This is how I do it, I do not know how others do it if they have a mathematical system or not some photographers simply hire pretty faces only and mold them to their needs which is fine and golly for them but I am not wasting cash shamelessly on not properly paying a paid model their actual worth or simply paying them based on whatever they say their worth.
(Update Post Here: 7/22/2015)
I've written about this many times so if you want much more in-depth details go here and here to view other similar blogs about a model's value, this is just the formula basically for those math freaks.
Here's (section) variables with sub-variables, you combine the sub-variables and section-variables together to get the average number of that section's variable. You can also combine all section variables into 1 primary average number to give grand total qualification of that paid pro model. These variables are just the important ones that I'd use, of course if you don't care about these numbers and only care about the model's looks you can move on and don't read the following math stuff. Scale is 1 = being worst to 10 = being best.
- Overall Number of Shoots: _____
- Number of Shoots with different photographers: _____
- Number of Shoots of Genre You're Looking For: _____ (combine 3 of these scale into 1 average)
- Overall Legitimate Tearsheets: _____
- Legitimate Tearsheets of Genre You're Looking For: _____ (combine 2 of these scale into 1 average)
- Posing Skills: ______
- Communication Skills: ____
- Overall Portfolio: ______
- Portfolio Specific to Genre You're Looking For: ______
- Professionalism: _____
- Social/Fan Base: _____ (based on number of followers on major social media platforms)
- Social Interaction: _____ (based on how active model and fan interaction such as comments/shares/retweets/favorites/etc.)
- Social Freshness Publication Release: _____ (based on how recent they have been published into a major publication)
- Social Acceptance (likeness level): _____ (combine 4 of these scale into 1 average)
Of course there is a ton of variables above you can exclude some or include more as you see fit. If you need to spend $1000 on 1 freelance paid pro model I'd seriously look closely at their true worth, but again this depends on your goals if you couldn't care less about their popularity level remove "Social/Fan Base" variable, or same with tearsheets. It is up to you.
I know most of you will go straight for the looks which is fine again, just keep in mind if you want to spend the best and most efficient on working with freelance paid pro models this formula should be kept handy for you won't recklessly spend based on the model's looks fitting your projects. Which may be worth doing if you got the extra time to work with models demanding money and rates they're clearly not qualified for and you need their look real badly for your specific shots for your portfolio... trust me I know exactly how you feel if you need their look you offer what their actually worth but if you are serious about how much you need their very specific look in your portfolio go, jump the ship for that look, sometimes it is worth it sometimes it is not. It is very subjective, but in the business world it is not subjective, it is the numbers.You will get a bigger ROI (return on investment) when you have a much higher rated (based on the above scale and formula system) ROI by hiring that model with a high rating vs. a low rating.
I personally only started to pay models only because I needed better skilled and looking models into my portfolio so to justify a decent ROI I thought the only way I can pay these models if I plan to sell these photos as prints like posters or calendars cause simply hiring them strictly for my portfolio is not justifiable for me and for my ROI. Yea, the ROI will take a long time cause I can't sell just 1 image, I'd need to sell a collection of photos either to stock, or sell direct to consumer with calendars/posters, etc. whatever gets my return, at the least break even point. Have I sold any today, no, after 2 years of paying some models (3-5 models per year) because that is a whole other story I'll keep it short so I could get into another blog based on just print sales how it works and not works, but for right now answer it is not an online buying product most of the time, it would do a whole lot better in-person with a physical product making that impulse buy much more intense.
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