I look back on the models I've shot with over the past two years. One thing that jumps out at me: I'm still doing a lot of shooting but I'm shooting with the same group of models more often. My number of shoots is the same but the number of different models I'm shooting with has gone down significantly. Or to put it another way, while I still will take the time to shoot with a complete beginner or maybe a traveling model who I've heard great things about from friends (shooting with Tillie McReese or Melissa Troutt are both on my photography bucket list), I guess I'm more willing to find someone I love working with and then collaborate with them until they move on. There is one model in Houston that I've shot with 14 times now. Another model who just moved to the West Coast and we did our 6th shoot in September (we would have shot more but she took a 2 year hiatus). Another model who I'll be shooting with next week--that will be our 5th shoot (again, she took a hiatus otherwise we'd have another shoot or two in there).
I don't think I'm that difficult to work with--I actually think I've become a better person. But I always used to tell models and photographer friends "life is too short to spend it with people you don't like." And I guess what is happening is that I find models I like not just as models but as people and then keep it going with them.