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first123last
Photographer
salvatori.
Posts: 3,709
State College, Pennsylvania, US


Eva Marx wrote:
I'm not sure if this topic has been covered, but if it has, I would love to be pointed in that direction. smile

Is it unprofessional to request compensation for gas if a TF/unpaid shoot is really far from where the model lives?

The reason I ask is because I don't have a very large income at the moment and I drive a Jeep Grand Cherokee. That thing sucks up a lot of gas, and I don't have the budget to be driving all over SoCal for TF shoots.

There have been times where I've already turned down opportunities to work with photographers on TF shoots because the location was too far away and I didn't have the gas to make that distance.

A tf*shoot should give you something of value equal to what you give the photographer. Asking for gas money is telling him that your part of the deal is more valuable than his.

It's insulting.

Look at it this way. If the same exact session was to take place at your location, what would you think if he asked for gas money from YOU?

IMHO

Mar 12 13 05:03 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Edward Shaw Photography
Posts: 316
Birmingham, England, United Kingdom


Eva Marx wrote:
Is it unprofessional to request compensation for gas if a TF/unpaid shoot is really far from where the model lives?

The reason I ask is because I don't have a very large income at the moment and I drive a Jeep Grand Cherokee. That thing sucks up a lot of gas, and I don't have the budget to be driving all over SoCal for TF shoots.

On one hand:
Whatever you agree with the photographer is fine. Make sure you ask for cash up front though, not when arrangements are well under way.

On the other hand:
It doesn't seem fair to ask the photographer to subsidise your less affordable lifestyle choices. I think for most shoots, the cost is largely borne by the photographer (camera, lenses, studio ownership / lease cost, lighting and accessories, insurance, computer equipment, software etc) will massively outweigh wardrobe and other costs borne by the model. So why shouldn't you pay the photographer, if contributing to costs is important?

Mar 12 13 06:13 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
ME_
Posts: 3,131
Atlanta, Georgia, US


Whatever you do, do not position it as "I drive a Jeep Grand Cherokee and it uses a lot of gas." It's offensive that you might want someone else to cover your costs because you made your own personal choice to drive an expensive car. Just say you can't afford the gas or need to save up first and thus request sufficient notice of shoots.
Mar 12 13 06:31 am  Link  Quote 
Artist/Painter
William Hunter
Posts: 1,205
King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, US


Eva Marx wrote:
Thanks to all of those who provided POSITIVE feedback and actually gave great advice. smile It was very helpful.

To the rest of you, perhaps the "Newbie" forum isn't where you should lurk... It was a simple question, and you have definitely left an impression on me.

Once again, thanks to all for the responses! My question has been more than sated.
Image K wrote:
And with many newbies, the advice is usually only "positive" if it coincides with the advice that they wanted to hear.

You have left an impression of your own.

Hi and welcome to ModelMayhem.  For one of your first postings, you got both good advice and an earful.  You will notice that some people don't bother to pull punches or take the time to determine if a tirade is really required in the forums.  Hopefully, you will check references before you work with someone, as is often suggested in the forums, and you should inquire about the photographers attitude when speaking to your peers.   Also, checking the forums for people's postings is a good method of determining if someone is suitable to work with.   (Use the search feature.)  As some have suggested, their photography work and the images you will receive is worth far more than the gas money that you would have to spend to get to the shoot.  Sometimes the prints and experience are worth enough to tolerate their arrogance.   These are decisions you will have to make, as do the photographers.  Please don't let an arrogant SOB ruin your experience or deter you.  Learn what you can and move on to the next photographer or skip over the SOB until you have enough experience, a thick skin and the professional maturity to be able to handle them professionally.  If you don't want to work with diva photographers, remember not to become a diva yourself.

Some of us remember what it is like to be young.  My first car was not the one I could afford, it was the one my parents let me drive.  Other people drive vehicles that meet their day to day needs, but may be too expensive to take on trips.   The fact that a vehicle is expensive on gas, could be the reason that the vehicle is affordable for a model or young person to purchase.  My business vehicle of choice was Jeep Wagoneers.   I found it was cheaper to run an old Honda Accord, pay the extra insurance and maintenance for the second vehicle, then it was to use the Jeep for my personal transportation, because of fuel costs.   But I couldn't afford to make the choice of having two vehicles when I first started my business.

As for gas money,  I have been asked by a model to pay for gas at the last minute.  I had agreed to pay a model 2 hours at $75.00 an hour and she asked for an extra $20.00 just before the shoot.  It was aggravating, but I paid her the gas money because I knew her, liked her and her work, understood that she had a living to make, and I was asking her to come further than $20.00 worth of gas would take her.  Her drive time was significant, and I wasn't paying for drive time. Also, accommodating me would prevent her from making even more money somewhere else that day.   It would have cost me far more to explore and find a suitable location close to her home, then it would cost me to pay her for gas.  These were all factors in my decision.   However, in other circumstances, I wouldn't have agreed to the change, so get all that worked out early in the conversation and stick to your end of the agreement. 

I think you will find that photographers spend many thousands of dollars on equipment, and resent that models don't bring anything to a shoot except the clothes (or lack thereof) that the model may have purchased for everyday use anyway.   I know that the skills and experience a model brings is also important and valuable.  Not everyone does.   

If someone thinks you aren't worth $20.00 or $50 in gas, plus prints, for several hours of your time, including the drive time, it is fine for them to decline the shoot.   If their prints aren't worth the cost and time of working with them, then it is fine for you to decline the shoot.  You are no more required to provide support for their hobby or business than they are required to support your hobby or business.  People have their priorities, be they generous or selfish.  I have an instrument that I use in my business that would cost $40,000 to replace.   The cost of that equipment doesn't justify what I pay my employees or what I charge my customers.  The cost of that instrument doesn't require anybody to pay me more than they are willing to pay me for my services.  It doesn't entitle me to be cheap on other materials or pass my costs onto my client beyond our agreed upon contract.  If my client pays my contract price, even if it is TF, I am required to give my best effort.   The cost of my equipment, or my reimbursement rate, is not relevant to the value of my integrity, or my knowledge of my profession.  Nor does the value of my equipment set the value of my work.  My competitors have the same stuff.  The value of the equipment does not determine the quality of my work.   My equipment does makes me more efficient.

If you can't afford to tip your waiter, you can't afford to eat at the restaurant.  Photography is an expensive business and hobby.  There is always another gadget or must have doo-dad.   The cost of a model is one of the costs of being a photographer.   I suggest you work with people who value you and what you have to offer, as you should value them.

Mar 12 13 07:20 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Andrew Thomas Evans
Posts: 23,947
Minneapolis, Minnesota, US


Eva Marx wrote:
I'm not sure if this topic has been covered, but if it has, I would love to be pointed in that direction. smile

Is it unprofessional to request compensation for gas if a TF/unpaid shoot is really far from where the model lives?

The reason I ask is because I don't have a very large income at the moment and I drive a Jeep Grand Cherokee. That thing sucks up a lot of gas, and I don't have the budget to be driving all over SoCal for TF shoots.

There have been times where I've already turned down opportunities to work with photographers on TF shoots because the location was too far away and I didn't have the gas to make that distance.

Anyone can request anything they want, but adding requests can mean that someone else may be cast or asked to do the part since they may be easier to work with. Assuming the talent isn't dependent on one person, someone can be replaced with someone else who isn't as expensive.

An example would be some of us rent out a studio space, and sometimes we don't have a busy month or actually lose money one month - should we then ask all involved with a test shoot to each donate $50 to cover the studio cost, or do we suck it up and do the shoot and eat the cost? This goes for equipment as well, at some point we need to consider that every time the shutter is tripped we may not make money, and that some times we have to eat the costs of new things or not cover the costs all the time.

Another example would be a model who wants to work with and pay a photographer that's out of their town. They would drive a hour or two to the studio, pay the photographer their cost, then drive back. In this case the person is more than happy to both pay and drive for a service, where someone as yourself "could" be seen as not seeing the value in an offered free test or trade shoot - and it "could" get worse if there is a team and all they are looking for is the model. Again, why work with someone making demands when another person did all that and paid for it and when they can be replaced.

Going for you though are the traveling models who would not only expect payment but also expect travel cost. So photographers used to working with them may have no issues paying some gas money or a rate to cover travel since they have more than likely paid other models more money.




Personally, and honestly, I don't like to get worked up or worry about $50 here or there. So if I was you I would limit the amount of shoots I do and consider only those who offer a high level of talent or a high level of images and bring a lot to the table. Then, now that you're not going all over the place for anything, just drive in for free and do the shoot - yes - you're not getting gas money, but the shoot may be worth more than the trouble of asking.


IMO


Andrew Thomas Evans
www.andrewthomasevans.com

Mar 13 13 03:46 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Andrew Thomas Evans
Posts: 23,947
Minneapolis, Minnesota, US


ME_ wrote:
Whatever you do, do not position it as "I drive a Jeep Grand Cherokee and it uses a lot of gas." It's offensive that you might want someone else to cover your costs because you made your own personal choice to drive an expensive car. Just say you can't afford the gas or need to save up first and thus request sufficient notice of shoots.

I got a $3 an hour raise at the new job I'm starting because I said I have a Jeep Cherokee and wouldn't be able to do the job at the rate they were offering.

smile

If this was a modeling gig a ways away or a photography gig I would totally ask about travel expenses and if there could be more money to cover gas.



Andrew Thomas Evans
www.andrewthomasevans.com

Mar 13 13 03:49 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Jay Farrell
Posts: 12,993
Nashville, Tennessee, US


Yea, it's tacky! Either my work is worth traveling for or it isn't. How about I charge you for uploading and retouching, and wear and tear on gear? See how it sounds now? It's an equitable trade or it isn't.
Mar 13 13 03:57 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Photo Bill
Posts: 275
Baltimore, Maryland, US


AJScalzitti wrote:

Not this again, seriously nobody gives a crap how much a photographer spends in equipment.  That being said, nobody cares how much models spend to maintain themselves.

Everybody has a cost of doing business and nobody else cares what it is.  If its a trade shoot then it's a trade by both parties.

+100

Mar 13 13 03:58 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Andrew Thomas Evans
Posts: 23,947
Minneapolis, Minnesota, US


AJScalzitti wrote:
Not this again, seriously nobody gives a crap how much a photographer spends in equipment.  That being said, nobody cares how much models spend to maintain themselves.

Everybody has a cost of doing business and nobody else cares what it is.  If its a trade shoot then it's a trade by both parties.

It's like a musician saying "I should be paid because my sax is worth $8000 and my mouthpiece is $1500." No one really gives a shit about costs if the images aren't worth it, and people only really care a little if the images are worth it.



Andrew Thomas Evans
www.andrewthomasevans.com

Mar 13 13 04:00 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
Danielle Hieronimi
Posts: 238
Chicago, Illinois, US


SPV Photo wrote:
Anybody can ask for anything. Whatever is agreed upon between the two parties is what is acceptable.

+1

Mar 13 13 04:04 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Ed Woodson Photography
Posts: 2,644
Savannah, Georgia, US


If it's a trade shoot.

We're both investing time.

I'll pay all of the costs associated with being the photographer, including the time to edit and retouch.

The Model can pay costs associated with being the Model.  That includes the gas to get to the shoot location.
Mar 13 13 04:12 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Jay Farrell
Posts: 12,993
Nashville, Tennessee, US


Ed Woodson Photography wrote:
If it's a trade shoot.

We're both investing time.

I'll pay all of the costs associated with being the photographer, including the time to edit and retouch.

The Model can pay costs associated with being the Model.  That includes the gas to get to the shoot location.

Yup. This is worded better than how I said it lol.

Mar 13 13 04:34 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
JOEL McDONALD
Posts: 608
Portland, Oregon, US


I always offer a small gas fee for those TF models traveling more than 50+ miles.
Mar 13 13 07:03 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
Summer Amelia
Posts: 24
Manchester, New Hampshire, US


AJScalzitti wrote:

Not this again, seriously nobody gives a crap how much a photographer spends in equipment.  That being said, nobody cares how much models spend to maintain themselves.

Everybody has a cost of doing business and nobody else cares what it is.  If its a trade shoot then it's a trade by both parties.

+8000

Mar 13 13 08:46 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
Summer Amelia
Posts: 24
Manchester, New Hampshire, US


Andrew Thomas Evans wrote:

It's like a musician saying "I should be paid because my sax is worth $8000 and my mouthpiece is $1500." No one really gives a shit about costs if the images aren't worth it, and people only really care a little if the images are worth it.



Andrew Thomas Evans
www.andrewthomasevans.com

very well said!

Mar 13 13 08:47 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Fotografica Gregor
Posts: 4,066
Alexandria, Virginia, US


Tell you what - I'll pay your gas money - and you pay my studio rental -  smile
Mar 13 13 08:49 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
GER Photography
Posts: 7,536
Imperial, California, US


I'm so far from anyone, I always offer someone who's coming here to shoot travel expenses,(within reason).
Mar 13 13 08:51 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Art of the nude
Posts: 11,781
Olivet, Michigan, US


ME_ wrote:
If someone asked me for gas money, I would offer to go to him and he could pay me for gas instead of the other way around.

Watch how fast gas money suddenly becomes unimportant or "too much" to pay.

----------

Clearly there are others who might not mind paying for gas money but not me. Get here or don't; I have expenses too and can't cover yours.

Also I have found that those who ask for gas money actually ask for and expect to be given far more than what the gas actually costs. I.e., nobody asks for the cost of their actual gas; they ask for $20 or $30 or $50. Even when $20 could pay for 200 miles and they are driving 30.

So, no. But if you are going to ask, definitely do it at the beginning. Nobody likes some condition being sprung on them at the last minute.

My car gets 30+ MPG.  If the model is someone I'd be willing to drive to for a shoot, I'll give them that much in gas money, if they ask.  Most don't.

Mar 15 13 02:52 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Art of the nude
Posts: 11,781
Olivet, Michigan, US



Eva Marx wrote:
I don't have the budget to be driving all over SoCal for TF shoots.
-B-R-U-N-E-S-C-I-Exactly how [b wrote:
little[/b] are the images worth to you? hmm

If they're not worth even a half a tank of gas then maybe you need to work with better photographers.

It's easy to drive 500 miles between two places in California.  One way.  So, a thousand mile round trip, at 20 mpg, and $5 a gallon (I think that's ballpark in California) would be, oh, $250 . . . .

That's a lot of money to me, and I can easily imagine it being a lot of money to a college student.  Doesn't mean someone should pay it for her, but it's not trivial.

Mar 15 13 02:59 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
May Sinclair
Posts: 1,147
Los Angeles, California, US


It never hurts to ask. As long as you will accept a no.

If the photographer refuses to shoot with you because you ASKED for gas money, he is an asshole.
Mar 15 13 03:32 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Harold Rose
Posts: 2,925
Calhoun, Georgia, US


Eva Marx wrote:
I'm not sure if this topic has been covered, but if it has, I would love to be pointed in that direction. smile

Is it unprofessional to request compensation for gas if a TF/unpaid shoot is really far from where the model lives?

The reason I ask is because I don't have a very large income at the moment and I drive a Jeep Grand Cherokee. That thing sucks up a lot of gas, and I don't have the budget to be driving all over SoCal for TF shoots.

There have been times where I've already turned down opportunities to work with photographers on TF shoots because the location was too far away and I didn't have the gas to make that distance.

We do not do TF shoots,  but we do expect to do a test shoot  (30min or so) no special make up or outfits.  "This is a must"   We do pay travel expense.

Mar 15 13 03:41 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Looknsee Photography
Posts: 20,859
Portland, Oregon, US


Eva Marx wrote:
Is it unprofessional to request compensation for gas if a TF/unpaid shoot is really far from where the model lives?

Random thoughts / random order:

...  You can ask for whatever compensation you want.  The photographer can accept, decline, or make a counter offer.

...  How come only models "deserve" gas money?  How come no one ever asks whether the photographer "deserves" gas money?

...  Unprofessional?  No.  But it does give a bad impression if you can't even manage your own transportation expenses.  Gives one concerns about your commitment to the project.

...  The sooner you bring up the topic, the better.  Never bring up the topic after you've reached the agreement.

...  If the shoot is very far away, you don't have to accept the commitment.

Mar 15 13 03:59 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
JessieLeigh
Posts: 2,001
Las Vegas, Nevada, US


If you plan on asking for gas money on TF shoots, you may want to consider adding that to your profile. The way it currently reads would not indicate to me that you'd need gas money to do a shoot in LA...
Mar 15 13 04:03 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
sidney_k
Posts: 873
Paris, Île-de-France, France


Eva Marx wrote:
The reason I ask is because I don't have a very large income at the moment and I drive a Jeep Grand Cherokee. That thing sucks up a lot of gas, and I don't have the budget to be driving all over SoCal for TF shoots.

There have been times where I've already turned down opportunities to work with photographers on TF shoots because the location was too far away and I didn't have the gas to make that distance.

The first thing that would come into my mind having to turn down job opportunities because of the gas consumption of my car, would be to change my car wink

Mar 15 13 04:26 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
ChelseaChelsea OMG Girl
Posts: 16
Santa Cruz, California, US


JaneyGarnet wrote:
"Any gentleman with the slightest chic will give a girl a fifty dollar bill for the powder room."

Holly Golightly, part-time photographic model

I second this motion....

Mar 16 13 09:48 am  Link  Quote 
Model
ChelseaChelsea OMG Girl
Posts: 16
Santa Cruz, California, US


We do not do TF shoots,  but we do expect to do a test shoot  (30min or so) no special make up or outfits.  "This is a must"   We do pay travel expense.

That is because Georgia is a great place where men still understand the need to take care of women...

Mar 16 13 09:53 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
WIP
Posts: 15,183
Cheltenham, England, United Kingdom


John Jebbia wrote:

I agree.. If the images you're about to receive aren't worth a tank of gas, then why bother?

You have your expenses, and so do we.

Electricity suck $, lights ect don't run on fresh air.

Mar 16 13 09:54 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
John Horwitz
Posts: 2,584
Raleigh, North Carolina, US


Eva Marx wrote:
Is it unprofessional to request compensation for gas...I don't have a very large income at the moment and I drive a Jeep Grand Cherokee.

get a job and buy a more fuel efficient car

Mar 16 13 10:04 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Jhono Bashian
Posts: 2,427
Cleveland, Ohio, US


AJScalzitti wrote:

As Michael and I were discussing out of the forum about this I did want to share one more point for out OP:

If a model tells me $20 in gas is the deciding factor for shooting then I would immediately know they are not invested in the shoot.  I would suspect if anything remotely more interesting came up they will cancel or flake; like sleeping in even.

I would say thanks but no thanks and move on to the next model in my list.  Now this may not be you, but we all pay for the crimes of others and I am sure I am not alone in my assessment.

very good point!!

Mar 16 13 10:05 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Michael Broughton
Posts: 2,172
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada


JaneyGarnet wrote:
"Any gentleman with the slightest chic will give a girl a fifty dollar bill for the powder room."

Holly Golightly, part-time photographic model

i'd rather have the $50 than the chic. tongue

Mar 16 13 10:30 am  Link  Quote 
Model
christiecreepydolls
Posts: 321
Los Angeles, California, US


If I get asked to shoot and I know I won't have gas money, I just tell the photographer I would love to shoot in a few weeks when I know money is less tight.
Mar 16 13 01:24 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Carle Photography
Posts: 9,227
Oakland, California, US


JaneyGarnet wrote:
"Any gentleman with the slightest chic will give a girl a fifty dollar bill for the powder room."
Holly Golightly, part-time photographic model
ChelseaChelsea OMG Girl wrote:
I second this motion....

* looks down*

I must be lucky to not be a gentleman then.

Mar 16 13 02:00 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Carle Photography
Posts: 9,227
Oakland, California, US


Eva Marx wrote:
I don't have the budget to be driving all over SoCal for TF shoots.
-B-R-U-N-E-S-C-I-Exactly how [b wrote:
little[/b] are the images worth to you? hmm

If they're not worth even a half a tank of gas then maybe you need to work with better photographers.
Art of the nude wrote:
It's easy to drive 500 miles between two places in California.  One way.  So, a thousand mile round trip, at 20 mpg, and $5 a gallon (I think that's ballpark in California) would be, oh, $250 . . . .

That's a lot of money to me, and I can easily imagine it being a lot of money to a college student.  Doesn't mean someone should pay it for her, but it's not trivial.

500 miles is from LA to SF....
Where EACH of those cities has hundreds of photographers to choose from within 25 miles.

If money is that tight, maybe OP needs to look a little more local for her TFP jobs.

Mar 16 13 02:04 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Bravo Magic Images
Posts: 765
Temple City, California, US


I had a model ask me to give her $60.00 in gas money and she only lived 30 miles from me and I knew her car gets about 25 miles per gallon I said heres 10 bucks so you can get to me now all you need is gas to get to your place. she said I included on the $60.00 the amount of time it would take me to get to your place plus food and drinks to and from. I said i have water here when you show up. Hey I dont mind helping out with a few bucks but then again it is a TFP shoot.
Mar 16 13 02:14 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
WIP
Posts: 15,183
Cheltenham, England, United Kingdom


Bravo Magic Images wrote:
I had a model ask me to give her $60.00 in gas money and she only lived 30 miles from me and I knew her car gets about 25 miles per gallon I said heres 10 bucks so you can get to me now all you need is gas to get to your place. she said I included on the $60.00 the amount of time it would take me to get to your place plus food and drinks to and from. I said i have water here when you show up. Hey I dont mind helping out with a few bucks but then again it is a TFP shoot.

I like the way you think.

Mar 16 13 02:24 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
JOEL McDONALD
Posts: 608
Portland, Oregon, US


Would gas $ given then technically constitute a "paid" shoot regardless of how much was given and even if images were included?

There's no way of knowing if it's really going to gas.
Mar 16 13 03:14 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
John Horwitz
Posts: 2,584
Raleigh, North Carolina, US


JOEL McDONALD wrote:
There's no way of knowing if it's really going to gas.

...unless you go to the gas station with - and put it in the tank yourself!

Mar 16 13 04:44 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
255 West
Posts: 6,468
New York, New York, US


SPV Photo wrote:
Anybody can ask for anything. Whatever is agreed upon between the two parties is what is acceptable.
Kerbie wrote:
exactly!

Definitely, a good lesson, but I think she's asking if it would be improper based on standard practice.

The answer to her is absolutely not. It's definitely okay to ask for at least SOME travel compensation, if not all of it.
Veeeery important: mention it BEFORE you show up, not when you're ready to leave, otherwise it might give the impression that you're trying to pull a fast one.

Mar 16 13 04:58 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
255 West
Posts: 6,468
New York, New York, US


JOEL McDONALD wrote:
Would gas $ given then technically constitute a "paid" shoot regardless of how much was given and even if images were included?

No. Expenses are distinct from fees.

Mar 16 13 05:02 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Nico Simon Princely
Posts: 1,652
Las Vegas, Nevada, US


SPV Photo wrote:
Anybody can ask for anything. Whatever is agreed upon between the two parties is what is acceptable.

Pretty much this. Personally I have never paid for a models gas.

Mar 16 13 05:06 pm  Link  Quote 
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