There is more to the modeling world than the media lets on. If you want to find out what it really takes and how to manage your modeling career, then you've come to the right place! This blog is dedicated to the aspiring and already established models who live to defy the standards and stereotypes in order to make a place for themselves in this crazy industry.

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Sunday, December 25, 2011

Freelance Modeling: Pros & Cons

There are always pros and cons when it comes to many things in life. Opting to become a freelance model is one of them. Because this route is not for everyone, it's important to look at a list of notable pros and cons, which can help a person decide if this is a step in the right direction for them. There are definitely more that can be added to the list but I wanted to keep things fairly simple but may add more to each list over time.

Freelance Modeling Pros:
  • Make your own schedule: Freelance models act as their own agency representation so you get to pick and choose when and what types of castings to attend. This is ideal for people with part-time or full-time jobs.
  • Choose your own clients: Being able to select who you want to work with is yet another type of freedom that freelancers enjoy.
  • Negotiate/set your own rates: Unless the budget/rate is already set by the client, freelance models have the opportunity to either negotiate the possible rate or state the amount they would prefer to make, should a client want to hire them.
  • Work as much or as little as you want: Because freelance models make their own schedules, they can decide how much work they can (or want) to take on. 
  • Flexibility with pursuing different types of modeling: Agencies tend to make it very clear what types of modeling work they will and will not book for their signed models. However, freelancers have the flexibility to market themselves towards as many modeling categories as they want.
  • No agency commissions to pay from each gig: Perhaps the greatest perk of being a freelancer is the fact that you don't have to pay anybody commission--you take home everything you make at the end of the day.
 Freelance Modeling Cons:
  • More prone to dealing with shady individuals/companies: There are some clients (not all) that target freelance models to hire because they know it's more likely that the model in particular may be easier to scam or take advantage of. With no agency to serve as a filter/protection, freelance models work with clients at their own risk.
  • Harder to command high pay rates: One of the main reasons why clients work with freelance models is because they don't have huge budgets to afford agency represented models and commission fees. It isn't uncommon for freelance models to work on projects that are offering very low to moderate pay rates. 
  • Often have to settle for little to no pay for gigs: Similar to the item listed above, freelancers aren't as likely to secure the same caliber of high paying gigs as models with agencies and may have to resort to accepting whatever pay is available or settling for no pay in exchange for images.
  • Difficult to find consistent work: Finding work on your own is difficult, especially if you don't have a network of industry professionals to help you. Even the most diligent freelancers won't catch wind of every modeling assignment/gig being cast.
  • Responsible for marketing yourself, finding gigs and doing your own payroll: Being a freelance model means doing 100% of the work and then some. Agencies help models with their first test shoot to put together their headshot, comp/zed card and portfolio but this is not a luxury available to freelancers. Models representing themselves have to hire photographers, get their images printed and put together their own portfolios, headshots and comp/zed cards. Additionally, it's your responsibility to make sure you get paid by the clients, which sometimes requires tracking down people that may be slow in paying you or may have not paid you at all as promised. These types of issues come with the territory for freelancing.


katie j. said...

Hi Dania, you mention model mayhem a lot on your blog. Can you tell of other websites besides model mayhem that I could use. I need to find a photographer to do some test shoots and I am more than willing to test for free I just want to gain experience in front of the camera. the reason I ask is because I was rejected from model mayhem and I want to find other ways to make things happen with or without an agency. Also one more thing do you know of commercial print/lifestyle agencies in N.Y. I plan on moving to N.Y. in February.

Dania Denise said...

Hi, Katie J! You'll find the answers to your questions in its own post, titled "Answering a Reader Question #274." Thanks!

Lakeshia Edmond said...

Thank you