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Hiring Models For a Lookbook

How to find and hire the right model for your fashion lookbook

Hiring the best model possible is a critical step when shooting a fashion lookbook. Everyone involved in producing your lookbook is extremely critical, but the model will be the public face of your brand. Do not cut corners here!

Alisa Michelle Jewelry lookbook photographed by Steve Fishcer
Jewelry Lookbook. Photography by Steve Fischer

This doesn’t mean only hiring the most expensive models will make for a successful lookbook. What it does mean is that you should have a vision of the model before you start the casting process. Keep searching agencies (more on agencies in a blog post next week) until you find this person because she or he will be your brand’s identity for the entire season. Yes, the more experience the model has,  the more recognizable she may be from other campaigns and the larger the social media following she has the more expensive the models day rate and usage fees will be. however in 99 of 100 cases the more you can budget for an experienced team (not just model) the higher the return on investment in your lookbook.

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HIre models through an agency, do not use friends family that are not agency represented. Seriously do not do this! Let me follow that by saying: this has nothing to do with how attractive a person is. We all have family, friends, friends of friends etc. that are just as attractive, if not more so than models represented by modeling agencies. The difference is that agency represented models do this as a job, they study and practice the art of modeling and the agency behind them puts their reputation on the line promising the model knows what she is doing. Modeling is not about being just a pretty face. When you are shooting a lookbook it is a very fast-paced environment and it’s critical that everyone on set knows how the process works. Agency represented models go through a process of test shooting with dozens of photographers before an agency will put them on their main board and allow clients to hire them. This means you get a model that knows how things work on set, knows the poses, knows where her light is, knows what eye lines are correct etc. etc. If you want to see the difference,  the next time you look at a professional model in a magazine notice how and where that model holds her hands/fingers and what she does with her eye line. Then look at an amateur model photo and notice the difference. It’s these subtle things that make for a professional model.

Leather and denim lookbook photographed by Steve Fischer
Leather and Denim lookbook. Photography by Steve Fischer

It’s critical that you not just look at the total dollar figure it costs to produce your lookbook but the return on the investment.

If you have any questions about producing you lookbook feel free to reach out via the contact me LINK on my website.

I will go into deeper depth about agencies, costs, locations and other topics in upcoming blog posts.


Steve Fischer is a Los Angeles based fashion photographer specializing in shooting fashion lookbooks, ad campaigns, and editorial work.


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