My Experiment with Finding Models on Craigslist

I've had a number of projects stack up where I needed photo subjects to demonstrate image editing and organization for online posts, videos, and my next Photos book. I had grown weary of my other sources for models, and had read an article about tapping Craigslist for new talent. So I decided to give it a try.

IMGP3215-Molly.jpg Molly - She replied to my ad on craigslist, and we had a terrific shoot.

One of the things that I was after was more of "the person next door" look. I didn't need, or even want, what many consider the model look. What I did want were subjects who were enthusiastic, punctual, and had a presence in front of the camera. In the case of Molly, she has beautiful eyes. So that's where I focused my work.

I think it's very important to be upfront with potential creative partners. I run my ads in the "talent" section, and I state clearly who I am and what I am seeking. I include my website for reference, as well as my name so people can Google me to learn more about my work. I'm very clear about my positive intentions.

In return for posing in front of my camera, I offer experience in a professional setting, a gallery of pictures that they can use, plus money for travel expenses and their lunch for the day. I have them sign a model release before we start working. And I keep the sessions between an hour and 90 minutes, during daylight hours. Most importantly, I treat them with the same respect that I would any professional that I'm collaborating with.

So far, so good. I've had about a dozen responses that led to two shoots. That's actually not a bad success rate. I've had to rule out a few candidates because of their age. My suggestion is to only work with photo subjects who are 18 years or older, and be sure to verify that.

As for "the person next door look"... I'm definitely getting that. And I'm loving it. It's what I call everyday attractive. These amateur models are really helping me with my projects. And I think they're enjoying the work as well.

You can share your thoughts at the TDS Facebook page, where I'll post this story for discussion.