The success of my work largely depends on three essential components working together:
My background is in graphic design, so I believe that form follows function. That being said, my models aren't cast until I have a strong concept that I want them for. They need to match the appropriate time period as well as the fashion I have in mind for them. There have been exceptions to this rule, however. My work is anachronistic afterall ;)
I use mainly Model Mayhem to find my models. In spite of its random server downtime, it's a great site. I can browse by many filters and view a model's entire portfolio right on the site.
In addition to having the right look, I also check their portfolio for current work. Seeing current work shows me that they are passionate about modeling and if they're trying new things or sticking with their strengths. Mostly I want to make sure they're actively modeling because it shows passion and dedication. If their photos look like scans from the 80's, I seriously have to question their commitment to modeling.
Although most of my portfolio consists of models I've shot while visiting the mainland, I thoroughly enjoy working with the same models repeatedly. Not only am I familiar with what clothing looks good on them, but I love the existing chemistry and camaraderie we have. Work with me once and if we jive, I'll always keep you in mind for magazine assignments.
This year, I'm trying something different. I'll be casting for a core group of models, which I will shuffle through and use for various assignments. I am in the process of assembling around 10-15 male and female models for my "Dream Team".
My 2011 core group will not only be given priority for commercial and print work, but will also be on my A-list of attendees for the many events I attend. I'm looking forward to my new modeling entourage :)