Most REALLY good photographers won't shoot with a new model for free. Most photographers that are really talented and REAL photographers do not test either. So it can seem like a problem when it comes to approaching the photographer and you might wonder what to do, how to do it, and if you have a tight budget how you can get the photos you need that an agency wants to see.
First lets define what a REAL photographer is:
"real as in they are FULL TIME photographers, that is what they do to make a living."
Knowing this, doing a test shoot with you or shooting you for free won't really make them any money so when it comes to approaching a photographer I would use your personality, your own creative ideas and even try to network with some aspiring designers and pull some accessories, jewerly, shoes, hats, or help to find a cool location to shoot, a lounge, a park, be inventive. Don't just say, "I am a new model can we shoot." Give the GOOD photographer a reason to shoot you. You will get better photos and you will get an agent quicker if you focus on quality.
This is a pursuit, like a small business, and if you want to model, you have to think of it like setting up shop, you might need to invest in photos and printing as well.
It is work to be a model and it does involve research at the start, it isn't the 1970's or 80's when there were like three top agencies and it was just an obvious thing, you went to an open call and there were NO short models. Today the short girl has a chance because of advertising and the diverse amount of magazines out there that need content. Today it is different, advertising is different and models of all heights are needed to model products but you have to think about the photos you need in a carefully and planned way, not just winging it, because modeling is not just being called HOT on your Myspace page.
Now I am talking about approaching REAL photographers, not just these silly guys with cameras, so here are some tips for finding one:
call some agencies, print modeling agencies, the ones you want to be with, and ask if they can suggest a test photographer.
research some photo studios and photography when Google searching, -this is because the word photographer has become sometimes any old joe with a camera and a finger,- so research to find serious photographers.
Go to a photo lab, ask if the employees can suggest a good Photographer that tests, one that you could debate a rate with?
Of course finding a professional photographer is best, but also maybe someone who recently graduated college or someone who also might need some experience with a model. Someone who at least understands photography, lighting, and isn't just shooting and holding the camera for his ego.
There are photo equipment stores, like B&H or Calumet Photographic. Start researching in your hometown or city.
If all you are looking for is a headshot, and you are broke, then you need to think savvy, be confident, and be serious.
Photography is not a joke, especially if you work with the WRONG people.
Using social sites and so-called model and photographer social portfolio sites does not bring really fantastic photos most of the time. There are just guys with camera's there usually. So I would know a head of time what you need, which is a basic headshot, a full length body shot, could be in a dress or swimwear.
There are photography schools you could also approach, you could also call the agencies and ask if they can refer to any photographers than test or have a testing rate you can consider with your budget.
If you are really having bad luck then email me.