When do you think is the right moment to start asking photographers to pay you for a session, starting from low rates? (if they messaged you first)
Is it even possible to do that without doing nudes, at least not yet?
Finally, well, would you work with me if I asked for money in return, just as a point of reference?
There seem to be many opinions on that matter and I'd like to hear some of them as I'm starting to consider it, but at the same time there seem to be a general thought that unless you're doing nudes you shouldn't really expect people to pay you. True/false/amusing? I honestly have no clue in that matter but maybe it's just all about going out there and starting asking people, the worst that could happen is that they would refuse if they were looking just for TF* I guess. At worse I'll just keep doing what I'm doing for a passion, but getting some pocket money for it at the same time wouldn't be too bad.
PS. sorry for a bad title, I pressed enter by accident and can't change it now. ha.
Jun 18 13 05:19 pm Link
Eustis, Florida, US
I just look up paying casting calls in the area and when I find one I'm interested in working I email/message the host of the casting. I've gotten a paid gig with only self taken snapshots and selfies. If they like your look they'll book you if not then move on to the next paid casting.
Jun 18 13 05:27 pm Link
Chicago, Illinois, US
You definitely are at the level where you can charge photographers if it is their personal project. Next time someone contacts you pitching an idea, tell them you are interested but also ask if they are comfortable with your rates and offer an estimated figure.
Jun 18 13 05:31 pm Link
Boston, Massachusetts, US
There is no arbitrary point where you just start "asking" for monetary compensation. At the point that people start OFFERING it to you... that's when you begin to earn income.
You might find this thread helpful. It is for models looking to start making money off their work:
Jun 18 13 05:39 pm Link
VALLEY VILLAGE, California, US
I wouldn't say there is necessarily a "right" moment. I think it's best to ask for pay when you have a decent portfolio reflecting your work. I have seen so many models demand to be paid (unwilling to do trade) who didn't even have a single professional photo in their portfolio.
Jun 18 13 05:41 pm Link
Cincinnati, Ohio, US
Jun 18 13 05:46 pm Link
Thank you Koryn Locke, I think that's what I'm going to stick with. I don't really want it to be my full-time job anyway; University will always be more important. If it happens it happens though and then I'm just going to be pleasently surprised
But more opinions are always welcome and interesting, so if you have a different view on that matter I'd still love to hear it.
Jun 18 13 06:13 pm Link
Minneapolis, Minnesota, US
I just wonder have you or would you ever pay for a pro photographer to shoot you, why or why not. If the answer is in the negative why would you expect a photographer to do the same.
Jun 18 13 08:38 pm Link
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Jun 18 13 08:46 pm Link
Risen I have and I would do it again, because work is work and if you do something well you shouldn't give it away for free all the time, that's the point. If a photographer I admire asks for money and I can give it to him I do. If he's willing to work tfp then I'm even happier Although I've never really asked explicitly for a tfp, I think it's something that should come from the other side if it likes what it's seeing in my port, otherwise I think it's placing them in an uncomfortable position - you're asking them after all. And it should be the same way the other way around imo.. As in if an inexperienced photograher asks a model for a sessiom he shouldn't expect tfp straight away and then get offended if she doesn't agree, it's like he's doing a model a favour by deciding to work for free even when he's photos aren't that good, what about the other side then? It's both work and commitment and giving away one's time in a way.
And never have I said that I definitely should be paid by photographers at this point as I don't think myself that I'm good enough for it just yet, I just posted a theoretical question about how you know it's time and different sides of the argument and I got the answer. Money or fame or whatever isn't really the reason I'm doing it anyway. And thank you for all the honest opinions, really appreciated! The fact is that most of those photos are from a 1.5/2 years ago as I had a long break, I can't wait to get some new ones and see what happens
Hope that answers your questions.
Jun 19 13 01:47 am Link
Bath, England, United Kingdom
When people start asking you your rates and/or their work won't benefit your portfolio.
You will always get TF offers, many/most of them a complete waste of time, so be very selective about what you accept on that basis.
If somebody can't benefit your portfolio then they should be paying, or at least offering to pay.
As for not asking for TF - if you don't ask you don't get. Maybe don't approach photographers for TF if they explicitly state they don't do it, but if they say (or even imply) they may be open to TF offers then what's to lose? The fact that you asked them does put you in a weaker bargaining position, sure, if there's any bargaining to be done, but if you're just looking for a simple TF shoot and are happy to accept reasonable terms and conditions without imposing any unreasonable ones of your own then it shouldn't be a problem for you.
Just my $0.02
Jun 19 13 05:38 am Link
New York, New York, US
I think one thing you can do is not limit yourself to just a handful of genres. You should experiment and try it all till you find what suits you best. I would suggest you TF as much as possible to practice. You could ask for travel expenses, that's not unreasonable. I shoot TF only these days unless someone pays me to shoot something. (never happens )
Jun 19 13 05:55 am Link
Bristol, England, United Kingdom
You can start charging, but you should realize the value of GOOD tf as well.
Most agency models will work for free if:
1. It benefits the portfolio.
2. They have nothing else to do that day and fancy some practice/networking.
3. They have had a sudden image change of some sort (usually hair).
4. The photographer is so good, they will do it just for the credits and learning.
5. There is some PR attached to the project. By this I mean, the model knows the photographer will be presenting the work to a particular client, there's a guarantee that a particular company will see the images. Or it could mean the project is definitely going to be published somewhere, even a website. A lot of agency models will do fashion PR for free because the agent knows that particular magazine editors will be shown the images during events and promotions.
6. The photographer has influence with an agency of their choice.
I would advise not to turn down TF offers that include any of the above reasons.
As for charging, I disagree with tiered rates. Have ONE day "ask" rate and be negotiable. Always try to find out what the budget is. Be clear whether you are doing this for costs or for a professional fee. Sometimes expenses-only and publication are worth far more than some cash in hand and no publication.
Jun 19 13 09:50 am Link
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
When working with them for TF won't benefit you.
Jun 19 13 10:01 am Link
Salem, Oregon, US
it's all hypothetical until you start sending them your rates and seeing what happens. you might get crickets, they might get mad but maybe they'll hire you (or make a counter-offer).
you see posts from models who do get paid to do clothed work so it's not impossible. some guys prefer to pay even if they can get TF. for my part i can't ever recall paying for fully clothed (i can get that on trade usually).
but no point in doing TF unless there's something in it for you. although even if a model can get paid i think people feel they should keep doing some high-quality TF for their portfolio.
Jun 19 13 01:30 pm Link
Minneapolis, Minnesota, US
I love this response + one Million.
Jun 19 13 03:01 pm Link
Seattle, Washington, US
You should start charging as soon as someone wants to shoot you when the photos won't enhance your current portfolio.
It makes sense to trade if the photographer is going to shoot you in a genre you want to show in your portfolio or has work of better quality than your current portfolio. And they should have the consistency in their portfolio that you can basically imagine exactly what you'll be getting.
Jun 19 13 07:25 pm Link
Thank you but that's just common sense really then again I've been taught at Uni that there is no such thing as common sense so maybe I'm wrong.
Ok, I might try to find a common ground then and next time ask how much someone is willing to pay me and see what happens. Can't harm asking, right?
Jun 20 13 11:46 pm Link
Hobart, Indiana, US
when I first started getting serious about shooting models I would hire ( pay ) a model for nude shoots basically just to build my port and advance my skill set...and it helped me a lot having an experienced model to work with...currently I only hire ( pay ) touring models that I am dieing to shoot with because I know they have expenses to cover and my opportunity to shoot with them will be limited...I have hired local models in the past and would consider doing so again but her portfolio would have to be outstanding and she would have to be very experienced and I would have to feel that it would greatly benefit my portfolio by shooting with her...I would never pay a model with very little experience who doesn't shoot nudes...and outside of the above...everything else I shoot now is trade for
Jun 21 13 07:11 am Link
Grand Rapids, Michigan, US
Well, I started out with an agency, so I was able to request money pretty quickly. However, with freelancing, you will find that it becomes easiest to procure money once people start offering it to you--or, likelier, start asking your rates.
I have no idea what the going rate is for a freelance, non-nude model in your country, but I do know that I'm under typical runway stats, have never done a nude or topless in my life, and am making pretty decent cash with modeling on a freelance basis--more than I ever made with an agency, that's for sure.
In the end, you need to be what your market is aching for. If you are, they will come.
Jun 24 13 10:02 am Link