Forums > Model Colloquy > How much does it cost to model for money??

Model

Cassiopeia

Posts: 153

Bend, Oregon, US

For models who are signed or are getting paid for their shoots . . .

What was your initial investment into modeling, getting your portfolio and whatever else you needed to actually get signed??

I know they say you should never pay a company to get you out there and what not, but I've also heard that to get yourself out there requires a lot of investment of time and money.

How much does it really cost you, before you start actually making?

Sep 28 07 05:36 am Link

Model

Lynn Elizabeth

Posts: 1336

Coral Springs, Florida, US

I've never payed a company, I'm not signed anywhere. But as a model you spend a lot trying to get a book together. There are different photographers that you work with (either TF* or you pay them) there is clothing cost, travel cost, hair/makeup cost (more if you use an MUA or stylist) And that's just to start out.

Once you have developed a portfolio that is outstanding then you will be able to received paid assignments. Photographers don't pay models unless they offer something amazing, some photographers don't pay models at all. It's all a little give and take.

Sep 28 07 09:24 am Link

Model

Notch Ludmila

Posts: 308

I've never paid for anything.  Except that my agency wanted me to get my hair trimmed and glossed so I got that done, but it was just a trim.

Sep 28 07 09:34 am Link

Model

Notch Ludmila

Posts: 308

eventually, I'm going to have to pay them back but that's if and when I start recieving work.

Sep 28 07 09:34 am Link

Model

Lynn Elizabeth

Posts: 1336

Coral Springs, Florida, US

BianaNewYork wrote:
I've never paid for anything.  Except that my agency wanted me to get my hair trimmed and glossed so I got that done, but it was just a trim.

so the second you decided you wanted to model you went straight to an agency and they said yes? You didn't shoot anything before that?

Sep 28 07 09:37 am Link

Photographer

SLE Photography

Posts: 68937

Orlando, Florida, US

Lynn Elizabeth wrote:

so the second you decided you wanted to model you went straight to an agency and they said yes? You didn't shoot anything before that?

That's the way it is with most major agencies.  Assuming you walked in with a great book they'd still probably want you to throw it out if you actually meet their criteria.
If you go to sites for agencies like Ford or Wilhelmina (where Bianca is signed) and look at their submission guidelines, they want 4 basic snapshots...face with no makeup & hair pulled back, and 3 angles full length body against plain wall or backdrop preferably in a bathing suit.
That's ALL they want to see.
They actively discourage professional photos for submission.

Sep 28 07 09:40 am Link

Model

Lynn Elizabeth

Posts: 1336

Coral Springs, Florida, US

They don't care if you have absolutely no experience???

Sep 28 07 09:42 am Link

Model

Notch Ludmila

Posts: 308

Lynn Elizabeth wrote:

so the second you decided you wanted to model you went straight to an agency and they said yes? You didn't shoot anything before that?

Um, I never even made a concious decision to model, it just kind of happened, I looked for things on craigslist, send them some of my "home pictures" some people liked me, some didn't.  It was actually at an audution for something I found on craigslist that I got sent to Wilhelmina.

Sep 28 07 09:43 am Link

Model

Notch Ludmila

Posts: 308

SLE Photography wrote:

That's the way it is with most major agencies.  Assuming you walked in with a great book they'd still probably want you to throw it out if you actually meet their criteria.
If you go to sites for agencies like Ford or Wilhelmina (where Bianca is signed) and look at their submission guidelines, they want 4 basic snapshots...face with no makeup & hair pulled back, and 3 angles full length body against plain wall or backdrop preferably in a bathing suit.
That's ALL they want to see.
They actively discourage professional photos for submission.

Names Biana, lol.

Sep 28 07 09:44 am Link

Photographer

Emeritus

Posts: 21947

Las Vegas, Nevada, US

BianaNewYork wrote:
I've never paid for anything.  Except that my agency wanted me to get my hair trimmed and glossed so I got that done, but it was just a trim.

BianaNewYork wrote:

eventually, I'm going to have to pay them back
but that's if and when I start recieving work.

In the future, please start your posts with the notion that you were LOANED money, not given things for free, and that you incurred a debt.  Your original post leaves the idea that all these things you are getting were free.

Sep 28 07 09:44 am Link

Model

Lynn Elizabeth

Posts: 1336

Coral Springs, Florida, US

Well that's very lucky of you.

But us short models don't have it so lucky. We have to work a million times harder to get anywhere.

Sep 28 07 09:45 am Link

Photographer

Emeritus

Posts: 21947

Las Vegas, Nevada, US

Lynn Elizabeth wrote:
They don't care if you have absolutely no experience???

No, they don't.

This "experience" requirement is a creature of the Internet, not of mainstream agency modeling.  You don't need experience, you don't need a portfolio.  You do need to look like what they want.

Sep 28 07 09:46 am Link

Model

Daniela Victoria

Posts: 25108

Cranford, New Jersey, US

Well, costs vary depending on the model.

I couldn't give you a number..but the things I've spent money on and still do spend money on are any of the following:

Stylists, prints, two books, specific wardrobe, gym membership, tanning membership, manicures, pedicures, etc etc.

It's all worth it. But I don't want to know the number LOL>

Sep 28 07 09:46 am Link

Model

Notch Ludmila

Posts: 308

TXPhotog wrote:

BianaNewYork wrote:
I've never paid for anything.  Except that my agency wanted me to get my hair trimmed and glossed so I got that done, but it was just a trim.

In the future, please start your posts with the notion that you were LOANED money, not given things for free, and that you incurred a debt.  Your original post leaves the idea that all these things you are getting were free.

But the way they explained it to me, I only pay back if and when I get work.  Work I would not recieve without their backing.  It's not like I'm going to some random studio, paying hundreds of dollars just to continue looking for work myself.

Sep 28 07 09:46 am Link

Model

Donna Swinson

Posts: 329

Gaithersburg, Maryland, US

Maybe this could help, as it has helped me to understand far as Business:

The modeling business/fashion is a multi-billion dollar industry and everyone is trying to get there cut of this industry. I will specifically share my thoughts for Models. The manufacturers and owners of products/clothing etc. have money to spend on models to promote there products. Owners/Manufacturers contact model agencies in order to get the best for the money. However, we have agencies that are not direct links to the Owners/Manufacturers in order to supply them with quality models for the promotion of there products. An agency or photographer that charges you for pictures have sold you there service, that service is just pictures and don't expect anything more.

This company makes its money from men and women who aspire for fame as a model and they use your interest and charge you. True agents and photographers that are in the real business make there money from the Owners and Manufacture of products and are paid by the service they bring, and that servce is quality models, not money from the aspiring model. There bread and butter comes from getting them the model for there products. For you Donna, call me if you have any questions. Hope this helps.

This helped to understand all business isn't honest business, do your research and all ways ask questions.

Sep 28 07 09:47 am Link

Model

Notch Ludmila

Posts: 308

Lynn Elizabeth wrote:
Well that's very lucky of you.

But us short models don't have it so lucky. We have to work a million times harder to get anywhere.

haha, they still told me to wear heals anywere I go.  Apparently, in the modelling industry, I am short.  My feet hurt like hell because I had to wear heals to school today because I have an audition right after school.

Sep 28 07 09:48 am Link

Photographer

Emeritus

Posts: 21947

Las Vegas, Nevada, US

BianaNewYork wrote:
But the way they explained it to me, I only pay back if and when I get work.  Work I would not recieve without their backing.  It's not like I'm going to some random studio, paying hundreds of dollars just to continue looking for work myself.

It's a loan.  It's money that will come out of your pocket, regardless of when you have to pay it.  It is not free products and services.

Also, I don't know specifically about Wilhelmina's policies, but if you read your contract, I'm pretty sure you will find that if you don't get enough work to pay them back, you still owe them the money.

Sep 28 07 09:55 am Link

Photographer

Emeritus

Posts: 21947

Las Vegas, Nevada, US

BianaNewYork wrote:

haha, they still told me to wear heals anywere I go.  Apparently, in the modelling industry, I am short.  My feet hurt like hell because I had to wear heals to school today because I have an audition right after school.

So do what experienced models do:  wear flats, and put heels on (the ones you have in your purse) before you to into the audition.

Sep 28 07 09:56 am Link

Photographer

H E R B L I S H

Posts: 15073

Orlando, Florida, US

BianaNewYork wrote:

haha, they still told me to wear heals anywere I go.  Apparently, in the modelling industry, I am short.  My feet hurt like hell because I had to wear heals to school today because I have an audition right after school.

5'10" is short in today's world.

Sep 28 07 09:56 am Link

Photographer

SLE Photography

Posts: 68937

Orlando, Florida, US

Lynn Elizabeth wrote:
They don't care if you have absolutely no experience???

They generally prefer it for newbies like the OP.
In fact, as noted on www.newmodels.com, they specifically don't want you doing things like going to modeling schools & such where you learn to do stuff wrong, or doing other things where you learn to do stuff differently from how they want you to do it.

Sep 28 07 09:57 am Link

Photographer

Emeritus

Posts: 21947

Las Vegas, Nevada, US

Donna Swinson wrote:
True agents and photographers that are in the real business make there money from the Owners and Manufacture of products and are paid by the service they bring, and that servce is quality models, not money from the aspiring model.

You may be surprised to find the wide range of things that even excellent, Top Ten model agencies charge their models for, and make a profit on.

Sep 28 07 09:58 am Link

Model

Lynn Elizabeth

Posts: 1336

Coral Springs, Florida, US

SLE Photography wrote:

They generally prefer it for newbies like the OP.
In fact, as noted on www.newmodels.com, they specifically don't want you doing things like going to modeling schools & such where you learn to do stuff wrong, or doing other things where you learn to do stuff differently from how they want you to do it.

Well I would never go to a modeling school. that's just a giant waste of money.

Sep 28 07 09:58 am Link

Photographer

SLE Photography

Posts: 68937

Orlando, Florida, US

BianaNewYork wrote:
Names Biana, lol.

Sorry about that, unconscious typo
My brain expected there to be a C there LOL

Sep 28 07 09:59 am Link

Photographer

BYS

Posts: 11614

Paris, Île-de-France, France

TXPhotog wrote:

You may be surprised to find the wide range of things that even excellent, Top Ten model agencies charge their models for, and make a profit on.

yeah ,for example they put 10 models in a flat ,the model pay a rent and with the rent .....the agency buy the flat
tb

Sep 28 07 10:01 am Link

Photographer

SLE Photography

Posts: 68937

Orlando, Florida, US

Lynn Elizabeth wrote:

Well I would never go to a modeling school. that's just a giant waste of money.

Yup.  As Tx noted tho, the experience thing is an internet creature.  At 5'2", you're probably never really going to be working with an agency so getting experience other ways can be a good selling & marketing tool for yourself in the glamour market you're well suited for.

Sep 28 07 10:02 am Link

Photographer

McKenzie Bros Photo

Posts: 1767

Marine City, Michigan, US

I'm Craig McKenzie and I approve of this message.

Sep 28 07 10:05 am Link

Photographer

BlackParrot Studios

Posts: 560

Columbia, South Carolina, US

Lynn Elizabeth wrote:
They don't care if you have absolutely no experience???

Yes they do. If you know the business they dont have to spend time and money teaching it to you and can begin to send you out on go sees right away.

Sep 28 07 10:06 am Link

Model

----ten----

Posts: 1156

BianaNewYork wrote:
I've never paid for anything.  Except that my agency wanted me to get my hair trimmed and glossed so I got that done, but it was just a trim.

wait till you get your first check...then you'll see the fees

Sep 28 07 10:07 am Link

Model

Jessalyn

Posts: 21433

Denver, Colorado, US

herblish wrote:

5'10" is short in today's world.

insert the word "modeling" between "today" and "world" and you might be right.

Sep 28 07 10:07 am Link

Photographer

H E R B L I S H

Posts: 15073

Orlando, Florida, US

Monochrome Suspender wrote:

insert the word "modeling" between "today" and "world" and you might be right.

No!  5'10" is short in today's world.

Sep 28 07 10:08 am Link

Model

Jessalyn

Posts: 21433

Denver, Colorado, US

herblish wrote:

No!  5'10" is short in today's world.

I disagree.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_heig … _the_world

Sep 28 07 10:10 am Link

Model

----ten----

Posts: 1156

herblish wrote:

5'10" is short in today's world.

no ..its not

Sep 28 07 10:10 am Link

Model

----ten----

Posts: 1156

TXPhotog wrote:

You may be surprised to find the wide range of things that even excellent, Top Ten model agencies charge their models for, and make a profit on.

seriously ...he's right..when i got my first check i was floored ..the ways they find to take your money...its crazy

Sep 28 07 10:12 am Link

Photographer

500 Gigs of Desire

Posts: 3833

New York, New York, US

TXPhotog wrote:
You may be surprised to find the wide range of things that even excellent, Top Ten model agencies charge their models for, and make a profit on.

Agree.
Like sending their books to clients via messenger.

Agency models who aren't constantly working can suddenly be in the "hole" several thousand dollars.

Sep 28 07 10:13 am Link

Model

----ten----

Posts: 1156

BianaNewYork wrote:

haha, they still told me to wear heals anywere I go.  Apparently, in the modelling industry, I am short.  My feet hurt like hell because I had to wear heals to school today because I have an audition right after school.

um how are you short..you are 5'10" ???

Sep 28 07 10:14 am Link

Photographer

Emeritus

Posts: 21947

Las Vegas, Nevada, US

Tenley  wrote:
um how are you short..you are 5'10" ???

She's not short, of course.  I think she misunderstood her booker.  The real message was likely that all the other models would be wearing heels at castings, so she needed to as well.

Sep 28 07 10:15 am Link

Photographer

PYPI FASHION

Posts: 36332

San Francisco, California, US

BianaNewYork wrote:
haha, they still told me to wear heals anywere I go.  Apparently, in the modelling industry, I am short.  My feet hurt like hell because I had to wear heals to school today because I have an audition right after school.

Tenley  wrote:
um how are you short..you are 5'10" ???

I'm guessing it might be because heels give her a better body line and posture. Also gives a more elegant walk than flats.

Sep 28 07 10:32 am Link

Model

MelissaLynnette LaDiva

Posts: 50816

Leawood, Kansas, US

Lynn Elizabeth wrote:
They don't care if you have absolutely no experience???

Ah.  You fell for the internet photographers' complaints.  I'm sorry to hear that.  I mean that as non sarcastically as possible.

Sep 28 07 10:35 am Link

Photographer

SLE Photography

Posts: 68937

Orlando, Florida, US

Cassiopeia wrote:
For models who are signed or are getting paid for their shoots . . .

What was your initial investment into modeling, getting your portfolio and whatever else you needed to actually get signed??

I know they say you should never pay a company to get you out there and what not, but I've also heard that to get yourself out there requires a lot of investment of time and money.

How much does it really cost you, before you start actually making?

They DO charge more for "genuine" women.  Since in the modeling/fashion world there's almost no call for "genuine" they have to work harder to place you   wink

Sep 28 07 10:43 am Link

Photographer

H E R B L I S H

Posts: 15073

Orlando, Florida, US

Tenley  wrote:

um how are you short..you are 5'10" ???

You may have a bit of chunky legs as well - heels help elongate your body.

Sep 28 07 11:57 am Link