Modeling Rates: How Much do Models Get Paid per Shoot?

How Much Do Models Get Paid Per Shoot?

As an aspiring model in 2006, I initially set out to create art in front of the lens but quickly found myself working as a pretty lucrative gig to pay for my college tuition. Many believe the modeling industry is strictly for classically beautiful (and thin) women and handsome men; however, it’s more about confidence and being photogenic above anything else. But where is the money? Here’s a few things I’ve learned about different types of modeling shoots, from amateur alternative gigs to high paid runway jobs.

Starting Out On Social Media

You may want to get a social media following in order to book modeling gigs and keep them coming as you advance in the field. I started putting out feelings on the free platform Myspace and also Model Mayhem with high quality pics my friends took and made sure to keep up with messages from interested photographers. You can choose to pay professional photogs to build a better portfolios or work for prints/digital images for free if you’re not getting paid shoots as quick as you would like.

I did research to see what other models in my caliber were charging and out of luck and determination, landed a paid shoot with an established photographer for $25 an hour with a minimum of three hours. The studio photos came out amazing and I was able to share them on my social media under a contract that I couldn’t sell them to publications myself. From there, I started receiving offers for $50 per hour, $100 per hour, etc. Occasionally, the pay would include travel expenses and professional makeup but I would make sure the end result was worth it to enhance my gallery and draw in new clients.

What To Charge As A Fashion Model?

Did you know the highest paid model in 2021 is Kendall Jenner? Many may think it’s due to her family connections but those in the industry know that her natural talent draws customers to their fashion lines. Jenner’s net worth is reported to be $45 million with rumored runway appearances landing her up to $4.5 million. A girl (and male model)can dream! I personally kept up with my regular rates when taking fashion modelling jobs as long as I got to keep the clothes and had a personal stylist and makeup artist to get the best pictures for my portfolio.

Then there was my best friend Kay who started with free fashion shows for local businesses as a volunteer and was picked up by a modeling scout who brought her to an agency to be signed after an application process. While Kay is unable to fully disclose her earnings as a runway model, Cosmopolitan Magazine reports that famous models can make up to $20,000 dollars per show when walking the runway at pricey events such as New York and Paris Fashion Week. These models are generally younger (16-21) aside from niche markets and celebrity runways, so it’s important to follow your dreams when they come to you. You will certainly need your parent’s permission if you’re underage or a child model and definitely guidance, which is given to you with a reputable model agency.

Where Is The Money In Commercial Modeling?

A simple amateur modeling gig can land you a full time career as a commercial model whether you’re male or female. Commercial models are similar to social media influencers where they are paid for advertising products and services. The average female model is estimated to be paid $60,000+ a year with top earners hitting their bank accounts at $100,000 or more. By landing a spot at a model agency (you will most likely need a good portfolio first unless you’re spotted on the street, as well as an interview and contract for pending jobs,) your agents will be looking and leading you into the right jobs for your experience.

A commercial photo shoot can be anything from fast food ads to fancy billboards. This market is a little smaller than most as big companies tend to prefer celebrity endorsements so no modeling job is too little if this is your passion. Keep within your comfort zone, however be sure keep an open mind. Maybe your small town pizza place needs a commercial spot and you happen to catch the attention of a bigwig agency who think you’re the right fit for a high paying shoot.

How Do I Become A Paid Glamour Model?

Glamour modeling is what we all think of when our minds go to the glitzy world of the fashion industry. This niche is pretty broad as glamour models can be featured in a competitive fashion show or in the commercial market to advertise designer perfume. A majority of glamour models are famous for their bodies and grace magazines and posters for those who buy their beauty. At times risque, glamour modeling is also how a lot of female models start their careers to earn an average $20,000 a year which is pretty good for a side hustle.

A glamour model can fit many markets regardless of age or looks. Research those you admire and find photographers with trusted references before your first shoot. As much as this particular job is about showing your body, it’s all about how to feel comfortable in your own skin.

The Bottom Line of Making Money As a Model

When you market yourself as a professional, you’ll attract the same in this industry. It’s ok to collaborate when you’re beginning as your talent will speak for itself with pictures that showcase your individual style. Be assertive with your worth but open minded when it comes to your client’s budget.

The best way to gauge your hourly or session prices is to compare the going rates of the year and your locale ($25/hour was rich for a New England college gal in 2006!) Just work up to show your determination in the industry.