Forums > Model Colloquy > Model payment if selling images?

Photographer

Abbitt Photography

Posts: 11723

Oakland Acres, Iowa, US

AJScalzitti wrote:
You bring up another good point.  A model is paid based largely on their look (something their parents did) and their ability to deliver (something they do).  It has little to do with with the prices of the images.  That is based largely on what the photographer does and what the clients can accomplish with them.  There is no relation and models are not paid more (or less) based on the price of images.

I think when people hear that a photographer hopes to make some money from shoot photos, their minds often go to higher budget shoots in which a photographer has a given assignment for a known (and reasonable) amount of money.   For such larger budget shoots, I think it's rare that a photographer will try to skimp by trying to find a model who is at a stage of usually working TF.   Hiring an agency model is probably more typical, and such shoots may indeed have releases specific to an intended use.  (So, I'm told.  I don't do such shoots)

I think most cases of photographers here hoping to make some coin and seeking a TF model, have little in common with that.  They are more likely to be speculative and with a relatively low return:  perhaps microstock, some framed art or maybe a magazine submission with no guarantee of acceptance.   Often, the speculative nature of the endeavor means while the photographer hopes to makes some sales, he or she may not make any sales and may even see a loss.

A speculative shoot with low potential profit and a risk of loss, means it doesn't make sense to pay a lot for a model, which is likely why the photographer is seeking trade.  As you indicated, that a photographer hopes to make a little money does not magically make a newer, less experienced TF model who has done no or few paid shoots into a experienced, paid model.  Photographers doing lower budget shoots are also less likely to invest in having releases specifically tailored to that individual shoot purpose.

I don't specifically know this model's history of pay, her past experience or the photographer in question.  This is a general statement, addressing this kind of scenario, not intended to address either of them of this shoot specifically.

Oct 20 13 06:12 pm Link

Model

Amber Dawn - Colorado

Posts: 6243

Castle Rock, Colorado, US

I don't see why she cant get IMAGES and MONEY that's what's being offered the Photographer wants to do TFP and wants to sale the images MONEY. I've done many TFP shoots where I or the photographer sold the images and got money out of it.

You need to set down with the photographer and let him know that if he wants both then you want both images/money. Very simple

Oct 20 13 08:57 pm Link

Photographer

imcFOTO

Posts: 579

Bothell, Washington, US

Kaylee Lynnx wrote:
Hey all, I'm wondering a few things. A photographer contacted me wanting to work with me. He asked to do a TF shoot but wants to sell my images. Can he do that? Should I ask for a percentage of the profit? Should I make my own contract? And how much would be a reasonable percentage to ask for? Thanks smile

This is why it is tremendously important to get all these details down in writing and signed by you both. I would say in general, most photographers and models want to be fair (that's just my view of the world). And he has at least made it clear upfront that he wants to be able to profit from the images.

So it's all about negotiation. What do you get in return? Even for regular TFP shoots I see many complaints from models that they only ended up with a handful of edited shots they didn't like. So I think for every shoot, the following questions should be answered and then you both have to work out if you consider it fair.

* Who owns the rights to the photos? By default this is the photographer and rarely given away.

* Who gets to pick which shots get edited? Sometime a photographer will let the model choose some, others prefer to do all the selection themselves. Ask.

* How many edited shots will you get and roughly when? That varies considerably so it should be something agreed.

* What usage rights do you have as a model for the shots? Generally it would be stipulated that you can use them for promotion, portfolios etc. but no commercial use. Also, it may be stipulated that you may not alter or edit the shots in any way.

* What usage rights does the photographer have? This is primarily why you are asked to sign a model release. It should specify the limits (if any) of usage. A photographer may want to submit your shots to a stock agency - but remember that often any projected commercial use is highly speculative.

It all comes down to you both feeling you have a good deal and a positive experience. Talk to the photographer - ask him what he wants and what he is prepared to give in return. If you are a new model and looking for quality in your portfolio, the images are probably more important than a few dollars in the hand. And let's face it, if the photographer manages to make a bundle out of your shots, chances are, he'll want to shoot again. Then you are in a much better place to negotiate fees.

Very few people get rich at this game (at least within the typical MM membership I'd say). And remember, if your image ends up being spread all over a magazine or something - that can only be good for you too.

Bottom line ... discuss with the photographer ... make sure you get all your answers in writing and stick to the deal once you make it.

Oct 20 13 11:46 pm Link

Photographer

imcFOTO

Posts: 579

Bothell, Washington, US

D-Light wrote:
Not sure I would agree with most of this.

Firstly, always sign a model release and keep a copy of it for yourself. This defines the use that can be made of the images. It sets out what your rights are and what the photographer can do with the images. It should state what compensation you received for the shoot and if any future payments are due and what they are. The photographer should send you a copy of this a few days before the shoot.

If it's a TF shoot, this should include how many edited images you will get, in what format and over what time frame. It should also include the terms under which you can use them. Remember, the photographer owns the copyright, not you and unless he agrees to share it with you, in writing, that's how it will stay.

Secondly, it's unlikely any photographer will pay you a per centage of the income from the images. Usually, you get an upfront payment and that's it. Unless the photographer is taking these for a specific client, he/she is taking these shots on spec and may or may not make a profit from the shoot. He is taking all of the risks.

Accounting for the income from a specific image or shoot would be a nightmare and anyway, how do you know he's telling you the truth? What expenses do you deduct from the sales before you share the profit? An upfront payment is your best bet here and is the more usual way things are done.

Thirdly, payment rates vary from place to place and also depend on the style of image being produced. Only local models can tell you about that.

You are providing a huge input in terms of costs, for this shoot. You should research what these would cost in your local area, for example, how much would a MUA cost or what is the rental on a studio, in your area? Make sure to ad the value of these services to anything you will charge for your time.

I know that you said it's a TF shoot but if he's selling the images, unless you are completely inexperienced, you should charge him. In my opinion, TF shoots are for portfolio use only. If one party is going to make money from it, then all should.

In this case, you appear to be making most of the input while he's looking to make all of the potential profit. You need to rethink this situation.

I'm agreeing with most of what you say, but I will point out that a model release rarely gives much protection to the model - it is primarily about the photographer's rights to the images. But a Usage Agreement (whether it be a TFCD or paid shot) form should specify the usage rights both ways as well as specify numbers of images for the model, timescales etc.

I do mostly TFP myself, but even when I pay, I use a combined Agreement/Release which specifies payments, number of images for the model, who gets to choose them (I do 50/50) and approx timescales. I also specify non-commercial usage rights for the model (and myself at this time since I have no intention of trying to sell my work yet).

Oct 20 13 11:53 pm Link

Photographer

PaulHomsyPhotography

Posts: 96

Los Angeles, California, US

Kaylee Lynnx wrote:
Hey all, I'm wondering a few things. A photographer contacted me wanting to work with me. He asked to do a TF shoot but wants to sell my images. Can he do that? Should I ask for a percentage of the profit? Should I make my own contract? And how much would be a reasonable percentage to ask for? Thanks smile

I personally give a percentage of whatever revenues are generated from a TF shoot. The percentage is the same regardless of how much a photograph can fetch. It has no ceilings simply because the images would have been impossible to obtain without the model. If someone shoots TF with you, then sells the photos, it is only fair if you're included. It is a rip off of sorts of the model isn't compensated. The notion that beautiful images in a port are enough isn't my idea of fairness.

For the photographer the work isn't finished after the shoot as we all know, editing takes long hours, presenting the images to clients takes time as well. I give a substantial percentage of the earnings generated by a photograph but not half because of the work and time involved after the shoot. I find it cheap and selfish, disrespectful to the model to deny a share of the profits. I also share if an image sells in a gallery. After the gallery takes its share, I give the same percentage I give for any other use.

This is how I operate. Some may agree, others disagree. This is a business and profits should be shared in my opinion. The model is a major contributor to these profits.

Oct 28 13 03:46 am Link

Photographer

PaulHomsyPhotography

Posts: 96

Los Angeles, California, US

Loki Studio wrote:
A TF* shoot is a simple trade and usually done without a model release or contract.  You can agree to sign a model release for commercial use and sale that also provides you portfolio rights and a percentage of any revenue from any use/licensing of the images every 90 days. Given that you are providing many resources for the shoot, 50% could be reasonable.

Do realize that attempting to sell photos of unknown models is extremely hard and there may not be any revenue at all.

You're absolutely correct, selling photos is hard. I just wrote on a separate post in this thread that after a TF shoot, if any revenue is generated by the photos I do share a certain percentage with the models (substantial but not half because of the all the work required to finish and sell the photos). I do not shoot without a release. If the model refuses to provide me with one. There is no deal. If any image sells in a gallery, I will not share the profits. If on the other hand I have a release I will share. I am strictly discussing TF shoots here. I know photographers who much prefer to pay a modeling fee and never have to share anything afterwards. It's another way of doing business. It's quite personal and up to the individuals involved to come to an agreement.

Oct 28 13 03:56 am Link

Photographer

Marcio Faustino

Posts: 2059

Freiburg, Baden-Württemberg, Germany

Kaylee Lynnx wrote:
Hey all, I'm wondering a few things. A photographer contacted me wanting to work with me. He asked to do a TF shoot but wants to sell my images. Can he do that? Should I ask for a percentage of the profit? Should I make my own contract? And how much would be a reasonable percentage to ask for? Thanks smile

I some times do it and the agreement with me models is to give them the right to sell prints or use for any artistic work as they want.

In other words, the model and I can use the photos to sell prints as we want and keep the profits.

Like this both are happy to have the photoshoot and both can earn money if want with the results.

Since I don't have money to pay models this is the best solution for me. And models get high resolution images to print as they want.

But I still keep the work rights.


Marcio Faustino

Oct 31 13 05:41 am Link

Photographer

Drew Smith Photography

Posts: 5210

Nottingham, England, United Kingdom

You can either keep it very simple and trust your relationship with the photography, which would look something like this:

1. You shoot TF (no money changes hands) and you get images and if he sells any pics of you then you get a negotiated percentage of the sales.

All kinds of things could go wrong with this scenario after the shoot; he may lie about sales figures, refuse to pay you if he does sell them and so forth. And it might be fairly difficult to find out if he did sell them if he says he didn't.

Or you could just set your stall out up front:

2. You provide the location, MUA etc and you negotiate a fee for the shoot and sign away any right to payment from image sales.

As long as you get paid what you feel your contribution is worth then there is little downside to this as long as you accept that if he sells your pics for millions you get nothing from those sales. But I'm assuming that this is unlikely. smile

As somebody has said earlier, he will find it very difficult to sell your pics. In your Bio you state that you don't shoot nudes or fetish, and as these are two of the more lucrative markets, so he will have a hard time selling images of you - unless there is something about the shoot you are not revealing.

Oct 31 13 06:42 am Link

Photographer

AJ_In_Atlanta

Posts: 12831

Atlanta, Georgia, US

Abbitt Photography wrote:
I think when people hear that a photographer hopes to make some money from shoot photos, their minds often go to higher budget shoots in which a photographer has a given assignment for a known (and reasonable) amount of money.   For such larger budget shoots, I think it's rare that a photographer will try to skimp by trying to find a model who is at a stage of usually working TF.   Hiring an agency model is probably more typical, and such shoots may indeed have releases specific to an intended use.  (So, I'm told.  I don't do such shoots)

I think most cases of photographers here hoping to make some coin and seeking a TF model, have little in common with that.  They are more likely to be speculative and with a relatively low return:  perhaps microstock, some framed art or maybe a magazine submission with no guarantee of acceptance.   Often, the speculative nature of the endeavor means while the photographer hopes to makes some sales, he or she may not make any sales and may even see a loss.

A speculative shoot with low potential profit and a risk of loss, means it doesn't make sense to pay a lot for a model, which is likely why the photographer is seeking trade.  As you indicated, that a photographer hopes to make a little money does not magically make a newer, less experienced TF model who has done no or few paid shoots into a experienced, paid model.  Photographers doing lower budget shoots are also less likely to invest in having releases specifically tailored to that individual shoot purpose.

I don't specifically know this model's history of pay, her past experience or the photographer in question.  This is a general statement, addressing this kind of scenario, not intended to address either of them of this shoot specifically.

I agree, on a commissioned shoot it would be wise to use an agency where you also have some backup in case a model becomes sick.  Also there is a different rate for usage, typically local vs national.  The logic there is that a model who does a national campaign is paid more because their options for work becomes limited.  JCP would not use that same model if they were in an ad for Macy's that year.  In some cases a client may even require it, but pays accordingly.

P.S. not that I get to shoot national campaigns yet, coming from my past life on the marketing side smile

Oct 31 13 06:58 am Link

Photographer

Herman Surkis

Posts: 8859

Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

AJScalzitti wrote:

Reasonable rate?  He offered his images already as comp, you apparently feel those are not suitable and would prefer cash money instead.  Please note I said instead, you won't get both money and images.

...

There is one local photographer who does both, plus prints.
They can afford to do that as they have 2 pensions.
I cannot afford to do it. My choices are decent equipment to get the job done, or pay models, so I do trade only.
Since the previous person makes it impossible to follow up, I no longer send models to them, as I know I will never get to work with that model again. If they were incompetent, then it would not be an issue, but they are good and will put in 2-3 hours in post, so their images always look slicker than mine.

However after I have shot a model 2-3 times I don't mind passing them on, they deserve the money for putting up with me for 2-3 times.

Oct 31 13 07:03 am Link

Photographer

R Byron Johnson

Posts: 767

Norman, Oklahoma, US

Whenever I do a TF shoot, I include in the release form/contract that I agree to share any profit I make from the photos 50/50 with the model.  This isn't standard practice, just me being nice.

Basically, if you agree to do a shoot for a photographer on a TF basis, he/she owns the photos by default and can do whatever they want with them, with or without a release form.

Oct 31 13 06:15 pm Link

Photographer

Dan OMell

Posts: 1335

Ufa, Bashkortostan, Russia

Kaylee Lynnx wrote:
Should I ask for a percentage of the profit? Should I make my own contract?

Give him this (or a similar) form to sign

http://petapixel.com/assets/uploads/2012/02/ladygaga_mini.jpg

After that, you don't need to ask anyone anything, and can do whatever you want.

The question remains who of photographers gonna sign something like this, but it's totally different story... (many GWCs and the paid photographers do, though)

Oct 31 13 06:49 pm Link