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Model Test Shoot Photography Inspiration – 8 places to look for ideas

As I sit on my phone, and randomly search the black abyss known as the internet, I realize that I do tons of research on photography. Especially when it comes to inspiration for my next test shoot.

Now, as a professional creative, I am very used to doing research and finding inspiration for my work so using this research skill for photography is very easy.

I like to create mood boards for my model test shoots to help them understand the style and tone of the shoot. This helps everyone on-site work towards a goal and our eye on the prize.

Photography inspiration for model test shoots: 8 places I find inspiration

When I search for inspiration, I tend to revisit the same places repeatedly. I created a small list of websites and apps that I use to find inspiration and these are the first places I visit when looking for new ideas. Below is a list of places I look for ideas and photography inspiration.

1. Pinterest Boards

This is my number one place for inspiration. I love Pinterest and the ability to create boards for all types of concepts. I usually save photography that I like or styles that I find interesting into boards that I can review later. I also share these boards with potential teams to give everyone a better idea of the concepts I have in mind.

2. Model Concepts

When I am approached by models online or via email, there are times when they have a concept already in mind. I love when they come to me with ideas since this is a crucial part of the collaboration. I don’t always like the idea but we usually find a happy medium on the tone and style of the shoot.

3. Magazine Inspiration

Yes, I still browse magazines at the local used bookstore. I tend to visit used bookstores because they always have both new and old magazines. I look through fashion magazines, music magazines, and others to help spark ideas. I don’t look for photography books or magazines as my only avenue of inspiration. I like to venture out and see what is happening in other industries.

4. Instagram/Facebook Inspiration (social media)

Of course, Instagram is a main source of inspiration. Looking at popular hashtags helps me find cool trends. I don’t always like to follow popular trends online, but it is a good way to get inspired by the creative community.

I also follow many photographers on social media so I am constantly being fed new ideas in my timeline. Facebook is also a great place to find photography inspiration. You can join the thousands of groups or local groups and see what other photographers are doing.

5. Online Blogs and Websites

Fstoppers.com and PetaPixel.com are two of my favorite blogs that I visit on a regular basis. They both provide great learning material for photographers of all levels, and they also have built great communities and forums for finding inspiration.

6. Online Creative Communities

500px and Behance.net are some of the largest communities I visit online for design and photography inspiration. Behance is an amazing way to see what is happening in the creative industry in general. Creatives from around the world post projects ranging from graphic design, web design, and so much more.

The photography section is a perfect place to find inspiration from popular artists in the industry. 500px is also a website dedicated to photography and digital imaging. It’s a great place to see the technical details of a photo uploaded by the photographer.

Flickr is also one last community that has not been getting much traction lately but photographers still use to find photography inspiration. Make sure to check it out.

7. Movies and TV shows

Why settle for still imagery. Movies and TV shows are also a perfect place to find photography inspiration. I recently finished binge-watching Altered Carbon on Netflix and was dying to do a futuristic shoot after the first episode.

8. YouTube

Yes, I said YouTube. The website may be all videos and no photos, but it is still a great place to find inspiration. Check out the thousands of behind-the-scenes videos and how-to videos of photoshoots from photographers all over the world. You just may find your next big idea.

Find Photography Inspiration: It comes in all forms

Keep in mind you can find inspiration from all forms of media. My point is you don’t always have to stare at a screen to find cool concepts. Get out and look at the world around you.

Take a walk in a local park and maybe you will find a special location that has the perfect lighting. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t find the inspiration you were looking for.

Remember photography and creative projects are always evolving with the times. You will find that perfect concept one day and it will be all you think about.


Jason Dallas Portraits Model Test ShootsJason The Creative – Dallas Portrait Photographer

Photography just decided to grow on me and I never looked back. I am a portrait photographer growing and specializing in model test shoots. Every one starts somewhere and this is my story. Instagram.com/jasonthecreative


What’s in my camera bag

My Portrait Photography Gear for Model Test Shoots

Sony a7riii Mirrorless Camera
High Resolution Studio Camera
Sony a7iii Mirrorless Camera
Great Photo & Video Camera
Sony 85mm f1.4 GMaster
Best Portrait Lens
Sony 35mm F1.8
Great wide lens for lifestyle shoots
Sony Zeiss 55mm f1.8
First lens I purchased – Amazing and light
Sony 24-70mm F2.8 GMaster
Best all-in-one Portrait Zoom Lens
Sony 24-105 f4.0 G Lens
Best all around walk-around lens

Secondary Portrait Photography Camera and Lens

Sony a6400 Mirrorless Camera (crop-sensor)
Small & amazing quality
Sony 16-55mm f2.8 G Lens
Super sharp and versatile

Sony Mirrorless Bodies You Should See

Sony a7rii
High Quality Studio Camera
Sony a7ii
Great General Purpose Camera
Sony a7sii
High Quality Video Camera
Sony a6600
Photo and Video Camera
Sony a6500
Crop Sensor Video Camera
Sony a6300
Amazing Budget Starter Camera

Full-Frame Lenses You Should Check Out

Tamron 28-75mm F2.8 Lens
Great budget option zoom lens
Sony 70-200 F2.8 Lens
Amazing Quality Zoom Lens
Sony 16-35mm f2.8 Lens
Superb wide-angle Lens
Sony 85mm F1.8 Lens
Great Budget Portrait Lens
Sony 24mm F1.4 Lens
Sharp Wide Prime Lens

Crop-Sensor Lenses You Just Might Need

Tamron 28-75mm F2.8 Lens
Great budget option zoom lens
Sony 18-105 F4.0 Lens
Awesome Video Lens
Sigma 16mm F1.4
Great YouTube Lens
Sigma 30mm F1.4
Sharp & Light Weight Lens
Sigma 56mm F1.4
Go-To Portrait Lens

My Current Off Camera Studio Flash Lighting / Location Kits

Profoto Air Remote TTL-S
Remote Trigger
Profoto B2 250 AirTTL Location Kit
Portable light strobes
Profoto OCF 2×3 Softbox
Portable soft light modifier
Profoto OCF Softbox 2ft Octa
Small direct soft box
Profoto 41in Deep Medium Umbrella
Main studio modifier
Profoto OCF Speedring
Modifier connector


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