Forums > Model Colloquy > How to become a traveling model?

Model

abc def

Posts: 65

Portland, Oregon, US

Last time I went to Oregon to see family I posted I was traveling across the state and if anyone between wanted to work with me. I ended up stoping in a few cities for only shoots before I reached my destination..
One of the people asked me "So you are doing the traveling model thing, how do you like it?" I went on to ask them what was a traveling model..

So photogs who have worked with or models who are traveling models, I am planning next Summer on possibly traveling North California mainly to have my picture taken.. Any advice?
People you would reccomend?
Do's and don't?
Ect..

Thanks,
Lilu Love

Oct 13 13 04:11 pm Link

Photographer

David Hilton

Posts: 728

Belleair Bluffs, Florida, US

Oct 13 13 07:15 pm Link

Photographer

Stephen Fletcher

Posts: 7492

Norman, Oklahoma, US

I haven't met one yet that didn't do nudes.

Oct 14 13 11:39 am Link

Photographer

RTE Photography

Posts: 1477

NORTH HOLLYWOOD, California, US

My somewhat limited experience with traveling models is that most are nude models. That way their rates are high enough to enable them to pay for travel, food, motels, etc.
Many models post a notice saying they are going through a area and offer to model in exchange for a room for one or two nights. MM has a nude modeling network you might want to check out. You could contact other models to see what experiences (good and bad) they have had.

Oct 14 13 11:48 am Link

Model

wrongsideofthirty

Posts: 543

Boston, Massachusetts, US

yeah meat and potatoes time....you would need to do nudes, i mean in my experience you have to if you *really* want to do it.....at least to start

currently i see a lot of traveling models who have quite a lot of exposure via mm and tumblr and flickr and whatnot and then i start seeing them not nude a bit more often, you have to get the demand before you really get to choose if you "want" to shoot nude or not

its certainly not an easy way to make money from modeling and shoots and if you can get more work at "home base" i wouldn't choose it over that.

do's:
def expand/work on a network of contacts where you want to travel, the less you have to spend on stuff the better.
use the travel/casting page all you can

don't:
rely on shoots that are already booked before travel, have some back-up plans/people, keep your options open, be prepared for things to fall through and go wrong

Oct 14 13 11:56 am Link

Photographer

Stephen Fletcher

Posts: 7492

Norman, Oklahoma, US

Also the ones I have worked with can take care of their own make up and hair and come with an extensive wardrobe.  I had one model spend a night in my home which saved her some bucks and they all get an offer of my buying a meal or two.

Oct 14 13 02:42 pm Link

Model

abc def

Posts: 65

Portland, Oregon, US

That was one of my next questions already answered.. "If a traveling model has to do nudes?"
I would not totally be asking for people to pay me.. I do alot of TFP.. But, I have been paid a few times for shoots.. and I did do conventions for a while were I made a decent ammount of money..

So then i'd just be a model that was traveling and could shoot?

Also I do ALOT of networking, checking out photog and models work in areas I may travel thru and I send messages and comment on pictures.. I was looking for a way to put out there for an area if anyone would want to work with me.. W/o having to post exact travel dates?

Oct 16 13 08:06 am Link

Model

NicoleNudes

Posts: 3978

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Lilu Love wrote:
That was one of my next questions already answered.. "If a traveling model has to do nudes?"
I would not totally be asking for people to pay me.. I do alot of TFP.. But, I have been paid a few times for shoots.. and I did do conventions for a while were I made a decent ammount of money..

So then i'd just be a model that was traveling and could shoot?

Also I do ALOT of networking, checking out photog and models work in areas I may travel thru and I send messages and comment on pictures.. I was looking for a way to put out there for an area if anyone would want to work with me.. W/o having to post exact travel dates?

The large majority of traveling models (re: models who travel around for shoots and mostly get paid) do nudes. I can't think of any model that don't do nudes off of the top of my head.

If you just want to shoot with some people on the way up to where you're going I don't think that you need to worry about the whole traveling model thing.

I think that you're getting hung up on the term more than you need too.
If someone asks you can always just tell them that that location was on the way to where you're going and you wanted to shoot with them.

You don't have to TF with everyone. You could trade shoot time for hosting/food/gas money. If someone offers to pay you even better. Just know that unless you shoot nudes you probably won't be making a profit off of the shoots that you decide to do. I have no idea if that's something you where asking or not, but it ties into being a traveling nude model.

You could always message/tag people who's work that you like and let them know that you'll be traveling through their area soon. Other than that there's not a lot you can do if you don't know when you'll be traveling.

Oct 16 13 09:59 am Link

Model

abc def

Posts: 65

Portland, Oregon, US

Thanks that answered my questions!

I think MM should have a way to post possible traveling notices more then 6 months out and w/o having to put exact dates..

Why would a model traveling for pure work book a ticket if he or she did not know if people in the area were interested?! Yes, you can email away your day letting people know you want to work with them.. (I do PLENTY of this!)

I duno I guess some of the rules on here seem purty strict... Seeming they don't cancel accounts were the user has not checked in years!

Oct 24 13 12:37 pm Link

Photographer

afplcc

Posts: 6017

Fairfax, Virginia, US

You've gotten some good advice so far in this thread.  Having shot with a couple of traveling models and talked with them about their experiences, here is what else I'd add:

1.  Keep costs down.  One model told me she flew to LA with 11 shoots booked and 10 canceled on her.  She ended up having to call her parents to have them wire money so she could get home.  So always work things out so your travel costs are as close to zero as possible.  That means....trade shoot time for lodging and/or airfare.  Then if you eat cheaply and take metro/buses, cancelations aren't going to mean you LOSE money on your travel, you just don't make as much as you thought you would.

2.  Yeah, you're going to have to pose nude.  Once you build reputations and relationships, you'll get a chance to get paying gigs that involve clothes.  But initially you'll be posing sans clothes if you're a traveling model and want to make money.

3.  Be able to travel really light.  I picked up Sie ist Idaho from the airport once.  She was on a 3 week jaunt on the East Coast.  All of her bags were carry-on...a backpack and a smallish duffle bag. It's not just flying...you've got to figure that you may need to get to 3 locations (all without a car) in the same day while managing escalators or stairs or bus ramps or having to walk 15 minutes.  So you want outfits and props and makeup that is compact, travels well, is versatile and can won't wrinkle.  My philosophy as a photojournalist traveling overseas was that I needed to be able to walk 5 miles carrying (not wheeling) all of my camera gear and luggage.  And if it was too heavy for that, it didn't make the trip.  You should operate by a somewhat similar philosophy--if you can't walk 1-2 miles with all of your stuff on your back/shoulders than you've got too much stuff.

4.  Build around workshops.  If you were going from southern California up to Seattle all by bus, and you could schedule in 2 workshops along the way then you'll do very well....workshops will provide a nice block of income, they'll give you local PR (which could lead to immediate bookings but also future work) and so many people will shift plans that the workshop provides something that is reasonable constant (as long as it doesn't cancel).

5.  Have a means of operating well from the road.  Maybe it's a smartphone.  But it needs to be for more than calling and texting.  Have your calendar on it with the ability to map out locations/directions.  Ability to access MM or your email account (b/c some photographers won't be in to text).  Guides for cities you'll be spending a week in (so you can figure out the metro if they have one or the major road systems).  If you're a traveling model, you need to assume you'll spend more hours each day booking/coordinating work than you do actually shooting.  So your phone or laptop needs to be something you can use on the go to coordinate all of your shoots, maintain a schedule, get to and from, handle travel.

6.  Expand your contacts.  It helps to have models who will house you.  And those models may be able to pull you in to a shoot (for a photographer who wants to do a tandem shoot).

7.  Lots of advance planning.  If you have a Christmas trip to Florida planned than as a traveling model, you'd be reaching out right now.  You'd be contacting your model and photographer friends in Florida, you'd be reaching out to new photographers to let them know you'll be in town and available to shoot, you'd be posting casting calls, scouting out locations or studios for rent (b/c many GWCs won't know about their own local resources).  Advance planning matters so you have less of that to do once you're actually on the road.

Ed

Oct 25 13 03:10 am Link

Photographer

Maura Housley

Posts: 548

Baltimore, Maryland, US

I agree with the above post. However, I know you asked specifically about the actual traveling and promotion. I am planning my own tour next year, but here are a few things I have come up with:
- Direct messaging (obviously, which you said you have been doing). I mean, you are going to get the people who do not respond, that's how it works, but you will also get those that do smile
- Check out events in the area. If you are wanting to do TF and also meet photographers/other artists in the area this is a good way. This way, you can also pave the way for future trips.
- Contact people closer to the date. Give people enough time, but don't get discouraged if you do not have a lot booked months out. A lot of people, especially for TF, don't want to schedule more than a few months out...and/or they forget.
- Talk to other models in the area for recommendations/referrals.
- If you have facebook or [insert name of social media network here], join groups or other related social hangouts that have to do with the location you are going to. This way, you can update the whole group on your travels and ask for people who are interested in shooting.

Oct 25 13 05:54 am Link

Photographer

ontherocks

Posts: 23559

Salem, Oregon, US

i hosted a traveling model and her boyfriend in exchange for a shoot. worked out fine.

RTE Photography wrote:
Many models post a notice saying they are going through a area and offer to model in exchange for a room for one or two nights.

Oct 25 13 10:33 am Link