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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Saturday, November 30, 2013

How Models Get Paid

A lot of people do modeling just for the fun of it and/or for the perks (free clothes/products, store credit, etc.) but another upside to this career choice is getting paid.

But not everyone understands or knows the process of how models get paid for their time...well, that's what this post is all about!

There are several different methods of payment for modeling. The method used all depends on the situation. For example, freelance models won't necessarily get their money the same way an agency represented model would. Here's more info on common methods of payment most models can expect to deal with:

Agency Represented Models

Modeling agencies are in charge of a number of things related to a model's career and development. That includes getting paid. Not only do agencies have the power to negotiate pay rates, they also deal with the payroll process (for you younger newbies that aren't familiar with this term, it's basically the business way of handling how a person or company gets paid for work they've done).

In most instances, after a model has performed the work they were hired to do, the client is then responsible for jump starting the payroll process. This can happen one of two ways:

1) The model provides the client with a blank voucher to fill out on the day they appear for work. Payment vouchers are given to models by their agents (it is always a good idea for models to have several blank vouchers handy so they don't have to constantly bug their agency for new ones). After the client has filled out all of the info on the voucher, they'll take their copy to keep for their records and the model will receive the remaining copies, which they must turn in to their agent.

2) The model won't need to provide a blank voucher for the client to fill out because the agency will directly bill them. In this case, the model doesn't have to do anything except show up for work.

So what happens after the voucher has been turned in to the agency or after the client has been billed directly? Now it's the waiting game. It is important for aspiring models (male and female of all ages) to understand that getting paid for agency booked gigs doesn't happen right away. In fact, it can take quite a while.

Virtually all modeling contracts have some type of clause that explains that payment for work done could take anywhere from 30-90 days. By signing the contract, models are basically stating that they understand it can take a long time to get paid. So if a model has a freak out moment because they want their money, they can't really make a big stink because they signed a contract acknowledging that they were aware that this could happen. Now if it's a bigger dispute where it's been well over 90 days, that's a different thing but this post is dealing with payment as it relates to the normal process when everything goes as it should.

After the client has been invoiced, they'll start the payroll process and a check will then be written and sent to the agency. The agent then takes their commission and will mail a check for the remaining amount to the model.

Same-day payment for agency booked gigs are rare. If you find yourself in a situation where you get a check after you're done working, do not go straight to the bank to deposit or cash it. Contact your agent first and ask what you should do.

Freelance Models

Since freelance models act as their own agent, the good news is that they get to keep 100% of any money they earn--no commissions!

Because of this, the methods for payment are much more flexible. The biggest perk is same-day pay. Unlike gigs booked through an agent, clients who work with freelance models are often more than happy to hand over cash or a check after the model's job has been completed.

If same-day pay isn't an option, then the model will need to provide an invoice to the client so that they can get the payroll process going and cut a check that will be mailed directly to the model. Sometimes the client may have a blank invoice template that they want the model to use, while others don't care what type of invoice document they receive.

You can find blank invoices online or you can choose to create your own. For more info about using invoices for freelance modeling purposes, visit the following link to my blog post that talks about this topic in greater detail:

Modeling Invoices

Receiving payment as a freelance model typically doesn't take as long as the 30-90 day time frame that comes with agency booked work. It's normal to get payment within a few days or a few weeks. Usually it doesn't take longer than one month in most instances. Because of the digital age we live in, clients may even offer models the option of getting paid through a site like PayPal or via electronic deposit.

Do you have an agent but also freelance on the side? Then you'll want the client to deal with you directly for everything, including payment. Clients who work with freelance models who also have agents tend to know the deal and won't contact the agency for any reason, since they know the model is operating on their own for that particular assignment.


Julia said...

Hi Dania! First of all great blog! I am a 21 year old (most guess around 17 when I'm all natural though) Swedish girl who are 5"7 tall. My entire life I've been told I should really try to become a model and that I don't look like "the others" (this applies to both friends, relatives, strangers and professionals). I have also been scouted on the streets by a few photographers. The reason why I've never started is mainly because I've never thought it possible with my height and also because of the industry it self. Now being a little bit older I've started to change my mind, but am now instead afraid that it's getting too late for me. What do you think?

Dania Denise said...

Hi, Julia! You'll find the answer to your questions in its own post, titled "Answering a Reader Question #688," which can be found on my other blog: "Modeling 101 - Answering Readers Questions."

Please visit this link: http://amodelsdiary-readerquestions.blogspot.com/ and you can view your post there. Thanks for reading!

Michelle said...

Hi Dania,

I've been debating this recently and I'm wondering what you think. Since Miami is a seasonal market, what times of the year would an aspiring model have the best chance at getting signed? Or how early before the season are agencies interested in new models/how late DURING the season is too late. I know timing is everything!! ;)

Looking forward to reading your thoughts!

Dania Denise said...

Hi, Michelle! You'll find the answer to your questions in its own post, titled "Answering a Reader Question #691," which can be found on my other blog: "Modeling 101 - Answering Readers Questions."

Please visit this link: http://amodelsdiary-readerquestions.blogspot.com/ and you can view your post there. Thanks for reading!