Category Archives: Payment and Compensation

YOU’RE ROYALTY, YOUR HIGHNESS

PUT MORE MONEY IN YOUR POCKET 

As a fashion model, there are more ways to get paid than just for your time. Bookings have specific fees, such as terms and usage rights, which can compensate for expenses and add up to more money in your pocket. Terms and usage rights can get very complicated, though. If it’s a photograph, you’ll need to consider things like how long they will be using the images, what they will be using the images for, if it’s print or digital, how many impressions will be made, etc. Terms might be if they will be paying for travel, or what your day rate is. For example, most models have at least a 2 hour minimum and are paid by the hour.

THE GOLDMINE

All these conditions need to be put in writing, which means negotiating with clients and drafting contracts. Years ago I googled “model management contracts” and a website called IndustryContracts.com came up. It was my goldmine. They gave me the option of downloading individual model contracts, or all the artist contracts for not much more. I don’t know what I paid at the time but to me it was chump change after considering the time I’d spent hassling with trying to figure it out on my own. Having dealt with contracts before, I knew how to read them and what to look for. The contracts needed to be tailored to my agency needs and I made sure to read through them thoroughly, but as a precaution, you should always consult a lawyer if you don’t understand something.

THE ALL-INCLUSIVE RATE

Although simple enough, there are other options that may make more sense for you. The stock photography business has helped to simplify the purchase of photos for everyone because they let you pay a single rate for all of the fees, rights, and royalties associated with an image. Some stock photos are royalty-free, because most of the rights, fees and royalties are bought in a single, one-time purchase. Models can book their jobs the same way- one rate with all fees, rights, and royalties lumped into one sum.

PRICELESS

Another option is having the client write up the contract. Often times they do have their own contracts, anyway, and will require you to use theirs. Keep in mind, just because they want you to use their’s, though, doesn’t mean you can’t use your own as well. A great way to use work with a client’s contract is with an addendum, which is an extension of a contract and a way to modify it to fit the needs of both parties. Again, one reason you may want to consult an attorney.

Zkbg3

Advertisements

ARE YOU PREPARED TO MODEL IN YOUR SKIVVIES?

unnamed

Understand that while modeling for Gucci or Prada would be ideal, it is unwise to start at this point. Most high-fashion does not pay because of it’s prestigious place in the industry. Most models trade this work out because looks good in their portfolio. To designers, this is no secret. Gucci and Prada pay well, but the competition is hot. A good way to look at it is the 80/20 rule. Twenty percent of paid bookings are high-fashion and eighty percent  are commercial. Eighty percent of commercial bookings will be paid work and twenty percent of high-fashion bookings will be paid work. Commercial bookings pay a lower dollar amount than high-fashion but the bookings are more frequent. Is it more important for you to work to get paid or is it more important to add more photos to your portfolio (trade-for-print)?

If you’ve developed your portfolio book already, there’s no need for you to continue doing trade unless it’s for a well-known brand and you can get a tear from it. Abercrombie, for example, doesn’t pay their models because they know they have enough people that would be willing to do trade-for-print. Another benefit of TFP is if you have a full portfolio already, but it’s missing a particular look for a market you’re trying to break into. These two examples are great ways for you to receive the images you need and submit yourself to a target client.

Now, you won’t want to consider all paid bookings. What if a company is willing to pay you a fee but their product is intimate apparel? Are you prepared to model in your skivvies? If so, you’ll want to make sure they’re willing to pay a higher rate- your rate for that type of work.

Establish a minimum day and hourly rate that is worth your time. You’ll also want to increase this amount as your time gets more valuable- say, when you start getting a lot of paid bookings. Say you’re day rate is $200 for an 8 hour “day rate”. This would make your hourly rate $25. Most models-and agents- require a minimum number of paid hours in order to accept a booking. You may want require a client to book you for a minimum of 2-4 hours for it to be worth your time. Consider you’ll have to travel, make arrangements in your schedule, and cover expenses, for example. Know where you draw the line before negotiating so you don’t end up regretting it when you accept your next booking.


SELL YOURSELF

Establishing yourself is really just sales- something we all do everyday whether we realize it or not. You sell yourself to your peers, your job, agents, directors. The real reason we sell ourselves to agents is to maximize the opportunity of face time with directors- where we then try to sell ourselves again. This also allows us more time to focus more exclusively on what we do best- model. The problem many models face is that the agents don’t end up getting us as many go-see’s as we’d like, and when they do send us out we have to compete with all the other models they’re sending on the same job.

When agents look for models, they need to maximize their efforts. Therefore, they must make sure that who they decide the market (sell) is versatile and can appeal to most audiences, or at least a large one. When you walk in their door, it’s up to you to prove (sell) this to them- that you fit that mold. Then they arrange some photos of you that  how you can pull off a variety of characters and submit you for any job that comes their way with a description of someone with your general features (blonde hair, blue eyes, 5′ 9″).

Suppose PC Laptops is the client and the only thing separating you from the competition is the lack of a photo of you in a business suit. Chances are you won’t get the booking because the client has to go out of their way to imagine you fitting the role. It’s like an actor who plays the same role year after year and can never get booked for anything else because no one can imagine them in any other role. And then one day you see them in a movie playing a villein instead of a comedian and you like it. Then you begin seeing that person in many more different roles. This is because people no longer have to use their imagination. This is your main job as an independent model- to make it easy for them to imagine you as the perfect fit. This is also something an agent doesn’t go out of their way to do for you because they will make their money whether the client picks you or one  of their other models.

When agents look for models, they need to maximize their efforts. Therefore, they must make sure that who they decide the market (sell) is versatile and can appeal to most audiences, or at least a large one. When you walk in their door, it’s up to you to prove (sell) this to them- that you fit that mold. Then they arrange some photos of you that how you can pull off a variety of characters and submit you for any job that comes their way with a description of someone with your general features (blonde hair, blue eyes, 5′ 9″).

Suppose PC Laptops is the client and the only thing separating you from the competition is the lack of a photo of you in a business suit. Chances are you won’t get the booking because the client has to go out of their way to imagine you fitting the role. It’s like an actor who plays the same role year after year and can never get booked for anything else because no one can imagine them in any other role. And then one day you see them in a movie playing a villein instead of a comedian and you like it. Then you begin seeing that person in many more different roles. This is because people no longer have to use their imagination. This is your main job as an independent model- to make it easy for them to imagine you as the perfect fit. This is also something an agent doesn’t go out of their way to do for you because they will make their money whether the client picks you or one of their other models.

Next week we’ll take this further and talk about choosing your target audience wisely…


Test Shots Can Be Used Like Stock Images

A stock image is an image- photograph, illistration, or otherwise- that can be used for generically for various commercial reasons. Someone who uses a stock image could be a business that needs some brochures with a picture of a woman using a cell phone. The images are sold with various usage rights, including unlimited, exclusive, by how often, or by what type of media, for example. I have even bought stock images for art work in my house. Companies like GettyImages.com compile a number of images to provide the widest variety available to the consumer.

Wiki Defined:

Stock photography is the supply of photographs licensed for specific uses. It is used to fulfill the needs of creative assignments instead of hiring a photographer. Today, stock images can be presented in searchable online databases. They can be purchased and delivered online. Often, they are produced in studios using a wide variety of models posing as professionals, stereotypes, expressing stereotypical emotions and gesticulations or involving pets.

A model can use test shots as if they were stock images. By first targeting the type of client you would like to display in your book, you would then book a photoshoot and do a series of test shots that can be potentially sold to that client. Usually when test shooting, a  model has a few different changes or looks, so you can potentially have 3 or 4 clients you could target. When choosing a client, keep in mind 2 back-up clients to use just in case that client says they don’t want to use the images. Or, maybe you want them to pay you to use them and one client says they will but another won’t- obviously you go with the one who will pay you for your images.