Posing For a Top Model Photographer

By Shawn Petrovich of Totally Ripped of Los Angeles, which specializes in photography and video of fitness models.

If you want to get started as a model, you may think it is crucial to get accepted with a modeling agency. Signing on with a modeling agency is a traditional way to get Model Jobs, but developing a relationship with a top photographer will propel your career farther.

Agencies are often only looking for models who can get hired for a lot of modeling jobs - so the agency can earn back their investment of time and money in the model. Remember, agencies earn a percentage of what you are paid by their clients. The models who are booked the most bring in the most money for the agency over the long run. If the agency thinks you are marketable for only a few modeling jobs, they may not consider you signing you onto their rolls.

Finding Your First Modeling Job Gets You Started as a Model

However, you probably just want that one first good modeling job - so that girl at Starbucks will see you in an advertisement or on TV and want to bang you. You can get that first modeling job - if you catch the eye of a top photographer.

Remember, a top photographer is not a photographer in your hometown who shoots photos of guys in his basement. A top photographer is usually located in a large city because the most national advertising clients (who hire him) are located in large cities.

Photographers are always interested in shooting new good looking guys. They are not gonna turn you down because you cannot earn $50,000 in modeling bookings in a year. They just want you in front of their camera!

What does a top photographer want? He wants you to pose for him. So, accept a shoot with a top photographer whenever you can - even if you do not get paid for the shoot.

If you make "getting paid" your only determining factor of whether you agree to a photo shoot, you are thinking too short term. There are more benefits in holding a photo shoot with the "right" photographer - other than walking away with a check.

Photographers Can Promote You

A top photographer can make your career happen. Often time modeling agencies try to keep the top photographers happy, so if you have a photographer who wants to help your career, agencies will take notice. An agency often want new models to kiss their ass. But if you have a top photographer pushing for you, the agency will kiss YOUR ass.

If a top photographer likes working with you during this first unpaid photo shoot, he may later insist that you be hired for a job that pays big bucks. So, it definitely can pay to hold a shoot with these types of photographers.

Modeling industry pros see you in a top photographer's portfolio

It is common for models to allow their photographs to be used in a photographer's promotional Web site (That is, of course, if the photographer took the photographs). Models do not receive compensation for this. However, these promotional photographs can prove a great promotional tool if they are viewed by stylists, creative staff at chain store headquarters, advertising agency executives and others. These people see the model's photo, like who they see and decide to hire the model for other work.

Traveling at Your Own Expense

This is why you want to spend a little money to get yourself to a big city to be able to pose with a top photographer. Because these guys are the shit, they will not pay for your travel cost. They have tons of models who want to pose for them, so they do not need to spend money to fly some guy from Austin or Tucson (or your hometown) in for a shoot. You should feel lucky to be able to shoot with them and just get yourself to their city without bringing up a bunch of details and making travel a hassle. Travel becomes a hassle when you want the photographer to talk to your parents or ask to bring friends or girlfriends along on the trip. Keep your travel arrangements simple: get to the city, hold the photo shoot, then depart the same day or next day.

NEXT... More Pay Your Own Travel Costs to Shoot With Top Photographers.

The advice included on this page is courtesy Totally Ripped Photography of Los Angeles.


  • About Male Model Photographers is a free informational site geared toward helping young men make wise decisions when choosing model photographers.

    We do not photograph models. We are not a modeling agency and we do not represent models for bookings. Always take precautions when meeting any photographer with whom you have never encountered before, including photographers advertised on this site.

    Best of luck to you in your new career, but please do not send us photos of yourself. We have jobs or compensation to offer you. We cannot make your photo appear on the cover of a muscle magazine. We cannot refer you to photographers or agencies.

    Choose the Best Photographer

  • Shoot Prep

    After working with thousands of new models and college students, we know the concerns, issues and questions many new models have before their first photo shoot. It is normal for even the most macho guy to be nervous prior to his first shoot. We compiled all this training info into “ShootPrep” – our dedicated site for training models with whom we work.

    Our photographer uses to train new models before their photo sessions.

    Sign up at

  • About Us