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, October 1, 2011

Why Modeling Pay Rates Aren't Black & White

I'm pretty sure this won't be the last time I speak about this topic but lately I've seen a lot of online questions (not through this blog but elsewhere on the Internet) about how much money models can make. Some of the posters want to know the exact figures and other tedious information that simply isn't that easy to provide.

This isn't going to be the answer most people want to hear but literally the pay rates completely vary from project to project. The final pay rate is influenced by various factors, including but not limited to:
  • The client (is it a local company or a nationally recognized one?)
  • Nature of the project (is it a photoshoot, a fashion show, an editorial, a print ad?)
  • Duration (how long is the model need for...2-4 hours? An entire day? Multiple days?)
  • The budget (not all clients and companies have big bucks to spend in this area)
  • Level of the model's experience (this is especially the case for freelance models) 
  • Location (major markets, such as Los Angeles and New York, compared to smaller, lesser known cities that aren't know for its modeling market)
Even signed models aren't guaranteed to make a black and white, specific pay rate all the time. No two shoots, fashion shows or other modeling related projects are exactly the same. Therefore, neither are the pay rates. Agencies negotiate with clients to secure the highest paid gigs for its models, while freelance models handle the negotiations themselves. In either case, if the pay rate has already been set at the time of the casting then obviously a model will know exactly what he/she will be making for that particular assignment.

Some freelance models can make $100/hour on a shoot or more, while other models may only be able to pull in $25 - $50/hour. That mainly depends on their level of experience and the strength of their portfolio. Agencies working with high caliber clients can easily command a great pay rate for its models, such as a $500-$800 per day or more.

Working for a national client/brand, such as Verizon for example, could easily mean a check with four figures. See how all over the place these pay rates are? Even being located in major market like New York or Los Angeles may not always promise better pay. The upside to being in the middle of the action location-wise is that there is a larger amount of modeling work being offered, which means the higher a model's chances are of submitting and booking fairly consistent work.

My answer from now on to the question: how much can a model expect to be paid? The more work you book, the more money you'll make. Period.

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