This one is inspired by our recent cross-review with Thierry we touched upon this question of concept vs showcasing model's beauty, let me start from the beginning:) When you just picked up the camera you are lucky if someone wants to pose for you, and the girls who would pose are normally adventurous type - they crave creative outlet more then anything else.
And then thanks to these girls you learned to photograph beautifully - you learned the light, coloristic, retouch and now another type of girls starts to approach you. Normally they are freelance models or various beauty queens - they consider your photography to be a tool for capturing their beauty. They put a lot of effort, time and money into how they look (restrictive diet, gym every day, hairdo, best makeup, wardrobe) so they are biased to see the photography as a way to capture their achievements. And that's great, but the problem is - they won't let you be creative.
Think about it - any wrong picture with a strange angle where they are not absolutely iconic will damage their image online and offline, so it's best not to risk it. That was a problem Thierry faced at that moment - he had a lot of creative ideas and he got used to the level of the models he now worked with. Unfortunately none of them wanted to experiment and let him grow.
Actually I myself faced the same dilemma several years ago - I had a few very cool and successful models, who basically started to treat me as their personal photographer. Really fast I got bored of that and took "this type of work is now client work" approach. For my own ideas I went to model agencies. First I did free tests for new faces - they would get some diversity in their portfolio and I would grow by trying new things. Later I turned tests into client work as well (and now I had the necessary connections) and started to do fashion editorials as a new learning step. Now it was easy to find models (through agency as well as my own following) who would be willing to experiment because they wanted to be published and to do that you need to have originality to your work.
Paradoxically, now when I have a lot of choices I started to value again what I started with 12 years ago - work with models for whom photography is a creative outlet, who can become a muse. I am trying to build the level of trust and relationship that will allow us to try ideas together, even very weird looking or very new ones. See, when you shoot with a good agency model it's great, but you need to deliver for her something she will use to attract clients. With a creative model you really can say "let's put this together and probably it will look ridiculous, but there is a chance it will look awesome" - that's I think the edge I like to be on as an artist - between awesome and ridiculous:)