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Neil Anderson is off-line
22 May 2014 05:09
stolenfaces
Photographer
stolenfaces
Location
United Kingdom
London
West London

If you struggle to get a good deal when booking models these thoughts might be of interest:

Some (possible) tips for (a photographer) negotiating a good (but fair) price with a model, assuming you are actually keen to book the particular model. (If you just want any cheap model post a casting offering £x per hour... simple)

1) Choose a model who has posted a casting, this implies that she is both available and looking to arrange work.
For more casual models it may imply that she is looking for some cash for a rent/holiday/debts etc. So either way you start with someone who is looking to strike a deal.
If you generally approach models who have not posted a casting you may be dealing with someone who is booked up for sometime ahead or not bothered about working, either puts her in a strong negotiating position.

2) When you contact her, act professionally - give all details of your proposed shoot including stressing your flexibility with dates/ times and your budget. If, for example, you say any weekend in June that quickly allows the model to think of filling any weekend gap in her bookings. If you make a well presented and clear offer a model may well just say 'that's easy, ok it's a bit less than I might be able to get, but filling a slot without negotiations dragging on for weeks is worth quite a lot'.

3) At no point imply (or say) that a model is not worth what she is asking, always stress how much you want to work with her and how you are only offering what you are because of your limited (but not nil) budget. Discuss options which may reduce the total cost (such as travel method, more than one shoot in area, picking her up). If she is asking far too much just say thanks but my budget won't stretch that far, and move on.

4) Be clear on your objectives and look for hers. An example here is that the model may need a specific sum of money in a particular timeframe, in that case she may be prepared to offer more hours or higher levels for that money and you may be wasting your opportunity if you negotiate over hourly rate for a two hour shoot.

5) if you are planning to use a MUA and/or studio mention this at an early stage as it may influence the model, particularly if she knows the studio or MUA, or is keen to work at that studio because she hasn't been there before. Anything which makes it seem like a more enjoyable (and safer) shoot can influence a model's price. So also be aware that a model may have safety concerns working with a new photographer and point out references, suggest meeting in public place, don't expect a model to give you her phone number or (if appropriate) address until a booking has been agreed.

6) If you are prepared to let her use shots from the session, you might emphasise that you are happy for her to use any photos (at all/your choice/her choice) which you might make available at some point. This may make the shoot part-paid if the model thinks your photos may benefit her.

7) If you are a repeat booker it may be worth telling the model that you usually work with a model more than once (mentioning some examples of how many shoots you have done with x and y). This is unlikely to make a huge difference but could just edge you towards a deal.

And always treat the model with respect and in a business like way. If you can't reach an acceptable bargain be equally businesslike and accept that gracefully. You never know how things may change in the future.. you may have more cash to splash or she might move in down the road from you, or she could be best friends with someone you would give your right arm to photograph. Much of life is based on balancing risk v reward, so the more risk the model perceives of you wasting her time or being an unpleasant booking, the more reward she will expect [equally the photographer will probably be prepared to pay more for the girl who is both businesslike and has stunning looks, as their risks of a wasted negotiation and shoot are reduced]
Like any dealer he was watching for the card that is so high and wild he'll never need to deal another...


22 May 2014 05:21
johnlp
Photographer


(Reply to Cody's observation).

True. But discussing money can be embarrassing. And for someone just starting out they might not want to commit a large amount of money to it just in case it's a damp squib. But they probably can't see that from the model's perspective time really is money, and being asked to do TF or being offered low fees just doesn't make sense and can be insulting.

When I first started body painting, don't ask to see any photos, I'm still crap at it, I really didn't know how much to offer. After all, it would take me an hour to do the painting and 5 minutes to do the photography. Cost per image, could be astronomical, skill of model low, patience of model very high, time model employed the same as a photo shoot. I'm too much of a coward to ask for TF, so in the end I offered the same as I do for nude work, but because of this relatively high cost I don't do it very often, so I can't expect to improve.

Anyway I've got to do the housework and bake a cake.


marlham is off-line
22 May 2014 05:37
marlhamphoto
Photographer
This member has been reset to pending
marlhamphoto
Location
United Kingdom
Kent
Canterbury

I don't think there is any one set of circumstances that will work for everybody. And things change over time anyway as skill and confidence develop. I'm still building my port (I don't think you ever stop) but I get plenty of interest directly from models - more than I can cope with if I'm honest. But I still try to put cash into the system when I can as, quite frankly, models would become extinct if nobody contributed.

So, to an extent, those who try the begging game are not only offending models but they're also leaching off those who do contribute. I also think there's a misconception amongst new photographers that those with experience and ability don't pay models simply because they don't have to - whereas in my experience the opposite is most often true.


Steven Jardine is off-linePlatinum Member
22 May 2014 07:11
RedChecker
Photographer
RedChecker
Location
United Kingdom
Buckinghamshire
Stoke Mandeville

Quote from marlhamphoto
So, to an extent, those who try the begging game are not only offending models but they're also leaching off those who do contribute.



This irks me, especially where some models blatently charge some photographers and not others (simply because they're in a 'cool club', and little to do with their ability)
When you are dead, you do not know that you are dead. All of your pain is felt by others. The same thing happens when you are stupid.


Neil Anderson is off-line
22 May 2014 07:38
stolenfaces
Photographer
stolenfaces
Location
United Kingdom
London
West London

Quote from RedChecker
This irks me, especially where some models blatently charge some photographers and not others (simply because they're in a 'cool club', and little to do with their ability)



It's not relevant to the value you think a session with a particular model is worth.
Personally I regard the baggage which comes with tfp as too onerous I want to choose what I shoot, which photos to edit and when I do it. Other people will take another view and as far as I'm concerned they are in a different market to me.

In the same way as someone with a big investment in Canon gear probably isn't really in the market for nikon gear however good it is.
Whilst it seems you are in the the same market for camera gear you aren't really.
Like any dealer he was watching for the card that is so high and wild he'll never need to deal another...


Steven Jardine is off-linePlatinum Member
22 May 2014 07:47
RedChecker
Photographer
RedChecker
Location
United Kingdom
Buckinghamshire
Stoke Mandeville

Quote from stolenfaces
It's not relevant to the value you think a session with a particular model is worth.



I didn't say it was, simply that it irks me that I (as someone who mostly pays) knowingly subsidise other photographers with my hobby, some of whom are making money from resulting photos.
When you are dead, you do not know that you are dead. All of your pain is felt by others. The same thing happens when you are stupid.


Jesfish is off-line
22 May 2014 18:11
jes
Model
jes
Location
United Kingdom
Suffolk
Lowestoft

Quote from redbaron
Of course start asking what equipment they have and they will proudly boast of having the latest Canon/Nikon camera wedded to one of the top lenses. I wonder if they also buy a full set of the best golf clubs available then tell the club sorry I can't afford green fees, I'm still learning. Followed no doubt by how much publicity the club can expect when they make it big.





Sapphire is off-lineSilver Member
07 June 2014 05:17
BlueSapphire
Model
BlueSapphire
Location
United Kingdom
South Yorkshire


I once had someone ask me to lower my rates because they wanted a new kitchen ...
Im happy to negotiate reasonably depending on length and levels of shoot ... but a lot of the time i send a polite sorry but no reply if they are offering peanuts - im worth alteast cashews!
Sapphire Blue - 10 Years of Modelling and still at it



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