Forums > General Industry > affordability.

Model

Shandra Stark

Posts: 13614

Los Angeles, California, US

EDIT
Gosh, you guys are amazing.  This thread has been around for over 3 years!

Please post a link to this thread in your profile, if you appreciate my thoughts.  I know many of you have already.  Thank you!

With so many people up in arms about the economy and its relation to art/hobbies, I thought now would be a great time to share ideas about budgeting, planning...etc.

I will share ideas about the most frequent thing most people complain about on this site.  Feel free to  add clever solutions to other problems.  I have five solutions to one problem.  What problems can you help clear up for people, regarding budgets?:

P: Oh my gosh, your rates are too high.  I can't afford them.  We'll never work together!!!  *cry*  *pout* *bitch*

S:

1- Send an offer anyway. 

If all you have to offer is a sandwich and $50, tell the model/photographer/whatever that exact thing.  You never know!  I am more insulted when someone throws a pity party, and says "You'll never work with little old me.", than I am if someone says "Hey, listen, money is really tight, but I really respect your work and was wondering if you'd accept such and such."  Note that "such and such" DOES need to be money, if the model accepts paid work only.  If you approach a "paid work only" model with just a sandwich...unless that sandwich is physically in the hands of a celebrity photographer,  you're out of luck.

2- Get someone to split the cost.

Just because a model doesn't say "I'll work with more than one person at once" on his or her profile, does not mean that person isn't willing to make exceptions.  I'd be more than happy to shoot with one or two extra photographers, for my same rate.  Split it and save yourself money.  Some models may not be cool with that, but you'll never know if you don't ask.

a- I don't have any friends!  How can I get someone to split the cost, omgz!   
           

*Get on model mayhem and start networking!  It's what you're here to do! "Hey, Jerry, I've admired your work for a while.  I see that Susie Nudie Pants is  visiting soon, and was wondering if you'd want to shoot her with me.  Awesomesauce studios is only $30 an hour, and we could go out for drinks after to talk about the shoot.

*Put up an event thread.  Have a get together at a studio or restaurant, and get to know your fellow photographers.  Talk, shoot landscapes, hang out.  Start a club...whatever you need to do.  Then when Susie Nudie Pants is coming your way, you have a pool of people to choose from.  If Susie already lives near you, or has no plans for travel- ask!!  "Hi, blah blah day of shooting, blah blah, split cost...blah blah what is your rate.  Sincerely, Jerry"

*Join meet-up.com

3- Host a workshop

Whatever this means for you, do it.  If you don't know how, ask the model; you'd be surprised how many of us know how to pull an event together. 

Don't have anything to teach?  GET CREATIVE!  Take photographers on a hiking trip, with model en-tow.  Take them boating, take them around your land, have a crazy shooting party at your studio.  Get people together to give you money and shoot the model, and pay the model his or her day rate from those earnings.  Negotiate how much time said model will shoot with you exclusively.

4- Barter

What do you have that this model may want? 

Examples:

clothes
food
transit passes
room and board (have hotel points?  send a model instead of yourself)
books
gift cards
furniture
electronics
web site
concert/movie/theatre tickets

...etc

Own a bowling alley?  A hair salon?  Pastry shop?  Have your own nightclub or restaurant?

Do you teach skydiving lessons?  Guitar?  Salsa dancing?

Use what you've got.

5- Plan ahead

I never contact a photographer spur of the moment, if I know that they are paid only.  I've always asked WAY before I ever expected to be in their area, or even if I had NO PLANS of being in their area ever.  That way I know how much I'd need to save, should the opportunity present itself, or should I decide to take charge and go now.

Start a shooting fund, for any necessary photography-related stuff. 

Start saving the way that works best  for you, even if you have NO model/mua/project in mind. 


Maybe for you this means $10 week.  Maybe it means never spending your five dollar bills.  Maybe it means saving all your tips from your restaurant gig.

Make it happen.  Some of you are getting in your own way.

Apr 29 09 09:16 pm Link

Model

Mercy

Posts: 2079

Albuquerque, New Mexico, US

Amazing. Just Amazing smile

~Mercy

Apr 29 09 09:19 pm Link

Model

D M M

Posts: 7905

New York, New York, US

I. Love. You.


Shandra, you are as intelligent as you are beautiful.

Apr 29 09 09:21 pm Link

Model

Demonika Devour

Posts: 1903

Big Bear Lake, California, US

You have given me hope

Apr 29 09 09:23 pm Link

Model

Shandra Stark

Posts: 13614

Los Angeles, California, US

D M M  wrote:
I. Love. You.


Shandra, you are as intelligent as you are beautiful.

Aw, thank you!

I love you, too!


hienvy

Apr 29 09 09:29 pm Link

Model

Shandra Stark

Posts: 13614

Los Angeles, California, US

Demonika Devour wrote:
You have given me hope

Link everyone you know.  I bet I could pull ten more solutions out of my ass.

It's really not complicated to get what you want out of life, if you want it badly enough to take action.

Apr 29 09 09:30 pm Link

Photographer

S de Varax

Posts: 7271

Dubai, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

good post

Apr 29 09 09:32 pm Link

Model

Less Than Two

Posts: 23401

Ann Arbor, Michigan, US

Seriously, yo.

The "Whatever your rates may be, I can't afford them" messages suck because you never asked - maybe my rate was 'take me out for Indian Food' or 'let me crash your sofa while I'm in town for a couple nights' or 'hey, can you teach me how to use your light equipment'.
The "The economy sucks so I can't pay you." messages suck, because it assumes that the person that they are talking to doesn't experience the effects too - we all do.

I remember reading about a guy who picked up every penny he saw on the street, and save it. Made quite a fair bit that way.
And I prefer to just hear an outright offer than ever quote so called rates. Even if I really don't need your legal services.

Another thing that you could put on your list, and I have been known to offer this:
Since some photographers network and suchish - I've offered to people that if they could help me find a couple other paid gigs in their area (at X rate), I'd shoot with them trade. Because the networking means I get to work with more people.

Apr 29 09 09:40 pm Link

Photographer

Lumigraphics

Posts: 32730

Detroit, Michigan, US

OP, you should write a book. You and TX. And maybe PYPI. smile

Apr 29 09 09:51 pm Link

Model

-Titania-

Posts: 11969

Pocatello, Idaho, US

Once again, you sparkle Shandra! Raelyn added good points, too.

It's very easy to split my day rate up into 4 or 5 photographers in a studio.  Lots of times the studios give you a deal when you book a full day.

If you know a model is traveling and you can't really afford their rates but you can afford *something*, ask to be a fill-in, or a replacement if someone cancels.  (it irritates me when people do this and offer trade work, but if you can feed me and throw me some cash, some sewing supplies, an SD card... whatever, that would be a great deal)  I hate when photographers cancel, and they often do last minute, and if someone can fill that slot with very short notice, I'm much more open to taking a lower rate.

One thing that peeves me is when a photographer replies to my quoted rates with "so-and-so will work with me for less/trade!!"  If you know how much you can/are willing to pay a model, tell them that at the get go.

Apr 29 09 10:10 pm Link

Model

Miss Kali Marie

Posts: 2400

Port Richey, Florida, US

+1 my hero lol

btw.. I've got "free drink" cards for Hammerheads in Holiday, FL wink lol

Apr 29 09 10:13 pm Link

Photographer

-The Dave-

Posts: 8691

Las Vegas, Nevada, US

OP, awesome post and so true.

Apr 29 09 10:19 pm Link

Model

Woopr111

Posts: 3974

Sacramento, California, US

Apr 29 09 10:19 pm Link

Model

Shandra Stark

Posts: 13614

Los Angeles, California, US

Lumigraphics wrote:
OP, you should write a book. You and TX. And maybe PYPI. smile

I've been meaning to for years.

I have a hard time with transitions.  Staying on topic.  General flow.

Apr 29 09 10:21 pm Link

Photographer

Lumigraphics

Posts: 32730

Detroit, Michigan, US

Shandra Stark wrote:

I've been meaning to for years.

I have a hard time with transitions.  Staying on topic.  General flow.

TFE...Time for Editing

big_smile

Apr 29 09 10:33 pm Link

Model

M Moreaux

Posts: 113

West Palm Beach, Florida, US

Raelyn Monstrosity wrote:
I remember reading about a guy who picked up every penny he saw on the street, and save it. Made quite a fair bit that way.

I do this! Anytime I find a coin in the parking lot, or in my house or car, I put it in a jar. I don't ever buy anything with cash; I buy 99% of my stuff with debit cards, so very little of my coins were change from actual purchases.

I started this 4 years ago when I started college. I recently cashed them into a coinstar machine and it was $54! Not a ton of money, but pretty cool still. At least that would cover gas to a shoot =p

Apr 30 09 03:51 am Link

Photographer

BrooklynHill

Posts: 4790

Los Angeles, California, US

On point!!!  Great job!

Apr 30 09 03:54 am Link

Photographer

JoshuaDavisPhotography

Posts: 2430

San Francisco, California, US

Great tips, this is what makes the MM forums worth all the other nonsense.

Apr 30 09 03:57 am Link

Photographer

Looknsee Photography

Posts: 22259

Portland, Oregon, US

I think you missed the most important tip:  Learn How To Negotiate!  There are plenty of books and workshops on this topic, but in general, we just aren't comfortable negotiating.  We want to see that best price on the sticker, and we don't want to try to get a better price.

In fact, when I was starting out buying investment real estate, someone gave me a four page reader's digest article on negotiations.  Just following those techniques must have saved me $100,000 in the past few years.  Some key points:

Be reluctant:  Wince at each offer you receive.  Pause before responding.  Don't accept the first offer.

Be prepared to walk away:  If there isn't a point at which you'd walk away from a deal, you aren't negotiating; you are caving in.  Know your limits.

Make counteroffers that leave you wiggle room:  If the asking price is $100, and you want to pay $90, then don't offer $90 -- instead, offer $80 so that you can allow the other side to talk you up to $90.

He who names a price first is at a great disadvantage:  So, get the other side to name a price first.

Be prepared to identify the problems with the offer/product/service:  "Yes, I like that used car, but those tires look really old & worn".  If you find a little fault, you might be able to talk the price down a bit.


There's a lot of other things that can be learned.

For myself, I consider myself to be fair & honest, so I don't try to squeeze the last penny out of a deal.  I don't negotiate hard, but I've been known to get the price down.  For example, I've gotten a discounted rate from traveling models by allowing her to stay in my guest room or by helping her find photographers (who may not be members of MM) or by letting photographers schedule time with her in my studio/home.

Apr 30 09 08:07 am Link

Model

Janice Marie Foote

Posts: 11483

I've never had a problem being shot by more than one photographer in one shoot
for the same fee.  After all, I still walk away with the same $$$.

Apr 30 09 08:15 am Link

Photographer

SLE Photography

Posts: 68937

Orlando, Florida, US

I found a great strategy where I advertise for models on CL & offer to pay rates I can't afford, then when they show up at the abandoned building I gave ad my address I steal them & lock them in my closet, shooting every few days until I use them up.

Kidding.  smile

Great advice Shandra.

Apr 30 09 08:18 am Link

Photographer

Fotographia Fantastique

Posts: 17327

Lebanon, New Hampshire, US

Great post.
I know some of this may seem obvious to some of us, but others need things spelled out to them.

I put right on my portfolio -

I generally accept paid work only, but if we would make a good team, let's not make money a barrier to working together. I'm open to all kinds of trade/alternative methods of pay. If you can't afford to pay in cash, what goods, services, skill can you offer in trade?

ALSO:

Here's a link to my old thread on bartering, which may be of interest too.

http://www.modelmayhem.com/po.php?thread_id=62834&page=

Apr 30 09 08:30 am Link

Model

Rachel Jay

Posts: 20356

Hoffman Estates, Illinois, US

I agree with everything said here smile  Great thread!

Apr 30 09 08:31 am Link

Photographer

CLT

Posts: 12979

Winchester, Virginia, US

CLT likes this post

Apr 30 09 08:34 am Link

Model

Carmen Mia

Posts: 408

New York, New York, US

Two thumbs up.

Apr 30 09 08:57 am Link

Body Painter

Mythical Ink

Posts: 448

Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

I'm not a model, but I have plans to travel at some stage and my plan was to whore out my skills to models and photographers for spare rooms, sight seeing tours, sandwiches and or couch space;)

Apr 30 09 09:20 am Link

Photographer

Andrew Thomas Evans

Posts: 24078

Minneapolis, Minnesota, US

6 - Get a Day job or look for a day job.

Sometimes we have to provide an income to support our hobby, or add income to supplement our hobby, or find a second job to support ourselves.

Just because someone wants to model dosen't mean they can drop everything else and feel they have a right to get paid for it. Same goes if someone wants to take pictures it doesn't mean we have to give them business. If someone tries to do either of those things and can't make it then it dosen't mean we have to feel sorry for them.

Apr 30 09 09:23 am Link

Model

Iona Lynn

Posts: 11176

Oakland, California, US

Your the best Shandra....

This is a great post with a ton of relevant information.

Apr 30 09 09:25 am Link

Model

Patience20027

Posts: 737

Washington, District of Columbia, US

Now if only I could learn how to negotiate with photographers........ sad

Apr 30 09 09:31 am Link

Photographer

Lumigraphics

Posts: 32730

Detroit, Michigan, US

SLE Photography wrote:
I found a great strategy where I advertise for models on CL & offer to pay rates I can't afford, then when they show up at the abandoned building I gave ad my address I steal them & lock them in my closet, shooting every few days until I use them up.

Kidding.  smile

Great advice Shandra.

Do you feed them? That costs money you know.

tongue

Apr 30 09 10:09 am Link

Model

Shandra Stark

Posts: 13614

Los Angeles, California, US

Andrew Thomas Designs wrote:
6 - Get a Day job or look for a day job.

Sometimes we have to provide an income to support our hobby, or add income to supplement our hobby, or find a second job to support ourselves.

Just because someone wants to model dosen't mean they can drop everything else and feel they have a right to get paid for it. Same goes if someone wants to take pictures it doesn't mean we have to give them business. If someone tries to do either of those things and can't make it then it dosen't mean we have to feel sorry for them.

I deserve to get paid for my experience as a model.

I have a 40-hour a week job.

My other job does mean I just start shooting for free.  People that work with me don't feel sorry for me, that is not why they hire me.

Know what my day job was before I started working for Nordstrom?

Modeling.

Apr 30 09 11:38 am Link

Model

Shandra Stark

Posts: 13614

Los Angeles, California, US

Fotographia Fantastique wrote:
Great post.
I know some of this may seem obvious to some of us, but others need things spelled out to them.

I put right on my portfolio -
ALSO:

Here's a link to my old thread on bartering, which may be of interest too.

http://www.modelmayhem.com/po.php?thread_id=62834&page=

Awesome thread!!

YAY for bartering!  smile

Apr 30 09 11:39 am Link

Model

Shandra Stark

Posts: 13614

Los Angeles, California, US

Patience20027 wrote:
Now if only I could learn how to negotiate with photographers........ sad

It takes a lot of time, and a lot of experience.

Shit, I STILL have conversations with HIGHLY experienced models (Model Sarah, Iona Lynn...) about the best way to handle certain situations.

Apr 30 09 11:41 am Link

Model

Shandra Stark

Posts: 13614

Los Angeles, California, US

Mythical Ink wrote:
I'm not a model, but I have plans to travel at some stage and my plan was to whore out my skills to models and photographers for spare rooms, sight seeing tours, sandwiches and or couch space;)

It's seriously the way to go.  You'll have great success.

Apr 30 09 11:43 am Link

Model

Shandra Stark

Posts: 13614

Los Angeles, California, US

bump.

May 01 09 09:18 pm Link

Model

Essence of Cassie

Posts: 104

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US

To all photographers out there: This is soooo true! And oddly fitting too, I was just thinking of putting on my profile "Will work for trade!"

Perhaps services too... lately I have been doing some model for massage (with certified therapists with a real office, of course). To me that is gold!

Maybe next will be model for doctor visits? Lol. I could use that!

May 01 09 09:27 pm Link

Model

Jacinta C

Posts: 280

Geraldton, Western Australia, Australia

Great post smile

May 01 09 10:14 pm Link

Photographer

Lumigraphics

Posts: 32730

Detroit, Michigan, US

7. Have a business plan that generates income from the images you produce. That is THE most effective way for everyone to get paid. If it’s a hobby, fine. But Business 101 says that you never part with cash unless you have a reasonable expectation of it making you money.

8. Seek models who will be business partners. That can mean splitting profits, it can mean implementing their ideas for making money, or it can mean having them generate other paying work. A model who is invested and interested in YOU making money is herself more likely to be worth working with.

May 01 09 10:35 pm Link

Model

Somebody from Somewhere

Posts: 6717

Chicago, Illinois, US

Wonderful post. I'm going to link to it in my profile, in the rates section.

May 01 09 11:23 pm Link

Model

-Titania-

Posts: 11969

Pocatello, Idaho, US

Lumigraphics wrote:
7. Have a business plan that generates income from the images you produce. That is THE most effective way for everyone to get paid. If it’s a hobby, fine. But Business 101 says that you never part with cash unless you have a reasonable expectation of it making you money.

8. Seek models who will be business partners. That can mean splitting profits, it can mean implementing their ideas for making money, or it can mean having them generate other paying work. A model who is invested and interested in YOU making money is herself more likely to be worth working with.

I know very VERY few pro models that will take you up on profit-splitting or other sort of "you'll get paid when WE get paid" sort of ventures, unless they are very very close to the photographer and believe in it.  Those sorts of offers tend to find the response to be a "thank you, but no thank you".

I am invested in every shoot to produce quality, money generating work on my end for the person paying me. How they market it and make money is up to them.

May 01 09 11:28 pm Link