This is a topic that comes about over any late day drink of a beer in a bar, on evening chat after a post on Facebook, or even between a photographer working out terms with a model. Does a model deserve to be paid for her services as a model, be it amateur or professional. So, let's start out by being upfront and stating clearly that, Yes!! A model does deserve to be paid. Anyone deserves to be paid for anything that do that requires a talent or skill. Now, I will also go out on a limb and say to you that not all photographers agree with this. I know a few who refuse to pay a model. They feel a trade out is payment enough. Ok, so maybe they are right.But what if after the shoot the talents of the photographer is in question. The models images are trash. Thus the model has worked for zip. To put it blatantly, she got screwed. No income. Let's flip this aorund again. Let's say the photographer does pay her, but well, his skills are up there with a cheap porn publication. So essentially the model didn't work for the photog and his talents, she sold her image for a price. No gain, other then financial. Not a great way to be a professional model. I've seen photographers who are broke, but extremely talented and either the model gets smart and sees a gain for her and poses for trade or she gets stupid and refuses the photographer because there is no money in her pocket. All these circumstances I have witnessed in my career. I have both paid models and done trade outs. I have worked with amateur models with 100% talent opposed to career models with the same talent. Or both can be of less.
Yes! I'm long winded. The lesson in all this is that not every model can demand a price because not every talented photographer out there has the money to pay her. And sadly there are many GUYS WITH CAMERAS out there who have the right looks and pitch to convince a model to do anything for him, and at a cheap price. The guys that can pay and who are extremely talented, then they have the luck to do both. Get any model they want, work with them and create the work they have dreamed up in their head. I'm not downing anyone here. You do what you have to do in life. You have wants and hopes so you put yourself out there. But not everyone is going to be that professional career photog who drives the expensive car, shoots with the latest camera and lives in the million dollar loft. Not every model is going go be on the cover of Vogue. Yet, if you go on Model Mayhem, every other profile depicts models refusing to model for free, fees must be paid, and on the flip side, the photographers saying that don't pay models. Least not highly skilled ones. The argument goes on. I feel every model deserves to be paid, pro or amateur. But the finances are not alwasy there. So an artist searchs for those models willing to trade. This is the reality it has become.
Can a living be made as a model or photographer in this day in age? Yes! Long as you spend your time at it as I stated. Should every model be paid? Yes! Is it always something that's possible to do, no! But, everyone has stars in their eyes and many put money before being part of art. As I said, the argument goes on.
Kerry Ray Tracy
Where am I getting at in all this? That the odds of making a living as a model is difficult by todays standards. A model that does make a living at it, works her ass off at it daily. Her body and looks are her living. She makes deals with her skills, as if she is an NBA player. On IG, every shot of her is sexually inticing to any guy wishing to be her number one guy and she knows this. The guy wanting to see more and less of clothes on her is income. Does this make her bad? No! It actually makes her very smart. It's how the modeling game is made. It's not done on the side. It's not done as part of their life. The work it until their bodies and faces give out. Some never give out. This is the world of a professional model. The photograher who shoots this type of model does his own wheeling and dealing daily. His contacts are varied across the board. He too doesn't do this on the side. He lives and breaths it. No coming home after the 9 to 5 and then going to work as a photographer. Right? Truth be known, that's how other half of the photographers make a go of it. Work the day job and then do the photog thing. It's how the world works these days. The percentage of high paid models and high paid photographers is thin compared to the guy doing it on the side. Yes! The 9 to 5 guy could easily be the better artist then the career photog. It does indeed come down to want, to need, to luck and to take chances and not everyone can do this.