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Model
VampireKitten
Posts: 92
SHERMAN OAKS, California, US


Recently I had a conversation with my Fiancee about how a few models I know have done HUGE jobs (music videos for popular bands, modeled for incredible companies, etc) and have not gotten paid for it. I have also been trying to get paid jobs for a while, which I usually get paid via product trade, but when is enough, enough?

How come models subject themselves to this, get so big and barely make any money because most of the people that work with them simply do "FTP" only. I have been modeling for something liker 4 years and I am I'm trying to understand when/why models aren't getting paid and being "used" so much (I'm talking about the bigger picture, not just myself)?

Should there be some sort of modeling union or is this what an agency is for? Isn't this question what brought about SAG? thoughts?
Jul 03 07 11:13 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
richard boswell
Posts: 1,790
New York, New York, US


supply/demand

r
Jul 03 07 11:14 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Emeritus
Posts: 21,947
Las Vegas, Nevada, US


Just a guess . . . none of those "huge jobs" were booked through a good agency . . .

VampireKitten wrote:
Should there be some sort of modeling union or is this what an agency is for? Isn't this question what brought about SAG? thoughts?

Model unions have been tried.  More than once.  Won't work.

SAG was started at a time when the production of movies was concentrated in a few large studios.  The very diffuse nature of modeling - the number of photographers, production companies and other suppliers, means that it's not possible to put pressure on a reasonable number of them and control production.  The way the print advertising business has evolved won't allow it.

I suppose it might be possible for major runway shows, but the same models that do them also tend to do print, so it wouldn't have a lot of net effect.

Jul 03 07 11:16 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
VampireKitten
Posts: 92
SHERMAN OAKS, California, US


richard boswell wrote:
supply/demand

r

care to elaborate for the class?

Jul 03 07 11:16 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
MelissaLynnette LaDiva
Posts: 50,816
Leawood, Kansas, US


VampireKitten wrote:
Recently I had a conversation with my Fiancee about how a few models I know have done HUGE jobs (music videos for popular bands, modeled for incredible companies, etc) and have not gotten paid for it. I have also been trying to get paid jobs for a while, which I usually get paid via product trade, but when is enough, enough?

How come models subject themselves to this, get so big and barely make any money because most of the people that work with them simply do "FTP" only. I have been modeling for something liker 4 years and I am I'm trying to understand when/why models aren't getting paid and being "used" so much (I'm talking about the bigger picture, not just myself)?

Should there be some sort of modeling union or is this what an agency is for? Isn't this question what brought about SAG? thoughts?

This is what an agency is for.

I no longer do gigs for "exposure"  Perhaps the models you know should think about doing the same.

Jul 03 07 11:17 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
MelissaLynnette LaDiva
Posts: 50,816
Leawood, Kansas, US


VampireKitten wrote:

care to elaborate for the class?

Supply and demand is an economics term that basically represents the idea that if the supply is low, the demand will be higher and if the supply is high, the demand will drop.

Diamonds cost a lot because there are so few of good quality ones in circulation.
Ramen noodles are a dime because there is no seeming end to the damn things.
smile

Jul 03 07 11:19 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
VampireKitten
Posts: 92
SHERMAN OAKS, California, US


MelissaLynnette LaDiva wrote:
This is what an agency is for.

I no longer do gigs for "exposure"  Perhaps the models you know should think about doing the same.

Woah, a real answer... cookie for the day! smile

Jul 03 07 11:19 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
MelissaLynnette LaDiva
Posts: 50,816
Leawood, Kansas, US


VampireKitten wrote:

Woah, a real answer... cookie for the day! smile

I had a turkey burger earlier, it does seem to be time for a cookie.

Jul 03 07 11:21 pm  Link  Quote 
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Photographer
studio36uk
Posts: 21,657
Tavai, Sigave, Wallis and Futuna


TXPhotog wrote:
Just a guess . . . none of those "huge jobs" were booked through a good agency . . .

And almost NEVER will be. Not as long as the producers can post a casting call and 500+++ wannabes show up willing to work for nothing. AND THEY DO!!!

As soon as model "A" insists on being paid they will be replaced by model "B" who will do it for the "exposure".

It is indeed supply and demand at work. With the advent of the "anyone can be a model Internet" the supply has far, far, far outstripped the demand, right to the point where the value of the model, in dollar terms, is near or at zero.

You said it yourself, TX, on one occasion that I recall, that the average "working" life of even an agency model can sometimes be measured in weeks.

Studio36

Jul 03 07 11:35 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Emeritus
Posts: 21,947
Las Vegas, Nevada, US


studio36uk wrote:
It is indeed supply and demand at work. With the advent of the "anyone can be a model Internet" the supply has far, far, far outstripped the demand, right to the point where the value of the model, in dollar terms, is near or at zero.

Except for the very top of the market, that's pretty much true.  Models are commodities.  Agencies solve that problem, to a degree, by not selling models.  They sell service and reliability, which is something very few independent models can be relied on to offer.

Jul 03 07 11:41 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
VampireKitten
Posts: 92
SHERMAN OAKS, California, US


What about "alt" models who refuse to live off of paysites such as Suicide Girls, Gods Girls, Burning Angel, etc?

There are no agencies for them.
Jul 03 07 11:46 pm  Link  Quote 
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Photographer
studio36uk
Posts: 21,657
Tavai, Sigave, Wallis and Futuna


TXPhotog wrote:
Except for the very top of the market, that's pretty much true.  Models are commodities.  Agencies solve that problem, to a degree, by not selling models.  They sell service and reliability, which is something very few independent models can be relied on to offer.

That is true of the high end, as it is just as true of the "everybody else who can't find an agency to represent them" end.

Studio36

Jul 03 07 11:47 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
MelissaLynnette LaDiva
Posts: 50,816
Leawood, Kansas, US


VampireKitten wrote:
What about alt models who refuse to live off of paysites such as Suicide Girls, Gods Girls, Burning Angel, etc?

You are a freelance, independent model.  If there is no agency for you, then you are SOL.  If there are agents (I have no idea) who take on alt models, that is your next best bet.  I don't know how practical that would be though.

Jul 03 07 11:47 pm  Link  Quote 
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Photographer
studio36uk
Posts: 21,657
Tavai, Sigave, Wallis and Futuna


VampireKitten wrote:
What about "alt" models who refuse to live off of paysites such as Suicide Girls, Gods Girls, Burning Angel, etc?

There are no agencies for them.

Just as there is also a more limited market for alt models. Even in that limited market the supply still far outstrips demand.

So the balance is still like saying that there are 500 mainstream producers as against 500,000 more or less mainstream non-agency models; and in the alt world there might be only 50,000 models but they are chasing only 50 producers. The ratio stays the same at 1000 models chasing every producer for work. In both worlds the producers are often buying on price and you can't get a better price then zero.

Studio36

Jul 03 07 11:56 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Richard Tallent
Posts: 7,092
Beaumont, Texas, US


VampireKitten wrote:
What about "alt" models who refuse to live off of paysites such as Suicide Girls, Gods Girls, Burning Angel, etc? There are no agencies for them.

LOL. Wow.

1. Turn on your television, and go flip through a couple of magazines and newspapers.
2. Look at the models hawking products, wearing clothes and jewelry, and walking the runway.
3. Notice how few of them have that "Hot-Topic-wannabe-porn-star" look?

There are no agencies for them because agencies make money from clients creating commercials for mainstream media, and clients aren't looking for "alt" models. Hence the "alt" part, as in "alternative," as in "not mainstream," which means (...drumroll...) no mainstream jobs.

The sites you mentioned survive by accepting every girl with a bad tattoo and boobs. Some are more discriminating than others, but hey are just amateur porn sites, and they churn through models like Michael Moore through butter popcorn. Any model protesting rates will simply not have her sets accepted again, and her exclusive contract will run out just in time for her grandchildren to join the site.

Hmm... maybe MM forum junkies should have a union so Tyler will pay us double-time for answering silly questions?

Jul 04 07 12:22 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Doug Lester
Posts: 10,591
Atlanta, Georgia, US


VampireKitten wrote:
What about "alt" models who refuse to live off of paysites such as Suicide Girls, Gods Girls, Burning Angel, etc?

There are no agencies for them.

There is a reason there are no agencies for them, their market is on the internet.  How many models in mainstream magazine and other ads have a goth or alt look to them? The gigs which pay go through ad and model agencies, not TFP on the net forums.

Jul 04 07 12:28 am  Link  Quote 
Model
VampireKitten
Posts: 92
SHERMAN OAKS, California, US


Richard Tallent wrote:

LOL. Wow.

1. Turn on your television, and go flip through a couple of magazines and newspapers.
2. Look at the models hawking products, wearing clothes and jewelry, and walking the runway.
3. Notice how few of them have that "Hot-Topic-wannabe-porn-star" look?

There are no agencies for them because agencies make money from clients creating commercials for mainstream media, and clients aren't looking for "alt" models. Hence the "alt" part, as in "alternative," as in "not mainstream," which means (...drumroll...) no mainstream jobs.

The sites you mentioned survive by accepting every girl with a bad tattoo and boobs. Some are more discriminating than others, but hey are just amateur porn sites, and they churn through models like Michael Moore through butter popcorn. Any model protesting rates will simply not have her sets accepted again, and her exclusive contract will run out just in time for her grandchildren to join the site.

Hmm... maybe MM forum junkies should have a union so Tyler will pay us double-time for answering silly questions?

Holy shit, I'm sorry if I "offended" you in some way, but you don't have to be so rude. Sorry you feel my questions are silly, but at least I am asking them AFTER I search through the 6,000,000 pages of other "silly" and repeat questions on the site.

Jul 04 07 12:29 am  Link  Quote 
Model
MelissaLynnette LaDiva
Posts: 50,816
Leawood, Kansas, US


VampireKitten wrote:

Holy shit, I'm sorry if I "offended" you in some way, but you don't have to be so rude. Sorry you feel my questions are silly, but at least I am asking them AFTER I search through the 6,000,000 pages of other "silly" and repeat questions on the site.

That wasn't rude.  That was blunt.  He is entirely correct.

Jul 04 07 12:44 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Richard Tallent
Posts: 7,092
Beaumont, Texas, US


VampireKitten wrote:
Holy shit, I'm sorry if I "offended" you in some way, but you don't have to be so rude. Sorry you feel my questions are silly, but at least I am asking them AFTER I search through the 6,000,000 pages of other "silly" and repeat questions on the site.

Damn. Forgot my smilie face again.

smile

There. Not offended, just rolling my eyes a little, but I can never remember the emoticon for that one.

I commend you for your Googling, but a little common sense says that if you don't see a particular style of modeling in a *bunch* of mainstream advertising, and yet there are a bazillion models with that personal style, neither an agency or a union would be able to keep its doors open.

Furthermore, without mainstream corporations hiring those models, porn is pretty much all that is left on the paid side of things.

It's really not *that* terrible, I know plenty of excellent alt models who don't do porn, but do great work. They even walk runways, just not for money and not for Chanel. Find your niche.

No worries, Vogue ain't hiring me any time soon either, and this is all a "break-even" hobby for me (and sometimes not even that).

I'm going to find some chocolate now so I won't be so grumpy.

Jul 04 07 12:46 am  Link  Quote 
Model
MelissaLynnette LaDiva
Posts: 50,816
Leawood, Kansas, US


Richard, the roll eyes smiley is : rolleyes :  remove the spaces and you get roll

big_smile
Jul 04 07 12:52 am  Link  Quote 
Model
VampireKitten
Posts: 92
SHERMAN OAKS, California, US


Richard Tallent wrote:

Damn. Forgot my smilie face again.

smile

There. Not offended, just rolling my eyes a little, but I can never remember the emoticon for that one.

I commend you for your Googling, but a little common sense says that if you don't see a particular style of modeling in a *bunch* of mainstream advertising, and yet there are a bazillion models with that personal style, neither an agency or a union would be able to keep its doors open.

Furthermore, without mainstream corporations hiring those models, porn is pretty much all that is left on the paid side of things.

It's really not *that* terrible, I know plenty of excellent alt models who don't do porn, but do great work. They even walk runways, just not for money and not for Chanel. Find your niche.

No worries, Vogue ain't hiring me any time soon either, and this is all a "break-even" hobby for me (and sometimes not even that).

I'm going to find some chocolate now so I won't be so grumpy.

No, I understood, but what I meant was the "silly question" comment. I mean heck, forgive me for asking a question I know nothing about.

Thank you for clarifying though. smile

Jul 04 07 01:03 am  Link  Quote 
Model
Cynthia Leigh
Posts: 799
New Orleans, Louisiana, US


You won't get a union for the various reasons listed.  However, that doesn't stop you from working on acting gigs and getting into SEG/SAG/AFTRA/ETC and still being an alt model on the side.

My niche is my costuming.  For some people, I'll never be the right height, weight, or look, but I know that my wardrobe still makes those people do double-takes.  If I'm not doing something directly affiliated with modeling/acting, I try to keep up with my costuming/designing.

Example: I'm doing stagehand work right now.  Being a stagehand is basically fetch n' carry, but it can also mean being a *Wardrobe Assisitant*, AV Tech, or 50 other things in the Theater Arts field.  I enjoy it because the pay is decent, the gigs are consistent, I get to learn new things every day, and gain experience in a field related to what I'm already taking in college. 

It also doesn't hurt that I got paid to be backstage at The Police concert this past week either ^_~ 

To make a long story short...too late.  Decide if this is something you want to do.  Figure out what makes you unique modeling wise (beyond being an alt model), and then try to figure out how to make money off of it.
Jul 04 07 01:28 am  Link  Quote 
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Photographer
studio36uk
Posts: 21,657
Tavai, Sigave, Wallis and Futuna


From the OPs profile

Alt model that can't crossover = extremely limited market.................... S...T...RIKE 1

"I do not do nudity"....................... S...T...RIKE 2

"I will be escorted to every photoshoot...please note this topic can't be discussed any further....................... S...T...RIKE 3

[and you know what comes next]

Studio36
Jul 04 07 05:29 am  Link  Quote 
Model
kattcrazed
Posts: 1
Seattle, Washington, US


MelissaLynnette LaDiva wrote:

Supply and demand is an economics term that basically represents the idea that if the supply is low, the demand will be higher and if the supply is high, the demand will drop.

Diamonds cost a lot because there are so few of good quality ones in circulation.
Ramen noodles are a dime because there is no seeming end to the damn things.
smile

Love that metaphor, being a transgender woman. Hmmm...

Feb 11 13 11:57 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
GeorgeMann
Posts: 1,148
Orange, California, US


I understood your question to be, Why aren't there model unions?
There is a big difference between a union and an agency.
Unions do not typically find work for a model, only attempt to get a specified rate for a particular job classification, such as fashion, nude, glamour, etc.
Usually hourly.
While the union is attempting to get the rate, they usually do not get into whether you, as a private contractor, can collect your billed amounts.
As an employee, of a photographer, the union would step in, but I am not sure they would with a contracted individual.
How would a union control TFP and the tremendous differences charged by models for the same genre?
Feb 12 13 11:04 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
AJScalzitti
Posts: 12,524
Atlanta, Georgia, US


As was already mentioned its simple supply and demand.  The people who hire models can pick and choose who sells the products and what they pay them.  As with other industries they would simply move to a right to work state or country, this is a very international business already.

As for alt models, well there is simply little or no market for them.
Feb 12 13 11:10 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
JD Liddil
Posts: 98
North Haven, Connecticut, US


See the llama Alliance (http://modelalliance.org/).
Feb 13 13 01:28 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Camerosity
Posts: 5,085
Saint Louis, Missouri, US


JD Liddil wrote:
See the Model Alliance (http://modelalliance.org/).

Looks like there already is one. Guess that means the 'problem' has been solved, right?

Feb 13 13 01:55 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
May Sinclair
Posts: 1,147
Los Angeles, California, US


Most alt models I see getting work are posing nude or shooting fetish.
Feb 13 13 01:58 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Risen Phoenix Photo
Posts: 1,230
Minneapolis, Minnesota, US


Here is why unions won't work. The union may be able to organize models as a group. But to whom will they be negotiating contracts with? My guess believe it or not would be with the agencies and not the photographers.

It is the agencies that set the rates and acceptable working conditions.  If there is abuse it is from the hundreds of scam agencies that pop up in every city of 100,000 of more.

Photographers don't apply to your question because a union can't negotiate with All the tens of thousands photographers out there.

And even if they could no photogrPher would be obligated to work with a union model.

But hmmmm maybe there should be a photographer union that would set fines for models who no show and force them to pay the MUA and Studio costs or who come to the set I'll prepared.... Yeah that might be a good idea ....(lol)

IMHO
Feb 13 13 02:41 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Connor Photography
Posts: 6,435
Elkton, Maryland, US


Lunessence wrote:
Recently I had a conversation with my Fiancee about how a few models I know have done HUGE jobs (music videos for popular bands, modeled for incredible companies, etc) and have not gotten paid for it. I have also been trying to get paid jobs for a while, which I usually get paid via product trade, but when is enough, enough?

How come models subject themselves to this, get so big and barely make any money because most of the people that work with them simply do "FTP" only. I have been modeling for something liker 4 years and I am I'm trying to understand when/why models aren't getting paid and being "used" so much (I'm talking about the bigger picture, not just myself)?

Should there be some sort of modeling union or is this what an agency is for? Isn't this question what brought about SAG? thoughts?

You can start your model Union.  The GWC's will create their GWC union.  Your guys can work the pat scale.

Model Union:  membership of 10?  get real smile

I would rather hide non-union models, becasue it is free. LOL

Feb 13 13 02:53 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Looknsee Photography
Posts: 21,026
Portland, Oregon, US


Perhaps I can add something:  A union without solidarity will fail.  Do you really think that all models in your area will refuse to work without pay?  Remember, new (young) models are appearing on the scene all the time.
Feb 13 13 03:00 pm  Link  Quote 
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Photographer
GPS Studio Services
Posts: 35,110
San Francisco, California, US


This is a zombie thread that someone has revived, but there are two very good reasons why there is no modeling union:

1.  It is illegal.  Employees can be unionized, independent contractors cannot.  That is called "Price Fixing."  So, unless and until you can get every photographer that hires you to treat you as an employee, pays federal employment taxes, takes out worker's comp insurance, etc, etc, etc, there is no legal way to create a union.  FYI, SAG actors are always treated as employees by the signatory producers.  That is one of the strictest requirements of the contract.

2.  Even if you persuaded everyone to treat you as employees, who would you negotiate with?  Who would be a signatory?  In film and television production (and TV commercials), there are a finite and manageable number of production companies.  They are given the opportunity to become a signatory to the SAG/AFTRA agreement (they are now one union) or they can choose not to be.   If they decline to sign, they are not, in any way, obligated by union rates or rules.  Union members are prohibited from working for them unless they are financial core (dues paying non-members) or they get a waiver. 

When you are talking about photography, there are too many independent photographers and no large companies involved.  Not only would you have to unionize the models, you would have to get the majority of independent photographers to agree to sign union contracts.  In the meantime, until that happened (which I doubt ever would happen), models would be caught in a form of limbo, being union members but having nobody to book them.

In the end, the majority of photographers would just decline.  They'd simply hire the remaining non-union models and pay whatever was agreed to.

A model's union won't work.  If it was practical, it would have been done long ago.
Feb 13 13 08:08 pm  Link  Quote 
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Photographer
GPS Studio Services
Posts: 35,110
San Francisco, California, US


Risen Phoenix Photo wrote:
Here is why unions won't work. The union may be able to organize models as a group. But to whom will they be negotiating contracts with? My guess believe it or not would be with the agencies and not the photographers.

There is no reason to work with or sign agencies to the union agreements.  Agencies, by their nature, are already trying to maximize income for their clients.   As to the scam agencies, they simply would refuse to become union signatories. 

Beyond all of this, there is no obligation for a non-signatory photographer or production company to involve themself with union talent.  They are still free to use whomever they want, including the agencies that don't want to be burdened by a union breathing down their backs.

Feb 13 13 08:11 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Edward Shaw Photography
Posts: 316
Birmingham, England, United Kingdom


Lunessence wrote:
How come models subject themselves to this, get so big and barely make any money because most of the people that work with them simply do "FTP" only.

Just say "No" if you don't want to work for free. Simple.

Feb 14 13 05:11 am  Link  Quote 
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