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Annie Leibovitz, Helmut Newton, Mario Testino and Steven Meisel are some of the well-known names in the model photography industry. Educated, trained and skilled photographers earn anywhere from $50,000 to $100,000 annually. If the prospect of becoming a model photographer appeals to you, there are a number of things to consider.

Where to Begin

Without a portfolio providing samples of your work, you will not be able to become an agency client. Consider starting by taking cost-free shots of friends willing to do some modeling. If friends and loved ones approve of the results, they will no doubt spread the word to others. As they post your work on social media sites, you will undoubtedly get some work. It may take some time, but you will eventually build a suitable portfolio.

Enhance Your Options

Consider joining Model Mayhem. The members of the social networking site include a long list of people you should get to know and include agencies, fashion designers, make-up artists, models and photographers. Each member has a personal profile, which makes it easier for you to determine who is within proximity to your location. Create a profile and post your best photographs. Be on the lookout for casting calls.

Teaming up with other industry members helps you establish your presence as you hone your skills. Start establishing relationships. You may have an opportunity to shoot models. However, you might also have to pay a fee to do so. Some work out trades in order to enhance their portfolios.

You might also consider contacting local clothing or apparel stores and offering your services to showcase their inventory. The opportunity benefits both you and the store.

Self Promotion

Once the word gets around about your work, you will no doubt beginning receiving requests. Make sure you are easy to locate by creating profiles on Facebook, Twitter and other popular sites. In this way, you can post your portfolio in order to gain more attention.

On Your Way

Once successfully getting your foot in the industry’s door, decide if you prefer working freelance or might desire working for agencies, designers or studios. As more people become familiar with you and your work, various opportunities will present themselves. Hard work and dedication will eventually lead to a lucrative career in photography.