A Quick Note about Modeling & Pay Rates
This post is for freelance models. The type of modeling work mentioned in this post are for cases where you are paid in cash or by check at the end of the shoot. If the client wants to pay you at a later date make sure you have every means of contact info possible: phone, email, address where they do business–if applicable–so that you can make sure they stay true to their word of paying you after the shoot is over and/or remind them to pay you if you have not heard from them or received payment.)
The subject of pay rates is always mentioned when it comes to modeling, especially for new models that are trying to establish their careers. I’ve done posts in the past about this topic and ones related to it but wanted to also briefly mention the types of pay rates you may come across while submitting for modeling assignments.
Learning what you should charge as a model is one thing but there are also those instances where the pay rates for certain modeling gigs will already be established in the casting you submit to. In case you may be wondering if you’re getting a fair cut for the work, there are a few things to consider/keep in mind when trying to ultimately decide whether or not to submit yourself.
Let’s say you’re looking at a casting that needs models and is paying a really good rate. One thing I have noticed in my experiences is that in most cases (not all), the higher the pay rate is, the shorter the shoot will be. This applies to model jobs that are paying its models by the hour, not flat rate. For example, if the casting states the pay rate is going to be more than $100 per hour, that usually means the shoot will last anywhere from 1-2 hours…maybe 3. In essence, getting paid $100+ per hour is nothing to sniff at but just be aware that this means you aren’t going to be looking at a half day or full day shoot and will walk away with tons of money in your pocket afterward. Trust me, clients set their pay rates for models the way they do for a reason. Many people won’t turn down this kind of pay rate, however, so if you’re looking to make some quick cash within a short period of time, this will greatly benefit you. Case and point: I did a shoot recently for a website that needed lifestyle images of couples for their site. Me and my “boyfriend” for modeling, Lyndon, submitted ourselves as a couple and got booked. The pay rate was set at $125 per hour and was non-negotiable. Luckily our shoot lasted 3 hours so we walked away with $375 each. Not bad for what was a relatively easy and very laid back shoot.
Now if you’re looking to make the big bucks–I’m talking about $500 and higher–the majority of those types of shoots will require you to work for half a day or longer. This can vary from 4-8 hours. In many cases, the casting will state that models should expect a very long day of shooting, not to mention hair, makeup, wardrobe and the other elements that come with setting up this type of photoshoot. When pay rates tend to be in the high hundreds to thousands of dollars, it is almost always a flat rate, which means you aren’t getting paid by the hour. This pay rate arrangement allows clients to book models that can shoot as long as they are needed, instead of keeping an eye out on the clock each hour.
Unless the casting you are looking at says the pay rates are negotiable, 99% of the time the pay rates they list will be set in stone so it won’t exactly be a situation where it is advisable to try and get a higher rate. The economy is affecting every industry, including the modeling industry, so clients aren’t always able to secure the budget they normally would be able to afford. As long as you feel the pay rate is fair for the amount of work and length of time they need you for, go ahead and make that money!
By Dania Denise