11 Better Tips for Making More Money as a Freelance Model

My addendum to the Model Mayhem Post- "11 Tips For Making More Money as a Freelance Model"

No, really. It's a great start but it needs some elaboration. There's more to be said.

The Short Version: Be a good person, Be a sponge, Network, Get published.

I'm assuming you're super new to the industry so that I do not leave out something that may be crucial to your growth as a creative professional.

The Long Version:

11. Build Great Rapport

Great rapport. Absolutely number one. But what does that mean? What does that entail?

A great model is a GREAT collaborator. Think about it.

Be able to offer input, accept direction, critique, and change.

When we're pulling together multiple parties for a project, the best thing you can do, is communicate. Be easy to get in touch with, answer emails, texts, and ultimately a phone call. Because if it is a serious project, and I've never worked with you before, I'm going to call you... and speak to you... with sentences. This is a common practice. Your accessibility leaves a HUGE impression.

Be several steps ahead and self sufficient. For example, "I googled directions to the shoot location (insert specific questions about parking or building access)" or "I have outfits X, Y, and Z. What else can I bring?" "Will makeup be provided?" This shows initiative, everybody likes initiative.

Check-in the morning of your shoot. This might seem odd to you but you may be surprised how many models are ecstatic about shooting and vanish from the face of the Earth on the day of.

When you are in front of the camera, it's teamwork. Teamwork all the way.

When collaborators go their separate ways, they should all be thanking each other for their time and effort. Also, double check each other's contact info!

Within the following 48 hrs or less, it is wise to shoot each other some type of social media love. Either tag each other on MM, FB, Twitter (what have you), saying," Thanks for a great shoot, can't wait to see the images, yadda yadda." I'll rant in a few about how important social media is to your career.


10. Be Reachable.

Being reachable almost trumps great rapport in that you can't get your foot in the door if you never check your email, FB messages, MM inbox, whatever. At this point, you've already realized this is going to require active involvement. You're no slouch!


9. Know Who You Are

Do you want to be a nude or alternative model? Fashion/Commercial? I don't know how to say this gently but you're going to have to choose and, once you do, there's not really any going back. Bear in mind, it is very hard to remove images from the internet. Be 100% in whatever it is that you do.

If you have tattoos and piercings it would be wise to mention in advance to photographers or in your About Me blurbs. Height, weight and measurements are very important if you plan on doing fashion work and it is only to your benefit to represent yourself honestly.

Don't forget to sell yourself in your Bios and About Mes. Do you have any skills or performance experience? Any acting background will carry you far. Conceptual photographers would freaking love you.

My tips for building a great Model Mayhem profile.Yeah, whole separate rant.

8. Practice


If you've already got a great rapport and you're networking, you may have already found a mentor or retained some great advice from photographers. Looking for further inspiration? Collect images from the interent, your favorite portfolios, magazines, catalogs, etc and create an arsenal of poses. Then, practice these poses and expressions. When you get in front of the camera, sometimes the photographer doesn't offer direction s/he will just say, "Go."
Be ready to cycle through poses.

7. Build a Makeup Kit, and Learn How To Use It


I'm sure you've been doing your own makeup for a while but makeup for photography is often very dramatic, more than the average person would typically wear out on the town. Learn these techniques, they're all over youtube. Start here.
Different genres of model photography require different makeup. Learn to identify these genres so that you can (A) choose to work with creative professionals who will build the type of portfolio you need for the work you are pursuing and (B) able to cater to a breadth of genres, thus increasing your earning capabilities. Blam.
Warm up to the idea of applying false lashes. Particularly if you are in the Glamour/Pinup scene, you'll never leave home without them.

6. Network Your Face Off

Social media is your agent. Make that agent your bitch.

Model/Photographer networking sites are great, we get it. However, you're going to want to build a presence on the dreaded Facebook. I would advise that you create a separate account AND fanpage for your modeling career and here's why: Facebook is sucking the life out of Fanpages right now. They're making it very hard to communicate with our audiences without investing financially. ALSO, Fanpages cannot privately message other pages or people. So, go ahead, create the Fanpage with your new account. This way, you can have a publicly viewable portfolio and people who do not know or work with you directly can follow you. Use the new personal account you just made to keep your industry friends and collaborators closer.  This private account also protects you a bit from those that you do not know who would report photos, cause you drama, etc.
Twitter isn't one of my favorites because I feel it requires a lot more attention but if you've got your phone in your hand all the time, then by all means. It's up to you. I would recommend Instagram and Snapchat for sure.
This video is one of my favorite rundowns/interviews of wtf you should be doing with the amazing amount of social media choices out there.

5. Take Care of Yourself

Eat clean, sleep well, that kind of shit. You'd think it goes without saying BUT partying the night before the shoot will show in the morning. Believe me, I'm a makeup artist.

But Jo, I'm doing all of these things, I kick ass! What more can I do?

4. Invest in Yourself
These things take time, bro. What you could do, assuming that you've done your research and you know the genre you wish to pursue, is to contact a photographer that has built a name in your niche and invest in yourself. Pay for some high quality images to boost your portfolio. It's a marketing move, all the way.
If you're the stellar model described in the last 7 tips, the photographer will love working with you. This can open many doors.
Consider taking some makeup, acting or dance classes, maybe even Yoga. All of these will create a better understanding of your body- how to manipulate and care for it.

3. Travel

If this is going to be your full time job, you will need to travel. Traveling is going to take some serious networking and portfolio groundwork.

2. Learn Photography (at least the lingo)

Knowing which light is your main light and how to work it makes you seriously awesome. Combine this skill with your pose cycle immediately.
It also helps tremendously, as a collaborator, to understand what the photographer is talking about when s/he mentions strip lights, gels, beauty dishes, and tri-flectors.

1. Get Published

Easier said than done. I'm not sure it deserves to be a tip but you should know that publications are pretty much your credentials. Photographers that want to be published will be more likely to hire a model who has been published.
In the long and the short of it, your worth to other creatives is your ability to see something. Either a product or a body of work. Think about that.


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