WEB EXCLUSIVE: Your Photo Shoot Model

Who is the perfect model for your spa's promotional photographs—and how can you find him or her?

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There are several reasons why day spa owners are often hesitant to spring for a full-fledged photo shoot—these include: 1) not knowing how to hire a photographer, 2) not knowing what aspects of their spa to shoot, and 3) not knowing who to feature in their promotional photos. Hopefully, you've mastered the “how” and “what” parts of that equation from reading DAYSPA’s August Marketing Savvy column, The Art of the Spa Photo Shoot. Here, Larry H. Oskin, president of Marketing Solutions and also a seasoned photographer, reveals the last part: who to shoot, where to find these subjects and how to go about hiring them.

We’re talking about models. While some marketers will say you can shoot your own attractive staff, friends or clients—and doing so does sometimes work well—most advise leaving it to the pros and hiring professional models, as it’s a greater guarantor of successful outcomes. But before setting off on a model search, Oskin says it's crucial to clearly define exactly what kind of model you’re seeking.

“Determine what type of day spa clients you want to attract through your media relations, marketing and advertising materials,” Oskin explains. “Factors like age, ethnicity, skin type, hair type and sex will be important with models. As a general rule of thumb, think several attractive females and a few males between the ages of 14 and 45. But many day spa clients also like to be able to see some mature models, so attempt to include some who are in their 40s and early 50s, and perhaps a few who are a bit older.”

The next step is to embark on the model search. Running one in your day spa may be a great way to yield results… and build some buzz around your business. “Put up `Models Wanted!’ posters and fliers in the spa and on community bulletin boards,” Oskin suggests, adding, “You can post ‘Day Spa & Salon Models Needed’ want ads on ModelMayhem.com or Craigslist if you are willing to trade free spa services for modeling services.” Then, set up a model `Go-See' to personally interview prospective models. This can be held in one sitting, at your day spa. “Professionally experienced models will be happy to come in to meet you, and bring their photography portfolios,” Oskin assures.

Spa owners will also need a few tools for this model call. These include a model application and interview sheet (to keep track of models participating in your search), plus a release form to provide post-shoot legal protection. Oskin explains, “Models, hairstylists, makeup artists, estheticians, massage therapists and the photographer all must sign an official document authorizing the potential use of their photographic image for any marketing, advertising and PR work that you may desire in the future.”

When negotiating a model’s fee, request his or her full day rate, and make it clear you'll need full rights to the photos. Keep in mind, models like to get pampered too, so you may be able to offer a deal of partial cash payment with some spa services. Barter away!

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