December 3, 2021


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Models, models and more models!

By Heathse from Dreamstime

Look through any micro-stock web-site and it’s pretty obvious that buyers do like images with people in them. Sites are full of attractive, smiling or laughing models, beautifully dressed and full of confidence, staring straight at the camera.

However is this what buyers really want?

I don’t think so, at least not always. From time to time we read that buyers actually don’t want models that look like models. Rather they are looking for more natural images of real people engrossed in whatever activity they’re promoting.

So where do we find such models?

Easy, we all have friends and family who can provide the diversity we need to make a varied and interesting portfolio.

So how do you entice your dear ones to pose for you?

Easy again! Pick your reward to suit the model.

Children: love food, bribe them! Some like showing off, so get them to do what they enjoy doing in a setting that suits the concept you have in mind and then snap away. If they’re not your children, do be sensitive to any reluctance their parents may show.

Little girl Cant wait for cake!

Your other half: I interrupt my man when he’s engaged in DIY or gardening. I get set up and then shout ‘Stop!’ at the right moment which he does obediently, (whilst muttering under his breath) knowing he will be rewarded with a beer or extra dessert.

Man at work. DIY

Friends: If they’re shy, just ask to photograph part of them. Seriously! Tell them they have beautiful hands, feet, teeth, and focus or crop appropriately.

Chef in hotel or restaurant kitchen cooking, only hands. Prepared meat steak with potato or celery pancakes.

Teenagers : will do almost anything for a few pounds, euros or dollars. But ask your friends first if they mind you asking their teenager to be a model for a couple of hours and offer to show them the images you want to use before you upload them to DT.

Two young girls having fun

Yourself: don’t be shy. You know exactly what you want to portray and you could be the perfect model!

How to use the models in an image:

Be accommodating: If your friend jogs every morning at 5am then that’s a ready made concept so drag yourself out of bed and go! If your mum is cuddly and comfortable in an armchair with her knitting, or a prolific painter, then adjust the lighting and you’re off. Does your sister make amazing cakes or salads? Let her show off her creations and then eat the results! Have some fun. Don’t embarrass them.
Don’t overdo the make-up. Children definitely don’t need any! Pay attention to finger nails, whiten teeth (post processing), and tidy hair. Isolated images seem to do really well, otherwise make sure the background is not messy or distracting.

When you’re done, be complimentary and appreciative. Let them know if their images are doing particularly well. Don’t pester them too often or you’ll become a bore.

When you’ve done all that don’t forget the Model Release form!

Photo credits: Heathse, Marian Vejcik, Stuart Miles.

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