Technically, summer doesn't begin till the Summer Solstice, June 21, but for all intents and purposes, it's here, now, with Memorial Day weekend heralding its arrival. My summer advice? Get out and shoot!
While many of you live in places where moderate weather isn't a year-round perk, like where I live in Southern California, summer is photography season for almost everyone everywhere.
Yep! Now is the time you don't have to worry so much about finding a cool interior location to shoot your pretty girl photography. Now's the time you have so many more places to photograph all those beautiful women who are just waiting for someone to immortalize them in sexy, seductive, glamour images. And that someone is you! Well, it could be you.
So how do you find those pretty girls who want their egos stroked by a guy with a camera?
As many of you know, it's not always so easy.
Two of the most useful places to find models to grace your viewfinders are OneModelPlace and ModelMayhem. If you're not a member of these sites and you're a serious pretty girl shooter, or hope to become one, you should get yourself a photographer's membership to both of them.
One of the really helpful ways to find models on these sites is to search for those of them who live in your geographic area. Both sites offer search functions that allow you to use search criteria by zip code.
When making contact with models on these sites it's really important to present yourself in a professional manner. Be concise and direct in stating what you're hoping to capture with your photography. Pay attention to the models' profiles. Don't ask them to go beyond the content limits they've stated. If a model indicates she's not interested in nude modeling, accept it, deal with it, and move on. (Assuming nudity is something you're looking to photograph.)
It's also important to prepare yourself for rejection. While many pretty girls love presenting themselves as models, it seems some of them enjoy the idea or notion of being a model more than getting out there and actually doing some modeling. Once again, accept it, deal with it, and move on.
I often read, on more than a few photography forums, a lot of griping about models who want to bring escorts along with them. If you're insistent the model shows up without an escort you're increasing the odds she won't show up at all. Sorry. But that's just how it is. Yeah, I know, those escorts can be distracting and, sometimes, outright obstacles to getting that shot you're looking to capture. What can I tell you? If having some pretty girl you've never met (and who has never met you) show up, alone, at your designated shooting location is what you're insisting on, you've diminished the odds she'll show up at all. And if you're also expecting, once there and alone with you, she'll get naked for you and your camera, you further increase the odds she won't show up.
Accept it, deal with it, and move on if getting the model alone and naked with you is your insisted-upon goal. I ain't saying it ain't do-able. And I ain't questioning your motives. I'm just saying.
I'm also not trying to dampen your enthusiasm (and hopes) for capturing pretty girls with your camera, naked or otherwise. I'm just trying to offer a dose of reality.
By the way, I've noticed many photographers don't think twice about dropping some serious dough on gear. But when it comes to offering some cash for a model they act like it's some violation of their artistic code of ethics.
Photographers please! Just like you might hope to make money with your photography, many models (and would-be models) hope to do the same with their modeling. Yeah, many models haven't yet paid their dues (qualifying them to earn) but then many photographers haven't done so either.
I know you might feel like you have a bigger investment, what with the cost of a camera body, glass, and other gear, and you bring more to the "free shoot" than the model--after all, all she brings is herself and maybe some wardrobe and makeup--but again, it's the nature of the beast that the photographer, if anyone, is the one who is going to cough up a few bucks to make the shoot happen. I'm not talking about accomplished shooters who, rightfully, should be paid for their time, especially when photographing novice models who are hoping to build a great portfolio, I'm talking about the average hobby shooter working with models with little experience.
Money talks. And offering even a small remuneration for a model's time--some $$$ to cover her travel expenses and make her feel more like a pro--will increase the chances of getting that model in front of your camera. If the model already is a pro, you're more than likely gonna pay for her time.
Bottom line: You'll get more models in front of your camera with a good portfolio and a Ben Franklin than you will with a good portfolio alone.
Accept it, deal with it, and score yourself some pretty girls to add-to, or build, that good portfolio you're looking to assemble. Who knows? Maybe even a great portfolio?
The sexy pretty girl at top is Tory from a shoot this past April.