Modeling is not just about having the right look.  There are so many different types of modeling and avenues to take, it can be mind-numbing.  Making sure you position yourself well, getting yourself out there and in front of the right people, and actually understanding modeling terminology is key.

That’s right – even if you have the it factor and are willing to put in the work, you have to understand what it takes to be successful.  You’ll need to know exactly what type or types of modeling you’re best suited for and you’ll need to understand how your selected type operates.  Perhaps most importantly, how will you be paid for the work you put in?

There several ways a model is compensated for a shoot.  First, there is a day rate, or hourly rate, which is pretty straight-forward.  This is the rate you will be quoted either by the hour (usually with a minimum time allotment) or for a full day’s work.  The minimum is generally two hours, and a full day could mean working up to ten hours or more.  So, when you’re quoted a rate, make sure it makes sense and fits into your budget.

On top of this, models are often paid a bonus if an ad they’ll be featured in is being considered “high-exposure,” according to Backstage.  This means, if you’ll be featured on a billboard, online, or in another medium that will most likely be extremely visible, you will be paid an additional sum.  Whether the work warrants a bonus will be left to the client’s discretion.

You could also be offered a buyout.  This is a certain fee for the client to purchase the work in perpetuity.  Regardless of the terms, you’ll want to have a solid understanding of the product’s usage, or where an ad will actually run.  You’ll also want to carry with you a voucher which is an invoice that is used to bill for gigs.  Your agent, if you have one, will get a copy and you should always ensure you have one, too, for your records.

If you are being asked to do a test shoot or time for print gig, note that the photographer is asking you to model for free from a monetary perspective.  The purpose of the shoot is typically for practice and to build the photographer’s portfolio.  You will generally be offered the final images, either edited or unedited, for your time.

Understanding what is expected of you and how you’ll get paid prior to heading to the studio will save an unnecessary headache after the fact.  When you understand what you’re getting yourself into a head of time, you’re more relaxed and this will help you shine at the shoot!