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Rates have always been a hot topic when it comes to the business of modeling.  There’s never been any formal standard or guideline regarding the payment of models in the industry.  In fact, models have historically just been thankful to get paid at all, as collecting money from clients or agencies is often a nightmare. Further, because work is relatively scarce, many professional models decide to take certain bookings at perhap a lower rate than what they are used to, simply to fill their schedule and make ends meet. There’s also the fact that there are many different types of modeling work, and some jobs (like a fun runway show, or a quick beauty shoot) might be easier for models to accept for lower pay (versus a long day of showroom or grueling e-comm), especially during a slow week.  

The winning side of negotiation, however, has typically always sided with big business.  This makes sense because at the end of the day, they are the ones with the money and spending power.  But is that where it ends? Do businesses hold some responsibility as far as ensuring that talent is compensated in a fair and respectful manner?  Or is it their right in a free market to just auction the job off to the lowest bidder? Experience might tell us this: we get what we pay for. In that regard, negotiation between businesses and models should sort itself out for the best.  Companies willing to pay more will attract more experienced, more professional applicants, right?

So what role does a platform like AGENT play in all this?  By having models set their own rates at which clients must offer (or higher), theoretically some of the power is shifted back into their own hands. However, similar to the way unions have worked in the past, this only really is effective if most models participate in setting a fair minimum rate – and more importantly – sticking to it.  While AGENT can provide models with the necessary tools, technology, and community guidelines in order to support their desired/required, it’s really up to the models themselves to ensure they are paid what they feel is a fair wage. It’s up to YOU.

Laila Elise

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