Are Modeling Websites Worth Your Time and Money?

by | Sep 5, 2020

Today’s Post by Joe Farace

Updated 2/8/21: This post was written before the COVID-19 pandemic and has been slightly updated. With the coming of the vaccines, the on-line modeling scene has loosened up but it is not even close to getting back to normal. But I am optimistic…

In the series of blog posts that I originally wrote about finding glamour models, I suggested that one way to find models was through the use of modeling websites. Based on some of the email I received on this topic, one of the biggest question that readers had was: Are Modeling Websites worth your time and money? The answer is, unfortunately a yes and a no.

Yes, they are. If you are willing to pay the models and sites.

That is not to say you can’t find glamour models on these sites; you can if you’re willing to pay—bigly. Even inexperienced models with portfolios that are filled with selfies are asking $100/hour. Other, more experienced models charge similar rates, so there’s that. If you have the money—and I don’t—you can find models on these sites and if you do I wish you all the best.

No they’re not. There’s no value for the time and energy.

My real world experience with these sites over the past several years is that they have turned into a marketplace of models more interested in the money they can make than the quality of the images that they can produce. In the economy that we find ourselves in these days, you have to do what you gotta do to make a buck. And that goes for the fees these sites charge too and I’m tired of giving these company my money… for nothing.

That’s why before the end of 2019, I  changed my paid, premium VIP membership to the basic free account and let it languish just in case a model I previously photographed wants to contact me. I won’t update it and won’t add new photos because I think there are better and more affordable approach for finding models. Which ones? Check some of my other posts on this subject and look for some new ones real soon now.

How I made this shot: I once photographed the famous Internet model Maria Cedar dressed as Elvira, Mistress of the Night for a Halloween themed shoot. Although she is on that very same modeling website that I complained about, I didn’t find Maria there. Instead I found her through a combination of mutual acquaintances and her social media presence. And while it took us several years to finally work together, I’m getting ready to photograph her for the fifth time sometime in October.*

I photographed Maria in the living room of my home using only available light. Camera was an Olympus E-M10 Mark I with the fabulous Olympus 45mm f/1.8 lens and an exposure of 1/200 sec at f/2.3 and ISO 400 with an exposure compensation of plus one-third stop. The image was retouched using Imagenomic Portraiture and tweaked in Color Efex Pro using the Sunlight filter.

*pandemic pending. Waiting for the COVID-19 alert level in my county to chance from red to something that will make a trip economically feasible.


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Joe Farace’s Glamour Photography is full of tips, tools and techniques for glamour and boudoir photography with new copies available from Amazon for $20.99, as I write this. Used copies of the book start at  $7.62. The Kindle version is $19.99 for those who prefer a digital format.