How to Plan a Successful Model Call for Family Photographers

A model call helps you get new clients and is a great way to practice your craft as a family photographer. Although there are many other reasons why you should create one as a professional, planning everything beforehand will make it more successful. 

a mom with three kids are hugging on the couch with their dog

What is a model call?

If you’re not familiar with a model call, it is a way to look for subjects willing to be photographed. As a Chicago lifestyle family photographer, I’ve sometimes done it for free but mostly for a discounted price. It is a great marketing strategy as you can reach out to models you’ve never worked with before. Not only that, but you’re also getting more exposure when your chosen model shares your work within their circle and on social media, which brings more potential clients for you.

Think about the purpose

The first step should be knowing your purpose in creating this session and structuring it based on that. Think about why you want to do it in the first place.

Do you want to grab this opportunity to have some work done, even if it means charging at a discounted price?

Do you want to build more portfolios?

Do you want to improve your skills by trying out different locations or even different niches?

Do you want to practice more in-home sessions?

Whatever your purpose for creating one, being clear about it from the start will benefit you and your search for models in your area.

A boy playing a video game with his family

Define your target audience

When creating your very own model call, the next thing you need to do is define your target audience and create a profile. Don’t just randomly reach out to different people. You should know what your potential client should look like. You should know where you can locate new moms in your area. Questions on their personalities, the likes, and dislikes, plus where you would usually find them; should be answered before even attempting to offer them your services. Understanding your client is the key to being a great photographer. I work in Naperville, so I like to look for moms that live in Naperville, Wheaton, or even Chicago. Instagram is the easiest way to find people. Try to find hashtags like #napervillemoms, #chicagomoms, or other hashtags that can lead to your ideal clients.

Does a model call always have to be free?

Don’t worry! You don’t need to provide your services for free all the time. I know how a single photography session can take too much of your valuable time. Not only that, you are using your skills to deliver an outcome, and you should be charged for it. You can charge your models at a discounted price first, then add more to the rate as you grow more clients. 

A girl comforting her dog

I know it’s not that easy to create your very own model call most effectively immediately. I started asking for friends and families without any preplanning and wished I started asking other people I didn’t know sooner.

Download “5 Steps to Doing a Successful Model Call Session Guide”

I hope that these tips can help you get started on planning a model call, but if you need more help, I made a free PDF guide, so you can rock your next model call session!

You can click here and download it immediately.


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