Independent Modeling. Changing the Business of modeling.
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Independent Modeling section navigation threads and main content area. All content is copyrighted, and may not be referenced without citing, and linking to, the source on our web site. All content, which includes modeling job leads,  is traceable, and we verify web traffic and the source of our information. Independent Modeling is a resource site for independent and agency-represented models who wish to enhance the marketability of their modeling careers, as well as have an advantage over limited models; those limited models being agency-only models who do not think for themselves, do not invest in their career, and allow modeling agencies to manage them, and to tell them what to do. Other limited models include models who try to put together competent professional modeling portfolios for free, using TFP, and who try to compete against professional models with cheap career tools. The independent models who use Independent Modeling are smart, professional models who know enough that to have an advantage over other models, that they have to invest in their careers. Independent Modeling is NOT a modeling and talent agency, and we do not claim to be. We do not directly refer models into modeling jobs for financial compensation, and do not represent models. Independent Modeling is not intended to be used for any advice, which includes legal advice, and any advice which can only be legally given by a licensed professional in a regulated profession. For information, and reference, only! Use at your own risk.

Modeling Industry Photographers
Photographers in the modeling industry


Changing the business of modeling

This section is for modeling portfolio and commercial photographers looking to work with independent models in the modeling industry. For models whom are looking for information about how to deal with photographers in the modeling industry, click the link.

This is a brand-new section on Independent Modeling, and it is for photographers in the modeling industry who wish to work with independent models. Wether you are a modeling portfolio photographer, a commercial photographer, or both, this section is for you.
Since this section is brand-new, it’s starting out small. It will be expanded to a massive part of the site in the future as support content, resources, and tools for photographers in the modeling industry are added. Independent Modeling intends to support photographers in the modeling industry, especially independent freelance professional photographers, just as much as we will support the models!
Although this is for independent photographers in the industry, or photographers who are not directly affiliated with any modeling and talent agencies, agency-represented photographers are welcome to utilize our site. Just keep in mind that models will be leery of agency-affiliated photographers, as there is the potential for a conflict of interest, or even a photo-mill scam, with photographers whom are affiliated with agencies. We would recommend that you play down any agency affiliations, especially as independent models don’t give agencies any priority. Independent models are not dependent upon any agency to find and book work, and neither should you. A modeling and talent agency is a middleman in the industry, and nothing more; they no longer call the shots in the industry, nor should they ever have been allowed to in the past.

Finding and booking models without going through a modeling agency
Modeling and talent agencies will tell photographers in the modeling industry that they need them to screen models for them, and that independent models are less reliable and professional than “real” models whom are agency-represented. Don’t fall for this lie! Although there is a certain level of accountability which comes from agency-represented models, you do not have to depend upon agencies, nor do you have to go through an agency, to find and work with professional models. There are ways to minimize the risk when it comes to working with independent models, and you can find out more about this by using our Risk Analysis System when evaluating models for potential work and collaboration with you.
We strongly recommend that you pay independent, freelance models the full rates that you would pay an agency-referred model. The reason for this is that they are not any less of a professional model, and deserve full rates. They are also less expensive to work with, even paying full-rates, because you do not have to pay agency fees! The models, too, also save by not having to pay agency fees!

Avoid conflicts of interest with your photography career
If you are a commercial photographer who also does modeling portfolio photography, please be careful about conflicts of interest. We instruct models not to buy anything from anyone advertising a modeling job. If you are offering a modeling job, do not require models to buy anything from you in order to be considered for the job. Many modeling job scams operate this way, and it is highly unethical and unprofessional. It is also fraud, which is a crime, because it is a deceptive trade practice. Even if you guarantee that the model will get the job after buying services from you, which would keep the arrangement from being fraud, it is still highly unethical to do business this way. A way to keep these types of photography from being conflict of interest would be to ensure that the models will be considered for the job with no obligation to buy anything from you, and in this case, it would be fine to let them know that you also offer modeling portfolio photography services. Just don’t make it a requirement that they buy anything from you.
You are ethical and professional, right? Keep it clean, please, unless you want models calling you a scam.
Another thought would be that the target markets for both types of models are different, and any model who is qualified to work your modeling job would not be in the market for a modeling portfolio, as they would already have one. This is another reason that any legitimate photographer would not try to get professional models who are in consideration for a modeling job to buy any services. A new or aspiring model who is in the market for a modeling portfolio should not be attempting to be considered for a modeling job, at any rate, because they are not qualified. Additionally, models who do not invest in a portfolio cannot demonstrate relevant experience or reliability, which makes them to risky to consider. In this case, it is appropriate to turn them down, and let them know that you cannot consider them until they have a professional portfolio or composite cards. This said, don’t try to then sell them a modeling portfolio! You can let them know that you offer those services, but leave it at that, and also make sure that you clarify that they are not obligated to buy anything from you in order to be considered for any job! If you advertise a modeling job and then try to sell models services, you are risking your professional reputation, as it is unethical and a conflict of interest to do so. Models who have the perception that you are using deceptive trade practices, using job offers to bait models so that you can sell them services, will think that you are a scam, and will never work with you. Also, work will spread, and your reputation in the industry will suffer!
Also, any photographer posting a job offer in our job board and then tries to get the models whom respond to buy something will be removed from our job board, and banned from using it.
The entire point, if you are a commercial photographer in need of professional models, is to work with professional models. Be honest about what you are doing, communicate with models effectively, do good work with those models, and you will continue to be significant in the modeling industry.

Avoid high-risk work in modeling portfolios
If you are a modeling portfolio photographer, you main priority is to make your models clients as marketable as possible (see high-risk models). Be professional and ethical, and give your model clients the best value in their modeling portfolios. Their portfolios have to be relevant! Resist the temptation to do “sexy” pictures of models, and avoid glamour, boudoir, lingerie, skimpy bikinis, and photographing models in provocative, inappropriate poses. If you must do high-risk modeling photography (which would be for professional models only, and only when they are aware of, and accept, the risks to their career; we are talking about professional models whom specialize in high-risk modeling work!), keep it tasteful.
If you wish to disregard this warning, that’s fine, but realize that you will lose work, and that your models will not be able to compete with models who have more relevant, appropriate portfolios. When those models of yours lose work to other models, and realize that it is because their portfolio conflicts with what the modeling jobs deem acceptable, it will come back to bite you. A good modeling portfolio photographer has the main responsibility of making their model clients as marketable as possible, as that it the point of investing in a modeling portfolio to begin with! You do want your model clients to get work with your portfolio, don’t you?
Think about it: If you are a business, would you want to book a model who has work out there which directly conflicts with your marketing image and what you wish to convey to your target market? We did not think so. Any business which takes such risks also take the risk of alienating their customers, and will not stay in business.
We are not saying that high-risk modeling work and photography is not legitimate, however. It’s just that, professionally, it is a mine field, and you really have to know what you are doing. You have to comprehend and accept the risks and the limitations. You have to be able to navigate the pitfalls and make it the most that it can be.
Think that anyone who is new can pull that off? They can’t! That’s why so many glamour and boudoir photographers ruin the careers of models! Also, doing such work can conflict with your marketability as a modeling portfolio photographer, and actually handicap your ability to book modeling portfolio photography work! Most models who are in the market for a modeling portfolio are new models who are also underage, and their parents pay for those portfolios. Think that any parent will be insane enough to book a glamour photographer to do their teen daughter’s modeling portfolio? This is why so many idiot photographers, most of whom think with the wrong head, find it difficult to book work, and they bring it upon themselves. If you show in your portfolio that you do not know what is appropriate, and relevant, for modeling portfolio photography, your credibility will be in question, and you will not be able to compete with modeling portfolio photographers who are smart enough to avoid that mistake.
Only attempt high-risk work if you know what you are doing, and if you wish to specialize in it.

Get paid what you are worth.
Know what fair photography rates for your market are. Don’t be that photographer who tries to get shoots by being the lowest cost; the discount photographer will find that, when they do book work, that they will be working for peanuts, and that perceived value comes into play and their work will not be respected. Sell on value and not low rates, as you throw away money by doing that, AND if your rates are too low, your credibility will be in question, and it will actually be more difficult to book work. Clients whom book on the lowest rates don’t know what they are doing, either, and these budget clients are the ones whom tend to make the shoot harder than it should be by being nit-picky and giving you a hard time, which further reduces your profit margin by making the job less cost-effective.
Just think, budget photographers - the professional photographers whom you are trying to compete against, the ones who actually know what fair, relevant rates are, and how to market their services on value, are not only booking a lot more work than you are, are also making two or more times what you make, with clients whom are easy to work with.
This weeds out the market, at any rate, because knowing this is enough to discourage the amateurs from continuing!

Commercial Photographers
You can find and book models into you commercial photography work without going through a modeling and talent agency, and without paying agency fees. For more on how to do this, please check out the Risk Analysis System.

Modeling Portfolio Photographers
If you wish to work with models as a modeling portfolio photographer, you need to know what you are doing, and need to know the modeling industry. Also keep in mind that you may wish to remain unaffiliated with modeling and talent agencies.

01/12/13 - 01/12/13

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The agency way is no longer the only way of having a professional career as a model. There is no arguing against common-sense and proven business practices. Modern professional models think for themselves, network, and book work both as independent models and by using agencies as one of many sources of jobs. This is the future of the modeling industry.

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