Fellow model Dekilah (an art nude model) wrote an excellent blog about rates, where she talks about working trade, setting rates, when to start charging, and much more. It’s geared towards freelance models who aren’t agency represented, and is full of great information. Here’s an excerpt:
IS THERE ANYTHING BESIDES LOCATION, STYLE, AND BUDGET THAT I SHOULD CONSIDER IN CHOOSING MY RATES?
Yes, and usage of the images is a big consideration. Will they be submitted to websites? Sold as prints? Sold to private sellers? The budget of the shoot will often reflect the usage. For example, if the photographer is going to sell prints or to a private buyer or website, they are likely to have a larger budget than if they are simply hiring you for artistic or portfolio purposes. This is not always true, of course, but often. Usage information will often be given in the release, but I recommend asking as you book the shoot and it never hurts to ask for specifics if they are not already given.
And another, which I agree 100% with:
SHOULD I KEEP DOING TF AFTER I START CHARGING RATES?
Most people agree that the answer to this is “yes, under the right circumstances.” The whole idea behind doing TF is usually to build your portfolio. And if/when you begin to charge rates, you will still want to update your portfolio, but generally when you are paid, you no longer receive images. There are exceptions to this, but in the general “rules” your payment is what you get out of the shoot. So when you want to update your portfolio you will either need to do TF or pay a photographer.
If you’re curious about my rates, go here, where I discuss them.