If you’re creating content – whether that's video, stills, social media content, ad campaigns or a TV commercial, it's likely at some point you’ll need to get the services of a professional model.
But hiring a model can be daunting – where do you start? What do you ask? And most importantly, what do you pay?
It can be an expensive process if you don’t know what to do. You’ll need to narrow down your search to the right look and personality. You’ll need to find someone who is available for the required dates and location, and get them there on time. There are also legalities involved such as contracts, model releases, payment details, and travel requirements.
Before we get into those – let’s take a look at what you need to know about hiring models for your brand.
How much does it cost to hire a model for a photo shoot
The cost varies depending on the type of shoot you require, whether you want to hire a model for a day or for multiple days. You need to consider where they are based, their experience, and their level of exposure. Based on theright.fit's industry guide, it's typical to get models based on their experience level. Model hire cost ranges are as follows:
- $95 hourly or $700 a day for amateur models
- $200 hourly or $1,600 daily for intermediate level talent
- $350 hourly or $2,900 daily and up for professional models
If your photo shoot requires them to wear swimwear or lingerie, expect to pay more than if they were wearing regular clothes. The same goes with simple influencer photo shoots where the model does their own makeup versus editorial fashion photography where you have an entire crew complete with a professional photographer, makeup artist, and assistants which will obviously cost more.
Tips for hiring a professional model from an agency
When it comes to finding models, the first two questions you need to ask yourself is ‘What am I looking for?’ and ‘How much am I willing to pay?’. If you get a newbie, then your search will be less expensive and there won’t be as many parties and legalities involved. However, if you are looking for an experienced model, you might have to go through an agency. The cost may go up substantially but there is more security in knowing that they have been vetted by their company.
Check out these tips on how to hire a model from an agency for your model shoots:
- Deal with the modeling agency directly. By dealing directly with them, you get access to several options at once, rather than having to deal with an individual model or even multiple talents at different times. The agent will most likely have a model that fits exactly what you require. You can also be confident that you are dealing with a reputable business that knows what they're doing and will be on the same page as the client (you) not just during the planning stage but also come shoot day.
- Find out if the model has a manager. If they do, be sure to talk it through with them since they are the one who knows their best and can help prepare them for your shoot.
- Prepare a good brief. Briefs are a great way to communicate with agencies to let them know what you're looking for and how you want it done. The more descriptive the brief, the better the chances of translating what you were thinking about into a shot. Consider creating a mood board with pictures to give those who will execute it the full idea of what you want to create. It will make a huge difference even after the shoot. It also helps all parties stay on track and reduces unnecessary calls if everyone has their bases covered beforehand.
- Be clear with your expectations. Make sure you are both on the same page when it comes to what is required of them, where they will be travelling to and the time commitment involved. Don’t just assume the agency knows because if there was any confusion they could cost you more than you bargained for which could end up in model mayhem!
If you have the budget for it, using an agency can help you with your search for good models. It is less time-consuming and less confusing than finding someone on your own.
Difference between male and female models
Male models may get paid less than female models. Women's fashion is more popular among Western consumers, so the industry compensates men and women models differently.
Women are expected to adhere to specific standards of appearance and behaviour that will please clients, such as having perfect skin and hair, wearing clothes that accentuate all body parts perfectly, or being able to walk in heels all day (although many people underestimate how demanding these standards can be).
However, some contest this and argue there is no significant difference in pay rates and attribute any discrepancies to varying modelling careers and different levels of representation — not gender.
Regardless, it is necessary to be realistic when discussing rates for potential models both male and female. As brands and clients become more educated on this subject, they will start to appreciate that paying the right person — whether male or female — what they think is fair is the right thing to do.
Wondering what to pay your models? Click here for the simple industry hack to determine fair model rates
Different ways to hire models
You have many options for finding models. Depending on the budget you have, you might need to use an agency or not. Different types of models would be better suited for different jobs depending on what they specialize in and how much experience they have. Here are some of your options:
Hiring models from agencies is a professional way to do things. Whether you want something specific or want to use a model from their books, agencies will provide you with the best options available in your area. You can then meet up and negotiate terms that fit into your budget and brief.
In Australia for example, dedicated marketplace theright.fit is the leading online platform for connecting models, photographers, make-up artists, stylists and people in the fashion industry. It's a great site to find new talent or connect with experienced professionals who are available for work.
Simply post a job with the rate that suits your budget, and they will automatically match you with a model that matches your brief. You manage all payments, contracts, and insurance on the platform. Plus, you only pay when the job is done.
Other online marketplaces that feature amateur models
Finding models on websites like Gumtree, Facebook groups, Fiverr, etc. can have its perks especially when you're on a tight budget. You can post your ad based on your location and availability. Some would even agree to model for free so they can expand their portfolio. Be aware that there are some downsides to this method since you will be working with inexperienced models.
Simple tips and best practices for hiring a model
There are common industry processes that models go through like go-sees and castings, self-tests, digis, and more before getting the job. But here’s the question, how can you find the best model for your brand? We have gathered the following tips on finding the right model for your brief, and your campaign.
- Define your budget for the shoot.
- Discuss compensation and usage fees and make sure details and rates are set clearly upfront and agreed to.
- Ensure what is covered in the rates. Are you allowed to use the model's image for social media or your website? How about print advertising, billboard, posters or television?
- Be clear on the kind of theme or look that you would want to have. Production requirements such as theme, lighting, mood, and so on should be clarified at the onset.
- Detail the age range or look, the height, hair colour, ethnicity, dress or pant size, and consider adding additional options like shoe size, skin tone, piercings or tattoos, etc.
- Look at the agency models’ portfolio to see if they have been on camera with a style similar to what you want. Ask around and talk to industry friends regarding the candidate.
- It's hard to picture a luxury brand whose models specialise in runway modelling to shoot on the streets of New York City unless that's your intention, so ask yourself if they would be appropriate and would be capable of doing a great job for your project.
- You need to be careful when hiring inexpensive talent—they may not fit within your brand guidelines or visual identity by accident.
- You may want to look for people in your local area who will completely follow your vision especially if your product or service is specific to a location. For example if you market an events company in Sydney, you should look for professional models for hire in Sydney.
Benefits of using a marketplace over a traditional modelling agency
There are many advantages to using a dedicated online marketplace like theright.fit.
Not only does it benefit brands like yours by giving you a direct source of talent but it also provides great opportunities for new models to grow their portfolio by working with experienced professionals in the industry, which could lead them to get featured in magazines, editorials, high-end campaigns, and more.
Online marketplaces offer a range of advantages when hiring models, for example"
Less expensive than traditional agencies
First and foremost, the specialised marketplaces only take a small commission for models. This means you get more from what you spend and models also get more of what they earn.
Online marketplaces like theright.fit have excellent search and filtering functions so you can easily find specific types of models. You can filter by budget, by skills, by number of jobs completed (portfolio size), and more.
Maintain open communication
Once a model has applied for your job on the platform, you can chat with them directly when required. You will be able to ask them questions and also discuss your project in detail. You can also share lifestyle images and mood boards in the chat, which gives you more control over your needs.
Reviews are available
You can read recommendations on a model you're interested to work with. You can easily see their ratings and reviews from past clients on their profiles or photos. This makes it easy ratings that can give you an indication of how they performed on other campaigns. You can see their experience and ensure that they can deliver during the shoot.
Using a platform like theright.fit will save you time looking for the best model for your brand. It also gives you the opportunity to choose the candidate without having the stress of going through different people. If you’re investing money, time and energy in your marketing efforts, it's important to ensure you’re working with a professional vetted talent who can deliver results.