Get handsome friends

As a stock and commercial photographer who often works with clients with small budgets, I've learned it's a good thing to have good looking friends. They come cheap, the look good, and they don't mind signing model releases.

Take my friend Ridge here. He's in construction, but you won't say it looking at his suave exterior. Or my wife's PA - C - she looks more glam than a R&B singer!

But if there is one thing I've learned - no matter what your models look like, don't skimp on a make-up artist. I've got a great (expensive) one I use, and a friend who's also a great commercial one (but cheaper for me!). Time and time again, those images outperform all others in my portfolio.

Then there is my sister-in-law, studying to be a teacher, El:

, her boyfriend K and a good friend R, who's a professional business coach, but as comfy as a fly-fisherman (which he really is); .

So who do you use and abuse? My kids are also on the list, but i tend to watch out for that, as sentimentality tends to cloud my creative judgement there! The same goes for my wife!

Photo credits: Danie Nel.

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May 04, 2010


My motto is get real friends and they will look good ... Besides, you do not need to pay for them.

May 02, 2010


My models have been pretty happy to get nice photos. We choose the photos together, I would not upload something they don't like... Not that I have that many models!

April 30, 2010


@Rosedarc - that's the thing - I actually do pay them, but it's much cheaper than going through an agency.
@Joezachs - the model release explains that there is limited control over where it'll be used and that is why I do pay them. Or do a trade exchange. For the flyfishing guy I did some portraits for his profile and did these extra. It was a swop then. I generally don't have people sign model releases if I don't pay them, even if it is a cursory amount.

April 30, 2010


Thanks for the useful tip!

April 29, 2010


I also use friends and family - since returns are never guaranteed, it's the only way to have people shots without having to pay fees...

April 29, 2010


A good idea and a useful tip.
But I think some of them are a bit skeptical when it comes to "where is my photo going to be used?"

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