Alchemist Model FAQ

After being in this industry for long enough, you see the same questions come up almost daily, from potential models or from apprehensive parents.  I thought it might be a good idea to put together this FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) to head off some of the questions before they’re asked.

So here are the most frequently asked questions, in an order that was scientifically ascertained to be the most relevant and important, helpful and prudent.  …  Just kidding.  They’re in the order that first came to mind as I was typing this.

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Q.  How can I get into modeling?

A.  Great question, and you’ve come to the right place.  Training and getting new models started is my favorite part of what we do here at Alchemist Imaging.  You basically need 3 things to be a model.  They are:  A portfolio, experience, and a good reference from a legitimate photographer.  Fortunately for you, we can provide all three right here at Alchemist Imaging.


Q.  How long have you been doing this?

A.  Alchemist Imaging has been in business since 2009, and I have been a professional photographer since 2007.


Q.  So you can get me paying modeling jobs ?

A.  No, I can’t.  What I can do, is offer you the opportunity to collaborate with us on a full portfolio for you, hosted on our website, and give you positive feedback with other photographers and companies in the business  At that point, we can partner with you to put in the work to market your portfolio,  and I will guide you in how to position yourself in front of the right people, so that you can get YOURSELF modeling jobs.  I give you all the tools to do that.  You earn what you get in life.  Nothing is given to you.


Q.  How much does it cost?

A.  I think you mean, “How much am I going to need to invest to begin my career,” right?   We offer several different shoot packages, up to and including building a full portfolio.  If we decide to move forward and offer you a modeling contract, there is a flat fee for the portfolio that we require a deposit on to get started.    We’re happy to work out a payment plan if you can’t come up with the portfolio all in advance.  Our portfolio fee is very competitive and reasonable for what you will get in return.  But before we start talking money, let’s talk about whether or not you are what we’re looking for.


Q.  Where can I see some examples of your work?

A.  Aside from our Recent Shoots and Our Models pages here on the Alchemist Imaging website, we’re also on Instagram and Facebook, as well as various other sites and social media.  A simple Google search should do it.

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Q.  I want to model, but I think I’m too short (or fat, or thin, or ugly, or whatever the case may be in your own mind).
A.  This one makes me the saddest.  Unfortunately, the media and the industry for a long time had gone down an ugly path where we glorified the anorexic and the emaciated stick figures that were the fashion model elites.  Those days are certainly waning, if not already behind us.  I don’t know about you, but I’m not a fan of unrealistic ideals of beauty and prefabricated ideas of what a woman (or man for that matter) “should look like.”  I like girls with shape.  Certainly there are scientifically proven points of symmetry that the human brain finds appealing, but I’m looking at what’s interesting more than what’s “perfect.”  Secondly, behind all that, the only height requirements are for runway models, which generally need to be 5’7″ to 5’10”-ish.  And that’s only because that’s the height they design the clothes for.  But even THAT standard is being challenged these days.


Q.  What can I expect from a shoot with Alchemist Imaging

A.  First thing is, you’ll have fun.  Second thing is, you’ll feel amazing about yourself. Third, depending on which shoot package you choose, you’ll get a set number of professionally edited high-end shots of yourself, as well as all raw (unedited digital photos).  And you JUST MIGHT get offered a modeling contract, if your look, your attitude, and your personality is what we’re looking for.


Q.  How long are contracted models under contract for?

A.  Our contracts are 12 month contracts.  During that time, contract models have continual access to our photographers and our studios to update your portfolio on a regular basis.


Q.  When will I see the shots from my shoot?

A.  It really depends on how busy we’ve been.  Generally I try to get sets edited within 2 weeks.  Could be longer, or it could be done faster.  Just depends on our current workload.


Q.  How do you go about getting paying jobs for your models?

A.  We have a portfolio of commercial clients that routinely come to Alchemist Imaging for marketing images for their businesses.  We frequently use our models in the ads we shoot for our commercial partners.  Apart from that, we help you learn how to properly market your portfolio outside of our network of partners.



Q.  How far do you travel?

A.  As far as I’m being paid to travel.  Our “normal” territory though, is the Southeast
United States, focused on the cities of Columbia SC (our headquarters), Atlanta GA, Charlotte NC, Asheville NC, Charleston SC, and Savannah GA.


Q.  How do I schedule a test shoot?

A.  We would prefer you use the Alchemist Imaging Model Application, and send in a few photos of yourself.  You can also send me an email at or through the website’s contact us page.  Either way, we’ll ask for some photos of you, to get an idea of what you look like.  So you can do that first, and then we’ll get you on the books for a shoot.


Q.  Do I have to take off my clothes?

A.  No.


Q.  Can I bring someone to the test shoot?

A.  Certainly, as long as they’re not a distraction.  They may get put to work though.  Be warned.


Q.  What should I bring to a shoot?

A.  Clothes and accessories, your photo I.D., and a great attitude ready to have fun.


Q.  Do you shoot males too, or just females?

A.  We shoot both males and females.


Q.  How old do I have to be?

A.  We have child models as young as 8 years old at the moment and we’ve worked with models as old as 70.  There’s really no age limits, but under the age of 18 years, you’ll have to have a parent discuss you shooting with us and we’ll have to have their full cooperation and participation in getting you into the business.


Q.  How should I do my makeup?

A.  Unless you’re told otherwise, due to some niche like goth or vamp we’re targeting, do your makeup in the most natural way possible.  Err on the light side.  If you need more, I’ll let you know.


Q.  I can’t think of anything else to ask.

A.  Great!  Let’s shoot!

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