It’s become a notorious issue throughout the Tri-State. Brands, photographers, and businesses are building their work off the backs of others. Since I’ve started this Modeling Agency, I’ve noticed a large number of companies and photographers that expect models to work for free. A new acquaintance of mine from Cali informed me that this behavior is unacceptable on the West Coast. She was astounded when I told her that brands in WV expect models to do stuff for little to no payment.
“Modeling takes a lot of time, money, and energy.” Said Kait Pickens and SDS Model, ” it’s difficult for me to buy beauty supplies, outfits and give my time for free while supporting a household. I encourage models to have rates and businesses to pay.”
I am breaking down “5 Reasons Why You Should Pay Models” to give businesses the knowledge on why to pay models, and how it betters their brand identity.
1. Models are working too
There’s a misconception that Models are “just doin’ it for fun.” Models spend hours keeping their appearance up, practicing poses, investing in marketing and industry research, and years building a portfolio. Models put up with sexual harassment, fight mental and physical health issues, and work in a highly competitive industry. Like photographers, brands, and artists, Models are working their craft. They possess a unique ability to see a to understand human beauty, have industry insight and knowledge, and maintain a specific trait that you need for your business.
Merriam-Webster defines a Model as “One who is employed to display clothes or other merchandise.” Businesses should always look to employ (Pay) models for their work, dedication, and knowledge.
Outside of time, practice, and knowledge Models invest in their work. Whether its buying outfits, makeup supplies, or paying for new classes. Models don’t invest in these things to shoot for free.
2. You pay for performance
You’ve heard the quote, “You pay for what you get.” If you are genuinely expecting the highest caliber talent, you should be using paid models. Why wouldn’t you want the best model to represent your brand or service?
Paying a model helps ensure that the competition stays high, and promotes excellent professionalism and opportunities for both businesses and models alike. Because models are expected to work free, you can bet that they will take jobs that are unprofessional and conflict with your core values. Be aware that just because you have a “brand” doesn’t entitle you to free work and doesn’t make your business a priority for models.
Also, what separates your brand from other lesser businesses, perverts, and community members who take advantage of models? If you have the same expectations for model compensation as they do, then you are on the same playing field. This practice means that models, customers, clients, and other stakeholders have no reason to chose your product over someone else’s.
3. Real brands don’t steal or build off the backs of other’s
Think of any five major fashion brands or companies. Now ask yourself, do they expect models to work for free? The answer is no. If they are a significant brand that doesn’t pay for the model’s service – then they should read this too, and feel embarrassed.
It is unacceptable to take advantage of people’s passions, services, kindness, and work. I don’t know a single lawyer, designer, photographer, or marketer who would happily give their services to anyone for free. However, these same businesses ask models to do work for free. It’s completely mind-boggling.
Yes, this includes you too, photographers. Photographers, you wouldn’t be okay with someone saying, “You do this for fun, and I help your portfolio, so I deserve your services for free.” Using models to expand YOUR portfolio without payment is not okay. It’s even more dirty to use models to get free content that you make money from, i.e. publications, and payed gigs from brands.
A serious business doesn’t ask other companies or services for free work.
I have a severe disrespect for a business that will take advantage of a model because they know models want work.
4. This behavior isn’t okay in other states or industries
As mentioned several times now – there are few industries where not paying someone for services is acceptable. Why do businesses, photographers, marketers, and brands throughout the Tri-State continue to think that it is okay to ASK and INSIST that Models work for free?
Brands and models pay for this WV State of mind. If I had a dime for every time, someone asked SDS for something for free…
I can’t imagine a company flourishing in a more populated state, such as California while expecting people to work for free. Models aren’t going to promote a brand for free while their competitors are paying.
Aside from it being just rude to ask for a creator, model, or artist for free service, it’s cheap. It doesn’t speak well of your brand. Outside of this region, more companies recognize this, which is why the good models leave and companies elsewhere flourish. Companies in other areas realize the potentials that are unlocked when you pay models.
5. You build and & empower
Finally, the most crucial factor of paying for services is that you empower and build. The modeling industry competition, quality, and expectations will quickly rise. This factor will give you a better selection of models and competitive advantage over your competitors.
Paying models also gives them the tools they need to grow their knowledge, style, careers, and opportunities.
Economically, morally, and strategically businesses benefit by paying models. It’s better for you, for the model, and other industries that flourish in the modeling economy.
Take the words here to heart. Models are workers who deserve payment for their services. That doesn’t mean you can’t negotiate the payment amount. No one is saying you have to pay the exact rates requested, but they are asking you do the right thing and pay for a service well done.
Take the high ground and be a business that supports other services and wants to contribute back to the community.
Who is SDS?
SDS Modeling Company, LLC, is a WV Modeling Agency and Publication Production Company. SDS came about recently after Sayre Design Studio, LLC, saw a need for professional modeling services across the Trig-State. Our biggest goal is offering professional opportunities for both businesses and models alike.
SDS stands for Sayre Design Studio, LLC- which is a Marketing Agency, and the first business started by Christopher Sayre.