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Makeup Artist
ShannonJennings MUA
Posts: 118
Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia


I am only testing and assisting as I am brand new to the industry and I don't feel as though I am ready to start charging an industry rate yet for numerous reasons.

A photographer I have worked with before (who has promised he will use me in paid commercial work in future (but I kind of get the feeling this is something  some photographers promise to keep getting you to do tfp with them even though the looks might not benefit your portfolio...does that happen?) wrote me this week saying he has a test shoot & will charge the model $50 for my equipment & time.

I didn't ask for this & I am not comfortable accepting a "kit fee" as I feel it's unprofessional to do so outside of the tv & film industry and I am not charging any kind of rate yet. But I do not want to insult or come off as condescending to the photographer.

Any ideas?
Feb 05 13 01:54 pm  Link  Quote 
Makeup Artist
Cynna Stylz MUA
Posts: 217
New York, New York, US


If you think you are ready to get some money in the bank review half day and full day rates from other MUA's in your area.  Send him your deal memo that details the specifics. If you want, you can negotiate the fees. It may still end up to $50 but again check your local MUA website to see what the average charge is.
Feb 05 13 02:32 pm  Link  Quote 
Makeup Artist
Linda Chudomelova
Posts: 133
Prague, Prague, Czech Republic


S_J wrote:
I am only testing and assisting as I am brand new to the industry and I don't feel as though I am ready to start charging an industry rate yet for numerous reasons.

A photographer I have worked with before (who has promised he will use me in paid commercial work in future (but I kind of get the feeling this is something  some photographers promise to keep getting you to do tfp with them even though the looks might not benefit your portfolio...does that happen?) wrote me this week saying he has a test shoot & will charge the model $50 for my equipment & time.

I didn't ask for this & I am not comfortable accepting a "kit fee" as I feel it's unprofessional to do so outside of the tv & film industry and I am not charging any kind of rate yet. But I do not want to insult or come off as condescending to the photographer.

Any ideas?

I would politely tell the photographer that I do appreciate he was thinking of me when negotiating the price, but that my rate is XY and that I don't do the "payment and pictures" hybrid, but that I am happy to work TFP on the project.

Feb 05 13 03:04 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
Laura UnBound
Posts: 27,356
Toronto, Ontario, Canada


Worst case scenario, slip the model her money back.

Best case, thank him for the kind thought, but you were perfectly comfortable working TF on this project so there's no need.

It's not exactly flattering that someone else dictated what another someone else would owe you without asking you what you'd actually want/need first. Don't feel bad for not wanting to do that kind of business.
Feb 05 13 03:13 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
A-M-P
Posts: 18,211
Orlando, Florida, US


Just tell them that you do not accept kit fees for TFP projects and that you have a half/day rate for paid projects.
Feb 05 13 03:21 pm  Link  Quote 
Clothing Designer
Wilde Hunt Corsetry
Posts: 344
Columbus, Ohio, US


So he's offering you money and you do not want it? I don't think I've ever heard of that problem before. wink

If you don't think your work is professionally quality yet, I would just be honest with them and say you are still learning and don't feel comfortable charging for your work yet but you would be happy to work TFP. Don't try to give the money back behind the photographer's back, that could end really badly and ruin your relationship with him. Just be honest, I know it's a revolutionary idea these days - but it really is the best policy!
Feb 05 13 04:35 pm  Link  Quote 
Body Painter
Lisa Berczel
Posts: 3,995
Corona, California, US


I get where you're coming from.

Maybe tell the Photographer to put the *fee* towards lunch, munchies, water etc for The Team.
Feb 05 13 04:42 pm  Link  Quote 
Makeup Artist
Tara Pagliara MUA
Posts: 702
New York, New York, US


S_J wrote:
A photographer I have worked with before (who has promised he will use me in paid commercial work in future (but I kind of get the feeling this is something  some photographers promise to keep getting you to do tfp with them even though the looks might not benefit your portfolio...does that happen?)

It most certainly does happen. A lot of people will promise you a lot of things in this business. Just make it your business to make things happen for yourself and do not believe half the things people promise you.

Feb 05 13 04:49 pm  Link  Quote 
Makeup Artist
ShannonJennings MUA
Posts: 118
Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia


Wilde Hunt Corsetry wrote:
So he's offering you money and you do not want it? I don't think I've ever heard of that problem before. wink

If you don't think your work is professionally quality yet, I would just be honest with them and say you are still learning and don't feel comfortable charging for your work yet but you would be happy to work TFP. Don't try to give the money back behind the photographer's back, that could end really badly and ruin your relationship with him. Just be honest, I know it's a revolutionary idea these days - but it really is the best policy!

Don't get me wrong $50 fills my car up, I could definitely use it. I won a $20 gift card today and it was like I won the lottery.

I don't know I have been lurking in these forums just reading about the industry for probably a year before I even started thinking about trying to do makeup professionally and I just think it's awful when I read about how these caboodle girls come in, claim to be professionals & undercut working artists who support their families doing this.

I'm not a pro, I have a day job while I am learning off other artists who are kind enough to let me assist them & I don't want to take the bread & butter off their plate by saying I can charge $50 for my work..lowering the overall expectations of artists fees.

Like I said, I could use the money but I think by not taking it I'm ensuring there is more money for everyone in future.

Thanks everyone for your responses. It's weird how difficult it is to be honest sometimes.

Feb 05 13 08:23 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
Laura UnBound
Posts: 27,356
Toronto, Ontario, Canada


Wilde Hunt Corsetry wrote:
So he's offering you money and you do not want it? I don't think I've ever heard of that problem before. wink

If you don't think your work is professionally quality yet, I would just be honest with them and say you are still learning and don't feel comfortable charging for your work yet but you would be happy to work TFP. Don't try to give the money back behind the photographer's back, that could end really badly and ruin your relationship with him. Just be honest, I know it's a revolutionary idea these days - but it really is the best policy!

It wouldn't be so bad if he were offering it. He's making the model pay, however. If she wants to, great, but in the chance that after the shoot she doesn't feel like the makeup was up to par, she's going to be upset she paid for it, and her upsetedness will be with the OP, not the photographer who decided FOR the OP to charge for makeup. It's just a sucky situation when someone else decides for you what you're doing when dealing with ANOTHER party. He probably thought he was doing her a favor and it IS a nice thought...but it's not necessarily beneficial for her.

Feb 05 13 11:23 pm  Link  Quote 
Makeup Artist
Heather J M
Posts: 718
London, England, United Kingdom


Call it a tip and accept it if the shoot goes well. Quietly find the time to explain the photographer about rates for the future. Being offered a small token towards your expenses for the day is not the same as charging kit fees and undercutting. This is someone you already know, who presumably realises how useful this gesture will be.
Feb 06 13 12:22 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Herman van Gestel
Posts: 2,149
Amsterdam, Noord-Holland, Netherlands


Seriously, take it, and replenish restock and expand your make-up-sets...


after all, make-up is being used and needs to be restocked


Herman
Feb 06 13 02:07 am  Link  Quote 
Makeup Artist
ShannonJennings MUA
Posts: 118
Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia


Herman van Gestel wrote:
Seriously, take it, and replenish restock and expand your make-up-sets...


after all, make-up is being used and needs to be restocked


Herman

Can't do it, it makes me feel icky. and if I accept that fifty bucks that photographer & model will never take my real rate (when I have one) seriously.

Sad thing is I've been selling all my gorgeous vintage props & outfits (I was a huge collector of all things 1950-1960) for kit money & stylists & photographers are so mad when I tell them the gear i've sold. (the malliots where so hard to let go *sob*)

Feb 06 13 02:15 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Herman van Gestel
Posts: 2,149
Amsterdam, Noord-Holland, Netherlands


S_J wrote:

Can't do it, it makes me feel icky. and if I accept that fifty bucks that photographer & model will never take my real rate (when I have one) seriously.

Sad thing is I've been selling all my gorgeous vintage props & outfits (I was a huge collector of all things 1950-1960) for kit money & stylists & photographers are so mad when I tell them the gear i've sold. (the malliots where so hard to let go *sob*)

Tell him you appreciate it, and that's a literally kit-fee, and doesn't involve your travel fee & hours...and that a bottle  of foundation already costs 50$ (at least Chanel Pro-Lumiere for example or name a exclusive HD-foundation )

...but that you appreciate the thought...and take it!

Feb 06 13 02:21 am  Link  Quote 
Makeup Artist
Linda Chudomelova
Posts: 133
Prague, Prague, Czech Republic


S_J wrote:

Can't do it, it makes me feel icky. and if I accept that fifty bucks that photographer & model will never take my real rate (when I have one) seriously.

Exactly. Double points for standing your ground. I so feel you; the money is really tempting, I know that first-hand.

Seriously, you rock. *thumbs up*

Feb 06 13 02:30 am  Link  Quote 
Makeup Artist
ShannonJennings MUA
Posts: 118
Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia


Laura UnBound wrote:
It's not exactly flattering that someone else dictated what another someone else would owe you without asking you what you'd actually want/need first. Don't feel bad for not wanting to do that kind of business.

That's what I think too, really un-cool.

Feb 06 13 02:33 am  Link  Quote 
Makeup Artist
BrianaDanielle
Posts: 476
Los Angeles, California, US


Heather J M wrote:
Call it a tip and accept it if the shoot goes well. Quietly find the time to explain the photographer about rates for the future. Being offered a small token towards your expenses for the day is not the same as charging kit fees and undercutting. This is someone you already know, who presumably realises how useful this gesture will be.

+1

That's what I would do, Say I don't accept kit fees for print work, but appreciate tips! smile -big cheesy smile- lol

Feb 06 13 08:57 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
ontherocks
Posts: 22,548
Salem, Oregon, US


does it matter what the money is labelled? $50 is still $50. just have that be your flat fee for the shoot (or a big tip). donate it to charity if you don't want it.

and review the end of the movie Arthur.
Feb 06 13 09:00 am  Link  Quote 
Body Painter
BodyPainter Rich
Posts: 17,932
Sacramento, California, US


Heather J M wrote:
Call it a tip and accept it if the shoot goes well. Quietly find the time to explain the photographer about rates for the future. Being offered a small token towards your expenses for the day is not the same as charging kit fees and undercutting. This is someone you already know, who presumably realises how useful this gesture will be.

BrianaDanielle wrote:
+1

That's what I would do, Say I don't accept kit fees for print work, but appreciate tips! smile -big cheesy smile- lol

Pretty much this. You need the money, it will help you pursue your career. However, you can kindly and gently educate the photographer. Let him/her know that you consider the images to be your payment on this job, and that you don't wish to cause any confusion in that regard. Let him/her know that if they wish to tip you, or cover your travel expenses that you will most gratefully accept their generosity.

Everyone wins.

Feb 06 13 12:27 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
Laura UnBound
Posts: 27,356
Toronto, Ontario, Canada


twoharts wrote:
does it matter what the money is labelled? $50 is still $50. just have that be your flat fee for the shoot (or a big tip). donate it to charity if you don't want it.

and review the end of the movie Arthur.

Sure does matter. For one, kit fees apply to film, not still photography. For two, if they get away with fifty bucks as her "kit fee" on this shoot, and they continue to work together (or recommend her to someone else) they're going to continue to expect that fifty bucks is enough to cover the wear and tear on her kit (forgetting what it *actually* costs, and what she might want for her time/skill as well) and when she feels ready to charge, her rates will probably be far above fifty bucks. For three, someone else dictated what she was going to be paid, by a THIRD party, without any input from her.

Mm is the land of bargaining and "the rules are whatever works for everyone involved" but in general, you either TF or you get paid a rate that encompasses your skill/worth, time spent, and product replacement. Not a lot of people want to build a business on "well I guess I used about 30 bucks of stuff on your face today, so that will cut it, THIS time"
You're always just breaking even that way.

It's the same frustrations photographers get with "should I pay gas money?" And the hoopla over stripper rates. Knowing your dollar worth and sticking to it across the board (and knowing when TF is beneficial) makes everyone's lives easier.

Feb 06 13 01:44 pm  Link  Quote 
Makeup Artist
kat makeup artist
Posts: 182
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia


Heather J M wrote:
Call it a tip and accept it if the shoot goes well. Quietly find the time to explain the photographer about rates for the future. Being offered a small token towards your expenses for the day is not the same as charging kit fees and undercutting. This is someone you already know, who presumably realises how useful this gesture will be.

spot on.

Feb 06 13 01:48 pm  Link  Quote 
Makeup Artist
kat makeup artist
Posts: 182
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia


Linda Chudomelova wrote:

Exactly. Double points for standing your ground. I so feel you; the money is really tempting, I know that first-hand.

Seriously, you rock. *thumbs up*

if he never ends up taking your real rate when your ready easy, Move on! One photographer will not make your career at this point. Keep taking it as long as there is a benefit to you and your career goals. a bit of gas money when starting out never hurt anyone but dont call it your rate or your fee or your kit fee or anything. Its a tip to cover your gas thats it.

You would be silly to say no to money at this point but make it clear in a nice way that this is in no way a representation of your feees that you will charge when ready.

Feb 06 13 01:53 pm  Link  Quote 
Makeup Artist
ShannonJennings MUA
Posts: 118
Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia


The model has decided to use her "own mua" at this point (aka, some friend who has a few lipsticks) so my emotional turmoil is over for now.

I think I'll just write the photographer & just explain I don't accept kit fees, I'm happy to work tfp but if the model is exceptionally pleased with my work they are welcome to tip me but it not expected.
Feb 06 13 03:08 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
A-M-P
Posts: 18,211
Orlando, Florida, US


S_J wrote:
The model has decided to use her "own mua" at this point (aka, some friend who has a few lipsticks) so my emotional turmoil is over for now.

I think I'll just write the photographer & just explain I don't accept kit fees, I'm happy to work tfp but if the model is exceptionally pleased with my work they are welcome to tip me but it not expected.

I wonder if the model chose  to bring her own MUA because the photographer add it on that fee. Anyways Now you don't have to worry about the whole ordeal but make sure you explain it to the photographer for the future.

Feb 06 13 03:16 pm  Link  Quote 
guide forum
Makeup Artist
KJB
Posts: 1,184
New York, New York, US


S_J wrote:
...wrote me this week saying he has a test shoot & will charge the model $50 for my equipment & time.

Wait a minute ..."he" will charge the model?

This smells a little fishy. It kind of sounds like he's already charging the model for makeup services and throwing you only a portion of it.

I think he realized you might uncover this scam and that's why the model is suddenly bringing her own person.
OR
He told the model he was charging for makeup and she refused.

Feb 06 13 03:17 pm  Link  Quote 
Makeup Artist
ShannonJennings MUA
Posts: 118
Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia


A-M-P wrote:

I wonder if the model chose  to bring her own MUA because the photographer add it on that fee. Anyways Now you don't have to worry about the whole ordeal but make sure you explain it to the photographer for the future.

I 100% belive that's exactly what I think happened and to be honest it's fair enough if it's supposed to be tfp. I'm happy with that, I get as much out of it as the model & don't don't see why she should be lumped with a fee.

Honestly this whole thing has made me question even working with that photographer again. None of it feels right. I think I've gotten a couple of good piccies off him, maybe it's time to move up & on

Glad I don't need to think about it anymore.

Feb 07 13 01:32 am  Link  Quote 
Makeup Artist
boy does makeup
Posts: 227
Atlanta, Georgia, US


most people are unaware of what a 'kit fee' is supposed to be... and it is a good idea to politely inform them. (as it will help them not offer it to other artists)

however... if you don't want the money, that is a personal choice. - That is what I love the most about being 'freelance' you can negotiate your rates based on your needs.

If I want to work with someone, I will... regardless of compensation. - if I Don't want to work with someone, I won't... regardless of compensation. Sure... getting paid is awesome, but it's not always the driving/deciding factor behind the decision to work with someone.

currently... I'm passed the 'testing' phase... and can basically choose my projects at will.  I often shoot with a certain photographer without charging them anything. I do not consider it a trade, if I get pics back... cool, I just enjoy working with this particular photographer. - does she book other makeup artist? In short: No. Am I undercutting? I don't believe so... neither does our wardrobe stylist, the hair stylists, and the models we work with as a team... we create a vision from start to finish...  and the only money to come out from anyone's pocket is food/gas.

why?

because we can... regardless of what the 'industry' says we should be charging each other, we set our own rules. - so... if I want to charge $200 for a half day, and $300 for a full day on one project, and then turn around and do another project for FRESH BAKED CUPCAKES... I can do that too.

so can you... if you like this photographer, just explain the faux pas, and either take the money as a tip, a testing fee, or general generosity... or don't.

the main thing is to be honest with the photographer, and more importantly... honest to yourself about why you are really booking in the first place.

-Jarret
Boy Does Makeup
Feb 07 13 09:15 am  Link  Quote 
Model
Alivia Autumn
Posts: 610
Albuquerque, New Mexico, US


S_J wrote:

Can't do it, it makes me feel icky. and if I accept that fifty bucks that photographer & model will never take my real rate (when I have one) seriously.

Sad thing is I've been selling all my gorgeous vintage props & outfits (I was a huge collector of all things 1950-1960) for kit money & stylists & photographers are so mad when I tell them the gear i've sold. (the malliots where so hard to let go *sob*)

Stop being you're own worst critic.  If you keep that mindset, you will always think you need improvement and will be doing tfp work forever!

Tell him that you already agreed to do TF for this shoot, and that's that.  Also tell him that if he wishes to continue working with you, you set your own rates.

Feb 07 13 03:30 pm  Link  Quote 
Hair Stylist
Keila Sone
Posts: 127
Harrison, New Jersey, US


well regarding kit fee,I would take it...Your using your products up and specially since you cant use it in your port.Just cause it's not film industry doesnt mean you shouldn't get compesated for product cost.If you keep on this path these useless shoots will cost you money when you dont have photos or products just wasted time. Expeirnce has nothing to do with taking a kit-fee after all NAS cost the same if you buy it or a pro does.

plus a kit fee is not a rate.
rates are what your charge for your talent & experience
kit fee is just for your product & maybe trasportation.

Another tip: if the shoot doesn't benefit your don't do it or except the kit fee. In the end it's your time and time is money,so either build your book & experience with amazing collab or take kit fee for your time & effort helping someone out.
hope this helps
Feb 07 13 10:39 pm  Link  Quote 
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