Where's my pay?
As a model, you may be shocked to learn that your booked modelling job won't pay you straight away... not even every two weeks. The standard payment to a model after a job is 30-90 days. Reel Management knows what that feels like. Waiting for the money to hit your account. So we move heaven and earth to get you paid within a reasonable time. Usually in two weeks. We are the only agency on the Gold Coast that will do this. But for a big job with a big client, we will all have to wait. And Wait. So unless you're on set shooting everyday, that's a long time to wait for money. What to do in the meantime? Get yourself an easy job that has flexibility. Take Note* Most modelling work happens Mon - Fri from 7am to 7pm. As a model you need to be at a casting 15 minutes earlier than the call time. For a booked job, you need to arrive 20 minutes before the scheduled start time. This is highly important. Time is money when you are working with the daylight hours. To keep the professional photographer, makeup artist and client waiting is a huge no-no. You also need to turn up without an entourage (your mother, your boyfriend, your best friend) if you are 16 yrs and older. At this age, you are considered an adult. If you want to model, you need to be available and interested with reliable transport and a good working phone with GPS for those tricky-to-find locations.
But don't think these hours are predictable. A models working hours are never the same. Sometimes you'll need first light. That means getting up at 2am for travel time, hair and makeup to be ready in summertime for a dawn shoot. You'll be shooting summer clothes in winter (brrrrr) and winter clothes in summer (!!) A good side line job is in a cafe or restaurant. Nightclubs will keep you up late at night having a bad effect on your skin and sleeping patterns. Working in a team, doing the mundane chores that don't require a lot of brain power so you have the energy to get home and switch off for a good nights rest is a good way to earn your rent and basics. Your booker will know whether you've got the job, usually the day before. But it is hard to predict when there are weather checks, reschedules due to the garments not arriving in time... conflicts with the booked photographer getting other work or if you get double booked on the same day. So many variables. But that is why we love the industry. No day is ever the same.
All images by Elsa Dillon and her ace team
Most models don't make millions, some make enough to live comfortably, a few make enough to get by and the rest will need to move back home. Or stay at home with your parents. Why do models give up on their dreams? Because not only do they not understand that it takes time to build your client base and develop as a model but some models might expect everything to be handed to them. Or they may be lazy. Without holding a second job to keep you motivated and earning money with a purpose, being too impatient to put in the hard work (working out, testing all the time, using social media to build their brand) can have a knock on effect with your well being.
You have to think about the long game in this industry. All the top models had part time jobs (unless their parents were able to support them like Gigi and Bella Hadid) while waiting for their big break, and they weren't glamorous jobs either. 2-3 years is about what it takes for a model to establish themselves. Social media is helping some models fast track their careers, which is exciting but can have other pitfalls.
You can't pay rent, buy food, up-to-date fashion, makeup kits or do test shoots and simply tell your landlord you're becoming a model. The Landlord won't accept products as money either, so as much as it's fun to receive a free bikini, you have to learn and set some boundaries around social media, your time and free gifts.
Agents don't want to deal with someone who is not actively working on themselves. Have something going for yourself, be active, be involved, and most of all, demonstrate a humble attitude. No one wants to work with diva's. #Model #fashion #runway #commercial #editorial #elsadillonphotography