I am hobby photographer shooting people. Most of my communication with models is done by email but I found impossible for me to effectively manage my models.

I need to somehow keep track of:

  • What she wants from me
  • When should I mail her next
  • How she looks
  • If she accept nudity on pictures, publishing on internet...
  • If it's free or paid
  • How she found me (who recommended me)
  • What version of model release we have

After photography I like to know few things for next time:

  • If there were any problems or issues
  • Her evaluation of the photo session
  • Am I interested in another cooperation

Sometimes I also have some idea and try to find a model. My thinking is like this:

is_interested + accepts_nudity + is_blonde + (last_session_mood >= good) + lives_close

and mail search is a really bad tool for this.

How do you handle model management?

Are there any special pieces of software or should I buy a big book and do it the old-fashioned way?

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Many database programs would handle this well. MS Access is but one such. \$\endgroup\$ Nov 8, 2012 at 14:01
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ You can also use Microsoft Office Excel or OpenOffice alternative. Each model is one row, each parameter is one column. \$\endgroup\$
    – zacharmarz
    Nov 8, 2012 at 14:29
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ If you grow to any size, a dedicated Contact Management System may be more useful than an ad-hoc database or spreadsheet. \$\endgroup\$
    – mattdm
    Nov 8, 2012 at 15:11
  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ Oh gosh, some of us only wish we had problems like yours. Would you share your secrets? \$\endgroup\$
    – Imre
    Nov 8, 2012 at 21:23
  • 5
    \$\begingroup\$ Sounds like you have yourself a "binders full of women" problem there. \$\endgroup\$
    – dpollitt
    Nov 9, 2012 at 0:08

4 Answers 4


What you are looking for is studio management software. They can do what you described, but also much much more. They help with things like invoicing, calendar scheduling, relationship tracking, referral tracking, billing, etc.

The pieces that you outline only really fall under relationship tracking, so many of the full solutions might be overkill for you currently, but as you grow into the business already having your data available and in a system like this may benefit you and help you to grow faster/easier.

Some examples of this software include, but are not at all limited to:

  • \$\begingroup\$ Thank you for specific links. I'll check that and eventually mark you answer. \$\endgroup\$
    – Jan Daniel
    Nov 10, 2012 at 17:07
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Perfect! This is the phrase I can not find. Now google can help me :-) Thanks. \$\endgroup\$
    – Jan Daniel
    Nov 10, 2012 at 17:35

What you need is CRM (customer relationship management) tool.

If you'll make it yourself, you can go simply for some spreadsheet solution (Excel or Calc, as written above), as this will not take much time to design it (just name columns money, email, age, etc and fill it), but if you want more, customizing forms in Excel later is not so straightforward as in Access.

Access or similar database programs will take more time to create (and require some knowledge), but are better suited later when you'll have lot of contacts, as adding new fields and new views is simpler.

Don't know for any ready solution, but if you are skilled enough with Access you should be done with it in a day.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ 'but if you are skilled enough with Access you should be done with it in a day' This is the sort of phrase that makes software developers want to hurt sales people very badly. Creating a CRM system to an individuals needs is a job of weeks and months not a single day. You are vastly underestimating the effort required, like saying 'if you are skilled enough with bricklaying you should be able to build a house in a day' \$\endgroup\$
    – user9817
    Nov 14, 2012 at 9:23
  • \$\begingroup\$ I'm developer, so if your logic is correct I'm hurting myself. Try to read carefully what I wrote, making spreadsheet "solution" would take few hours, max 30 minutes for column definition rest is making few formulas. That same work done in Access should not take more time, or at least not more than twice. If you want to make general CRM system with lot of options/forms, maybe even customizable CRM using templates, then you probably wouldn't choose Access for it. :) Such system may be worth 500 man/days upwards but I'm not talking about such system, but about CRM with max 20 fields & 2 forms. \$\endgroup\$
    – stemd
    Nov 16, 2012 at 18:42

Software such as the above may work, but there is a far less formal way to do it. Use note note-taking software like Evernote to track this. You can create a folder called "Models" and then have a note in this folder for each model. You can search Evernote quite nicely as you say above, but the query is free-form. Each model can have a TODO: In the note if you like and you can see what's next. It's worth a try and you can even include a picture of the model so you know whether you want to use him or her.


Actually there could be easier way if you're not so inclined to program or muck around with excel sheets (I'm lazy in those areas). Quite similar to the Evernote approach.

You could use your Google Contacts and add them to it and a item in the note area. So when you search your contact you will search your contacts with the right attributes.

Benefits of this:

  1. FREE :D
  2. Online and available all the time - good if you have internet access or a smart phone
  3. Fast and easy to use.
  4. If you have already have a smart phone and have added the model to your contact list and you already sync your Google account with it, half the work is already done.

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