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Model
Kelley Nymph
Posts: 93
Baltimore, Maryland, US


I know this is a question that gets asked a lot, but I seem to live in an area where models rarely get paid assignments. Either it is TF or we end up paying the photographer. Not saying that photographers don't deserve to be paid, I certainly think they do and I have personally worked with some who are more than worth their weight in gold......
I'm just wondering why it is so hard for a model to get paid work. I have been modeling for 5 years and I certainly have a portfolio to back my name. I also often provide my own wardrobe, and do my own hair and makeup. I have even constructed my own accessories, costumes and props. A lot of work goes into that, work that I believe is worth being paid for. So, when someone I have never met before contacts me for the first time and says, "I love your work, I really want to shoot with you, etc, etc." I offer rates.....
Then that person never replies again.
So I have to ask, how should models go about getting more paid work? Is there a particular method that you find to be successful? Is it wrong to offer rates, and what is a fair rate, in your opinion?
Apr 22 13 06:39 am  Link  Quote 
Model
The Original Sin
Posts: 13,894
Louisville, Kentucky, US


I lived in your area, and never had a problem finding paid work.

Perhaps expand your networking efforts?  I use MM, omp, CL, and as many other sites as possible to look for casting and post availability notices.
Apr 22 13 07:02 am  Link  Quote 
Model
Evie Wolfe
Posts: 1,123
Nottingham, England, United Kingdom


Since I can't critique you in this forum, here is some general advice about modelling for pay. Obviously, these are my opinions and please feel free to disregard them as such smile

The first question you need to ask yourself is - are there any models in my area being paid?
There usually will be. If there aren't, look at models on here who are regularly paid who work in areas similar to yours. Check their portfolios, look at how they market themselves. Then ask 'why would someone hire me, instead of them?'

As a freelance model, you need what any service buisness needs to obtain regular paid work - great credentials (references and a jaw-dropping portfolio that demonstrates versatility), great skills (fantastic variety of poses etc) and great networking ability. You can be the best freelancer out there, but if you can't market yourself, things will be tough.

Of course, you need something else too - a market to sell too, which is willing to pay for whatever you are selling. Chances are, if you are known in your area, network well and have good references, you are selling something your target audience doesn't want to buy, or can obtain elsewhere for free.

If that is the case, you have two options;
1. Find a new market - this will require travel and research, but won't help you if the reason you aren't finding work is poor credentials, a poor portfolio, poor networking or poor modelling skills. These are all problems you bring with you.

2. Improve what is currently lacking in your overall 'package'.

Remember; most models that join sites like these will probably never be paid. The only way to break out of that cycle is to strive to be the best, and even when you are it is, apparently, no walk in the park.
Apr 22 13 07:11 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Square Jaw Photography
Posts: 280
Odenton, Maryland, US


It's a declining industry on both sides, for the same reason. Models and photographers are easy to come by.

I personally think it's worth paying a model when they have a look you want. But I'm just doing this as more of a passion instead of a job, so the money I offer usually isn't enough for the model's tastes. But then again, I do photography for the Marine Corps, so I never have to worry about my next meal smile

Having worked with you before, I think you're outstanding at what you do. I'd pay to do another shoot smile
Apr 22 13 07:12 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Farenell Photography
Posts: 17,574
Albany, New York, US


Kelley Nymph wrote:
I know this is a question that gets asked a lot, but I seem to live in an area where models rarely get paid assignments. Either it is TF or we end up paying the photographer. Not saying that photographers don't deserve to be paid, I certainly think they do and I have personally worked with some who are more than worth their weight in gold......

On MM?

Basically the models that are getting paid are the ones willing to do nude work.

Yes, there are some that regularly get paid for clothed work but in all honesty, you'd probably have better odds winning big in Vegas especially at your height (its nothing personal).

Those that are getting paid for clothed work have a shit-hot talent or some out-of-the-ordinary fashion sense that people can't get anywhere else or out-of-this-world stats, all of which that sets them apart from the pack.

Apr 22 13 07:16 am  Link  Quote 
Clothing Designer
GRMACK
Posts: 1,293
Bakersfield, California, US


Might be your location too.

I went to some Hollywood agency a few months ago.  Trying to find a parking spot near by, there were maybe 5-6 girls of the "Gold Standard" types (i.e. 5'10"+ and maybe size 2 at most) smoking out back and chatting like some weekly networking session.  In heels, they all had to be over 6' (and very skinny!).

While unpacking some stuff it was interesting to hear them chattering about what jobs they had during the week, furniture they were buying for their apartments, clothes, who they shot with, where they were going to, etc.  One was showing off her business card dispenser purse.  They at least sounded like they were doing well.

While I sat in the lobby waiting for the agent, they were in and out of the building and meeting with their agents and badgering about jobs and to stay current with their bookers/secretarys.  They were hustling for work like crazy!  Must be very competitive now even if they are 6 foot tall "Gold Standards."  They certainly weren't sitting at home waiting for a call.

Was sort of interesting to listen to them though.  I wouldn't call any of them knockouts or even ones that would interest me in shooting with, but they must have had something for the camera that I wasn't seeing in person.
Apr 22 13 07:44 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Will Snizek Photography
Posts: 1,386
Beckley, West Virginia, US


There is no standard "fair rate" in my opinion.  Charge whatever you think you can get.  I find it best to have different rates for different situations.  if a shoot is beneficial for you as well, that should be reflected in the arrangement.  I'd say the average rate I've found on the East Coast is around $20-$40/hour.

As far as more paid work, I'd say you should utilize numerous sites online to find people interested in paying.
Apr 22 13 07:52 am  Link  Quote 
Model
Laura UnBound
Posts: 26,741
Toronto, Ontario, Canada


The baltimore/dc area has plenty of paid work. For art-nude llamas. Something your current look and restrictions dont lend well to.


If youre not willing to change any of that, start traveling.


It also depends on what your rates are. If youre throwing out obscene numbers, of course nobody is going to respond.
Apr 22 13 12:02 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Tony Lawrence
Posts: 18,865
Chicago, Illinois, US


OP, your style and images limit you as well as the fact that you don't shoot nudes.   Why pay you when their are hundreds of models who will shoot for free or are taller.  However a member has given some good advice.   Network, network, network.   Instead of replying with rates try and speak to potential customers.   Sometimes people will be willing to pay but you have to show some interest in their work.   Learn to negotiate.   Sadly despite what some folks tell you on these sites most models especially those under 5'8" and who don't do nudes won't make much money.
Apr 22 13 12:08 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
MelissaAnn
Posts: 3,572
Seattle, Washington, US


Start doing nudes. There's not much demand for alt models who don't do nudes in your area (or anywhere).  If you're not willing to start doing nudes, and maybe change your look a little, you'll probably continue to have problems finding paid work. That being said, only do what you feel comfortable doing. If you enjoy modeling, you can always do it as a hobby, and find another type of job to rely on for income.
Apr 22 13 01:50 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
Koryn
Posts: 34,584
Boston, Massachusetts, US


I did well down there, but I shot nudes and fetish content.
Apr 22 13 05:43 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
KonstantKarma
Posts: 2,512
Hickory, North Carolina, US


Yurp. What exactly is a photographer going to pay you for, if you have nudity restrictions?
Apr 22 13 10:22 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Marin Photography NYC
Posts: 6,047
New York, New York, US


Your portfolio is full of Costume play. No fetish, no nudes, no glamour -bikini, lingerie, nada...and you want to get paid to do what? You have to have more to offer than what your port suggests that you do...Variety is the spice of life!....
Apr 22 13 10:38 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
Kirst
Posts: 509
Manchester, New Hampshire, US


Doing nudes will definitely help you get more paid shoots! By if you're like me and nudes just aren't in your career path you STILL have a chance to make money. Take me as a really good example. First of all, I'm not tall or skinny and I don't shoot nudes. (Worthless right? Wrong!) most of my shoots are paid, and I make enough to live comfortably and travel occasionally. (I'm in a hotel as we speak)
A lot of it has to do with having an interesting look. You need to spice your look up enough to be recognized. You have fun clothes but you need to make yourself look intriguing. You obviously don't want to model dull themes, so be sure that your look isn't dull.
Another VERY important thing is diversity!!! Most of your photos are cosplay and basic goth. You can still be dark but add more fire! Make it sexy, fierce, bold! And you are going to hate me for this, but add a few mainstream photos in there! Get some glamour and beauty shots done. It won't make you look lame, it will make you look versatile. Next, reach out! Work with designers and makeup artists. Become well known this way (plus it means you will be in more than one portfolio!)
Also! make goals to work with well known photographers. Yes, ride their coat tails tongue still keep time to work with the newbs though.
And (when youve built a stronger portfolio) be sure to mention in your profile that you are doing limited TF. Don't say "no TF" because that could ruin your chances of working with great people, but by saying you are doing limited TF you are showing you are confident yet flexible. To be honest, I don't even charge for shoots. I feel a lot less pressure when I don't have to state my (unknown) worth. But people pay me, because I say limited TF and I have the port to back it up. I hope I've been helpful and not mean
Apr 22 13 10:50 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
Nina Carter
Posts: 129
London, England, United Kingdom


If you want to get paid, get naked. Being small it's kinda unlikely you'l get paid regularly for much else yikes
Apr 23 13 12:54 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
natural beauties of qld
Posts: 2,079
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia


It really is very elementary.

If you want to shoot what a client wants to shoot, you have a chance of getting paid. 

However, if you want the luxury of shooting only what you want to shoot, you need to be prepared to pay for the privilege or at least shoot for trade.
Apr 23 13 06:29 am  Link  Quote 
Model
Kelley Nymph
Posts: 93
Baltimore, Maryland, US


Farenell Photography wrote:

On MM?

Basically the models that are getting paid are the ones willing to do nude work.

Yes, there are some that regularly get paid for clothed work but in all honesty, you'd probably have better odds winning big in Vegas especially at your height (its nothing personal).

Those that are getting paid for clothed work have a shit-hot talent or some out-of-the-ordinary fashion sense that people can't get anywhere else or out-of-this-world stats, all of which that sets them apart from the pack.

Psst......I have a news flash for you: There are a lot of models out here under the 5'9" height, and we do awesome work. Just a FYI.

Apr 23 13 11:58 am  Link  Quote 
Model
Kelley Nymph
Posts: 93
Baltimore, Maryland, US


Kirst wrote:
Doing nudes will definitely help you get more paid shoots! By if you're like me and nudes just aren't in your career path you STILL have a chance to make money. Take me as a really good example. First of all, I'm not tall or skinny and I don't shoot nudes. (Worthless right? Wrong!) most of my shoots are paid, and I make enough to live comfortably and travel occasionally. (I'm in a hotel as we speak)
A lot of it has to do with having an interesting look. You need to spice your look up enough to be recognized. You have fun clothes but you need to make yourself look intriguing. You obviously don't want to model dull themes, so be sure that your look isn't dull.
Another VERY important thing is diversity!!! Most of your photos are cosplay and basic goth. You can still be dark but add more fire! Make it sexy, fierce, bold! And you are going to hate me for this, but add a few mainstream photos in there! Get some glamour and beauty shots done. It won't make you look lame, it will make you look versatile. Next, reach out! Work with designers and makeup artists. Become well known this way (plus it means you will be in more than one portfolio!)
Also! make goals to work with well known photographers. Yes, ride their coat tails tongue still keep time to work with the newbs though.
And (when youve built a stronger portfolio) be sure to mention in your profile that you are doing limited TF. Don't say "no TF" because that could ruin your chances of working with great people, but by saying you are doing limited TF you are showing you are confident yet flexible. To be honest, I don't even charge for shoots. I feel a lot less pressure when I don't have to state my (unknown) worth. But people pay me, because I say limited TF and I have the port to back it up. I hope I've been helpful and not mean
Apr 23 13 11:59 am  Link  Quote 
Model
Kelley Nymph
Posts: 93
Baltimore, Maryland, US


Marin Photography wrote:
Your portfolio is full of Costume play. No fetish, no nudes, no glamour -bikini, lingerie, nada...and you want to get paid to do what? You have to have more to offer than what your port suggests that you do...Variety is the spice of life!.... [/quote
Actually I do have fetish in my port.
Apr 23 13 11:59 am  Link  Quote 
Model
Kelley Nymph
Posts: 93
Baltimore, Maryland, US


KonstantKarma wrote:
Yurp. What exactly is a photographer going to pay you for, if you have nudity restrictions?

This is EXACTLY what I'm talking about. Do photographers only think it is worth it to pay a model if they get naked?
How about paying someone because they bring something AWESOME to the table, without the model, you have no shoot, buddy.

Apr 23 13 12:01 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
Kelley Nymph
Posts: 93
Baltimore, Maryland, US


Square Jaw Photography wrote:
It's a declining industry on both sides, for the same reason. Models and photographers are easy to come by.

I personally think it's worth paying a model when they have a look you want. But I'm just doing this as more of a passion instead of a job, so the money I offer usually isn't enough for the model's tastes. But then again, I do photography for the Marine Corps, so I never have to worry about my next meal smile

Having worked with you before, I think you're outstanding at what you do. I'd pay to do another shoot smile

Thank you hon, you're very sweet. smile

Apr 23 13 12:03 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
AJScalzitti
Posts: 11,532
Atlanta, Georgia, US


Kelley Nymph wrote:
This is EXACTLY what I'm talking about. Do photographers only think it is worth it to pay a model if they get naked?
How about paying someone because they bring something AWESOME to the table, without the model, you have no shoot, buddy.

Not all - we like something AWESOME, but that is usually money or images a client wants to give us money for.

P.S. not all photography works needs a model.  Models get paid when we get paid.

Apr 23 13 12:03 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
RachelReilly
Posts: 1,696
Washington, District of Columbia, US


be a better model/network and wait for people to want to pay you.
Apr 23 13 12:03 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
Kelley Nymph
Posts: 93
Baltimore, Maryland, US


Evie_Wolfe wrote:
Since I can't critique you in this forum, here is some general advice about modelling for pay. Obviously, these are my opinions and please feel free to disregard them as such smile

The first question you need to ask yourself is - are there any models in my area being paid?
There usually will be. If there aren't, look at models on here who are regularly paid who work in areas similar to yours. Check their portfolios, look at how they market themselves. Then ask 'why would someone hire me, instead of them?'

As a freelance model, you need what any service buisness needs to obtain regular paid work - great credentials (references and a jaw-dropping portfolio that demonstrates versatility), great skills (fantastic variety of poses etc) and great networking ability. You can be the best freelancer out there, but if you can't market yourself, things will be tough.

Of course, you need something else too - a market to sell too, which is willing to pay for whatever you are selling. Chances are, if you are known in your area, network well and have good references, you are selling something your target audience doesn't want to buy, or can obtain elsewhere for free.

If that is the case, you have two options;
1. Find a new market - this will require travel and research, but won't help you if the reason you aren't finding work is poor credentials, a poor portfolio, poor networking or poor modelling skills. These are all problems you bring with you.

2. Improve what is currently lacking in your overall 'package'.

Remember; most models that join sites like these will probably never be paid. The only way to break out of that cycle is to strive to be the best, and even when you are it is, apparently, no walk in the park.

Thank you for your advice, it was very constructive.

Apr 23 13 12:04 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
Kelley Nymph
Posts: 93
Baltimore, Maryland, US


The Original Sin  wrote:
I lived in your area, and never had a problem finding paid work.

Perhaps expand your networking efforts?  I use MM, omp, CL, and as many other sites as possible to look for casting and post availability notices.

Never used omp, I'll look into that.
As for Craigslist, I've had too many bad experiences with them to trust them, so I don't touch it.

Apr 23 13 12:15 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
The Original Sin
Posts: 13,894
Louisville, Kentucky, US


Kelley, because this isn't the Critique forum I can't really say much, but feel free to PM me if you'd like to discuss the topic further.
Apr 23 13 12:16 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
B R U N E S C I
Posts: 25,319
Bath, England, United Kingdom


Kelley Nymph wrote:
Without the model, you have no shoot, buddy.

Quoted for irony, from a 5'2", 120lb, 28 year old 'alternative' model smile

Given the shelf-life of even in-demand models compared to that of decent photographers, an attitude like this will be enough to get plenty of photographers issuing the classic response to entitled diva-model stupidity: "NEXT!"




Just my $0.02

Ciao
Stefano
www.stefanobrunesci.com

Apr 23 13 12:17 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
RavenLily
Posts: 12
Eastbourne, England, United Kingdom


As you have seen all of the current comments about your height, and getting a varied look etc etc I wont repeat it or bleat on, i will just make a point

I am a 5ft 10 model, Im slim, I do all my own hair/make up. I will shoot pretty much everything apart from Adult. I travel across the country.

Yet i dont get paid nil, nada

Photographers hate handing over cash to a model, unless she is well known or amazing at what she does.. Photographers constantly hear horror stories about Models taking cash and shooting up with it, or whatever.

Instead Photographers like to 'pay in kind' so to speak, They will buy me dinner after the shoot, they will cover my travel, they will even purchase clothes for me to shoot in, but dont expect them to pay me directly, its more indirectly.

Dont feel bad or sad that you are not stuffing your purse with 20's, add up all the travel cost and dinners they buy you... it all mounts up in the end. Just because you physically dont get cash, they are paying you in their own way.
Apr 23 13 12:20 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
ontherocks
Posts: 22,059
Salem, Oregon, US


i'm aware of art nude models who travel to your area and get paid. they have great bodies for art nudes and can do all sorts of bendy poses. really it comes down to what photographers in your area will pay for (or their end clients will pay for) and whether you can provide that for them (and if you can then how you stack up against the competition).

maybe if you had modest rates you could find some photographers who simply prefer to pay even though they don't have to? or they pay because they like you and want to encourage you.
Apr 23 13 12:45 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
Laura UnBound
Posts: 26,741
Toronto, Ontario, Canada


Kelley Nymph wrote:

This is EXACTLY what I'm talking about. Do photographers only think it is worth it to pay a model if they get naked?

For non-mainstream modeling done via the internet? Yes.

How about paying someone because they bring something AWESOME to the table, without the model, you have no shoot, buddy.

Sure. What awesome thing are you bringing to the table? Are you bringing it to a table of people who actually WANT it? Is it actually as awesome to everyone else (by which i mean the people with the money you want) as it is to you?

Apparently, if you cant get work, what youre doing/offering isnt working. In terms of modeling, that means you need to be be something else. The something else that gets paid the most? Nudes.

Apr 23 13 01:15 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
Erika Kapele
Posts: 395
SeaTac, Washington, US


Network, network, network. I do event llamaing as well as brand ambassador work and photoshoots to ensure I get plentiful paid work. Everyday I search CL for paid events and talent and yes there is BS to filter through, but its' worth it when you find the hidden gems. I check the casting calls on MM daily and I also belong to a brand ambassadors/event llamaing group in my area that only posts paid gigs. Also keep an eye out for runway events and hair shows that will pay as well. I spend an hour or so perusing probably every day but it pays off. I'm a stay at home Mom and make a nice supplemental income from a variety of different types of llamaing. And I do not shoot nudes at all, but a lot of paid work goes to nude llamas if you are one! I also work with two promotional llamaing agencies to maximize my networking and find gigs. The paid photoshoots I find on my own though freelance.

- Erika
Apr 23 13 01:16 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
Less Than Two
Posts: 23,401
Ann Arbor, Michigan, US


Laura UnBound wrote:
For non-mainstream modeling done via the internet? Yes.

Sure. What awesome thing are you bringing to the table? Are you bringing it to a table of people who actually WANT it? Is it actually as awesome to everyone else (by which i mean the people with the money you want) as it is to you?

Apparently, if you cant get work, what youre doing/offering isnt working. In terms of modeling, that means you need to be be something else. The something else that gets paid the most? Nudes.

While I'm not going to get on the 'do nudes' bandwagon (even though 90%~ of all the paid work I received involved some nudity), this is really the point. You need to figure out what it is that could and does draw people to you. And then play that up. Without that, all the networking in the world won't necessarily help you.
Some people have very unique features, some have soul to their expressions, some have an unusual skill. What is your thing? What is your specific 'awesome'? Without that, you're just some girl on the internet with some pictures.

Apr 23 13 04:09 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
NicoleNudes
Posts: 3,725
Toronto, Ontario, Canada


.
Apr 23 13 04:18 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Jerry Nemeth
Posts: 25,868
Dearborn, Michigan, US


NicoleNudes wrote:
Not to come off as trying to brag - but I was just in Baltimore last month and I was very successful there (only doing paid shoots).

It maybe because I shot nude.

Your problem also may be because you are charging too much.
What rate are you quoting someone right now?

I can't comment on your work in your portfolio because it isn't the critique section. All I can say is that if you are asking for pay, I believe it should be somewhere around the $20-30/hr area.

See you soon.  smile

Apr 23 13 04:22 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Dobias Fine Art Photo
Posts: 1,658
Haddon Heights, New Jersey, US


Apr 23 13 04:22 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
NicoleNudes
Posts: 3,725
Toronto, Ontario, Canada


Jerry Nemeth wrote:

See you soon.  smile

Yessss! borat

Apr 23 13 04:26 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
Inertia Creeps
Posts: 101
San Francisco, California, US


My advice to you:

1. Add Variety

2. Do TFP with wonderful photographers.

3. Nudity isn't always degrading.

4. Stay bold.

5. Be humble.



Inertia
Apr 23 13 04:26 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Farenell Photography
Posts: 17,574
Albany, New York, US


Kelley Nymph wrote:
Psst......I have a news flash for you: There are a lot of models out here under the 5'9" height, and we do awesome work. Just a FYI.

Well if you've got it all figure out & are doing such awesome work, then you don't need us giving our opinions in increasing the likelihood of getting yourself paid work or explaining why you may not be getting the paid work you're seeking.

Apr 23 13 04:43 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
Koryn
Posts: 34,584
Boston, Massachusetts, US


Kelley Nymph wrote:

This is EXACTLY what I'm talking about. Do photographers only think it is worth it to pay a model if they get naked?
How about paying someone because they bring something AWESOME to the table, without the model, you have no shoot, buddy.

Models who will trade for clothed work are a dime a dozen. Nude models are rarer, and whether you like it or not, because they are rarer ... well... they get paid.

Being comfortable being naked in images, to a large portion of photographers, is the AWESOME thing a model can bring to the table.

That's pretty much the way it works.

Apr 23 13 04:51 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Shot By Adam
Posts: 5,188
Las Vegas, Nevada, US


Let me ask you a few quick questions...

I didn't see a link to your professional website in your profile, just a facebook page. What is the URL to your website?

I would love to see what your business cards look like. Do you mind sharing them here so we can see what they look like?

How many local businesses have you contacted to do some modeling for cheap? At least this way you can get your feet in the door.

How many local meet-and-greets have you attended?

How many business networking events have you attended in the last six months?
Apr 23 13 04:55 pm  Link  Quote 
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