Advice for Photographers or Artists Working with Models

My name is Cheyenne Lewis I have been modeling for 6 years from Runway to print and figure modeling!  I received a masters degree in mental health counseling with a concentration in Expressive Arts.  I became a full-time model after practicing in different mental health settings for years and feeling unfulfilled.  With the experiences gained along my journey, I’d like to provide some tips of advice for photographers or artists of any form working with models.

Avoid cancellations

Cancellations are a major inconvenience especially those which are last minute. Just like any profession models budget their finances and schedule according to bookings.  Last minute changes prevent models from replacing a canceled booking. Bookings are professional meetings, not social call and should be treated as such.

Consistent professionalism

Models must assess levels of safety and professionalism before a job. Thus, having an organized & professional website as well as utilizing appropriate nomenclature and grammar is very important when communicating with models.


Rates can be flexible.  Though,  if a model clearly states in profile/portfolio ‘no TFP’ or ‘paid work only’ do not become defensive if they aren’t available for trade work.

Approval of additional guests

If as a photographer or artist you’d like to have additional guests at a shoot or have a dual shoot with another model you must ask the model for permission.  Likewise, it can feel reassuring to suggest a model feel free to bring a guest.  Sometimes just mentioning that is an option can a leave uncertainties etc.


I and many other models require a deposit for travel shoots and for those who have canceled a previously scheduled gig.  This helps ensure sustainability of our job.


Do not touch models in any way without permission no matter how long you have known them.  Interact with models utilizing the same respect you’d want your child/spouse etc to be treated in the workplace.

Social Media

A professional portfolio is a must be it your Facebook, individually run website, model mayhem, Instagram etc. Models base a lot on a first impression.  Make sure the content on your page is aligned with what you’d like to shoot (do not provide landscape images for examples of work when you’re asking to book implied shoots).  If you do not have examples make this clear that it is a new genre for you etc.


Do not charge models whom you paid to shoot for images unless they are for selling.  Communicate clearly about how images will be sent and time frame.


Let models know well before a shoot what your preferences are if there’s anything the model should know about working with you or at the location, what to bring the day of. . . And the reverse is also helpful; asking a model if she has any preferences during a shoot.
Hopefully, you can put some of my advice to use the next time you are working with models.

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