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I am still so very new at stock photography, but I have an opportunity to do some shoots with a local gal who is interested in modeling for stock photography.  I offered to her that I would give her a percentage of all sales of her photos as pay, but now I think I probably messed up with this.  While I don't intend on going back on my word to her, I would like to know what is typical for the rest of you when using models?  How do you pay them?  TFP/TFCD? Cash?  If you actually pay them, how do you go about determining the amount?  While I don't mind paying a model for their time, many recent threads here indicate the profitability is not particularly high per image, and I don't need this to be a costly hobby.  Any thoughts, suggestions, or even discussions on this topic would be greatly appreciated.  Thanks!

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I don't shoot much with models for stock, but when I do I use friends and offer prints in return for signing a release, and let know when I find a picture of them online or in print.

 

Think the days of paying models upfront and or percentages are long gone!

Edited by York Photographer

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I will either trade for images or pay them outright.  The going rate for models depends on their experience and where you are in the world.

 

I've never had an arrangement like the one you suggest (I've heard of others that do).  The problem is models think photographers make thousands from their images....that's far from the truth.

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The percentage route looks good at first but it could be a nightmare to administer over the long term. As has already been said there is an expectation management challenge.

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The good news is this gal doesn't seem to be as concerned about money, but I still need to address the monetary expectations before this goes too far.  Now that I have slowed down and thought about it, it will probably be the last time I make this sort of offer.  You live and you learn, right?

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I always pay models for the shoot, I once did a TFP part shoot and it was a real pain as she wanted to post images which were destined for stock.

 

Experienced models will have set rates but I find they are usually negotiable to some extent. Since i usually am hiring a studio/location, it's important to be efficient so experienced models are actually better value. Most important is to have a shoot list - changes of clothes to enable non-similar submissions.

 

There's still good money to be made with MR shoots if you shoot for the better selling genres and work up a good brief beforehand.

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My advice to you is to pay her a fee and get a proper signed release. If she is not professional and worked for you for about an hour then £20 would probably be very acceptable. You can now do what you like with the images in perpetuity

Edited by Travelshots

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I use paid models extensively for images dealing with sensitive issues (physical / metal health / social problems / body image etc)

 

km

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If the "Gal" is an aspiring model then she would probably be happy with prints for her portfolio.

 

Allan

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for the release to be valid, you need to pay. pay outright and that's clean and businesslike.

make sure they know all the implications and legalities of usage. one model I know had a nasty shock when he got an illegal use demand letter from Getty. he saw his image published and thought it OK to take it and use on a friends site. not strictly your problem but the photographer didn't explain it to him properly. which of course could be a case for nullifying the model release and a lot of hassle.

if you are paying for models nit thrtough an agency and claiming it make sure you get their ni number as well.

good experienced models/actors are the best way to get the most out if a shoot.

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If the "Gal" is an aspiring model then she would probably be happy with prints for her portfolio.

 

Allan

 

Isn't that a bit like a publisher expecting a photographer to be happy with a credit line instead of cash payment?

 

If you're going to use a model, pay them imo. Unless they're your kids . . . then you just have to feed and clothe and educate and entertain and transport them :-)

 

dd

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If the "Gal" is an aspiring model then she would probably be happy with prints for her portfolio.

 

Allan

 

Isn't that a bit like a publisher expecting a photographer to be happy with a credit line instead of cash payment?

 

If you're going to use a model, pay them imo. Unless they're your kids . . . then you just have to feed and clothe and educate and entertain and transport them :-)

 

dd

 

 

God point DD

 

Allan

 

EDIT: Whoops I meant to put GOOD point.

Edited by Allan Bell

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Dusty:

 

There are big differences between trading pictures with models and shooting for a credit line. The most important is that models normally have to pay photographers for the sorts of photos that they need to get the sort of solid commercial work that builds their careers. Two things happen when they trade with stock photographers instead: first, the quality of work that they get is generally better than with "paid test" shooters, and second: the images they get will be far more commercial. This improves their portfolios in important ways that are hard to buy with cash alone.

 

In major markets, many people will find this sort of trade a really good deal.

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for the release to be valid, you need to pay. pay outright and that's clean and businesslike.

 

I totally understand doing things clean and businesslike, but I am confused by the first part of this statement.  I don't understand how "you need to pay" for a release to be valid.  A release is a release, isn't it, whether money has been exchanged or not?  Again, not disputing whether one should pay or not, just trying to understand how pay is tied to valid releases.

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Make your deal up front and relatively immediate and be done with the money/value exchange. You don't want to try sending a 20 cent check, twenty years from now, to an unknown address 20 states away because you lost track of her.

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for the release to be valid, you need to pay. pay outright and that's clean and businesslike.

 

I totally understand doing things clean and businesslike, but I am confused by the first part of this statement.  I don't understand how "you need to pay" for a release to be valid.  A release is a release, isn't it, whether money has been exchanged or not?  Again, not disputing whether one should pay or not, just trying to understand how pay is tied to valid releases.

 

A release is a legal contract. Depending on your jurisdiction there are laws about what constitutes a valid legal contract. This might be a stipulation for payment, you need to research this yourself for your own circumstances.

For example in my case (Northern Ireland and elsewhere) a release isnt valid unless a form of payment is undertaken. The simplest form of this is cold hard cash, traceable and with documentary evidence (invoice/receipts/payment proof) to make sure there is no grey area. Of course thats only one part of making sure the actual signing of the release is legally valid but an important one.

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Many aspiring models and MU&H artists need to keep their books current. Many will pay the photographer a good price for for awesome work and most have no problem signing a release. Get a good reputation with the modeling scene in your area and your phone will ring off the hook from paying customers. Not all of this type of work can be used for stock but alot can. Some well marketed photographers in many big cities here in the US get $1000's just for head shots of models, musicians and hair and makeup artists wanting to show their work. Start getting a few of those a week you wont be worring about stock.  Just sayin be careful before you start paying, you might be missing some income opportunities and you might become known as someone elses income opportunity.

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for the release to be valid, you need to pay. pay outright and that's clean and businesslike.

 

I totally understand doing things clean and businesslike, but I am confused by the first part of this statement.  I don't understand how "you need to pay" for a release to be valid.  A release is a release, isn't it, whether money has been exchanged or not?  Again, not disputing whether one should pay or not, just trying to understand how pay is tied to valid releases.

 

 

In order for the release to be legally binding, there needs to be "consideration" paid.  This "consideration" may be either cash or images (hence Trade for Print) or anything else of value.

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Models are not really my thing although I do use them from time to time. Make sure that you have everything on a sound business footing with a shooting plan, model release and appropriate remuneration, whether financial or portfolio pics. I have found that experienced models are better value as the shoot goes more smoothly and they may also contribute to the set up and poses. Make sure that the studio is properly heated. Goose pimples/bumps are time consuming to get rid of. I have, on occasion, shared a model with a colleague to mitigate the cost. This worked well as it created a more relaxed environment.

 

dov

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