Internet Modelling Guide

If you are an aspiring model it really would pay you to read this. Its good advice, but we are human and one of our characteristics is that we tend only to take the advice we like the sound off. You probably wont like the sound of quite a lot of this advice, but I still hope you take it on board.

This is the advice of a well established and cynical photographer based on several years experience of the internet and what you are about to read is based on reality, there are no rose tinted glasses or sugar coating.

Some general information first. If you are reading this you probably found it on the internet, so you are either an internet model or you are thinking of being an internet model.

There are basically 3 types of model on the internet.

1. Hobbyist/Amateur models who model for fun and don’t make any money other than an occassional bit of pocket money, 90% of internet models come into this category, bare this in mind.
2. Part-time semi pro models. Often students or girls with a job outside of modelling. Their modelling is a sideline, but they tend to be good enough to make enough to help them through their studies/make some extra cash.
3. Full time pro models - a very rare breed on the internet. Very few models can make a proper living from internet modelling and those that do are extremely committed, hard-working and almost invariably do some form of nude or adult work.

THIS IS THE BOTTOM LINE..Professional internet modelling is nude/adult based, don’t think you can make a living as an internet fashion/lingerie model, you probably can't, it rarely happen's. At any one time there are probably half a dozen internet models in the whole country who make anything close to a living without getting naked. Realistically, if you want to be a proper fashion/lingerie model, portfolio hosting sites are not the place, you need a good agency. Also, be sensible about your aspirations and be honest with yourself. If you are 5' 5" and size 12, you are not going to be a fashion model...no matter how much you want it, its not going to happen.

You want to be a hobbyist amateur model? That’s cool, do it, have fun, be safe but don’t expect to make any more money than will probably cover your modelling expenses. The good thing is though as a hobbyist you can do any type of modelling you like as long as you can find someone who wants to shoot you. Your 5’ 2” and want to do fashion?, that’s fine somebody will probably shoot you… as long as you don’t want paid..you can play at being any type of model you want!

You want to make some money from modelling? Maybe you can, you don’t even have to be that attractive in a lot of cases, as long as you are happy to get naked or naughty. Although you can try any level of modelling you like, your clientele will be mainly amateurs and they will either like the look of you enough to pay you or they wont, you will soon know. But the bottom line is that internet rules still apply, to make any money you will either have to be really special or get naked If you can tick both these boxes then you can do ok for sure. Nearly all models earning money from internet modelling are Semi-Pro, for most there isn’t enough money to call it a proper wage, most get by because their circumstances are such that they can support themselves on minimum wage, because trust me, once you deduct expenses, taxes etc that’s what you are left with in most cases.

PROFESSIONAL MODELLING This is where all the bullshit starts, 99.9% of models on the internet who claim to be Professional are kidding themselves. I guess there are probably at least 10,000 girls registered as models on the various internet sites and the reality is that there are probably no more than a few hundred who can claim to be truly Professional. I would regard a Professional model as someone who earns a sustainable wage from modelling and after deducting all her expenses (of which there are a lot) and paying her taxes (which shock!, horror! some don't) earns more than minimum wage.

On the internet there are basically 3 types of Professional models.

The rarest type are the “creative’s” These tend to be intelligent and creative types, often far removed from the archetypal perception of “models” in personality and quite often in terms of looks also. These girls tend to shun glamour and concentrate on creative aspects of modelling, usually involving some form of non-explicit and usually non-sexual form of nudity…often referred to as artistic nude (although this can be a misleading term as its often used on the internet to describe any form of non-explicit nudity, whether creative or otherwise). There are only a small number of creative’s making a realistic living in this genre, but of those who do make a living, some make a very good living and regularly earn daily rates on a par with adult models.

The second type are what I would call the “Elite Glamour/Adult models” These are the cream of internet models, very small in number, at any one time there may be less than 100 in this group. These are the girls who match up with the general perception of models, pretty, glamorous and curvy. These are the ones who travel all over Europe, appear in the magazines and earn a decent wage. Whether they broadcast it or not..;-) with few exceptions these models do or have done some form of adult work.

The fourth group are by far the biggest group. They are the “workers” They tend to be decent looking girls, not quite able to get to the top but able to get by on ability, strength of personality or their willingness to work with anybody for the right price or take on any job which comes along. This doesn’t sound glamorous?…well its not. it’s a job, there are good days, there are bad days, very few models can hack this lifestyle long term, that’s the bottom line, it’s a job.

You may or may not like what you have read so far, but it’s the reality of internet modelling.

Ok, you want to be a glamour model. "Glamour" means lots of things to lots of people but to you it probably means being on page 3 or being a "lads mag" pin-up. These aspirations are fair enough, but your chances are very slim, the competition is fierce. The internet can help you, so can a good agency. Magazines generally but not exclusively recruit from agencies like www.samanthabond.net Also be aware that being in lads mags or even page 3 or being with an agency is no guarantee of a decent income. Most agency models rarely get any work from the agency and probably still make less than minimum wage.

*Almost any girl can get her picture published in the **weekly lads mags. Its like the x-factor culture, they invite loads of no-hopers to pad out their content and give people a laugh. But that’s all it is. If you send your images to a lads mag and allow them to publish for free, not only are you allowing them to make a fool of you, you are in effect helping to ruin the industry you are hoping to find work in. These mags rely on free content, but use paid, professional models to "headline" and attract readers. Whilst it may seem attractive, allowing yourself to be published for free in these mags is more likely to have a negative than positive effect on your career. Don’t do it. If you are good enough, they will pay you. Another point to consider is that when you give them an image, you sign away all rights, they can and do use these images as they please. You would not be the first girl who gets a shock when she finds out she is the "face" of an anal sex phone sex line....

**Lads mags are already a dying breed, so by the time you read the above, may not actually exist, so the paragraph could be irrelevant.

There is probably one more type of glamour model I haven’t mentioned, that’s the TV girls. One of the mainstays of British Glamour modelling nowadays are the various late night TV/Chatline stations. Its good, regular work with decent wages, but remember its not exactly the Pirelli Calendar. You basically spend your shift shaking your boobs and ass on live TV in a tacky set whilst talking dirty on the phone so guys can have a wank. Not glamorous and not something you want to show your Gran, but regular money, so not to be sniffed at.

So, you want to give it a go. First step? read to the bottom of the page, check all the links, if you still want to do it, get a decent portfolio. Send me an email with a recent photo if you want, but be prepared for a straight answer. I'm not going to be rude to you, but I will be honest. If I think you are wasting your time I'm going to tell you, please be prepared for that. You don’t have to take my word though, other photographers may have a different opinion, so seek a second or even third opinion, but if they are all negative, please don’t kid yourself, this simply means its not going to happen for you.

You will also need to register on model portfolio hosting sites. The best are www.purpleport.com www.purestorm.com and to a lesser extent www.modelmayhem.com and madcowmodels.com These sites have a lengthy list of advice/terms and conditions and step by step guides about how to do this that and the other. For goodness sake read it! Its there for your benefit, spend a couple of hours carefully reading everything and it will save you a lot of time, hassle and generally looking stupid. As a model your eyes and your brain are your best assets…try and use them!

Social media sites now play a big part in modelling and are certainly useful, but my advice is that wherever possible make all bookings via recognised portfolio hosting sites. Whilst not perfect, these sites have a referencing system and generally do their best to promote responsible behaviour and model safety.

A bit about your work options. If you are thinking about nude modelling, you really need to know where your work is and what you are getting into. Most of your work will be with amateur photographers rather than Professionals, that’s not necessarily a bad thing at all, but the Professional Photographer thing is a bit like the Professional Model thing, most guys (it usually is guys) who claim to be “Professional” are kidding themselves, on the internet there are a handful of photographers who make a full time living photographing models.

There are a very small number of photographers like myself who shoot glamour and adult for publication and there are a small number of dedicated creative amateur photographers who shoot a variety of styles very well and to a high standard simply as a hobby and because they get genuine satisfaction from it.

However, most internet photographers are simply doing it because they want to take pictures of a naked girl in the same way as most guys who look at pictures of naked girls on the internet do it so they can get off on it. This doesn’t make them perverts, this makes them normal. Your boyfriend, partner, brother, cousin, father, whoever probably does exactly the same thing….remember that, guys wank over images/videos of naked girls all the time. The guys who take their own pictures are simply cutting out the middle man and shooting their own wanking material. As long as they treat you with respect during a shoot, you don't really need to concern yourself with their motives.

You also need to learn about levels and modelling terms. Go to the glossary section of this site and read it. It will only take 5 minutes, so please do it! You need to understand what is expected of you on any shoot, so make damn sure you understand levels, know what you will and wont do and always know exactly what’s expected of you. Ask…don’t be shy, asking questions is not a sign of stupidity…not asking questions or not knowing what you are getting into is!

THIS SECTION RELATES TO GENERAL MODELLING AVICE

The next piece of advice is fundamentally important! How you conduct yourself is even more important than how you look, if you want to be a successful model. Its no coincidence that the most successful models are the most organised, reliable and professional models. Always communicate properly and by that I mean use proper English, be polite and respond quickly to enquiries. Be professional and reliable in your approach to shoots and be organised. Pay attention to detail and make sure you understand what the photographer expects. Pay attention to things like nails, hair etc (obvious, but its surprising how many models neglect their nails!) If you are shooting with me I expect you to read, understand and adhere to the Pre-shoot Preparation section of this site. Go and look at it after you read this.

What you need to do

SAFETY

As a new model..well, as a model full stop - your safety is paramount. Take a few simple precautions to ensure your safety. In general if your shoot is at a reputable studio or with an established photographer with checkable references, you should not encounter any problems. Always let a third party know where you are and that you have arrived safely and also that you have departed safely. Things become more risky when you have location shoots or you are shooting at your own or the photographers home. If you cannot obtain suitable references which satisfy you of the photographers reputation and your safety, you should decline the shoot. Don’t take any risks, most photographers are respectable honest individuals, but its like any other field, there are bad apples about. Some models take a chaperone, photographers have mixed feelings about this. I personally don’t allow chaperones/unconnected third parties anywhere near my shoots, but then I’m an established Professional with an impeccable and highly checkable reputation. I generally feel that a model should not be shooting in circumstances where she feels a chaperone is required for her safety.

BEST AVOIDED

Philip Sutcliffe, Fiona Cooper, The Walpole Group, Ventura DVD.

Don't necessarily trust other models, many models will put personal gain in whatever way they perceive it, whether its bragging rights, pictures or usually money before their's and your safety. Remember this. An example is this individual Why is this guy still operating?...because you models allow him to. who has been getting away with it for 30 year's and continues to get away with it, simply because many models are more interested in high fee's than their's or your safety. A rotten company who nobody in the industry should support. The same goes for The Wallpole Group Avoid This Agency who have a history of sending new models to Sutcliffe in the absolute knowledge they are in danger. A disgusting enterprise who any model with an ounce of self respect should avoid.

PHOTOGRAPHERS

Photographers can be either Professional, semi-pro or amateur. This description only refers to their work status as a photographer and not to their ability. It is worth remembering that because an individual describes him or herself as an amateur, this doesn't necessarily mean their photographic abilities will be less than a professional. There are some brilliant amateur photographers out there and some poor professionals, judge a photographer by their ability not their status as amateur or professional.

A good photographer has the same qualities as a good model, they should be professional, polite organised and reliable, whether amateur or professional. The levels of the shoot should have been discussed beforehand and you should be treated with courtesy and respect at all times. Also, in general there should be no physical contact between model and photographer, ie if a photographer comes out with a bottle of baby oil and asks you to stand still while he applies it, then alarm bells should start ringing. It is acceptable for a photographer to adjust your hair or clothing (in non intimate areas)to save you moving from a pose, AFTER he has asked your permission, but this is generally as far as physical contact should go. Also, sleazy language and inappropriate personal comments are not acceptable.

Whilst some models are uninhibited and are happy just to change clothing or underwear in front of photographers to save time, this is their choice, however there should always be a separate, private area for you to use for changing if you so wish.

PAYMENT

Unless agreed otherwise prior to the shoot, you can reasonably expect to be paid your agreed fee in cash (small sums) or cheque/bank transfer (larger sums) immediately after the shoot. One of the most frequent questions asked by models is what should I charge?

Good Question! around £30/£40 an hour seems to be the going rate for a good Pro model but there is no set scale, in theory good models are worth more, average models are worth less, most models should not get paid at all. In reality, its simply a question of what people are prepared to pay you.

Generally full or half day bookings will be at a discounted rate, for instance a reasonable daily rate for art/playboy nude would be £200 for most models, maybe up to £300 for an exceptional model.

Top shelf style nudity is normally paid depending on the level of explicitness and the publication. The minimum rate should be in the region of £50 hourly or £250 daily and for certain prestigious jobs a top model may get as much as £500 per day. High fees up to that sort of figure can also apply for niche markets or fetishes. Its worth noting that it is often the type of job or the duration, not the standard of model which defines the fee. Models with a USP (unique selling point) such as over 30's, big breasted models and models with pubic hair can often attract higher than normal fees.

In most cases the highest fee most models will be offered is around £350 daily, but in all cases a wise model will ask exactly what she is expected to do for a particular fee and how long "a day" may be. ie, £350 for an easy 5 hour day may well be more attractive than a grueling 12 hour day paying £500.

I would also suggest that any offer in excess of £500 should be looked at very closely and any offer of a daily fee into 4 figures should almost certainly be disregarded on safety grounds. Any offer which seems to good to be true almost certainly is. Internet models do not get paid 4 figures per day for genuine safe solo work, it simply doesn't happen, so when you get offered a high fee ask a lot of questions!

There is also an internet myth that new models get paid more for adult and glamour, using the fresh face/fresh meat theory. The reality is that "fresh meat" is a porn expression (which not unreasonably, some readers may find distasteful) and the theory may hold true in hardcore porn but is not necessarily true in other areas and particularly not true in solo adult. In my field the models who get paid most are the ones who build up popularity and a fan base over a period of time and those with a USP as mentioned above. Certainly new models are sought after and can earn well, but its more due to the number and frequency of bookings, usually from amateur photographers and "model collectors" on portfolio hosting sites, rather than an increased daily rate. But the fact still is that the early part of a models career presents an excellent earning opportunity if she manages it well.

COPYRIGHT/CONTRACT/MODEL RELEASES

A subject in itself.
Very boring but absolutely essential reading for models...

Now you have read this far you need to remember one thing more than anything else…THINK CAREFULLY BEFORE YOU GET NAKED ON THE INTERNET. Once you do it and you are out there you can never go back. Images are on the internet forever and don’t listen to any of this “it wont be seen…or it will only be seen in x,y,z country“. If you are naked on the internet, you will be seen everywhere and more than likely by your family or someone you know…remember this.

See here
You won't like this for sure...