Finding Nude Models on Craigslist and Backpage

You can find nude models in many places and with a variety of methods. One that is surprisingly effective is free classified advertising offered by sites such as Craigslist.org and Backpage.com.

I’ve found that free online advertising yields better and more reliable models than social networking sites that are specifically designed to hook up models and photographers such as modelmayhem.com or modellocate.com. I’m not sure of all the reasons but they probably include the fact that the classified ad sites have greater reach than the modeling sites and do not require an account in order to respond to castings.

There are some tricks to advertising and I will give you some tips to help you be more successful. In general, post regularly but don’t post too often. I post less frequently than the sites’ rules allow. But some degree of repetition (about once every week or two) is good.

Craigslist

Craigslist has a lot of rules about posting to their site. Make sure you read and follow all of them. Craigslist does not allow adult ads in the U.S. anymore, so be careful your ad mentions that you are looking for models. I often use the term figure modeling or undraped art model instead of “nude modeling” so that it’s clear that I’m not running some kind of webcam service or other prohibited activity.

The site may also check your IP address to make sure you are posting locally. The problem with using your IP to determine your location is that the method is terribly unreliable. If Craigslist gets your location wrong, your post will not appear and you will not receive any kind of notification that it is not posted. In fact, you may receive a message that your post was successfully posted when in fact it is not (this is called ghosting.) I advise using an IP lookup service like ip2location.com to make sure your IP corresponds to your actual location. When I loop up my IP location it is sometimes listed as being over a thousand miles away; for example it could say I’m in Florida or it could say I’m in Illinois. I’ve found that by switching off my router and switching it back on, my service provider will assign me a new IP address. You may have to complain to your Internet service provider, or even change services, if you are unable to obtain a local IP address.

Craigslist has a system for reporting inappropriate ads. Sometimes this system results in legitimate ads being removed from the site, though Craigslist claims the occurrence of this is very low. I find that ads I place in the evenings are never flagged for removal, though ads placed first thing in the morning sometimes were. I’m not sure of the reasons. If you have trouble with flagging, read the terms of use carefully, and try posting again in a few days.

Craigslist likes your ad to be unique, so type your ad from scratch every time. Don’t copy and paste from another window; CL may even use software to detect pasting.

Backpage

More robust and easier to use than Craigslist, Backpage.com unfortunately does not have as much reach. Depending on where you live you may have better success with Backpage, although Craigslist is more popular in many places, including where I live.

Backpage allows you to easily upload photos to your ad for free, and provides a number of paid upgrade services. Backpage doesn’t do any ghosting or IP checking, so there is no confusion about whether your ad will be posted or not. The site does some keyword checking, but is upfront about it, producing a message if you use words that indicate that your ad may be inappropriate or mis-categorized.

Backpage does allow users to report inappropriate ads, but is not subject to erroneous or competitive flagging

Success Stories

Shown below are just a few models I’ve recruited through Craigslist: Tawny, Hope and Michelle.

Tawny, responded to an ad on Craigslist seeking nude models

Nude model Hope in studio against red background

Nude model Hope, recruited through Craigslist

Michelle, Nude model found on Craigslist

A. K. Nicholas (160 Posts)

A. K. Nicholas is an American photographer with a passion for collaborating with models and sharing knowledge. His initial training with the nude was figure drawing while studying art in college. His first nude shoot was when a classmate in college assumed that his invitation to model meant for her to be nude. He spent the following two decades photographing hundreds of models. He is happiest when working on creative projects and helping others further their artistic endeavors.


About A K Nicholas

A. K. Nicholas is an American photographer with a passion for collaborating with models and sharing knowledge. His initial training with the nude was figure drawing while studying art in college. His first nude shoot was when a classmate in college assumed that his invitation to model meant for her to be nude. He spent the following two decades photographing hundreds of models. He is happiest when working on creative projects and helping others further their artistic endeavors.
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  • Nick

    Did you do Trade for pictures(un-watermarked proofs) or did you pay them?
    If you payed them:
    How much was the rate for taking the pictures?

  • eleganteye

    Hi Nick. Any time I give proofs they would be marked as un-retouched images and have a small watermark in the margin with a web address. The resolution should be appropriate for web but not print. I always pay my models. If you are just starting out you may opt for TFP (trade for photos). Pay varies by situation, so there is no simple answer that would fit your situation, location, model, seasonality, etc. Pay is according to what you get out of the shoot. If you get good photos, it is worth paying for. Pay is influenced mostly by the model’s appearance and less by her experience level. There is also more work for models in warmer months, so pay goes up. You can also combine photos and pay.