I found myself here on this 4th of July going through some old photo's to find a good one to post today, and was thinking of the different photographers I have worked with. The question of what is your rate to shoot is my least favorite. This is when my mind starts racing and I think I don't want to low ball myself, but I want to secure this gig and make it worth my time. Who else struggles with this? What are you rates? How many years of experience do you have? Do you charge differently for erotic and glamour? Part of being a successful model is making money from the job you book. However being a freelance model comes with many challenges- figuring out what you should charge is one of them. I will say up front that there are no established black and white rules when it comes to pay rate.
-Each modeling gig is different, each client is different and budgets vary. Ultimately the factors that influence what you charge should be your level of experience, the strength of images in your portfolio, and the clients budget. NOT EVERY CLIENT IS GOING TO PAY WHAT YOU WANT TO CHARGE.
New and inexperienced models should expect to build up their portfolio before charging for services. Once you have that strong portfolio of professional quality photos it is much easier to throw around booking prices. For me building my portfolio was the scariest part when I was 18 and decided modeling. Now I am very self motivated and pretty street smart girl. I was not some young dumb and naive 18 year old who just wanted to model. First thing I did was go onto Craigslist in my area and search under gigs. I found a ton of different modeling opportunity/portfolio building gigs. The best thing was that some of them were even paid. Now i'm not telling everyone that is new to go on craigslist because sometimes that is not safe, but you have to start somewhere. I was very fortunate I linked up with an amazing photographer who ended up shooting my submission photos for my lingerie contract I landed with Between the sheets lingerie. I had to get out and find the gigs myself. I learned how to to my own hair and make up to make sure that I was camera ready. I invested in my own wardrobe, and shoes. As well as studying poses, faces, and you tube videos and blogs of models. All of this paid off for me. Starting out as a model you can not expect for all of this to be taken care of for you and it really will piss of photographers if you have a hour 1/2 or 2 hour shoot booked and you come and it takes you 20-30 minutes to get camera ready. Once I had landed a major deal modeling I was more interested in adult erotic side of it. This once again was when I turned to craigslist to search gigs, Modelmayehm, and sexyjobs.
Some questions you should ask yourself when trying to figure out what to charge a client.
1. What is the client's Budget? (Usually they will sate what they are willing and able to pay)
2. What type of gig is it? (swimsuit, glamour, and artistic nude usually pay higher. But then you get into adult/erotic which can land you the big buxks $$$)
3. How long is the shoot? (quick 1-2 hour shoot, a half day or multiple day shoot)
4. Are there any perks involved (Will they pay for travel, hotel, , meals, are you guaranteed to be published?)
5. What do yo need to provide? ( outfits, do your own hair and make up, props?)
Ultimately the best advice I can offer on this topic is to treat each gig individually and weigh the pros and the cons. Don't be some bougie stuck up model who out prices her self constantly until you have multiple publications and accolades to back that big price tag $$$ up. But also don't low ball yourself and lose money or just settle because you need a gig. Have a balanced between paid and TF. Photographers you work with and are professional with when shooting will become life long friends and resources. When shooting always leave a lasting impression of a professional boss lady!
So, what are your thoughts what do you charge? How do you charge ( by the hour, set price, depends on the shoot? Models what do you think, and photographers what do you think? What prices have you paid to shoot a hot and up and coming model?
Remember do not live and die by what I say. This is based off of life experience.
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