Quite often newer photographers and models ask when the clock starts when it comes to paying a model. Some seem to think it starts once the model is out of hair and makeup, the lights are set up and tested, and the photographer is ready to start shoot. However, that is not the case.
The clock starts the moment the model arrives at the shoot location. Not when the hair and makeup is done. Not when the photographer is finished setting up and testing his lights. Not when the model finally gets in wardrobe and starts posing. A model’s time starts the second she arrives at the location to start hair and makeup.
Why? Because while the model is in hair and makeup, she’s technically working. She certainly can’t be shooting with someone else, or working an event, or looking for gigs during that time. She’s on the clock with that specific photographer and team, the moment she sets foot in the door.
Save some time. While the model is in hair and makeup, the photographer should be setting up his backdrop or designing his set, getting his lights up, and making sure everything works. Then, when the model is made up and in wardrobe, he can snap off a few tests, adjust if necessary, and then start shooting. If, that is, he hasn’t done it before she arrived (though this can mean sitting and waiting on the photographer’s end… so maybe have a compy nearby you can edit on). Having a model wait around while the photographer sets up a backdrop and lights is just a waste of time and money.
Save some money. If you’re not working with a MUA and hair stylist, then ask that the model comes with basic makeup done (concealer, foundation, contouring) and that she bring the rest of her makeup kit with her so that she can adjust her look as necessary prior to shooting. Have her come with her hair done too, and bring a few extra things so she can change it up if necessary. This will save some significant time and means you can start shooting sooner instead of waiting for the model to do her whole face, style her hair entirely, etc.
Not sure how long to book a model for? Many models will be willing to discuss hourly rates with you if you’re not sure how long your shoot will be. Sometimes, it may be easier to book a set block of time and discuss an hourly rate for after that block, in case the shoot runs long. Other times, it’s easier just to book a model on an hourly basis, and plan to not exceed X hours. It all depends on the shoot, the prep time needed on set, and how many looks you’ll be doing. So have that stuff worked out as best you can before discussing rates, if at all possible.
Hey, apparently, this was my 290th post! Neat!