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.
Unlike high fashion modelling, there are no real physical ‘requirements’ to becoming a freelance model. You usually get furthest when you have a proportional body, great smile and sometimes even an unusual, quirky look. You’ll be commended and booked more for your good reputation, great attitude and reliability.
There are plenty of opportunities out there, especially with the help of our good friend, the Internet! There are great online platforms such as: www.modelmayhem.com , and www.theright.fit that allow you to source jobs and connect with future employers.
It is absolutely imperative that you have your own website that is user friendly, aesthetically pleasing and showcases the best of your portfolio. This is the most professional way to promote yourself and will set you a bar above your competition.
This is not to say you shouldn’t focus a lot on your social media presence, they should run adjacent to each other. But when a casting agent wants to look at more of your photos, sending them to your website ensures you look like a true 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!