Fellow blog babes who are just starting out, we’re in this together. I started my blog on the cusp of graduating college in a town where I had spent 4 years of my life. Come graduation time, I realized that all of my creative contacts would stay in Gainesville while I would move hundreds of miles away to Miami.
During the first month of living in Miami, I was struggling with everything from finding the right grocery store to blog-related issues like finding a community and decent photographer.
In the following, I’m going to tell you about how I found an awesome photographer for FREE! If you’re trying to ball on a budget like I am, this is the only viable option. Although I needed a cost-conscious photographer, I also looked for photographers that would charge per shoot, so I’ll talk about that too.
Ah, the mecca for photographers and models alike. Millennial business is now conducted via hashtags and DMs.
So, you’re probably thinking finding a photographer is great, but how exactly did you find him for free…
Photographers offering free services are more common than you think. In order for photographers to gain traction and become well-known, they constantly need to be updating their portfolio. While big-time photographers may have enough shoots to keep theirs’ filled, most who start photography use it as a side hustle. Therefore, they are in constant need of models.
When looking for a photographer in your area, hashtags will be your best friend. For example, I would look for hashtags like #miami #miamiphotographer #miamifashion to search for someone in my area. Other related topics like #miamifashionweek will also help you track down people who work in the industry.
Don’t worry, it’s perfectly normal to DM people, especially for professional reasons. Not only is it quick and convenient, but it lets the photographer see what you look like without having to go back and forth with sending pictures.
If you find a good match, you can proceed with exchanging phone numbers and emails. Photographers will rarely state in their bio that they are looking for free models. Your best bet will be to DM them and inquire about being a model for their portfolio.
After searching through Insta, I did end up DMing a photographer who’s photos were amazing. Only downside? He was charging $160 for ONE blog look. Maybe it’s Miami, maybe he’s overpriced. My friends in Gainesville would charge $50 for a whole session, so I wasn’t about to pay a stranger $160 for one outfit worth of photos.
Another method to find a photographer would be good old Google. All you need to do is search variations of “Miami Photographer Portfolio Model Needed” and a lot of options will pop up. In my experience, the Craigslist ones are rarely legit. They’re either into very outdated modeling or are looking for creepy sexual photos. Avoid these at all costs.
I found my photographer on EventBrite.com. Photographers looking for models will list a free event with contact information for you to contact them.
If you listen to the My Favorite Murder Podcast, you know the one goal in life is to “Stay Sexy and Don’t Get Murdered”. That being said, always be aware of your surroundings and what the photographer is asking of you.
This is a no-brainer, but when you’re meeting someone new, make sure the meeting place is as public as can be. My photographer asked me to meet him at a hotel and only asked me to pose in the lobby and crowded pool area. If he were to ask me to come up to a room I would’ve gotten the hell outta there.
Don’t do barren beaches, alleyways or private properties. If the photographer is a professional, they also will know that they need to create trust and provide a comfortable place for a first meeting.
I kid you not, I texted at least 5 of my closest friends about my whereabouts on my first meeting. Get the address, name and approximate timeframe you will be there. Have someone alert authorities if they don’t hear from you after the meeting. Yeah you might be a little neurotic, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Don’t Do Anything You’re Uncomfortable With
Yeah this is an amazing opportunity and you may feel obligated to go with the photographer’s suggestions because they’re doing you a favor, but I am telling you-you don’t have to do a damn thing you’re uncomfortable with.
If you’re not into swimsuit pics or provocative poses, then stand your ground. If you feel uncomfortable posing a certain way and your photographer still insists then your relationship is just not working out. There are plenty of people out there who will respect you and make you feel like your best self. Find those people!
Get Those Flicks
I hope that helped other aspiring bloggers. Until next time babes!
P.S. ICYMI here’s my post about the most bomb podcasts to listen to during a morning commute.
Photos by: @bachelerphotography