Should Models Pay Photographers?

Should
models pay photographers? Or the other way around?  I know it’s a little bit cliché but let’s
take into account the different ideas and opinions when it comes to the premise
of WHO SHOULD PAY WHAT? in the modeling
arena. Working as a freelance model or photographer in the artistic industry
implies running your own business and establishing your name as your brand. We
have to admit that both model and photographer need an effective portfolio or
book that shows their photos and works respectively.  After all, 
we are talking about advertising images produced for a purpose. When the
issue involves a sense of entitlement on both sides, basically, it is said that
the one who needs the other should pay (or pay more). If both need one another
equally, then they should collaborate for mutual benefit.

There
are some instances where the model pays the photographer especially when the
former is building or updating a portfolio and the latter has to do all the
work - from the photoshoot setup, taking photos in different angles, retouching
the photos to printing them. In cases like such, it is just ideal that
photographers are paid.  An updated photo
from time to time is needed particularly when a young model is growing.
Further, let’s take into consideration that a photographer has taken years of
attending workshops and various learning in order to get professionally taken
photos. Also, some photographers join memberships to various groups,
associations, club and longer hours spent in Photoshop and Lightroom. Furthermore,
a model who needs pictures to update her subscription site needs to pay a
qualified photographer to shoot sets. Here, the model becomes the client. Plus,
the cost depends on the photographer’s experience level.

On
the other side of the coin, there are also circumstances when photographers pay
models for a photoshoot for a personal project such as a gallery show or a
book. In this case, the photographer becomes the client. There are other
reasons to pay for a shoot. When a photographer needs the shots for something
specific and have certain qualifications, like exclusive content and the other
person cannot use them, even for their portfolio and sometimes there are just
people that a photographer wants to shoot that adds credibility to his/her own
portfolio.

Meanwhile,
it is also conventional for an aspiring model who signs with an agency to pay
for a test shoot. He/she will pay around $400-$1000 depending on the audience
or market. The expenses are incurred by the model, and not the agency itself.
Albeit there are instances when the agency may front the money and compensate
it afterwards from the model’s earnings but such is just considered as one of
the exceptions to the general rule. In any other cases, a model may be able to
find an agency qualified and approved photographer to test for free if he/she
has a mien that the photographer needs. In the sphere of agency testing,
qualified test photographer does not necessarily have to pay models which
means, such photographer seldom pays for the model’s fee as they have numerous
of models to choose from.

Some
models and photographers consider applying the free tests setup. These tests
refer to photoshoots for the purposes of self-promotion and portfolio use. A
free test is basically taking advantage of a situation. Because a model’s
portfolio needs to show a great deal of variety, showing all kinds of images
and the potentials of the model, only 2–4 images from the same free photoshoot
will be utilized to start a listing, hence, free tests may be reckoned. The
idea behind testing is that, it is a trade between two professionals. The model
gives his/her time in exchange for the photographer’s time. Time-for-prints is
an up to date alternative, but much more common today, where in addition to the
efforts/skill of the photographer, the model gets some prints. It deems fair if
both parties are amenable.

From
a personal perspective, both aspiring model and photographer must need to build
up their portfolio first, and the ideal way to start is by shooting trade. It’s
a win-win situation. The idea is this, the model gets photos for his/her
portfolio while the photographer gets photos for his/her book, and everybody
wins. There will be no charge to the model as he/she is also being paired with
the photographer who is also building a portfolio- it’s a mutually beneficial
experience and quite a usual practice. Some of the great upsides in doing a
trade shoot are: both parties get to shoot something they want to do; they can
expand their abilities by trying something new; they get a chance to work with
someone they might not normally work with; and both parties can get some new
and updated shots for their respective portfolios and have fun. It is really a
two-way street and the respect must come both ways. When either the model or
photographer hits the plateau or ceiling then that will be the time when either
of them has to apply one of the ways to break through the situation, and that
is to setup a paid shoot. Models and photographers should meet halfway for a
harmonious work relationship. As what as Alfred 
Eisenstaedt said, It is more important
to click with people than to click the shutter.

So,
do you have any experience related to this blog post?  What was the arrangement?  How was the agreed
setup?



Modeling Fees & Start Up Cost

Modeling Fees, Expenses & Start-Up Costs


One of the areas that can create the most confusion for new models is the area of fees, expenses, and start-up costs. There is a lot of hype and misinformation, particularly online and in modeling forums, surrounding modeling expenses and what a model should and shouldn’t pay for, which can bewilder a new model to the point of giving up and never pursuing their dream. 

You’ve probably heard the phrase “If an agency likes me it will pay for everything.” In actuality, this couldn’t be farther from the truth.When you are signed to an contract you are considered an independent contractor. You are not an employee, but rather your services as a model are contracted by the clients. Essentially, you are a sole-proprietor of your own business.Therefore, all the expenses incurred will be your responsibility. Having said that, there are instances where you may be advanced some of these expenses to get you started. Once you start booking jobs the company will deduct what is owed to them from your account.Even after you start working and booking lots of jobs, you just like all the models will have ongoing expenses such as new photo shoots, prints for your book, couriers, agency website fees, agency commissions, travel expenses, etc. But, it’s likely these will be small expenses in relation to the income you will be earning, plus your business expenses will be tax deductible.That income that a model earns can vary depending on the type of jobs, the market in which the client or model is based, and the model’s level of experience. Another factor that can comes into play is how the client intends to use the images or in which the model is appearing. 

For example, are the images appearing locally, nationally or internationally? How long does the client wish to use the photos, is it for a few months or indefinitely? The more “usage” the client wants the more the model is paid. In general, models can expect to earn per hour for the amount of time you are on set with usage and also buyout fees ranging from a few hundred to tens of thousands of dollars. We at C1Model Management call the buy out picture licensing which can be another source of income.

Also, when it comes to modeling start-up fees and expenses it’s important to keep in mind that every model, manager, and agency is different. If you asked 100 successful models how they got started, you’d likely get 100 different stories. Some may have had certain advantages, but most of them probably did not and they worked very hard to get where they are. 

We’ve seen thousands of aspiring models who’ve had real potential to be stars, but they never fulfilled their true potential because they were stuck in the belief that someone else should pay for their career. Maybe it was really the fear of success holding them back and they were using the small financial investment as an excuse - We’ll never know. So keep this in mind, you will always make a few hundred bucks back here and there from modeling but you will never be able to get back the opportunity of a lifetime if you let it slip by.  


Should I Own The Copyrights to My Images

As soon as a photographer clicks the shutter, they own
the copyrights to that image. This is true with anyone who creates a
photograph. Even your iPhone selfies fall under the copyright law. The best way
to transfer a copyright is in writing. This is because when you pay a
photographer to create images for you, the copyright doesn’t automatically
transfer with the purchase.

So Should You Own The Copyrights? 

This is a big issue in the photography community. Many photographers won’t give up their photographers copyright they will loses the opportunity to make future income from the photograph, and, in some cases, forfeits the right to show the images in their portfolio. However, for the photo buyer, the general rule is if you don’t plan to resell the image, there is no need to pay extra to own the photograph copyright. If you do require copyright ownership, photographers often charge another 50%-100% for their work, provided they are willing to sell. For your safety, make sure you have in writing, what you can use the photographs for and for how long you can use them. 

Make sure that the photographer estimates and the contract fits your
short and long term needs. If you don’t know, you can request unlimited use of
the images. Most photographers are willing to negotiate, so assume that they
are and approach the photographer accordingly. If you don’t want your
photographs used for stock photography, you may request the images not be
reused or sold. Photographers create additional income from their photographs,
so there may be a fee for such requests.


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