As a photographer I am constantly searching for interesting people to have as models for new projects and ideas I'd like to photograph or experiment with. Once you've managed to convince all your close friends to pose once or twice for you, chances are they've become bored with the process and don't feel like continually posing in odd outfits or hanging from the ceiling on guide wires for you're imaginative photos. What are you to do in that situation?
There are quite a few options really. I've listed some of the resources that I frequent to get in touch with new and existing models and other photographers in the area and those that might be traveling to the area.
One Model Place - Seems to be one of the largest sites around and has a very active community. The site is home to models, photographers, actors, and makeup artists. If you're not a model, a profile will cost you 10$ a year. This lets you upload five photos to your profile, send a few emails to potential contacts per day, and gives you access to most of the site including the forums. There are lots of professional models and photographers alike on OMP and you are sure to find someone in your local area that might be what you are looking for. Sometimes OMP can be a little quirky, I've noticed this alot when searching through profiles with a bunch of criteria turned on. The overall interface is pretty decent, but for me its too small and bunched together to work effectively. Viewing of profiles is pretty simple, and is a quick process to get to others portfolios.
Locate Models - A website that focuses mostly on fashion models and becoming a runway model. Photographers can list their website and portfolio for free. Doesn't seem to have much of a community following and as such may not be the most time productive place for a portfolio. If you're looking to increase exposure it may not be a bad place to put up a small portfolio.
Model Mayhem - This website is a great example of a small website growing up over night. They started super small and have grown nicely into full fledged and easy to use service. The site serves both photographers and models. The layout is very simplistic and easy to use, for once someone wanted to keep it simple and it worked. You can easily navigate through profiles which are uncluttered and straight to the point. All the important information is displayed promptly and nicely formatted for quick glances. Model Mayhem is free, which is a huge plus, and allows you to upload a bunch of photos. I haven't noticed any limits yet, but I'm sure they have some form of limitation if you get upwards of a hundred images or so.
Glamour1 - Glamour1, which used to be Garageglamour.com, has been around in different forms for several years now. Having an established community to interact with is Glamour1's most attractive feature to me personally. It has all the other necessities of a good directory site with search functions and portfolio galleries etc, but what sets it apart from some of the other directory sites is its community interaction. The forums here are plastered with useful and unique information, which is all freely available. You can also upgrade you're account to get rid of the ads which really arn't that annoying to begin with. As a photographer I've found having a portfolio, even a small one on this site is a valuable use of time.
Purestorm - Purestorm is a newer modeling site that I've recently gotten to know, and find fairly useful. This site doesn't seem to have a huge user base yet, but it does seem to be growing at a good rate. Sign up is nice and painless, and easy to use portfolio system is in place to upload photos and tag etc. The few target areas that I searched for models had a relatively few results, but then again the locations I was looking for are fairly remote so go figure. Portfolio views are quick and easy to navigate, pages aren't bogged down by any useless crap which is nicely refreshing.
Models.com - is a fairly extensive website that has a lot to offer. The best thing that I like personally on Models.com is the abillity to quickly search for models in my area without having to sign in or even sign up. This gives me a quick scan of available talent any time I'm interested in seeing who's new or even who's changed profile shots etc. If you do sign up there are the normal options such as advanced search features and email etc.
Emwfilmandtalent.com - This site is new to me, but I like it so far from what I've seen of it. The feature that struck me right off the bat was the ability to hit the top rated search link to get a nicely thumbnailed layout of all the highest user rated photos from contributing members. If you're purely looking for inspiration and ideas this is a great place to start. Further inspection of the site led me to find that it is limited to major cities for quick searches, which to me is a real draw back. I'm not located near a major city and I dont want to have to manually search through every model on the site to find one that might be close to me.Â You can search by local city by going to search and typing in the city you'd like to search by, but I'd like to see it in a drop down by state. The search layout is great as it shows thumbnails from the profiles in search results. Overall the site looks clean and crisp and could be useful if you are seeking creative people. Worth a check out.