I am a professional fashion photographer, who has been working in the fashion industry for quite some time now. And in my personal experience, it can go either way, but there have been times when I have waited for models for hours, and the ones that have confirmed do not even bother showing up
It is not easy to start working with new models, especially because it is so hard to find the right one or even get them through the door. It is a great myth in the industry, that models tend to flake at the last minute. Which is not a myth, it is actually true. But it is considered a myth, as it cannot be applied to every single model in the industry. There are some that are extremely punctual, and then there are others that do not bother about time. As far as I have noticed, it is not just the newcomers who are sharp and pay attention towards time.
The open casting call can be a gamble, but if your screening process is strong, and you know what you are looking for, then it will serve you right.
As that is the general conception, that fresh model’s who are looking to make a great first impression, tend to be on time. However, that is not correct, I have worked with a number of supermodels who have shown up before I did. Which is why the general perception, is entirely incorrect. In my opinion, the models that are dedicated towards their career and who have worked hard to achieve their dream never disappoint. Naturally, it is possible to be late once or twice in life, but there is an easy way to tell if the excuse is legit or fake. Similarly, there are many supermodels who are never on time, and you end up waiting for hours.
Which brings me to the conclusion that each individual has different priorities, and once they are set there is nothing you can do about it. So if you are looking to find the perfect answer to “what is better open casting calls, or confirmations” then know, that in this industry you will have a taste of both. So it is better to schedule both at times, or just know the models that have a reputation for flaking out. Knowing your models before you hire them can be great, as it will allow you to judge whether you will be waiting for hours or not.
But if you are short on time and need to hire as soon as possible, then the best idea is to go for an open casting call, as you will get to choose from a wider range of models, and will not be stuck with just a handful of models. The open casting call can be a gamble, but if your screening process is strong, and you know what you are looking for, then it will serve you right. So keep an open mind, or set up both. If you are open to working with new models, I suggest you stick to open casting calls, as you will never be short on models.