Getting to know the basics of dealing with the other people involved in a photo shoot can be tricky but with these tips you will not be in the dark when it comes time to trade, get paid or do a shoot for free – for exposure. This lesson will go into detail about instances when you should and should not be paid for doing a modeling photo shoot, and what asking price you should start at.
How to know if you should charge for a shoot:
You can ask to be paid when you agree to help a photographer starting out and needing to create a portfolio. Try to be as fair as possible; consider the type of shoot, the amount of creativity that you must come up with. Or is the photographer the one with the vision, needing you to make it tangible? This person is not a professional and should not be asked for hundreds of dollars for a simple glamor or fashion shoot. These should be done for under $100 a set or an hour. It is only fair to ask for compensation for a shoot if you are asked to do some pictures for any kind of advertising or promotions. Normally when you get paid for modeling, the pictures remain the exclusive rights of the person or company who paid you. You can still use the pictures for your portfolio but they must have the owner’s copyrights on them. Permission would be needed to use these photos in any other way. Like I mentioned in a previous lesson: always read your contract carefully.
Depending on your experience level and your photographer’s, you can usually start out asking about $100 a shoot. Nude shoots always pay more than twice of what non-nude shoots pay, and more hardcore shoots can pay a few thousand depending upon the content. Content is what rules the pay scale. Negotiate with a potential buyer about content and price; the more you’re willing to do, the more you should be paid.
How to know if you should do this for free:
The amount you should get paid for a modeling shoot is different from shoot to shoot and photographer to photographer. Some photographers will only accept paid shoots them self, which means that they will only do a shoot with you if you pay them for their professional time (ranging from $50 an hour up to several hundred dollars to do a series of sets). This is because the photographer probably already has a full portfolio as well as a name for them self in the industry and probably has connections. Don’t rule out paying for a photographer – they usually do exemplary work. A new model with a portfolio of high quality pictures from an experienced photographer is more likely to get a paid shoot than a model with pictures from a photographer just starting out. Quality does come with experience.
How to trade services:
This is typically called a “tfp” (trade for portfolio) shoot. Trading can be done in a few separate instances. A trade is made when both the photographer and the model need to update their portfolios. Updating your portfolio regularly is a very smart thing to do – the portfolio acts like a job resume. You want all of your experiences, especially anything new, included in this so that your range and limits are accounted for. A trade can also be made if you need to do a shoot for something like a website, magazine, advertisement or anything and you can find a photographer who needs to do some pictures for another website, magazine or whatever. You can do the shoot he or she needs in trade for the pictures that you need.