Magazine Work for Models

Posted on November 18, 2012


One of the things as a model (and photographer) that everyone strives to do is get magazine work. Some models who have never had work involving magazines thinks it is something that will bring in some decent money as a model. It also publicizes the model (or photographer) for more work, and gives the model a tear sheet (or more) to use in their book. This makes you more credible as a model, and will allow the model to earn more money.

The first thing to understand is that there is very little money with the actual magazine work itself. Very few pay a lot of money. Even the magazines you see on news stands at the grocery don’t pay well – maybe a little to defray room and board. If you are lucky, it will also cover your travel expenses. If you do a great job and the work is published, you _will_ get more jobs that actually pay. You may even end up with a contract as a model. That is where you get your money from magazine work. In the current state of the economy, there are very few magazines that are paying for work (even to photographers). Add to this that almost anyone can start up a magazine for little money if they are willing to put in some effort. I have seen several photographers and college graduates do this. If you get published in one of these, don’t get a fat head and demand being paid for your work because you are a published model. You are just the same model as before, but you have been published in one of these vanity magazines.

The second thing to realize is you can’t publish ANYTHING from the shoot until after it is published by the magazine. Publishing includes posting anything from the shoot to Twitter, Facebook, Tumbler, LinkedIn, or the like. That includes candid images from getting your makeup or hair done, cell images, and even the actual images that were taken. They may include short video captured on your cell phone. For the vanity magazines, this isn’t much of a problem. The self-published world doesn’t usually care. Outside of the vanity or self-publish world, this becomes a major issue. If a magazine sees anything from the shoot show up anywhere, everything with the shoot heads to the round file and is never seen again. If this was an assignment for the photographer, the photographer will be in some serious trouble if anything gets published. So, when can you post any images from the shoot if you are doing magazine work? The best advice is to only put up images that have been printed by the magazine as tear sheets. This means that you may never be able to see or post any images from one of these types of shoots. That is the nature of this beast.

Finally, I have been on shoots where no one gets paid and there isn’t even a makeup or hair stylist to full blown teams of people with everyone being paid a little. Depending on the magazine type and if this is spec work, this can vary tremendously. Spec work is speculative work – the photographer shoots something and then tries to get it published. It means that the photographer is taking the risk for the expenses of the shoot. The key to understand here is that not all work is assigned and guaranteed to be published.

I hope this helps you to understand a little about magazine work.

Edit: Here is a link to a Jezebel article on a law suit that shows what Vogue Magazine paid one model: $125 per day.

Posted in: Modeling, Photography