PHOTOGRAPHY AND MODEL FEES
Someone Should Be Paid
Photographers are paid for the production of digital
image files, digital video files, and printed media. In
addition, the Photographer is paid for time performing
Photography Services. In addition, the Photographer is
paid for his expertise and artistic signature in the genre
that is captured. In addition, the Photographer is paid for
investment in equipment required for the production of
his output. In addition, the Photographer is paid for any
and all time spent editing digital media files.
Models are paid for their Modeling time. In addition, the
Model is paid for expertise and artistic signature in the
investment in wardrobe and accessories utilized in
Modeling. In addition, the Model is paid for
beautification or image preparations including hair,
makeup, physical body shaping and all other activity
performed to deliver the Model's Signature Look or the
Requested Look. The Model is also paid for training
and experience in the specific genre.
Someone must desire the output or else there is not a
good reason for producing it. In many cases, it is the
Photographer or the Model or Both Parties that desire
the output. In many cases a Third Party desires the
Modeling Output should be prepared to pay for the
output. In many cases, a Third Party that desires the
output will claim a Promotional Credit to offset the
required payment for Photography and Modeling. It is a
very complicated situation, particularly when all parties
pretend to have little desire for the output, until
someone else pays for it.
Heaven On Earth is when a Third Party that desires the Media Output is willing and able to pay a Fee to the
Photographer that will adequately compensate the Photographer, Model, and any and all other required Service
Providers. These Heavenly Third Party Clients include Publications, Brands, Commercial Establishments, Advertisers,
Photographers are in an advantageous position of outright ownership of Media Output, unless the Photographer has
made a foolish deal to the contrary. Models often are confused about the type of dealing that is required to provide the
they are not authorized to sell anything. In addition, Models are not capable of authorizing the copying of the
Photographer's Output, unless the Photographer has granted the Model a Full Copyright in the Output Media.
Penalties for violations of Copyrights are very easily valued at $25,000.00 per violation (Print), and much more, and
No Model can afford to pay at that level. Publications and Brands that have fairly deep pockets are fully aware that
they need to have a Copyright from the Photographer of Record to avoid bankruptcy. In addition, Models are in an
advantageous position of ownership of the Right to Display her Image. Models are called upon to issue Release
Statements that give others (Photographers) the Right to Use Images of Her. A prudent Model will understand that the
Conditions of Release offer opportunities for Negotiation and Controlling the future use of Her Image. Most Model
Release Statements that I draft are simple and are very specific about the degree of nudity that may be displayed, but
very general on all other aspects of the use of the Images of the Model. Models may certainly add terms that further
restrict the use of Her Images. Photographers, on the other hand may make Release of Images a priority for starting a
photo shoot. A prudent Photographer will not participate in a photo shoot prior to having Full Release of Model
Images, in the Genre Desired! No Release, No Shoot!
The Photographer is paid, when the Photographic Output exceeds the quality of the Model's Portfolio. The Model is
paid, when the quality of the Model exceeds that of all Models in the Photographer's Portfolio. Those rules should be
applied always. Reality is never that simple. Photographers will be convinced that their output is superb and Models is
also helpful to keep sight of who exactly has requested service from the other party. The requester should also be the
party that pays.
Casting calls are helpful in determining who should be paid for performance of services. Casting calls for Models can
specifically offer payment to a Selected Model. The Selected Model should not demand more compensation than what
is indicated in the call that she responds to. Models may publish casting calls for Photographers too. Certainly, the
Photographer should not demand more compensation than what is indicated in the call that he responds to.
In some cases, both Photographer and Model are interested in the Photographic output. Both parties are hopeful that
after sincere efforts and attention to detail and perfection that improvement over previous renditions occur. In these
cases, Models and Photographers are practicing and collaborating. Both Model and Photographer receive benefit from
the project in the form of experience. In these cases, Models and Photographers should share the output and the cost
of producing it.
In other cases the Photographer or the Model directly advertise their services for a stated fee or compensation. Just
like the casting call, the responder should be prepared to compensate the advertiser in accordance with the stated
rate or fee structure. A Photographer may offer services as $250 Sitting Fee for 3 Looks, plus editing, plus printing. A
Model may offer services as Swimwear Shooting at $95.00 per hour, plus 5 pictures per set delivered electronically.
Photographers and Models should respect the offer of the other party or negotiate with respect to a mutually
Finally, Photographers and Models should act as Independent Contractors involved in a Professional Engagement.
Human Sexuality is a dominant industry theme, but it is not a part of Photography or Modeling with the exception of
pornography. That said, I find nothing wrong with Photographers and Models involvement in Human Sexuality. It is
simply Not Professional, but Personal. It becomes problematic when the premise for Sex is inserted into the
Professional Engagement. Models are very typically targeted by industry professionals and they are very typically
when Photographers and Models perform outside of certain Professional Boundaries. Let me itemize a few examples:
1. Travel Expenses – Independent Contractors pay their own travel costs and they include travel in their fee
calculations. Photography does not include Model Travel Costs. Models should not request that Photographers pay
their personal expenses, ever!
2. The Look – The Independent Model Contractor is responsible for how she looks. Photography does not include
painting finger nails, styling hair, applying make up, or providing wardrobe. When a Photographer pays for any of
these items, he is paying the Model over and above her fee. I have a personal limit, in that I maintain a Modeling
Wardrobe to avoid setting up a photo shoot and having a Model show up with substandard costumes and outfits and
wasting everyone’s time. I give clothing items to the Model after she shoots in them and I understand that to be a
benefit to the Model in addition to any fee that is paid. This clothing gift does not entitle a Photographer to Sexual
3. Physical Contact – Photographers Record Light. There is scarcely a reason for a Photographer to touch a
Model during a photo shoot. Similarly there is scarcely a reason for a Model to touch a Photographer during a photo
shoot. During my last shoot, I recall assisting a model physically, by gathering and holding out her long, wet, faux hair
as she adjusted the straps on a bikini top behind her neck. I would request permission to touch a Model’s shoe, to
move her foot 2 inches to the left if verbal communications were not working. Models should not touch Photographers
during photo shoots or do things like sitting on his lap to review pictures, grabbing him, or flashing private parts
outside of the scope of the shoot. Most Photographers and Models will express endearment with a hug and cheek kiss,
upon meeting, or upon departure. These types of gestures should be avoided or limited.
4. Sexual Payments – The payment of fees for Photography and Modeling, with Sexual Acts should strictly be
avoided. This severely complicates the professional relationship.
5. Sexual Favors - Photographers and Publications are notorious for guarantying Model desires based on the
performance of Sexual Favors. Certainly, the performance of oral sex for submission to a magazine or for guarantying
a feature or cover, is strictly Not Professional. In very few cases can the recipient of the Sexual Act truly guaranty the
Model’s desired result!
6. Sexual Assumptions – When Models are paid higher dollar amounts for photo shoots, many Photographers will
assume that sex is included with the Model Fee. Alternately, Models will voluntarily offer Sex to increase the Model
Fee. In other cases, the Model will offer Sex for additional payment in the form of a tip.
7. Traveling Models – Some Models are successful at going on the road and working with many, many
Photographers. They charge hourly fees for their very professional modeling and highly appealing attractiveness.
These Models are always the party that gets paid. It is very true that these Models are nearly always required to shoot
full nudity. In many cases, with the high hourly fee charged for their Modeling Services, Photographers assume that
Sexual Favors are included with the Fee. If not, Photographers assume that Sexual Favors are available for an
additional Fee! Certainly, Sexual Favors are NOT included with Professional Modeling Fees. However, Reality does
step into the situation. When the Model travels to any location, away from her home (if she has one), and she does
not get enough paid engagements to maintain her lifestyle, pay for a rental car, pay for a hotel room, pay for food, pay
for beauty products and services, pay for a flight to her next destination, …, etc., she finds herself in fairly desperate
situations. It is at this point that the Model begins to compromise and become vulnerable. The Model will find herself
charging lower fees to increase the number of engagements, accepting engagements that are beneath her level with
photographers that are sub-standard, accepting engagements when payment is less than guaranteed, tempted to
sleep at shoot locations to save on boarding costs a for night, accepting Photographer’s and other’s offers for
sleeping accommodations, open to offers of Sexual Favors for food, boarding, and money to make ends meet,
frustrated and open to offers of drugs and alcohol which can become addictive. These Models carry Mace, knives, and
pistols for personal protection, which is required because she almost exclusively shoots with Photographers that she
does not know and has no reason to trust. I highly recommend that Models steer very clear of this type of approach to
Modeling and that they work with no more than 5 very trusted and talented Photographers on a regular basis.
Certainly the Model should be open to other opportunities at any worldwide location, but extreme caution should be
observed whenever a Model works with New People! It is better if the Model is Regional and she only travels to very
well known places, that she travels with her own car, and also that she travels with a companion.
8. Alcohol and Drugs – Throughout our lives, we become accustomed to enhancements in our human perceptions
that can occur while under the influence of narcotic drugs. I definitely have different moods while under the influence
and I find nothing wrong with sipping rum from my flask during a photo shoot. Models, however, may feel
uncomfortable with the thought of a Photographer drinking or doing drugs during a photo shoot. Models, on the other
hand, may also experience different moods while under the influence. In some cases, I may have access, and the
ability to play mood music during a photo shoot that can sometimes enhance the atmosphere for the photo shoot.
Extreme caution is suggested for these cases and I recommend that Alcohol and Drugs be consumed only with the
approval of the other party. I have had Models ask me to confirm that it was OK for them to smoke or drink during a
photo shoot. While I cannot be responsible for a Model’s use of illegal drugs, I have no objection to moderate use, if
the model maintains professionalism.
9. Other Food and Treats – Some photo shoots last for over 5 hours. Typically, when I rent a hotel suite, I am not
trying to run out of there after 2 hours of shooting, so a 6 hour shoot is certainly desirable if I can afford the fee.
During a photo shoot, I will usually have refreshments like juice, energy drinks, fruit, snacks, pizza, etc. I find nothing
wrong with this type of accommodation and in reality, a Photographer may be found liable for not providing
refreshments during a marathon session when he is basically in command of the Model’s time. You do not want to
have a Model passing out with dehydration or sunstroke during a shoot. A prudent Photographer will obtain a Release
from this type of liability from the Model.