Model or Photographer – Who Pays?

Photographers don’t only work with models when a company needs to promote something. Both photographers and models want to build their portfolios, show their diversity, all that wonderful stuff.

Now here’s the rub. Photographers usually want to get paid for taking the photographs. Well that’s pretty reasonable, right? Well, models want to get paid to stand in front of a camera, take the direction, and be compensated for all their hard work. Great models hardly need direction, and they really want to get paid.

So…let’s say that a model and a photographer network and want to do a shoot. Who should pay?

Well I’ve got a pretty easy solution that I’ve used for a number of years now! Actually two of them.
So, my first solution is: Nobody

If no money exchanges hands, then it stays an act of pure creation for the sole purpose of adding to the portfolio of both the photographer and the model. I’d say that’s pretty fair! This is usually what happens when new models and photographers work together, but I’ve worked with a few models for free because we came up with a cool idea for a shoot!

Second: The one who wants the shoot

If a model has a current portfolio with excellent work, they have less of a reason to want to do a shoot for free with a photographer just to add to it. On the same hand, if a photographer has an excellent model portfolio, they also have very little reason to do an unpaid shoot. However, if a model needs to add to their portfolio and they contact the photographer, it’s reasonable for the model to pay. The reverse is also true. It’s a pretty fair way to work as well!
The main driving force behind both of these is fairness. There are, of course, photographers who contact models for a shoot and try to sell their services, and visa versa. As long as there’s mutual respect and good work ethic on both parts, that’s what really matters!


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