Forums > General Industry > affordability.

Model

Crazybeautiful Surf_Grl

Posts: 1141

South Venice, Florida, US

borat borat borat awesome thread smile thanks for writing this stuff...

Jun 23 09 09:29 am Link

Photographer

studioacuna

Posts: 3

Los Angeles, California, US

A thread like this is great to see because it shows me whom have the right attitude for success. Truth be told, we are all replaceable – models, photographers, makeup artist, everyone. Negotiating is just part of the deal. If you know your budget/limitations – work within them. Ultimately there will be someone out there who will work with what you have to offer and for what you want to accomplish. Along with having talent, and an honest approach, the best attitude to have is if someone’s not willing to negotiate, no worries, find somebody else. Chances are, you will feel better about that person anyhow. Another point I should mention, if you want to grow as a shooter, you must acknowledge that quality is far better than quantity.
The key for me is looking past the model’s portfolio and reading into their attitudes. If they present a positive energy, willingness to explore with lots of enthusiasm, good work ethics, talent, they should get paid.  When available, they will get more work from me. They also have my friendship.  I’ll say this, with a few rare exceptions, virtually all the models on my portfolio I would work with again and again. I would highly recommend them if they needed it, and I would say they are worth every dollar spent.  The best attitudes have always looked out for my best interest. Combine this, with your talent and you have a great shots in the making.

Jun 26 09 10:47 am Link

Model

club Jeska

Posts: 3847

Riverside, California, US

Shandra Stark wrote:
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."

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.

this is completely rad!

Jul 02 09 02:29 am Link

Photographer

Scott Johnson Studios

Posts: 3353

Wausau, Wisconsin, US

Most models appreciate the effort of some resoprocity (i.e. lunch, gas money) I think it's the effort to do something in return for their time, if you can't pay their hourly rate. It works the same way for me too.

Jul 02 09 04:33 am Link

Model

Shandra Stark

Posts: 13614

Los Angeles, California, US

Scott Johnson Studios wrote:
Most models appreciate the effort of some resoprocity (i.e. lunch, gas money) I think it's the effort to do something in return for their time, if you can't pay their hourly rate. It works the same way for me too.

Exactly! 

Just something that says "Hey, I respect your work, and appreciate your time."

smile

Jul 02 09 11:03 am Link

Model

Paper Doll Nudes

Posts: 205

Chicago, Illinois, US

This is one of the most intelligent threads I have seen on MM, in a while.  Thank you, Shandra, you are fabulous! smile

Jul 02 09 03:30 pm Link

Photographer

alessandro2009

Posts: 7786

Florence, Toscana, Italy

Very interesting topic Shandra Stark.

I would like to add some other little suggestion.

- if the model were friends with some mua would have the double benefit of a person who accompanies and able to maintain its appearance (certain the eventual profit will be divided into two and then will be smaller, to keep the price low, but probably the photos will be best).
There are a plently of MUA with few opportunities ... not only non pro photographs.;

- the models, like all women, are full of beautiful clothes, bring different, so the shots will be varied and, perhaps, ask at the photographer which clothes he sees more functional to the shoot.

Anything to be able to reduce the overall costs of shooting is useful and not only in times of crisis.

Jul 02 09 11:14 pm Link

Model

Jay Dezelic

Posts: 4877

Seattle, Washington, US

I love bartering.  Cash is over-rated in a bad economy. 

If you have a clear vision and a REAL desire to see it through with creativity and hard work, the economics become trivial.

Jul 02 09 11:49 pm Link

Model

Ava Jean

Posts: 1466

Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

Shandra, you're brilliant.

Aug 07 09 10:21 pm Link

Photographer

LeDeux Art

Posts: 50123

San Ramon, California, US

Shandra Stark wrote:
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."

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.

i like your thinking

Aug 08 09 11:10 am Link

Model

Shandra Stark

Posts: 13614

Los Angeles, California, US

bump

Aug 12 09 07:40 pm Link

Model

Shandra Stark

Posts: 13614

Los Angeles, California, US

bump

Aug 15 09 06:59 pm Link

Model

Leah Michelle

Posts: 2056

Dallas, Texas, US

-Titania- wrote:

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.

I'd rather hear this though than nothing :-)

Aug 15 09 07:10 pm Link

Model

Lauren WK

Posts: 1961

Los Angeles, California, US

CL Photography wrote:
All of that is great, I like your thoughts, but on this site most people can't pick up a phone and call, which is the most important thing when trying to get something done.

You mean most important thing to you?  Most of my shoots are discussed by email and I've been doing just fine....

I don't even understand the point in bringing this up... unrelated.

Aug 15 09 07:21 pm Link

Photographer

Jeffrey Blake Adams

Posts: 609

Miami Beach, Florida, US

many many photogs and models are doing exactly what you suggest!

As I have seen the economy hit hard, more people are coming to my group shoots and workshops. It SAVES everyone money and photogs get better photos, models get more photos, its just awesome.

Bundle and save!

I've had models do a girlfriends weekend escape, and hire me to shoot all of them at what would be my normal rate for an all day shoot w one model.

My Girlfriend models, and she has had a bunch of photogs group up to shoot her, we have another set up for them next weekend in PCola, its a great way to build on their work, and pool resources.


Great post kiddo! J

Aug 15 09 07:32 pm Link

Photographer

Todd Liebman

Posts: 183

Los Angeles, California, US

The more discussion/dialog about the economics of photography, the less standoffish we all become towards each other-

A willingness towards communication fosters commerce in all forms. The interaction, negotiation, and planning inherent in making a successful shoot happen is essential to being on -either- side of the lens...

Fantastic thread-

Aug 15 09 07:39 pm Link

Photographer

Mark in MTL

Posts: 1047

Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Who is this Susie Nudie Pants and where can I find her?

Aug 15 09 08:56 pm Link

Model

Shandra Stark

Posts: 13614

Los Angeles, California, US

Mark in MTL wrote:
Who is this Susie Nudie Pants and where can I find her?

I'm Shandra Nudie Pants.  I can have the mods change my name to Susie if it has a nicer ring to it.

Aug 15 09 09:05 pm Link

Photographer

Patrickth

Posts: 10321

Bellingham, Washington, US

Shandra Stark wrote:

Aw, thank you!

I love you, too!


hienvy

Ha. You fooled me. I went to your port and the first thing I thought I saw was Natalie Gulbis beside you for your Springfield event. 

Now I will go  back and look at your port good and proper.

Aug 20 09 07:09 pm Link

Photographer

gzone

Posts: 963

Valencia, California, US

I'm so poor I can't even pay attention...what was the subject!?

Really good post...encourages collaboration and cooperation as well as putting your self out there...great art is the only result when this kind of interaction occurs.

Aug 20 09 07:19 pm Link

Photographer

MLRPhoto

Posts: 5754

Olivet, Michigan, US

Mark in MTL wrote:
Who is this Susie Nudie Pants and where can I find her?

She's my avatar and she's great.  As a model and a person.

Aug 20 09 07:52 pm Link

Photographer

Naveed Thomas

Posts: 132

North Miami Beach, Florida, US

You got a great head on your shoulders, Shandra.  Great advice.

Aug 20 09 07:57 pm Link

Photographer

Stephoto Photography

Posts: 19899

Amherst, Massachusetts, US

borat well said!

Aug 20 09 08:06 pm Link

Model

Maharet Bloom

Posts: 509

Nairobi, Nairobi, Kenya

I loved this post. Lots of great info

Aug 20 09 08:26 pm Link

Photographer

Shutterbug5269

Posts: 16084

West Winfield, New York, US

I am actually surprised about how many models want to come out here to work with me now.

Simply because I now have a guest room to offer so they don't have to worry about hotel room costs, or have to drive home right after a shoot. (and can provide references from models who have stayed in it)

Aug 20 09 08:58 pm Link

Model

Shandra Stark

Posts: 13614

Los Angeles, California, US

bump.

Aug 23 09 07:41 pm Link

Model

Shandra Stark

Posts: 13614

Los Angeles, California, US

bump.

Aug 31 09 11:41 pm Link

Model

Faith EnFire

Posts: 13514

Milwaukee, Wisconsin, US

great advice

thanks

Sep 01 09 08:18 am Link

Model

K_G

Posts: 2930

Detroit, Michigan, US

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

yes!

Sep 01 09 09:29 am Link

Photographer

Cecil Sharps

Posts: 1993

MAYLENE, Alabama, US

I liked reading this thread.  Very well thought out by the op. 

And it truly works.

Next week i get to work with a wonderful model who is much more stunning than i am talented.  I get to work with her at a reduced rate because i'm giving up my spare bedroom for a few days and playing tour guide.

I hope in january to find models to work with on my drive across the states on a reduced rate/gear trade basis.

Sep 01 09 09:52 am Link

Model

Steph Clare

Posts: 3447

Argyle, Florida, US

still as good as ever!

Sep 11 09 06:38 am Link

Model

Shandra Stark

Posts: 13614

Los Angeles, California, US

jo rich UK wrote:
still as good as ever!

smile bump!

Sep 14 09 04:52 pm Link

Photographer

Figure Photo

Posts: 807

Scottsdale, Arizona, US

- Find a different model, one with lower rates, or who values the photos you produce enough to accept them as compensation.

- Improve your photography, so more models will be inclined to accept photos as compensation.

Sep 14 09 04:59 pm Link

Model

Less Than Two

Posts: 23401

Ann Arbor, Michigan, US

Figure Photo SF wrote:
- Find a different model, one with lower rates, or who values the photos you produce enough to accept them as compensation.

- Improve your photography, so more models will be inclined to accept photos as compensation.

This is not the point of this thread.

This thread is about being able to afford models you actually want to shoot with, who have rates. Maybe you don't believe in paying models, but the fact of the matter is is that money makes the world go round. By spending money, you keep people and companies in business, so that they can spend money and keep more people and companies in business. By paying models, they can travel around and shoot with more people. And if you can't pay their full rate, but are willing to negotiate or barter with them, it helps everyone - not just models, but the whole economy (traveling models spend money on plane/train/bus tickets and hotel/hostels and restaurants, plus clothing and make up. Those businesses are assisted by traveling models and lose business when models cannot travel). You DO like the idea of getting the economy running again, right?

Sep 14 09 05:40 pm Link

Model

V I C T O R I A

Posts: 13979

Los Angeles, California, US

This should be stickied!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sep 14 09 05:43 pm Link

Photographer

MLRPhoto

Posts: 5754

Olivet, Michigan, US

iMonstrosity wrote:
This is not the point of this thread.

This thread is about being able to afford models you actually want to shoot with, who have rates. Maybe you don't believe in paying models, but the fact of the matter is is that money makes the world go round. By spending money, you keep people and companies in business, so that they can spend money and keep more people and companies in business. By paying models, they can travel around and shoot with more people. And if you can't pay their full rate, but are willing to negotiate or barter with them, it helps everyone - not just models, but the whole economy (traveling models spend money on plane/train/bus tickets and hotel/hostels and restaurants, plus clothing and make up. Those businesses are assisted by traveling models and lose business when models cannot travel). You DO like the idea of getting the economy running again, right?

I think the point of the thread is finding ways to afford models or photographers who you actually want to shoot with. 

And one of the best things for everyone got shot down repeatedly; collaborate on an arrangement where both parties share the money provided by third parties; actual clients.   I certainly understand the appeal of "pay me and take your chances" but when money is tight, that option isn't always there.

Sep 14 09 05:52 pm Link

Model

Shandra Stark

Posts: 13614

Los Angeles, California, US

MikeRobisonPhotos wrote:

I think the point of the thread is finding ways to afford models or photographers who you actually want to shoot with. 

And one of the best things for everyone got shot down repeatedly; collaborate on an arrangement where both parties share the money provided by third parties; actual clients.   I certainly understand the appeal of "pay me and take your chances" but when money is tight, that option isn't always there.

Take your chances?

Sep 14 09 05:58 pm Link

Photographer

Alfiere

Posts: 1562

Portland, Oregon, US

i am sad to hear this thread needed to be written and LOLing my ass off at Susie Nudie Pants !! damint thats funny.. and how did you get my studio rates??

Sep 14 09 06:00 pm Link

Photographer

Art of the nude

Posts: 11915

Olivet, Michigan, US

MikeRobisonPhotos wrote:
I think the point of the thread is finding ways to afford models or photographers who you actually want to shoot with. 

And one of the best things for everyone got shot down repeatedly; collaborate on an arrangement where both parties share the money provided by third parties; actual clients.   I certainly understand the appeal of "pay me and take your chances" but when money is tight, that option isn't always there.

Shandra Stark wrote:
Take your chances?

If a model wants to be paid even though there is no buyer / client, and no need for the images for portfolio purposes, then the photographer is taking a business risk that they can recover the cost of the model, the team (if it applies), the studio and so forth.  When the economy is good, that risk is both smaller and easier to absorb.  For many photographers, it's just not practical right now.  To do the same shoot and agree to split any revenue / profit may be much easier to justify.  But it tends to frequently be dismissed as unreasonable.

That's not true all the time of course, most of the work I do is on that basis; but I've seen the attitude more than once in this thread, and I think it's unfortunate.

Sep 14 09 06:05 pm Link

Model

Shandra Stark

Posts: 13614

Los Angeles, California, US

Alfiere wrote:
i am sad to hear this thread needed to be written and LOLing my ass off at Susie Nudie Pants !! damint thats funny.. and how did you get my studio rates??

lol

And, shit, I WISH there were more studios that had that rate.  I've only found a couple.  Most are over $1000 for a day, here.  Certainly over $500 a day.

I think I'm going to get my own studio this winter.

Sep 14 09 06:06 pm Link