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studio model shooting for stock - dilemma; advice?

Discussion in 'People' started by ednaz, May 3, 2005.

  1. i'm careening towards renting a studio for a day, along with lights and probably a d2x, along with my own gear (f100 and bronica mf) to shoot a bunch of stock image ideas that i've shown to a couple guys who manage photographers. they both said that if i can pull them off, they can market the devil out of the images, and out of me. Obviously an attractive concept.

    my dilemma: between the studio rental, gear rental, purchasing of the props and a few of the clothing items, i'm laying out a bunch of money. i can't afford to hire three $75 an hour models and hairdressers and makeup. there are a number of newbies in the modeling business who'll work for portfolio shots, and because i used to make a living as an acting instructor and director (until i was 30 that's how i made my living) i feel like i can get great performances out of untrained talent. nevertheless, without their (maybe latent) talent, i'd have nothing.

    if things work really well (my personal odds assessment is that it's a really small chance), and i make some really nice money, i feel like it's unfair of me to have only paid the talent in a few prints for their use. maybe its my own cringe left over from the shows i used to do where other people made a bunch of money and i just got my next meals, or some deeply hidden socialist tendency. i've thought about trying to do gain sharing, but the tracking and accounting would be a nightmare - film and commercial studios spend a fortune trying to track royalties and still get it wrong a lot. (something i know, again, from personal experience.)

    am i being a wimp on this? what's fair here?
  2. tweber


    Feb 12, 2005
    St. Louis

    We're in the middle of selling and buying a house. I locked in at 5 7/8% four weeks ago. Since then the rates dropped 3/8th's of a point. I was in an ethical dilemma about using a quote from another mortgage company to "persuade" my lender to renegotiate. My financial planner had two words to say when I explained my dilemma: "Do it!"

    After a savings of about $20,000 over the life of my loan my ethical dilemma quickly faded away.

    Moral of the story - if you have young talented prospective models who are willing to work for portfolio shots, you are giving them the value of your years of experience and your talent in exchange for a day's work. My advice: "Do it!"


  3. sinapps


    Apr 30, 2005
    I have worked with a few models in the same situation. If I at any point thought I would end up reselling the shots I always paid the model an hourly rate.

    To protect yourself - make sure that the model signs a fairly broad release. Most will not read it, just glance at it and sign on the dotted line. To sleep better at night tell the model before she signs - "I may have an opportunity to sell these images for stock in the future - is this ok with you?"

    Finally, if you can not pay the models at this time, offer to trade the model her time in this shoot for your time in a second shoot. The second shoot will be for the model and she will get full usage rights to her images. In most cases the model will find this to be a satisfactory arrangement.
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