The art of communication, this is such a soft spot for me because I have crushed alot of dreams inadvertently. Often times new and aspiring models reach out to me looking to test shoot with me. The conversation usually goes like this:
Model: I absolutely love your work and would love to shoot with you!
Syranno: Amazing what did you have in mind in regards to your vision?
Model: I was looking to get some beauty headshots and also 1 or 2 fashion looks to help build my portfolio.
Syranno: OK amazing that is definitely attainable, did you have a budget in place?
Model: A budget? I thought that we can do TFP? Title shoot means no charge right?
This is such an important conversation and you have no clue how often I have it. Test shooting comes in both unpaid and paid format, as photographers often times for unpaid test we reach out to whom we wish to test with. When approaching photographers looking to do unpaid test shoots it's all in verbage. It will work better for both parties and eliminate the aawkwardness when either your asked of your budget or the follow up email is a price quote. A great start would be:
Good (Time of Day)
My name is (insert name here) I am an aspiring model from (insert location), I am looking to have my images taken professionally for portfolio use. I currently don't have a budget and wanted to inquire on whether you had any upcoming projects and are in need of a model or if your available for an unpaid test shoot. I don't have a solid portfolio available but I have attached some cellphone headshots I've taken myself. I have additional images on my social media at (insert social media here), I appreciate your time and look forward to speaking with you.
(Insert name here)
Positioning your email in this fashion or even if you decide to direct message let's the photographer know that you value their time and craft. I know that as aspiring models you don't have tons of money to dump into your career in the beginning but courtesy and respect are also a valued currency in this industry. I know it can be hard asking for free services but understand its all in how you position what your looking for. It'' no garuntee that you will get a "yes" everytime but you definitely will get a more positive response. To go back to a previous post, prepare yourself for an agency photographers contact them all the time looking for new models in development to test with.
As always if you have any questions feel free to comment below and follow me on instagram @photosbysyranno