When I first started building my portfolio (for both weddings & portraits) I found all of my models through Model Mayhem (this website connects creative geniuses like models, photographers & makeup artists). Some of my best friendships in the industry started through Model Mayhem. Here's a little shout out to my girl Rachel Tuttle. I first photographed her back in January during a bridal photo shoot that Cheryl & I planned (check out that shoot here). Rachel's probably the most outgoing girl I've ever met — she's full of sarcasm, genuine care for people & overflowing with bubbly energy. Cheryl & I have photographed Rachel all throughout this the past year. We'd call Rachel whenever we had a fun idea we wanted to try out and needed a pretty face to stare back at us through the camera. She's a gem, always up for letting us practice techniques and test creative ideas. Now that I'm in Hawaii, I will miss having her around the studio regularly. But for all of you Seattle based photographers out there, Rachel is wonderful and I recommend her big time. Check out Rachel's profile on Model Mayhem.
And for all you photographers & artists out there wanting to build your portfolio and build your business, my absolute top advice is networking.....and shoot like crazy. Make friends with other photographers — you will support each other and create greatness together — when you make photographer friends you stop being lonely and feeling so alone, frustrated, scared and lost. Find models who you can shoot regularly — you both benefit from a stress-free environment that lets you experiment and play. Snag yourself a top-notch makeup artists — you simply can't live without them. My biggest recommendation in the whole world is my darling Hanna Mazur (oh geez I'm going to miss this incredible woman! She's the full package of makeup expertise, kindness, inspiration & perfect customer service! I have literally 0 complaints. In my eyes, she's perfect.)
Please go make friends in the industry — it's the best thing I've ever done for my photography & creative happiness. Having creative friends has changed my life drastically. I LOVE my team — they are my rock. It's my #1 piece of advice. Doooo it. ;)