Becoming a Freelance Model
What Is A Freelance Model?
If you’re a freelance model, then you’re representing yourself and you are fully responsible for finding and booking your own work. One major advantage of securing your own work is not having to divide your earnings with your agency so you will take home the full amount of the job. Generally speaking though, freelance modelling gigs tend to pay less than fashion and commercial jobs, as clients that hire freelance models generally have a tighter budget.
Whereas when you’re signed to an agency you have committed to a contract that ONLY they will represent you. This usually happens for 1-2 years but there’s no guarantee that they will actually find you jobs or get you work. Whilst being signed to an agency can give you a platform to showcase your look and contacts, it can be frustrating if it leads to a dead end.
Outside earrings and small ink-work that can be covered, modeling agencies tend to have a no-piercing and no-tattoo policy.
Freelance work provides you with the chance to express your creativity and simultaneously get jobs. Alternative modeling is a fantastic niche for those who colour outside the lines.
Usually specific to burlesque, latex, Goth and lingerie modeling, if you have an alternative look there is a world of opportunity to tap into. Building your portfolio through the means of paid photo shoots at studios will help you find your individual and alternate style.
You can then use these quality images to gain experience and book freelance work.
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One of the top websites for freelance models to find jobs is ModelMayhem.
Underneath the “castings” tab on their website you’re able to select and search jobs in your area, all over the world. More niche job hunting sources are Facebook groups dedicated to creatives coming together to build their portfolios.
Linking up with aspiring photographers, stylists and makeup artists will help you grow but also expand your network.
Paying jobs won’t become a regularity until your portfolio develops and your name is recognized amongst the community.
If you choose to take on the big bold business of modelling solo, networking is vital.
Advertising yourself, your abilities and your level of professionalism goes a long way against agency models.
Having a website under your name (quite literally www.JaneSmith.com) shows potential employers that you are serious about your career.
Above all, your Instagram can work as a window into your personality alongside your snippets of your work, but your website should be strictly professional.
Of course freelance model rates are entirely situational and will vary depending on the individual and the job.
Many of the modelling jobs you secure will have predetermined rates but there will be chance to negotiate or even determine your own.
Depending on your level of experience, your modelling portfolio, the size of the production, a good starting off rate is somewhere around $50/$100 p/hour.
But of course this will adjust as time goes on. Before you raise your rates, evaluate your success and analyse the progress you have made. Pick a rate that is fair and try not to get greedy!
Our in-house modelling consultant Saphira says, “Even though Freelance modelling has its perks, it doesn’t beat being an agency represented model as it’s a lot more work. It can be hard work finding your own castings and jobs.
Agencies also help weed out all the dodgy photographers/clients and will ensure you are paid at the end of each job. Try to pursue the agency representation route as much as possible and go for Freelance Modelling as a backup option.”
So if you haven’t been signed to an agency or you just really like the idea of being your own boss then maybe freelance modelling is for you!
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