE let me know if you ever have an opening”. And because I loved his attitude, I loved the photos that he gave me, I made a slot for him. I gave him the extra time because I really wanted work with him. I had never known him or worked with him before. So, having that special etiquette can really go far.

When I do work with a model, there are some typical things that models should be aware of, whether that is working with me, or working with any photographer. And the number one thing is being prepared. DO NOT show up late. Photographers HATE that. Unless there is some extreme excuse that we understand, or we’re late too because there was a traffic jam – it’s totally understandable. But still try to be on time. Second, be prepared in the CLOTHING that you bring. If you are to wear a white button down shirt, don’t bring a WRINKLED button down shirt. That’s going to look awful and now we really can’t use that. It’s kind of pointless because you’re going to see it OR that is going to be way too much editing for us to want to do. Another thing is, for girls especially, make sure your hair and your makeup is done if that is what we asked of you. We really don’t like to wait on someone who says, “Oh I need to finish up my makeup. Give me another fifteen minutes”. That’s essentially being late in my mind. And it has happened before, sometimes I don’t mind so much, but if I am there to give my time to you, I expect you to give your time to me as well.

So those are the basic things that I suggest for models. DON’T BE LATE. BE PREPARED. Above all, have FUN!

If you are a beginner and you are unsure of things, generally I will pinpoint how you can pose differently or better if you need the guidance. If you are an expert, and you got it, then I just expect you to work it because you make my job easier. I will of course communicate if I have certain ideas that I want you to focus on so that we can get the same image together – to communicate well about what we are doing. But the one thing that can go too far is if a model takes on too much leadership. I will say something. If they are taking charge and it is MY shoot, and MY vision, then I will do something about it. Other photographers may not so much. They may not say anything and then be unhappy how the shoot went (which it is kind of their fault that they did not say anything at all).

On another note, with models or clients, in particular, I always tell people how their photos are doing. Generally, I give a certain timeline and if going too long, I’ll send an email and explain why – “Wow, I got so many great photos. I am sifting through hundred of pictures of you guys and it is going to take me an extra couple days, or it’s going to take me an extra week”. I will always update!  What I don’t appreciate is if someone is emailing me every other day, or EVERY DAY, or texting me “How are my photos?”, “Can I see them?”. My rule is – if I have taken photos of you for you, you don’t get to see any photos until the final product is done – until they are COMPLETELY edited. And the reason for that is because it is the experience.

When you go to get a car, you don’t want to see how half a car is made, wait and see how it goes, and then get the full car to get the experience. When you go buy a car, you get the FULL car, you want to ride in the car – that’s that CAR. Photography is kind of the same thing?!

I did something for you – now, let me show you what I can do and I am going to give you the full thing, right here, when it’s ready, so just be patient. So, I hope that this has been helpful. If you have any questions, commentary or suggestions, or you want to connect with me, you can absolutely contact me. My website is You’ve got all my information up there. And photographers, if you have different policies, feel free to share! These are just my personal feelings about things from working with different people for some time. As I become more developed in my business, I am becoming stricter and stricter with what I am looking for because I don’t want to waste my time so much. And, that’s really essentially it – don’t waste time for other people, follow instructions, be as prepared as you can be, get the job done, be passionate, be enthusiastic, and things can’t go wrong. If you like this video, feel free to give me a thumbs up, or to subscribe and always feel free to contact me.