Over the past couple of years Amy and I have worked with a lot of models, and we have trained a lot of models on some of the basics of modeling to set them up for success. We feel that one of the most important things we as photographers can do is to make our sessions valuable, whether the model pays or if it is a trade shoot. There are a few things we want to pass onto other photographers regarding photographing models.
Pro VS. Hobby
One of the very first questions we ask new models we work with is are they pursuing a professional career with modeling, or is modeling a hobby for them. This is important because it determines the kind of work we do with them. Professional models require the very upmost quality from any photographer they work with. Their career depends on it. If you as a photographer cannot deliver portfolio quality images, then please do the model a favor and either pay her for her time, or find a model that is modeling as a hobby. A model's portfolio is only as strong as their weakest image. On the flip side, Models that are doing it as a hobby are free from portfolio restrictions and can do some high artistic shots without the risk of an angry agent. Just because it is a hobby doesn't mean they are any less skilled or any less stunning.
The Model's Niche
The second question we ask new models is what kind of model they want to be. This can range from Fashion, Editorial, Swim Suit, Athletic, Runway, etc... This also helps Amy and I figure out what kind of work we will be doing with them. We don't want to waste a models time doing a high fashion shoot with them if their primary interest is athletic modeling. That high fashion shot will do absolutely nothing for their portfolio. Always shoot with the intent of helping their portfolio, unless you are paying them. If the model is paying you, then do what ever you can to help them out.
Content control is especially important when you do a trade shoot or if the model is paying you. Our policy is that we do not post any images without the model's consent. If you do a trade shoot with a model(often referred to as TFP), it is a common courtesy to check with the model first before posting the images to your portfolio. While the photographer does own the copyright, if the shot doesn't meet the model's expectation or doesn't fit into their portfolio then refrain from posting it. Again this is how we operate and so far we have not had anyone reject any of our images. Content control is also very important if you do a lingerie shoot, or an implied nude shoot with a model. Most models have day jobs and may not want their employer to potentially see those images.
Hopefully this has been helpful to the photographers reading this.