in the modeling industry
the business of modeling
This section is for modeling
portfolio and commercial photographers looking to work with independent
models in the modeling industry. For models whom are looking
for information about how
to deal with photographers in the modeling industry,
click the link.
This is a brand-new section
on Independent Modeling, and it is for photographers in the modeling industry
who wish to work with independent models. Wether you are a modeling portfolio
photographer, a commercial photographer, or both, this section is for
Since this section is brand-new, it’s starting out small. It will
be expanded to a massive part of the site in the future as support content,
resources, and tools for photographers in the modeling industry are added.
Independent Modeling intends to support photographers in the modeling
industry, especially independent freelance professional photographers,
just as much as we will support the models!
Although this is for independent photographers in the industry, or photographers
who are not directly affiliated with any modeling and talent agencies,
agency-represented photographers are welcome to utilize our site. Just
keep in mind that models will be leery of agency-affiliated photographers,
as there is the potential for a conflict of interest, or even a photo-mill
scam, with photographers whom are affiliated with agencies. We would recommend
that you play down any agency affiliations, especially as independent
models don’t give agencies any priority. Independent models are
not dependent upon any agency to find and book work, and neither should
you. A modeling and talent agency is a middleman in the industry, and
nothing more; they no longer call the shots in the industry, nor should
they ever have been allowed to in the past.
and booking models without going through a modeling agency
Modeling and talent agencies will tell photographers in the modeling industry
that they need them to screen models for them, and that independent models
are less reliable and professional than “real” models whom
are agency-represented. Don’t fall for this lie! Although there
is a certain level of accountability which comes from agency-represented
models, you do not have to depend upon agencies, nor do you have to go
through an agency, to find and work with professional models. There are
ways to minimize the risk when it comes to working with independent models,
and you can find out more about this by using our Risk
Analysis System when evaluating models for potential
work and collaboration with you.
We strongly recommend that you pay independent, freelance models the full
rates that you would pay an agency-referred model. The reason for this
is that they are not any less of a professional model, and deserve full
rates. They are also less expensive to work with, even paying full-rates,
because you do not have to pay agency fees! The models, too, also save
by not having to pay agency fees!
conflicts of interest with your photography career
If you are a commercial photographer who also does modeling portfolio
photography, please be careful about conflicts of interest. We instruct
models not to buy anything from anyone advertising a modeling job. If
you are offering a modeling job, do not require models to buy anything
from you in order to be considered for the job. Many modeling
job scams operate this way, and it is highly unethical
and unprofessional. It is also fraud, which is a crime, because it is
a deceptive trade practice. Even if you guarantee that the model will
get the job after buying services from you, which would keep the arrangement
from being fraud, it is still highly unethical to do business this way.
A way to keep these types of photography from being conflict of interest
would be to ensure that the models will be considered for the job with
no obligation to buy anything from you, and in this case, it would be
fine to let them know that you also offer modeling portfolio photography
services. Just don’t make it a requirement that they buy anything
You are ethical and professional, right? Keep it clean, please, unless
you want models calling you a scam.
Another thought would be that the target markets for both types of models
are different, and any model who is qualified to work your modeling job
would not be in the market for a modeling portfolio, as they would already
have one. This is another reason that any legitimate photographer would
not try to get professional models who are in consideration for a modeling
job to buy any services. A new or aspiring model who is in the market
for a modeling portfolio should not be attempting to be considered for
a modeling job, at any rate, because they are not qualified. Additionally,
models who do not invest in a portfolio cannot demonstrate relevant experience
or reliability, which makes them to risky to consider. In this case, it
is appropriate to turn them down, and let them know that you cannot consider
them until they have a professional portfolio or composite cards. This
said, don’t try to then sell them a modeling portfolio! You can
let them know that you offer those services, but leave it at that, and
also make sure that you clarify that they are not obligated to buy anything
from you in order to be considered for any job! If you advertise a modeling
job and then try to sell models services, you are risking your professional
reputation, as it is unethical and a conflict of interest to do so. Models
who have the perception that you are using deceptive trade practices,
using job offers to bait models so that you can sell them services, will
think that you are a scam, and will never work with you. Also, work will
spread, and your reputation in the industry will suffer!
Also, any photographer posting a job offer in our job board and then tries
to get the models whom respond to buy something will be removed from our
job board, and banned from using it.
The entire point, if you are a commercial photographer in need of professional
models, is to work with professional models. Be honest about what you
are doing, communicate with models effectively, do good work with those
models, and you will continue to be significant in the modeling industry.
high-risk work in modeling portfolios
If you are a modeling portfolio photographer, you main priority is to
make your models clients as marketable as possible (see high-risk
models). Be professional and ethical, and give your
model clients the best value in their modeling portfolios. Their portfolios
have to be relevant! Resist the temptation to do “sexy” pictures
of models, and avoid glamour, boudoir, lingerie, skimpy bikinis, and photographing
models in provocative, inappropriate poses. If you must do high-risk modeling
photography (which would be for professional models only, and only when
they are aware of, and accept, the risks to their career; we are talking
about professional models whom specialize in high-risk modeling work!),
keep it tasteful.
If you wish to disregard this warning, that’s fine, but realize
that you will lose work, and that your models will not be able to compete
with models who have more relevant, appropriate portfolios. When those
models of yours lose work to other models, and realize that it is because
their portfolio conflicts with what the modeling jobs deem acceptable,
it will come back to bite you. A good modeling portfolio photographer
has the main responsibility of making their model clients as marketable
as possible, as that it the point of investing in a modeling portfolio
to begin with! You do want your model clients to get work with your portfolio,
Think about it: If you are a business, would you want to book a model
who has work out there which directly conflicts with your marketing image
and what you wish to convey to your target market? We did not think so.
Any business which takes such risks also take the risk of alienating their
customers, and will not stay in business.
EXPERIENCED PROFESSIONALS ONLY!
We are not saying that high-risk modeling work and photography is not
legitimate, however. It’s just that, professionally, it is a mine
field, and you really have to know what you are doing. You have to comprehend
and accept the risks and the limitations. You have to be able to navigate
the pitfalls and make it the most that it can be.
Think that anyone who is new can pull that off? They can’t! That’s
why so many glamour and boudoir photographers ruin the careers of models!
Also, doing such work can conflict with your marketability as a modeling
portfolio photographer, and actually handicap your ability to book modeling
portfolio photography work! Most models who are in the market for a modeling
portfolio are new models who are also underage, and their parents pay
for those portfolios. Think that any parent will be insane enough to book
a glamour photographer to do their teen daughter’s modeling portfolio?
This is why so many idiot photographers, most of whom think with the wrong
head, find it difficult to book work, and they bring it upon themselves.
If you show in your portfolio that you do not know what is appropriate,
and relevant, for modeling portfolio photography, your credibility will
be in question, and you will not be able to compete with modeling portfolio
photographers who are smart enough to avoid that mistake.
Only attempt high-risk work if you know what you are doing, and if you
wish to specialize in it.
paid what you are worth.
Know what fair photography rates for your market are. Don’t be that
photographer who tries to get shoots by being the lowest cost; the discount
photographer will find that, when they do book work, that they will be
working for peanuts, and that perceived value comes into play and their
work will not be respected. Sell on value and not low rates, as you throw
away money by doing that, AND if your rates are too low, your credibility
will be in question, and it will actually be more difficult to book work.
Clients whom book on the lowest rates don’t know what they are doing,
either, and these budget clients are the ones whom tend to make the shoot
harder than it should be by being nit-picky and giving you a hard time,
which further reduces your profit margin by making the job less cost-effective.
Just think, budget photographers - the professional photographers whom
you are trying to compete against, the ones who actually know what fair,
relevant rates are, and how to market their services on value, are not
only booking a lot more work than you are, are also making two or more
times what you make, with clients whom are easy to work with.
This weeds out the market, at any rate, because knowing this is enough
to discourage the amateurs from continuing!
You can find and book models into you commercial photography work without
going through a modeling and talent agency, and without paying agency
fees. For more on how to do this, please check out the Risk
If you wish to work with models as a modeling portfolio photographer,
you need to know what you are doing, and need to know the modeling industry.
Also keep in mind that you may wish to remain unaffiliated with modeling
and talent agencies.
Copyright 2013 Independent Modeling, Aurora PhotoArts. All rights reserved.