Models,fees,work

Models,fees,work

32 posts
28 Dec 2013
IainT
Photographer
IainT
Well yes, we all have to cope with reduced income in real terms. I am earning the same fees as I was 5 years ago whilst costs have risen, but I still have to pay the price for whatever I decide to spend my money on and if I want quality I have to pay for it.

Its the same with models, if you are so inclined, you can get any number of girls prepared to have their photo taken for little money or no fee, but they are not models in the real sense. If as a hobbiest you are happy with that or its all you can afford, then thats fine.

If you are a golfer you can play a municipal course for a few pounds, but if you want to play on a good course you have to pay a substancial fee. Its the same with fishing, there are loads of places you can can fish for free or for very little, but if you want to go to the best places you have to pay top fees.

If you want a skilled model you should be prepared to pay a reasonable fee (unless, obviously, you are of a standard whereby a proper model wants to trade with you)

The problem is many...or indeed most photographers, only see the fee, they fail to see what they are paying for. The "average" model charges say £25/£30 an hour, but really good models may be available for £30/£40 an hour. There is a world of difference between a good model and a girl who simply gets paid to reflect light...which is what the majority of girls standing in front of a camera do.

One of the problems is that a lot of photographers are "model collectors", they try and shoot as many different models as possible, producing the same old sh*t all the time (sorry if thats offensive, but look at the galleries and you'll see its true)just with a different girl. So, instead of carefully selecting a model who may charge £40 an hour but offer true value, they just decide, well I'll pay £30 an hour...whoever I can get within budget will do.

The solution is shoot less models, shoot better models and pay sensible fees.

Posted 30 Dec 2013
Gerry99111
Photographer
Gerry99111
This constant complaining by people equating modelling to some sales position working for some employer with long term prospects, security and benefits is completely pointless.

They are self employed people who are at the vagaries of the market on whether they earn enough to pay their weekly bills and with the exception of a very few is not a good living at all. For those who have their head screwed on properly, it can be a rewarding job but how many internet models can honestly say they have a reasonable income. In the main, they will only be modelling for a very few years but will live with the consequences of the photos for the rest of their days.

The models are not the problem, it is you if you cannot afford it. You have two choices, bite the bullet and pay or offer less and see how many will accept.

Forgetting for a moment those that cannot afford to pay or won't pay what the majority of models are asking for, those that have choices are finding it harder to find good quality models, particularly those that are new and likely to stay around. That tells me that far from being over paid, internet modelling is seen as a dirty, low paid pursuit and not something to put any future career at risk for.

I think the gulf between mainstream agency modelling and internet modelling has got greater and it is the low cost low mentality that is dragging it down

Posted 30 Dec 2013
Gerry99111
Photographer
Gerry99111
StreetModel

However, the model expects her expenses to be paid, and expects to get the going rate from day 1 - the make-up girl has to pay her own travel, lunch, parking etc and gets paid more with experience - some of the new girls coming on here are asking the same (if not moer) than the models who have been here for years...



What they ask and what people choose to pay are two different things and the model's earnings are a large part down to their look. A good photographer can get something useful out of an inexperienced model and most glamour publications seem to prefer fresh faces - they will sell more copies. That is what creates the opportunity for new models to get a reasonable rate if they are worth it.

If you value experienced models more, only book them, it may go to redressing this inbalance
Posted 30 Dec 2013
Gerry99111
Photographer
Gerry99111
The other thing that frequent shooters of glamour and adult must have realised is that a reasonable proportion of these models have discovered webcaming which pays significantly more than any internet modelling. Some of them I am sure only need to model to create a fan base to get punters onto their webcam work and will cut down on modelling putting an upward pressure on rates for some

Posted 30 Dec 2013
ChrisD
Photographer
ChrisD
Hello Iain, I often read your replies because you have real world experience and have a voice of reason, you talk sense. I rarely disagree with what you say, but regardless we all have an opinion and are entitled to share it aren't we. These are public forums after all. I think there needs to be some distinction and separation here. The thread is based on professional models that are self employed and registered with HMRC. Not all models are in actual fact registered as self employed, that doesn't necessarily mean they are better or worse but those that are literally having to find their own work as a freelance model and are literally reliant totally upon their modelling income to pay the rent or the mortgage etc will no doubt struggle at times, and get lost amognst hundreds if not thousands of girls with "my rates are" who are not in that position at all. I remember reading one of your postings where you stated that most internet models are worth paying about ten pounds an hour. Of course that was a generalisation and I knew where you were coming from but once again you made a valid point at the time you posted. To paraphrase you from above, there is a difference between a good model and a girl who simply gets paid to reflect light...which is what the majority of girls standing in front of a camera do. That stement is saying the same kind of thing, and you are of course right again. I don't think a photographer will resent paying a fair fee to a professional model with genuine experience and skill sets, and like you say a lot are hobbyists and enthusiasts so of course they try to get a deal, but don't we all ?. Its all about shopping around and trying to get the best value for your money and paying as little as possible as well. We all tend to do that, its human nature. Anyone in business will try to make a profit, no point otherwise. I know this is a can of worms, and always goes off topic and goes around in circles, brings up the TF debate etc. I just wish there was indeed a simple answer but there is not. There are also people out there that say, well if you don't like being a model/photographer find something else to do. If you are not getting any work or making enough money as a model/photographer go get another job. Maybe some will, or are trying to but cannot find another job ?, and that is one of my points. There is not a lot of jobs gong out there so half a loaf is better than none, and maybe thats why so many quote the girl on the cosmetics counter or someone flipping burgers or working as a cleaner ? We are in tough economic times, I think "some" models are quite fortunate that there are seemingly so many out there that are still prepared to pay hourly fees like we see every day on all the sites like this one. Yes working models have maintenance costs, so do photographers, and I'd hasten to add that my guess is that the average guy that is expected to dip into his wallet is working long hours for single figure hourly rates before deductions, certainly after tax and n.i. And @ Gerry99111 you make a good point too about web camming, so in a way taking that example, if a model cannot make enough or feels they need/want more they can for example web cam, thus making it less stressful and difficult for them to make ends meet and have to deal with flakes and no shows ( another bone of contention ) No doubt I'll be ripped apart for this but sometimes people like us state what others are really thinking. In closing I must add there are good models out there, they work hard, and they are worth paying. They know who they are, and like you say Iain sadly some photographers are paying the wrong ones, and that distorts perception. I'm starting to waffle but hopefully I've explained ok.
Posted 30 Dec 2013
Spike
Photographer
Spike
Interesting to read the comments comments comparing models to those in "secure regular" jobs. The reality is they don't exist any more. I work with several high street & service industry companies & they all operate one a basis of 2 - 3 managment staff on full time 39 hour contracts, with the bulk of the staff being on 7 - 16 hour contracts with the option of overtime. Sick pay & benifits are fairly non existent & working bank holidays gets 1 1/2 times normal pay. Supposedly employees rights have improved over the last 30 years, not from my recollection where sick pay was your normal rate & bank holidays paid triple time plus a day off in liue. Bring back the bad old days
Posted 30 Dec 2013
Gerry99111
Photographer
Gerry99111
Secure - as in you have rights under Employment Legislation if you have been working for 2 years against constructive dismissal, discrimination and the like.

Secure in that your Employer will invest in your training unless they are really short sighted.

Anyway, this is one of those pointless threads. One male model has commented and all the others have felt it not necessary to comment on something that is pointless. The market is dictating models pay and conditions, not winging from some photographers who cannot get enough shoots on their terms.

Alternative income streams such as mainstream jobs and new ventures such as web cam work are depleting the available supply of better quality models. People who would be better quality models are not encouraged to become models because the pay differential is not sufficient to make the jump from something else they have that is secure enough. There is a gulf in quality now between internet modelling and agency standard suggesting to some if they don't make it as an agency model, better to find something else.

The internet model sites are starting to look like Readers Wives and bargain basement soft porn sites in both the standard of models and quality of photography.

Photographers with little experience or ability [even if they have been shooting something else for decades] feel they are entitled to TF and offering little value. New models are swamped by these people and only so many stick it out.

But hey ho, lets keep on trying to chip away at models pay so it is even lower so no one even remotely worth shooting will consider signing up. Then we will be forced to source our models from the agencies at twice or three times the cost.

If models pay was too high, it would be impossible for anyone to get shoots. The reality is that 1000's of shoots are occurring on a weekly basis with more photographers appearing to shoot them. Photographers are not in short supply and this will dictate models pay, not people arguing the toss on an internet forum.

I have set a modest budget for model shoots this year with the rest of the time being invested in TFP. I am in danger of under spending my budget because there are insufficient numbers of models with the right look at the moment I wish to book. I am not going to bother with agencies this year as the better ones are too controlling of the models work load and the cost would mean I could only shoot half the number.

Those that shoot any old crap with any random model I guess have an incentive to drive model pay even further down but I have noticed a significant drop in the number and quality of new models on sites such as this and no one here has disputed that. They just seem interested in trying to make comparisons with people in full time employment.

Really, if you think its too high, go and do something else or tell your stingy clients they need to put more money into the shoots. Everyday costs are rising and the economy for some people is getting better. Expecting others to drop their rates because of your own short comings is not going to happen

Posted 31 Dec 2013
stolenfaces
Photographer
stolenfaces
Comparisons with other jobs are pointless.

If you want to work with a model offer her what you can afford to pay her.
Telling her she is not worth what she asks, but you want to work with her at a lesser rate is not normally a way to get the best deal.

I have always found that apologies for only having a modest budget combined with some respect for the model's need to eat and pay the rent normally leads to satisfactory arragements being possible.

It may come as a surprise to some people but most models (particular real ones) will consider the type of person they are working for, and generally someone who seems relaxed and pleasant ( and maybe not too desperate to shoot with a particular model) will usually be able to negotiate the best price.
As in all walks of life, normal people don't give discounts to unpleasant customers, in fact the prospect of working with some of the people who clearly have no respect for the models they try to book would surely attract a surcharge to cover the stress and potential humiliation of such a booking.



Posted 31 Dec 2013
[qt][author]Spike[/author]
Interesting to read the comments comments comparing models to those in "secure regular" jobs. The reality is they don't exist any more. I work with several high street & service industry companies & they all operate one a basis of 2 - 3 managment staff on full time 39 hour contracts, with the bulk of the staff being on 7 - 16 hour contracts with the option of overtime. Sick pay & benifits are fairly non existent & working bank holidays gets 1 1/2 times normal pay. [/qt]

7 hours guaranteed work a week without having to search for another job after each shift is more secure than modelling.

I've been screwed over more than once in low paying, regular work but the prize for being able to lose chunks of money in the process of working definitely goes to modelling.

Posted 1 Jan 2014
As Iain said ,very few models do this for a living.
For amateur photographers it is also a hobby. Like being a football supporter. How much would it cost to go to see Manchester Utd ? About the same as hiring a good model for 3 hours?

Posted 1 Jan 2014
tarmoo
Photographer
tarmoo
I haven't noticed a shortage of models I would like to shoot. Rates are about the same as a year ago. I shoot about 40 models a year and the typical rate is around £30/hr.

If you have shot some good models then it it a waste of time shooting "average" models on a TF basis if the resulting photos are not up to the standard of your existing work with the best models.

Posted 1 Jan 2014
IainT
Photographer
IainT
Gerry99111
The other thing that frequent shooters of glamour and adult must have realised is that a reasonable proportion of these models have discovered webcaming which pays significantly more than any internet modelling. Some of them I am sure only need to model to create a fan base to get punters onto their webcam work and will cut down on modelling putting an upward pressure on rates for some
Nearly all the high earners in the industry are webcam or late night television girls who rarely model...they are the type of girls who would have been models 5/6 years ago, but there is no money in it for them now. I shot a popular TV girl a few weeks ago, we paid her a rate that most models can't even dream of. It was her first photoshoot outwith the channels own publicity shots in 2 years. What she got out of it was a high profile shoot which will help maintain her popularity on webcam which is becoming more important as TV wages fall, what I got out of it was exclussive and very saleable content. But as she told me...although it was a high fee it was less than she earns in 2 TV shifts and the same as she was earning for *1 shift a couple of years ago...and on the TV or webcam she doesn't have to show the world her foo-foo. A lot of the girls who would have been on these sites 5 years ago are choosing the TV/ webcam route....but *TV chat wages are falling rapidly for all but the very top girls, webcamming will probably go the same way. Nothing lasts forever... The latest refuge for the best looking models who want high earnings are off-internet exclussive limited member paysites and private collector groups.
Posted 1 Jan 2014
fizzy
Model
fizzy
Eh, I charged £25ph and never really struggled to get work when I was actively seeking it and I'm not model beautiful at all. I doubt it's difficult for the many, many models who are younger and more attractive than me to get work at £30ph. I suspect a lot of the threads complaining about a dip in bookings are designed to attract traffic to the model's profile, thus generate more bookings.

I stopped because even when I was earning a lot, it wasn't worth it. Internet models are treated terribly in a lot of ways, and it was taking too much of a toll on my mental and physical health. If models aren't even being offered a liveable wage, then there's really no incentive at all for them to enter the industry.

Posted 3 Jan 2014
mph
Photographer
mph
fizzy

I stopped because even when I was earning a lot, it wasn't worth it. Internet models are treated terribly in a lot of ways, and it was taking too much of a toll on my mental and physical health.


Depressing and sad.
Posted 3 Jan 2014
EdT
Photographer
EdT
mph
Depressing and sad.
+1
Posted 3 Jan 2014
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