Forums > General Industry > Starting a Career in Nude Modeling

Model

TheDivineGoddess

Posts: 23

San Diego, California, US

Have done a few nude/implied shoots I am looking to start a consistent paying career in nude modeling. I'm a dancer, aerialist and hooper I do alot of gigs which I am paid for but with nude modeling I feel less on top of the game. Does anyone have any advice for me on the matter? I would not like to do nudes with compensation and I feel that most of the compensated amounts on nude shoots is too low and the photos are not of very high quality. I dont want low quality/smutty photos of me released can I make my own contract for nudity in addition to a model release that prohibits the use of certain types of photos? Any help on the matter is very appreciated. I think my words are a bit scattered on this post so please bear with me.

Jul 06 13 05:32 pm Link

Model

Lynn Elizabeth

Posts: 1336

Coral Springs, Florida, US

Limit who you work with. Only work with photographers who's portfolios you like. If you work with whoever asks then yes you will be put in their portfolios and they may not be a quality you like.

Jul 06 13 05:34 pm Link

Model

TheDivineGoddess

Posts: 23

San Diego, California, US

Yes definitely. I don't usually book with anyone whos port isn't exceptionally interesting to me. The times that I have have created mediocre photos. I have a few photographers I work with regularly for TF who I will be working on some implied with so hopefully those pictures will help get some good nude work. Mike always gives me great edits.

Jul 06 13 05:37 pm Link

Model

TheDivineGoddess

Posts: 23

San Diego, California, US

I just worry about the experience sometimes. Do you think its better to shoot outdoors or in studio? Last I did was outdoors and it got kind of awkward. But in studio seems it could be weird with someone I dont know. Perhaps bringing an escort would help

Jul 06 13 05:38 pm Link

Photographer

Schlake

Posts: 2622

Socorro, New Mexico, US

Most photographers here will rant and rail and rave about a model with the audacity to stand up for herself as you asked about in your post.  So be ready for that.  I say avoid those photographers, they smell like misogynists, and act like misogynists...

My best advice is to be very picky about who you shoot with.  Then, shoot non-nude with them a few times to make sure you were correct about them.  The quality of the port has nothing to do with it.  It's the quality of the person.

Jul 06 13 05:44 pm Link

Photographer

Louis Li Photography

Posts: 122

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Only work with photographers who's portfolios you like or work with the photographers who are on the list of "Modelling Mentor" in your area,to build up your portfolio first.

Jul 06 13 05:47 pm Link

Model

Laura UnBound

Posts: 27372

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

If you don't want bad photos of you in compromising poses on the Internet....don't pose that way for bad photographers.

I don't know what you consider to be a "career" with modeling, but typically that means you're making it a source of income...which means you'd be getting paid to model nude. If you want to make a solid career with nude modeling you have to be willing to have amateur photos of you without your clothes on all over the Internet, that's the way it works. Quality photographers probably aren't going to pay you to take your clothes off unless they're working on a third party clients project, which most people from mm don't have.


If you just want good nude photos then pay or trade with a good photographer

Jul 06 13 06:21 pm Link

guide forum

Photographer

Rays Fine Art

Posts: 6319

New York, New York, US

Every action has consequences:

Sure, you can write your own contract, but the most likely consequence will be that the photographers that you want to shoot with will avoid you like the plague while the ones you don't want to shoot with will be only too happy to sign it.  What the Hell! They're not going to honor it anyway and the only reason they booked you was to get a look at a naked girl.

Ditto on the escort idea--it marks you as inexperienced and unprofessional.  Just the sort of model that many, maybe even most of the the skilled photographers go out of their way to avoid and as for the unskilled--well the word sums up the problem, doesn't it?

As to rate of pay, if any, that's a matter of what you have to offer and what the market is willing to pay.  Unfortunately, almost all of the highly quality nude work is done on a spec basis, which means the model's pay comes out of the photographer's own pocket--there's no client backing it up--so there's likely to be less money available and the photographer will generally prefer a model with more experience.  More money is generally available if the photographer has a known market for the product, and many, if not most, of those known markets are for the kind of work you specifically don't want to do, so again, you're between a rock and a hard place.  Then, too, you have to figure in what you're bringing to the table--what are the services you're offering--both their extent and their quality.  All nudes are not created equal.  Whatever you may have heard, it's not all T & A, especially in the styles you say you want to do.  It's not just about showing skin, it's about being able to establish a mood and present an emotion on demand, about being able to assume and hold sometimes difficult, even painful poses without ever letting the strain and pain show in your face.  And finally, in order to for a photographer to decide if he wants to shoot nudes with you he needs to know  what you look like naked--are your breasts different sizes?  firm or saggy or one of each?  do you have inverted nipples?  any scars, blemishes, tattoos?  are your thighs long and lean or short and stumpy?  These (and more) are all things he must know in order to make a hiring decision but I don't see any of the answers in your portfolio.  Based on your profile and portfolio, I wouldn't consider paying you--maybe TF, but certainly not cash on the barrel-head.  Not that it's a bad portfolio, it's not.  It just doesn't give me the information I need to make a hiring decision for this sort of work.

I'm not trying to bring you down with a lot of negativity, I'm really not.  But I am trying to show you that being a nude model, at least one making a reasonable living from doing tasteful (whatever that means to you) work, is a tough gig.

So how do you get the experience and skills you need to get the sort of work you want on any sort of regular basis?  if I were in your boat, here's what I'd do, in  no particular order:
1-  Get comfortable shooting nudes with people you don't know.  Probably the best way to do that is to do TF with photographers who do the kind of work you like.  Many of the best, most established ones already have the models they want, so much of this will be with people, guys and gals, who have little, if any, more experience in the genre than you do.  Get used to it.  If you wait for the world to come around to your way of thinking, you'll be a very old lady before it happens.
2-  Seek out the art schools in your area and try some live drawing classes if you can get them.  This will give you a chance to get comfortable in a purely professional situation, give you some experience in attaining and holding appropriate poses and even pay you a few bucks in the process.
3-  Once you have a few good pictures to put in it, open a second, unrelated MM account for your nude work and keep it as separate as possible from this account.  Use another name and one that is in absolutely no way connected with you in any way.  You don't yet know whether you're actually going to like this sort of work a year or two or ten down the road.  It might be good to be able to cut the ties quickly and easily at some point in the future for an as yet unknown reason.
4- The idea of a mentor (above) is a good one, but if possible, at least one mentor should be someone, model or photographer, who has earned a living for an appreciable period in nude photography.  Hobbies and businesses are significantly different and require completely different mind sets.
5-  Develop a solid security plan, one that involves checking references, investigating backgrounds, meeting first where possible, exit strategies in case things ever go badly on a shoot, and most of all, make sure that someone knows where you are on every shoot.  Sounds like a lot of work but it's not nearly as hard as recovering from that one mistake should it ever happen.
6-  Have fun with it.  If you are successful this is going to control every aspect of your life for a lot of years--Nude models have a much longer shelf life that some other genres.  If you find you hate it, get out--The money you may earn can't possibly make up for failing to enjoy these early years of your life.
7- Plan on at least a year before you are making enough money to even come close to supporting yourself.  It might happen earlier, but if you're not willing to invest at least that much into it, then you're just kidding yourself.  Much better to just shoot nudes for fun and the occasional odd job, while pursuing another career path.
8- And take all advice, including this, with a very large grain of salt.  In the final analysis, you're the one who will either make it happen or not happen.  All the advices in the world are nothing more than "IMHO" in the long run.

Good Luck!

Jul 06 13 07:05 pm Link

Model

TheDivineGoddess

Posts: 23

San Diego, California, US

Schlake thankyou thats very helpful and encouraging...Laura I don't exactly agree although I do about not posing in ways I wouldn't want to but I don't do that anyway. I'm a professional performer so I make my money doing that as well as some modeling gigs and healings here and there. I do not wish to work with amatuar photographers for nude work. I was already advised by my good friend and photographer that I should start changing non-professionals for shoots. If I want to just practice nudes I have him as well as an ex nude model/photographer who I can have non released photos with. I don't think I need to overexpose myself to find a career in nude modeling so I'm just asking for advice about PAID work. Not meaning to be rude I'm just a bit confused as to why I need to be comfortable having all kinds of nudes of me all over. I only wish to and only will do tasteful shoots I already do alot of dancing as well as aerial performance I'm trying to do really artistic stuff not erotic.

Jul 06 13 07:26 pm Link

Model

TheDivineGoddess

Posts: 23

San Diego, California, US

Rays Fine Art wrote:
Every action has consequences:

Sure, you can write your own contract, but the most likely consequence will be that the photographers that you want to shoot with will avoid you like the plague while the ones you don't want to shoot with will be only too happy to sign it.  What the Hell! They're not going to honor it anyway and the only reason they booked you was to get a look at a naked girl.

Ditto on the escort idea--it marks you as inexperienced and unprofessional.  Just the sort of model that many, maybe even most of the the skilled photographers go out of their way to avoid and as for the unskilled--well the word sums up the problem, doesn't it?

As to rate of pay, if any, that's a matter of what you have to offer and what the market is willing to pay.  Unfortunately, almost all of the highly quality nude work is done on a spec basis, which means the model's pay comes out of the photographer's own pocket--there's no client backing it up--so there's likely to be less money available and the photographer will generally prefer a model with more experience.  More money is generally available if the photographer has a known market for the product, and many, if not most, of those known markets are for the kind of work you specifically don't want to do, so again, you're between a rock and a hard place.  Then, too, you have to figure in what you're bringing to the table--what are the services you're offering--both their extent and their quality.  All nudes are not created equal.  Whatever you may have heard, it's not all T & A, especially in the styles you say you want to do.  It's not just about showing skin, it's about being able to establish a mood and present an emotion on demand, about being able to assume and hold sometimes difficult, even painful poses without ever letting the strain and pain show in your face.  And finally, in order to for a photographer to decide if he wants to shoot nudes with you he needs to know  what you look like naked--are your breasts different sizes?  firm or saggy or one of each?  do you have inverted nipples?  any scars, blemishes, tattoos?  are your thighs long and lean or short and stumpy?  These (and more) are all things he must know in order to make a hiring decision but I don't see any of the answers in your portfolio.  Based on your profile and portfolio, I wouldn't consider paying you--maybe TF, but certainly not cash on the barrel-head.  Not that it's a bad portfolio, it's not.  It just doesn't give me the information I need to make a hiring decision for this sort of work.

I'm not trying to bring you down with a lot of negativity, I'm really not.  But I am trying to show you that being a nude model, at least one making a reasonable living from doing tasteful (whatever that means to you) work, is a tough gig.

So how do you get the experience and skills you need to get the sort of work you want on any sort of regular basis?  if I were in your boat, here's what I'd do, in  no particular order:
1-  Get comfortable shooting nudes with people you don't know.  Probably the best way to do that is to do TF with photographers who do the kind of work you like.  Many of the best, most established ones already have the models they want, so much of this will be with people, guys and gals, who have little, if any, more experience in the genre than you do.  Get used to it.  If you wait for the world to come around to your way of thinking, you'll be a very old lady before it happens.
2-  Seek out the art schools in your area and try some live drawing classes if you can get them.  This will give you a chance to get comfortable in a purely professional situation, give you some experience in attaining and holding appropriate poses and even pay you a few bucks in the process.
3-  Once you have a few good pictures to put in it, open a second, unrelated MM account for your nude work and keep it as separate as possible from this account.  Use another name and one that is in absolutely no way connected with you in any way.  You don't yet know whether you're actually going to like this sort of work a year or two or ten down the road.  It might be good to be able to cut the ties quickly and easily at some point in the future for an as yet unknown reason.
4- The idea of a mentor (above) is a good one, but if possible, at least one mentor should be someone, model or photographer, who has earned a living for an appreciable period in nude photography.  Hobbies and businesses are significantly different and require completely different mind sets.
5-  Develop a solid security plan, one that involves checking references, investigating backgrounds, meeting first where possible, exit strategies in case things ever go badly on a shoot, and most of all, make sure that someone knows where you are on every shoot.  Sounds like a lot of work but it's not nearly as hard as recovering from that one mistake should it ever happen.
6-  Have fun with it.  If you are successful this is going to control every aspect of your life for a lot of years--Nude models have a much longer shelf life that some other genres.  If you find you hate it, get out--The money you may earn can't possibly make up for failing to enjoy these early years of your life.
7- Plan on at least a year before you are making enough money to even come close to supporting yourself.  It might happen earlier, but if you're not willing to invest at least that much into it, then you're just kidding yourself.  Much better to just shoot nudes for fun and the occasional odd job, while pursuing another career path.
8- And take all advice, including this, with a very large grain of salt.  In the final analysis, you're the one who will either make it happen or not happen.  All the advices in the world are nothing more than "IMHO" in the long run.

Good Luck!

I appreciate the advice:) I am definitely DEFINITELY not attempting to make a full living off of modeling in general let alone nude. My performance art is what I am truly passionate about. That being said I have a very strong back and can do light contortion...have alot of other flexibility. I also have a lyra and pointe shoes to shoot in. As far as what I have to offer for nudes....I'm italian there is no problem with my breasts, butt or stomach I'll admit I'm pretty happening, I have some scars but nothing super noticeable or that can't be covered, I can hit a variety of different poses without straining myself and although I am still waiting on pics from 4 different shoots that are more interesting and haven't had a chance to really build a port on here, I do take really great pictures when given the right oppurtunity. I have studio work lined up. I suppose a better question would be are there any good forums or sites to look for work like this other than Mayhem.

Jul 06 13 07:33 pm Link

Model

TheDivineGoddess

Posts: 23

San Diego, California, US

I haven't bothered to do much paid modeling work because photographers dont usually have much to spare and alot of the time I'd rather have creative control than be paid...but I am told by nude models I have spoken with that I should never do nude work unpaid unless its with someone I know very well and is experimental

Jul 06 13 07:35 pm Link

Photographer

Rob Photosby

Posts: 2995

Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

Laura UnBound wrote:
If you don't want bad photos of you in compromising poses on the Internet....don't pose that way for bad photographers.

I don't know what you consider to be a "career" with modeling, but typically that means you're making it a source of income...which means you'd be getting paid to model nude. If you want to make a solid career with nude modeling you have to be willing to have amateur photos of you without your clothes on all over the Internet, that's the way it works. Quality photographers probably aren't going to pay you to take your clothes off unless they're working on a third party clients project, which most people from mm don't have.


If you just want good nude photos then pay or trade with a good photographer

That is excellent advice

Jul 06 13 07:46 pm Link

Photographer

NC Art Photos

Posts: 567

Raleigh, North Carolina, US

Divinezs wrote:
Have done a few nude/implied shoots I am looking to start a consistent paying career in nude modeling. I'm a dancer, aerialist and hooper I do alot of gigs which I am paid for but with nude modeling I feel less on top of the game. Does anyone have any advice for me on the matter? I would not like to do nudes with compensation and I feel that most of the compensated amounts on nude shoots is too low and the photos are not of very high quality. I dont want low quality/smutty photos of me released can I make my own contract for nudity in addition to a model release that prohibits the use of certain types of photos? Any help on the matter is very appreciated. I think my words are a bit scattered on this post so please bear with me.

Not sure what you mean by the compensation amounts on nude shoots is too low vs the quality.  What prices do you feel that you should get?  And what sort of quality are you shooting for?

Remember that you are an unknown quantity as a nude model till you get more than a few representative samples of the work you want to do in your portfolio.  You may have to do some TFP work with really good photographers to get samples in your portfolio as good as the work you want to do for pay. 

Also realize that with very few exceptions, the photographers willing to pay the most for nude models are GWCs - Guys With Cameras - who have more money than talent.  If they are paying you to pose for them, and they pay you, there is really no way to make them not showcase the pics they shoot of you unless you put that in your modeling release.  If you don't like their work very much but you want their money, you may have to take less to keep your pics private or just say "no" to their offers.

Jul 06 13 07:48 pm Link

Model

TheDivineGoddess

Posts: 23

San Diego, California, US

The word career was ill placed. I have a career in performing I want to get into nudes for art but don't want to do them for free. I have a few really great iconic ideas for nude fully retouched photos and I know someone out there would pay well for me to do them as I have the body for it I'm just unsure how to communicate those ideas without having them stolen. I'll need to find more people I can trust.

Jul 06 13 07:48 pm Link

Model

Laura UnBound

Posts: 27372

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Divinezs wrote:
Schlake thankyou thats very helpful and encouraging...Laura I don't exactly agree although I do about not posing in ways I wouldn't want to but I don't do that anyway. I'm a professional performer so I make my money doing that as well as some modeling gigs and healings here and there. I do not wish to work with amatuar photographers for nude work. I was already advised by my good friend and photographer that I should start changing non-professionals for shoots. If I want to just practice nudes I have him as well as an ex nude model/photographer who I can have non released photos with. I don't think I need to overexpose myself to find a career in nude modeling so I'm just asking for advice about PAID work. Not meaning to be rude I'm just a bit confused as to why I need to be comfortable having all kinds of nudes of me all over. I only wish to and only will do tasteful shoots I already do alot of dancing as well as aerial performance I'm trying to do really artistic stuff not erotic.

Reasons people pay models from the Internet:
-they can't get that model to shoot trade with them (generally means you're going to find their work to be crappy)
-they want to work with an experienced model (you'd have to be an experienced nude model to fill this role)
-they've exhausted their local model pool and this model is traveling through their town(you'd have to take up traveling)
-they have the right look for a project funded by a client (.01% chance of finding this on MM)


The reason if you want to get paid to shoot nudes that you would have to be okay with people taking crappy photos of you nude...is because those are the people who pay. Experienced amazing photographers who you'd be honored to be photographed by aren't paying some chick from the Internet to come over me drop trou for them.

Thems the breaks. Any full time nude model you see on this site has had hundreds of unflattering nude photos taken of her. Not all of them are so horrendous you'd be embarrassed if they ever saw the light of day, but they're not great, they're not something those models want for their portfolios....which is why they charged for them.

Jul 06 13 07:50 pm Link

Photographer

Viator Defessus Photos

Posts: 1124

College Station, Texas, US

Divinezs wrote:
but I am told by nude models I have spoken with that I should never do nude work unpaid unless its with someone I know very well and is experimental

Do what you want and do what works for you. Consider the source in that advice though. Those other nude models want to get paid for posing nude. If there's another model willing to pose nude for TF (because it's not "unpaid") then that makes it harder for them to demand and get monetary compensation. By the same token, take what any photographer has to say with a grain of salt. People have their own agendas in this game.

Jul 06 13 07:51 pm Link

Photographer

NC Art Photos

Posts: 567

Raleigh, North Carolina, US

Laura UnBound wrote:
If you don't want bad photos of you in compromising poses on the Internet....don't pose that way for bad photographers.

I don't know what you consider to be a "career" with modeling, but typically that means you're making it a source of income...which means you'd be getting paid to model nude. If you want to make a solid career with nude modeling you have to be willing to have amateur photos of you without your clothes on all over the Internet, that's the way it works. Quality photographers probably aren't going to pay you to take your clothes off unless they're working on a third party clients project, which most people from mm don't have.


If you just want good nude photos then pay or trade with a good photographer

Ditto to all of this!  Especially to the party about quality photographers are going to pay you unless they have third party clients paying them.  I just don't have a business model to allow me to pay someone $150 an hour to pose nude for me without a paying client.

Jul 06 13 07:51 pm Link

Model

TheDivineGoddess

Posts: 23

San Diego, California, US

Its not about the money to me in all honesty. The last time I did nude work I was only compensated for gas. I think 100 an hour is fair for nude work. 50 an hour was what I found low and what I see alot of the time. I'd rather do shoots that are not hourly but rather about quality. Set rate for getting all the pix required. I need to work my way up a bit but I don't want raunchy photos I'd rather not have genitals actually exposed...legs cover it even if i just stand with them crossed barely (yay for thighs). I'm curious as to the best way to do pin up clean well edited nudes and get just a few quality shots. I'm not saying its easy or realistic but I am determined to do what I want to do and if I can't then I just wont do it. My aerial art is what I am truly passionate about and I travel and perform and wouldn't want raunchy material to ruin that..however...I feel that inspiring nude work would aid in my aerial/dancer/fire career.

Jul 06 13 07:53 pm Link

Photographer

Rob Photosby

Posts: 2995

Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

Divinezs wrote:
...but I am told by nude models I have spoken with that I should never do nude work unpaid unless its with someone I know very well and is experimental

The majority of the fifty photos in this PhotoVogue portfolio are nude.  All were TF, all the models were new to me, and the work was not experimental.

http://www.vogue.it/en/photovogue/Profi … acad3/User

Jul 06 13 07:54 pm Link

Model

TheDivineGoddess

Posts: 23

San Diego, California, US

Laura UnBound wrote:

Reasons people pay models from the Internet:
-they can't get that model to shoot trade with them (generally means you're going to find their work to be crappy)
-they want to work with an experienced model (you'd have to be an experienced nude model to fill this role)
-they've exhausted their local model pool and this model is traveling through their town(you'd have to take up traveling)
-they have the right look for a project funded by a client (.01% chance of finding this on MM)


The reason if you want to get paid to shoot nudes that you would have to be okay with people taking crappy photos of you nude...is because those are the people who pay. Experienced amazing photographers who you'd be honored to be photographed by aren't paying some chick from the Internet to come over me drop trou for them.

Thems the breaks. Any full time nude model you see on this site has had hundreds of unflattering nude photos taken of her. Not all of them are so horrendous you'd be embarrassed if they ever saw the light of day, but they're not great, they're not something those models want for their portfolios....which is why they charged for them.

Thats good advice I get what your saying alot more now. I guess I'll have to be really careful about posing and background checks

Jul 06 13 07:55 pm Link

Photographer

Gallery-MG

Posts: 83

Arlington, Virginia, US

As others have said , find a photographer whose work you admire and ask for a TF shoot.  Expecting to be paid with no nude modeling experience isn't realistic, unless you're posing for GWCs.  If this is only going to be a hobby, you can be very selective whom you work with.

Jul 06 13 07:57 pm Link

Model

TheDivineGoddess

Posts: 23

San Diego, California, US

Viator-Defessus Photos wrote:

Do what you want and do what works for you. Consider the source in that advice though. Those other nude models want to get paid for posing nude. If there's another model willing to pose nude for TF (because it's not "unpaid") then that makes it harder for them to demand and get monetary compensation. By the same token, take what any photographer has to say with a grain of salt. People have their own agendas in this game.

Good point. I suppose this thread has helped me decide that quality is more important to me than money. I should definitely look to do more work with some of my friend photographers who I know wont post anything bad. Even if it's unpaid they can help me meet other photographers who may pay and I would rather be able to get the images I want then make 200 bucks for an awkward set of beater-shots

Jul 06 13 07:57 pm Link

Model

TheDivineGoddess

Posts: 23

San Diego, California, US

natural beauties of qld wrote:

The majority of the fifty photos in this PhotoVogue portfolio are nude.  All were TF, all the models were new to me, and the work was not experimental.

http://www.vogue.it/en/photovogue/Profi … acad3/User

Wow those are absolutely stunning. That is the kind of work that I want to do. The reason I was worried about money is I dont want to do distasteful work for free but money does make shoots different. The best shoots iv had were TF where we got to get really creative about the images. The lighting in those is breathtaking.

Jul 06 13 07:59 pm Link

Photographer

picturephotos

Posts: 521

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Divinezs wrote:
Schlake thankyou thats very helpful and encouraging...Laura I don't exactly agree although I do about not posing in ways I wouldn't want to but I don't do that anyway. I'm a professional performer so I make my money doing that as well as some modeling gigs and healings here and there. I do not wish to work with amatuar photographers for nude work. I was already advised by my good friend and photographer that I should start changing non-professionals for shoots. If I want to just practice nudes I have him as well as an ex nude model/photographer who I can have non released photos with. I don't think I need to overexpose myself to find a career in nude modeling so I'm just asking for advice about PAID work. Not meaning to be rude I'm just a bit confused as to why I need to be comfortable having all kinds of nudes of me all over. I only wish to and only will do tasteful shoots I already do alot of dancing as well as aerial performance I'm trying to do really artistic stuff not erotic.

If you choose to not shoot with amateur photographers, you will be excluding a huge percentage of paid work as a nude model.  If you follow your friend's advice and do accept payment from amateur photographers, nude pictures of all kinds will appear online all over the place.  You realize you can't have it both ways, right?

Divinezs wrote:
Wow those are absolutely stunning. That is the kind of work that I want to do. The reason I was worried about money is I dont want to do distasteful work for free but money does make shoots different. The best shoots iv had were TF where we got to get really creative about the images. The lighting in those is breathtaking.

It's a foregone conclusion that most of those models have worked with amateurs, and not all of those images are good.  That's what it means to be a professional nude model.

Jul 06 13 08:08 pm Link

Model

Dekilah

Posts: 4890

Detroit, Michigan, US

First off, Laura knows what she is talking about so please take her advice into consideration. As for my two cents...

You may find it difficult to be paid $100 an hour and never have photos you consider poor quality or "bad" come out of the shoot. Generally speaking (and understand there are many exceptions), most of the photographers who pay models to pose nude are not going to be the top quality, super skilled type. Some of them are, but a lot of the photographers who pay nude models shoot nudes as a hobby and are able to pay models because they have another job that allows them the income to do so. A lot of the photographers who pay models are the "GWC" type as well and by that I mean that they are guys who shoot nude models a hobby. For some of them, it is the actual shoot that they enjoy just as much as the "art" aspect. I have shot with some of these guys and they tend to pay the best, but often they are still learning and quite experimental. They can be perfectly polite and absolutely lovely to work with, but you may not really like the photos.

I will add that in regards to "smutty" photos... do not pose for anything you feel you may regret. For example, if you do not want spreads out there, do not shoot them even if you are offered a really good rate.

I do have a couple articles that might be of interest to you as well:
When & Why Might a Model Be Paid
Dekilah’s List of Considerations for Potential Nude Models

If you would like to chat more about this, or ask any specific questions, please PM me. I would be happy to be open and honest with you and I know sometimes a PM can be a bit more helpful ^_^

Jul 06 13 08:08 pm Link

Photographer

JAE

Posts: 2143

West Chester, Pennsylvania, US

Laura UnBound wrote:

Reasons people pay models from the Internet:
-they can't get that model to shoot trade with them (generally means you're going to find their work to be crappy)
-they want to work with an experienced model (you'd have to be an experienced nude model to fill this role)
-they've exhausted their local model pool and this model is traveling through their town(you'd have to take up traveling)
-they have the right look for a project funded by a client (.01% chance of finding this on MM)

This is all really good advice, along with everything else Laura has posted.

Divinezs wrote:
I think 100 an hour is fair for nude work. 50 an hour was what I found low and what I see alot of the time.

I can find most of the best traveling nude models on this site for 100/hr or less.  You may have a hard time if you are expecting that early on.

If you are serious about it I would take the time to develop a nude book first before worrying about money.  Contact people whose work you admire and ask them for TF.  Pay someone really good if you have the money.  Set realistic goals and look at the competition around you.

Jul 06 13 08:11 pm Link

Photographer

BTHPhoto

Posts: 6817

Fairbanks, Alaska, US

Divinezs wrote:
I would not like to do nudes with compensation and I feel that most of the compensated amounts on nude shoots is too low

Learn the art of negotiation.  Some photographers lowball, but most pay what their budget will support.  If you feel the market rate is too low then you'll probably price yourself out of the market. 

Divinezs wrote:
and the photos are not of very high quality. I dont want low quality/smutty photos of me released

Then be picky who you work with.  Look at their portfolios, communicate clearly and openly about limits and expectations before the shoot, and don't pose for shots you don't want released.

Divinezs wrote:
can I make my own contract for nudity in addition to a model release that prohibits the use of certain types of photos?

Photographers who are shooting to produce images they can use are not going to sign a contract restricting their use of the images.  If require that, you're guaranteed to only work with photographers who don't care about their imagery and are happy to sign your contract just to get you naked, and that sends your chances of achieving goal number 2 (only high quality photos) through the floor.

Summary:
If market rate is too low to suit you, you're out of the market.

If you want to model, accept that a model's job is to produce the images the photographer needs, and only accept work from photographers whose work fits your limits and standards.

If you want to model, accept that the photographer needs to use the images s/he shoots.  If you want to dictate the usage of the images, hire a photographer and be a client.

Jul 06 13 08:14 pm Link

Photographer

DVS

Posts: 9989

Detroit, Michigan, US

Divinezs wrote:
Have done a few nude/implied shoots I am looking to start a consistent paying career in nude modeling. I'm a dancer, aerialist and hooper I do alot of gigs which I am paid for but with nude modeling I feel less on top of the game. Does anyone have any advice for me on the matter? I would not like to do nudes with compensation and I feel that most of the compensated amounts on nude shoots is too low and the photos are not of very high quality. I dont want low quality/smutty photos of me released can I make my own contract for nudity in addition to a model release that prohibits the use of certain types of photos? Any help on the matter is very appreciated. I think my words are a bit scattered on this post so please bear with me.

Ah...to be the newbie model full of fluffy dreams and high-expectant wishes.  ^__^

To be completely honest, a model coming to a photographer with their own release/contract will find themselves without much work...at least not through professionals.  As for rates, you would find much more success in attaining the fees you wish with a stellar portfolio.  However, to attain such a portfolio, you may have to pay a professional or work trade with professionals.  Expecting anything else without putting some work or money into it may be fruitless.  Best of luck!

Jul 06 13 08:16 pm Link

Photographer

Chuckarelei

Posts: 9566

Seattle, Washington, US

Divinezs wrote:
Have done a few nude/implied shoots I am looking to start a consistent paying career in nude modeling. I'm a dancer, aerialist and hooper I do alot of gigs which I am paid for but with nude modeling I feel less on top of the game. Does anyone have any advice for me on the matter? I would not like to do nudes with compensation and I feel that most of the compensated amounts on nude shoots is too low and the photos are not of very high quality. I dont want low quality/smutty photos of me released can I make my own contract for nudity in addition to a model release that prohibits the use of certain types of photos? Any help on the matter is very appreciated. I think my words are a bit scattered on this post so please bear with me.

Unless you are paying for your photographers, as soon as you draft your own contract, you are very well leave off a lot good photographers willing to TF with you. That  leaves with those who only want to see you nekid regardless of what terms are used with your final images.

Jul 06 13 08:17 pm Link

Photographer

Art of the nude

Posts: 11892

Olivet, Michigan, US

Divinezs wrote:
Have done a few nude/implied shoots I am looking to start a consistent paying career in nude modeling. I'm a dancer, aerialist and hooper I do alot of gigs which I am paid for but with nude modeling I feel less on top of the game. Does anyone have any advice for me on the matter? I would not like to do nudes with compensation and I feel that most of the compensated amounts on nude shoots is too low and the photos are not of very high quality. I dont want low quality/smutty photos of me released can I make my own contract for nudity in addition to a model release that prohibits the use of certain types of photos? Any help on the matter is very appreciated. I think my words are a bit scattered on this post so please bear with me.

You don't want to do nudes with "compensation"???

And, you can, to a reasonable degree, control the quality of the images you are in be being selective about who you work with.  Generally though, the better photographers don't need to pay, or pay as much.  Similarly, you can come up with whatever limits you like, and if you're careful about who you work with, can generally make sure your limits are respected.  But, any limitations and complications you add to the process limit your options and prospects for making money.

In spite of what you may have heard, it's NOT easy to make consistent money as a nude model.

Jul 06 13 08:19 pm Link

Model

Dekilah

Posts: 4890

Detroit, Michigan, US

I will also add that I think we may have similar limits. I generally do not shoot with genitalia showing. I have done the select few shoots, but not many. And if you do see "lips" it is from the front and not in your face. I am actually quite particular about this, but it rarely comes up because of how I pose. I know how to tilt my hips and angle myself to the camera to the point that I can pose with my legs apart without showing anything. I am also quite straight-forward with photographers about this. I usually include a bit in the shoot communication (if the concept seems it might be relevant) that says something like "I am comfortable posing fully nude, but I do prefer not to show genitalia in most cases. If a shot is close to my limit, we can discuss it before we shoot or as we are shooting. I generally pose myself in a way that nothing shows that I do not want showing, but if you do want to try something we can chat about it."

I have found that most photographer's portfolios tend to give you a pretty good idea of what they tend to shoot. If you see shots that seem over or close to your limits, chat a bit with them about it. If not, it probably will not be an issue, particularly if you pose in a way that does not really allow for shots of things you do not want showing.

Jul 06 13 08:22 pm Link

Photographer

Art of the nude

Posts: 11892

Olivet, Michigan, US

Schlake wrote:
Most photographers here will rant and rail and rave about a model with the audacity to stand up for herself as you asked about in your post.  So be ready for that.  I say avoid those photographers, they smell like misogynists, and act like misogynists...

My best advice is to be very picky about who you shoot with.  Then, shoot non-nude with them a few times to make sure you were correct about them.  The quality of the port has nothing to do with it.  It's the quality of the person.

I don't see anyone "rant and rail and rave."  Pointing out that she's not being realistic, perhaps.  Personally, I'd be happy to shoot with a prospective model "a few times" to convince them I'm worthy of shooting nudes.  I can always use more paid work.

Jul 06 13 08:22 pm Link

Photographer

BTHPhoto

Posts: 6817

Fairbanks, Alaska, US

Schlake wrote:
Most photographers here will rant and rail and rave about a model with the audacity to stand up for herself as you asked about in your post.  So be ready for that.  I say avoid those photographers, they smell like misogynists, and act like misogynists...

My best advice is to be very picky about who you shoot with.  Then, shoot non-nude with them a few times to make sure you were correct about them.  The quality of the port has nothing to do with it.  It's the quality of the person.

Oh, puleez! Get over yourself.  hmm

Jul 06 13 08:26 pm Link

Photographer

Rob Photosby

Posts: 2995

Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

natural beauties of qld wrote:
The majority of the fifty photos in this PhotoVogue portfolio are nude.  All were TF, all the models were new to me, and the work was not experimental.

http://www.vogue.it/en/photovogue/Profi … acad3/User

Divinezs wrote:
Wow those are absolutely stunning. That is the kind of work that I want to do. The reason I was worried about money is I dont want to do distasteful work for free but money does make shoots different. The best shoots iv had were TF where we got to get really creative about the images. The lighting in those is breathtaking.

Thank you for the kind words.

As I see the discussion taking shape, I suggest you study very carefully the advice offered by Laura Unbound and Rays Fine Art. Both are very experienced and considered in their views, and both have been given repeated endorsement by other correspondents in this thread.

As for the question of distasteful work, I encourage models to do their own thing and sometimes that produces what you might consider to be distasteful images.  On the other hand, models who are very controlled in their posing are (in my experience) likely to lack the spontaneity that produces a good image.

Those same shoots that you see as stunning also produced some truly ugly images (both of us are moving underwater, so posing is imprecise), but why would I use them? I have no more interest in publishing an ugly photo than the model does.

A lot comes down to trust and control, because you cannot have an absolute amount of both.

It is essential that there be trust between model and photographer, and that the trust is a two-way street, but you also need to accept that your trust will sometimes be misplaced. 

I have been ripped off by models, one of whom went so far as to take my work and pass it off as her own, but it has not stopped me from trusting models in general.

If you pose nude, some unattractive photos of you will sooner or later be published, but does it really matter?  The world is awash with nudes, most of them highly forgettable and most of them highly deniable.

Jul 06 13 08:28 pm Link

Photographer

Cherrystone

Posts: 36718

Columbus, Ohio, US

Divinezs wrote:
Have done a few nude/implied shoots I am looking to start a consistent paying career in nude modeling.

Stop.....if that's your intent, you're not going to avoid low quality images being taken, simple as that.

The odds of you getting around that is akin to a snowball surviving more than 5 minutes in the southwest of late.

Jul 06 13 08:30 pm Link

Photographer

ms-photo

Posts: 532

Portland, Oregon, US

First of all, the market decides what the rates are.  You can try to charge double the going rate, but you will not find any work.

The same thing works for photographers.  The better quality photographers don't have to pay anything because they can collaborate or even have models pay them.

If you want to start charging for nudes, then you should have some nudes in your portfolio.  A model with no experience shooting nudes is not going to be able to start out charging high rates.

The models who can charge the highest rates for nudes, are the ones with tons of experience, with a huge portfolio and have built a "name" for themselves as being reliable and trustworthy (i.e. not a flake).

The best models are also up for anything, shooting outdoors or in a studio.  They are not worried about awkward situations or bad quality pictures, instead they have a spirit of adventure, and artistic collaboration.  A model that is insecure and worried about everything is not going to be any fun to shoot with. 

As a potential photographer reading this thread and viewing your portfolio, the information I'm gathering is that you have no experience nude modeling, are worried about shooting outdoors and maybe even indoors, you want to have editorial control over the final images and yet expect me to pay super high rates.  This all adds up to "I'll pass" because there are plenty of experienced and reliable models I can work with instead.

My advice if you really want to get started, is to build your portfolio by working TFP with photographers you admire (even experienced professional models still do this from time to time).

Then when you want to start charging, try to gauge what the market rates are (if you are not getting any work, then you are charging too much).

If you are expecting any sort of editorial control over the final images, the only way to do this is by hiring a photographer to shoot exactly what you want.

This doesn't mean if you are charging that you will have to work with every crappy photographer out there, you can still check out their portfolio and choose who you want to work with or not.

Full time models will usually still shoot with crappy photographers, but will charge them higher rates since there is no chance of getting anything portfolio worthy from them.  They might charge experienced photographers lower rates and even shoot TFP with the best photographers, to keep their portfolio updated.

Hope this helps.

Jul 06 13 09:35 pm Link

Photographer

Richard Tallent

Posts: 7092

Beaumont, Texas, US

Let:

  M = the value of the model's look and skill to the photographer
  S = the value of the photographs **to the customer** of the photographer if any
  D = the model's out of pocket costs
  P = the value of the resulting photographs **to the model**
  A = the model's agency's cut
  F = the photographer's profit from the shoot
  E = the photographer's out of pocket costs

To solve for C, the model's compensation, use the following equation:

  C = (M + S + D) - (P + A + F + E)

With photo shoots booked over the Internet, S, A, and F are generally 0, and D and E are minimal or roughly equal unless the model is traveling.

This allows the equation to be simplified somewhat:

  C = M - P

So, as a general rule, the more you are paid, the less valuable the photos will be to you. The better the photographs are, the more limited the compensation will be.

To have a high C and a high P, the M you offer must be equal their sum.

Because you're willing to model nude, you've multiplied your M tenfold -- only about 1 in 10 models are nude-friendly. But that multiplier is still applied to your look and skill, so those will be the limiting factor of M.

As you increase M, you can charge more to the same photographer, or you can hold C constant and work with photographers who offer a higher P.

You have to decide how to balance C and P as you learn to increase M. The more you choose money, the worse the photos will be. If you chase awesome photos, the compensation will suck.

That said, one cool thing about M and P is that they are somewhat dependent. The better you are, the better the photos will be. And, the better the photographer is, the better they will make your skills and looks appear in your portfolio, which maximizes your M.

Jul 06 13 09:40 pm Link

Model

Paige Morgan

Posts: 4058

New York, New York, US

Richard Tallent wrote:
Let:

  M = the value of the model's look and skill to the photographer
  S = the value of the photographs **to the customer** of the photographer if any
  D = the model's out of pocket costs
  P = the value of the resulting photographs **to the model**
  A = the model's agency's cut
  F = the photographer's profit from the shoot
  E = the photographer's out of pocket costs

To solve for C, the model's compensation, use the following equation:

  C = (M + S + D) - (P + A + F + E)

With photo shoots booked over the Internet, S, A, and F are generally 0, and D and E are minimal or roughly equal unless the model is traveling.

This allows the equation to be simplified somewhat:

  C = M - P

So, as a general rule, the more you are paid, the less valuable the photos will be to you. The better the photographs are, the more limited the compensation will be.

To have a high C and a high P, the M you offer must be equal their sum.

Because you're willing to model nude, you've multiplied your M tenfold -- only about 1 in 10 models are nude-friendly. But that multiplier is still applied to your look and skill, so those will be the limiting factor of M.

As you increase M, you can charge more to the same photographer, or you can hold C constant and work with photographers who offer a higher P.

You have to decide how to balance C and P as you learn to increase M. The more you choose money, the worse the photos will be. If you chase awesome photos, the compensation will suck.

That said, one cool thing about M and P is that they are somewhat dependent. The better you are, the better the photos will be. And, the better the photographer is, the better they will make your skills and looks appear in your portfolio, which maximizes your M.

The nerd in me just squealed in glee at your choice to break it down in this particular fashion. That is all. smile

Jul 06 13 09:47 pm Link

Model

TheDivineGoddess

Posts: 23

San Diego, California, US

Dekilah wrote:
I will also add that I think we may have similar limits. I generally do not shoot with genitalia showing. I have done the select few shoots, but not many. And if you do see "lips" it is from the front and not in your face. I am actually quite particular about this, but it rarely comes up because of how I pose. I know how to tilt my hips and angle myself to the camera to the point that I can pose with my legs apart without showing anything. I am also quite straight-forward with photographers about this. I usually include a bit in the shoot communication (if the concept seems it might be relevant) that says something like "I am comfortable posing fully nude, but I do prefer not to show genitalia in most cases. If a shot is close to my limit, we can discuss it before we shoot or as we are shooting. I generally pose myself in a way that nothing shows that I do not want showing, but if you do want to try something we can chat about it."

I have found that most photographer's portfolios tend to give you a pretty good idea of what they tend to shoot. If you see shots that seem over or close to your limits, chat a bit with them about it. If not, it probably will not be an issue, particularly if you pose in a way that does not really allow for shots of things you do not want showing.

Thankyou very much thats very helpful smile Communication is always a nessesity. I like to always make clear to a photographer what I'm comfortable with so that there is no confusion. I'll have to be even more on top of that in booking shoots such as this.

Richard the aspect of my friend recommending to not work no paywith amatuars was in regard to general modeling not nudes. I do realize that many nudes are amatuar which is fine. I only wish to do tasteful work so working TF seems like the best call I did a recent nude shoot its just not up in my port. I shall just have to be picky

Jul 06 13 09:50 pm Link

Model

TheDivineGoddess

Posts: 23

San Diego, California, US

natural beauties of qld wrote:

natural beauties of qld wrote:
The majority of the fifty photos in this PhotoVogue portfolio are nude.  All were TF, all the models were new to me, and the work was not experimental.

http://www.vogue.it/en/photovogue/Profi … acad3/User

Thank you for the kind words.

As I see the discussion taking shape, I suggest you study very carefully the advice offered by Laura Unbound and Rays Fine Art. Both are very experienced and considered in their views, and both have been given repeated endorsement by other correspondents in this thread.

As for the question of distasteful work, I encourage models to do their own thing and sometimes that produces what you might consider to be distasteful images.  On the other hand, models who are very controlled in their posing are (in my experience) likely to lack the spontaneity that produces a good image.

Those same shoots that you see as stunning also produced some truly ugly images (both of us are moving underwater, so posing is imprecise), but why would I use them? I have no more interest in publishing an ugly photo than the model does.

A lot comes down to trust and control, because you cannot have an absolute amount of both.

It is essential that there be trust between model and photographer, and that the trust is a two-way street, but you also need to accept that your trust will sometimes be misplaced. 

I have been ripped off by models, one of whom went so far as to take my work and pass it off as her own, but it has not stopped me from trusting models in general.

If you pose nude, some unattractive photos of you will sooner or later be published, but does it really matter?  The world is awash with nudes, most of them highly forgettable and most of them highly deniable.

I'v had some bad experiences with photographers and looking back on those situations I wasnt clear enough with boundaries etc. I find that most of the photographers I enjoy working with only release quality images...theres always going to be an image I wish was there and one that I wish wasn't its true with all kinds of modeling...but getting those truly magic photos seems to make it all worth it and those are the ones I choose to use myself. When it comes down to it I suppose the ppl I am mainly dealing with only see what I release anyway so I get alot more what Laura was saying after having some time to process it. I appreciate all of the advice because exposure is a fragile thing and its very easy to overexpose in an instant. I will have to look more for quality photographers and not worry as much about money it makes for better lasting model/photographer relationships in my personal experience anyway.

Jul 06 13 09:55 pm Link