A Model Should Not Expect to Be Paid Because…

1 Feb

First off, for those of you who don’t understand sarcasm, this article is meant to be taken half sarcastically while still being as truthful as possible. Obviously there are exceptions. 

As a model who takes what I do as a model very seriously, it gets a teeny bit frustrating seeing new models pop up who think they should be paid at the drop of a hat just for saying they are a model and getting some photos taken. I have spent hours studying poses, invested in taking care of myself more than I would have otherwise, stayed out of the sun to keep my skin pretty, taken a very uncommon interest in my pubic hair’s appearance, spent hours upon hours networking and making connections, done at least 100 shoots, and spent a lot of my time preparing for and planning shoots. And you know what? I still don’t demand to be paid every time I shoot.

I’ve seen tons of girls (sorry, but it is usually girls I see, so I’m going to refer to models as feminine for this article) who whine and moan and carry on because they aren’t getting paid. Or because they think they should get paid but something is horribly wrong with the world and they aren’t. And so here I am to tell you some reasons why you shouldn’t expect to be paid as a model.

1. Just because you are willing to get naked.
It is more common for you average freelance model to be paid for being nude if she isn’t agency/fashion stats if she gets nude. That is true, but you still need to have some idea of how to pose and have a decent look. If you’re covered in 20 tattoos that don’t match or if you don’t take care of your skin and you went sunbathing and now you’re red and peeling or if you can’t pose to save your life or if you’re really uneasy about being seen naked… you probably shouldn’t expect to be paid for nude modeling. If you take pretty good care of yourself and you feel pretty comfortable in your skin, you can probably eventually get paid for nude modeling if you learn the poses and develop a decent portfolio.

2. Because you slap some rates on your profile.
Just because you demand a certain rate does not mean you are going to get paid that rate. And just because you see some other model post a rate on her profile doesn’t mean she’s actually making that rate. Your rates should be based on your market, what others in your area are charging, and what the budget of those hiring you is. Your rates should not be based on you wanting a new car or a vacation at the beach or something.

3. Because you are pretty/beautiful/gorgeous.
Contrary to the very misguided though somehow popular belief, modeling isn’t about standing around and looking pretty. Modeling is about having the right look and knowing how to pose/emote/express. You may be the prettiest girl in your town, but you probably can’t be a fashion model if you’re only 5 feet tall. Similarly, if you all you do is stand there and flash a smile to the camera, you aren’t likely to get really far. You need to know what angles and poses work for your body. You need to know what styles your look, stats and body type are suited for.

4. Because you’ve decided this is your job.
You can’t just wake up one day and magically decide, “Hmm, I think modeling is going to be my job now because I’m a model.” Modeling is just like any other job. You have to have skills and, in the case of modeling, you also have to have a marketable look. Models who model as a full time job have to put a ton of time and effort in modeling. Most of them travel a lot and don’t really get a lot of downtime. Just like any other job you can’t just walk into a business or whatever and say “I want to be a ________, now hire me.”

Again, this article is meant to be truthful, but also taken as sarcastic. And yes, your results may vary and there are exceptions to every rule.

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