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04-12-2010
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Should Models Get Paid (More) for Editorial Work?
I have been planning on creating a thread for this topic for a while and due to recent events, specifically some information gleaned from papers filed in conjunction with a lawsuit against a major agency by three of its former models, I think that the article below covering the matter serves as a good jumping off point to discuss this issue.

From shine.yahoo.com:
Quote:
How much money a model really makes
by Joanna Douglas, Shine Staff,
Wed Dec 1, 2010 12:54pm PST

This week Jezebel ran an article about three models who are suing Next management for stealing their money. Anna Jagodzinska, Karmen Pedaru, and Anna Cywinska, claim their agency owes them a collective $750,000, and though they left Next back in April, the company has refused to pay the models the money they are owed. Each of them are seeking these back payments plus $1 million in damages.

While we empathize with anyone who's been ripped off, we were truly fascinated by Jagodzinska's April 23 account statement, which shows exactly how much she was supposed to earn for each of her modeling jobs. For any of you who have ever wondered just how much a model makes for striking a pose, prepare to be amazed:

* French Vogue shoot - $125
* Vogue shoot - $250

* J.Crew campaign - $15,000
* H&M campaign - $60,000
* Laird & Partners productions - $35,000 (they produce ads for luxury companies like Donna Karan and Bottega Veneta)
* Grey Paris productions - $172,500 (they also produce ad campaigns)

Check out the full invoice [below]:

Anna Jagodzinska's April 23 account statement from Next modeling agency.
Image credit: Jezebel / gawker


So while appearing in Vogue may boost a model's status or seem really fancy, the big bucks clearly come from mainstream ad campaigns. And while this statement shows Jagodzinska raking in $231,372, Next took $56,675 of her pay as commission. What's leftover for standing around looking pretty sure isn't bad, but it's chump change when compared with the 10 highest earning models, according to Forbes. Below, the most gorgeous ladies with the fattest paychecks this year: -more-


Last edited by agee; 04-12-2010 at 05:04 PM.
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04-12-2010
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No I don't think models deserve more money for posing in clothes and being genetically blessed.

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04-12-2010
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Lol they do get paid for editorials, just not very much. I mean are they really working? Sure there are tricks to modeling and it can be tiring/grueling, but I've personally never really thought what they do is work, they help shift products by displaying them but it's not like they actually made them or anything lol.

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For those who don't know, as a general rule, major fashion magazines like the various editions of Vogue do not pay models for their appearance in their magazines or they are paid very little, like the $150-250 payment noted in post #1 plus expenses.** The logic / justification for this way of doing business is among other things:
  • working for a major magazines and being shot by a top photographer is prestigious and highly coveted and that in and of itself is a form of compensation;
  • the model is getting valuable experience and exposure;
  • appearing in the magazine should (hopefully) yield well-paying downstream work for the model.

In other words, not getting paid (getting paid very little) is seen as an investment by the model and her agent in terms of experience, exposure and relationships and the monetary benefit comes from the paying work that the model is expected (hopes) to get as a result of the bragging rights that come from appearing in a major magazine and being photographed by a top photographer and also (presumably) the skill set that she is building from doing this type of work.

** ETA:
I have read different things about expenses, I have heard / read that some magazines don't cover expenses, but not too long ago someone who seemed to be in the know, posted in another thread that the publications that s/he is familiar with do cover expenses, so I am relying on that for now until I see something different from a credible source.


Last edited by agee; 04-12-2010 at 05:50 PM.
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04-12-2010
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In a way the models who land the Vogue editorials are already being paid by the designers who --chances are- picked them to wear the designer's clothes on the runway. Isn't it understood that editorial girls tend to be the girls who designers want to see in their clothes so editorial and runway models tend to be one and the same?

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Lol prestige does not pay rent...

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04-12-2010
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^amen. I wonder how long the average new runway/editorial model stays in debt to their booker anyways?
modeling is far too political, if you don't have a look of the moment you could be passed off even though you may very well be a good model.

lmao and yet, people still continue to rag on models who mostly do commercial work. prestige my a**

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04-12-2010
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From my understanding models are paid little to nothing on editorial, and they sometimes do runway for trade(unless they are a top name or are opening the shows). Really the only money that comes in is for commercial work.

In my opinion models should get paid more for editorial work... and this will hopefully have people take editorials seriously. I mean models have gotten into the habit of "standing around and posing" and I frankly hate it. Besides a select few, the art of posing is lost. I think this is really encouraged by the lack of funding.

But on the other hand I kind of feel like we get into the process of blaming magazines and bookers and agencies for modeling conditions when at the end of the day... the models accept the conditions. Sooo they must be getting something that they want out of it... just saying it.

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My two cents on the matter is that models should get paid a real wage for their services and $150-250* is not a real wage for people who get paid five and six figures for work that takes a similar amount of time and skill. The investment argument makes sense if we are discussing a new model or a model trying to reboot or redirect her career, but for most covers and eds, the model is often a critical component of what sells the magazine or makes the editorial successful, so why shouldn't she get paid for her time and effort just like the photographer, stylist, hair and makeup people were paid for theirs.

My issue with the "it's an investment" argument is that there are more magazine pages to fill than there are campaigns to go around, especially considering that celebrities are also part of the pool that designers pull from for casting a campaign, so as time passes, the editorial-campaign connection gets more and more tenuous. My thing is that within a year, most MDC Top 50 type models and those one or two steps below that should have a "full" book and her look, her professionalism, her strengths and weaknesses and her viability as a campaign model are known, so why should she continue "investing" as opposed to just getting paid for a day's work. To me, the compensation process when it comes to editorial work should not be that different than runway work, an unknown newbie may have to work for free / peanuts for experience and exposure, but the ones who prove themselves get paid for their services, because the designers know that their creations need to be presented the right way and most pay for that service, and the same should hold true for magazine covers and fashion stories / editorials.

* I think that some people have referred to this as "being paid scale," although I don't know what wage scale is being referred to here but, for simplicity, I may refer to these low three figure payments as scale.

P.S. Even though I hear over and over again that models don't get paid for editorials and covers, there is a part of me that thinks that top faces who are proven sellers of magazines like Daria, Natalia, Kate and Gisele have to get paid more than scale. But as I type this, as much as I have seen this subject discussed, I don't recall seeing a comment stating that supermodels / best selling faces are an exception and get directly compensated above scale. The only thing that comes to mind is that there are some backroom deals or some quid pro quo going on like if an editor or photographer lobbied for the model to get a campaign, the model then graces the cover as a gesture of appreciation. I can definitely see a semi-retired super, who only does a couple of covers a year not charging because she wants to keep her face out there or hang out / help an old photographer or editor friend, but I dunno, I am having a hard time wrapping my head around the likes of Gisele, Daria, Natalia and Kate putting in a day or two's work and getting paid 150 to 250 bucks for her time.

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04-12-2010
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I think they should get paid for the work that they do. They travel to these locations and put in similar hours of work that other people do. On the whole "models just pose don't do work" bull, you can say that about photographers or stylists. Why should photographers get paid for clicking a button and learning how light works? Why should stylists get paid for knowing what looks good with what? I believe there's more work that goes into modeling than most people think. I second markeses91's comment about the art of posing being lost. A model's look comes first and her skills come second; it's about learning your face, your body, angles, posing, how your look relates to lighting and clothes, evoking a relating emotion, learning how to walk, etc. A model is meant to sell a product and not just exist with a product.

**ETA: I realized this doesn't totally tie in with being paid more for editorial work. I may come back later and fix it up.

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A moderate amount of editorial work is an investment because not only does it lead to campaigns but it can open doors for better paying work(not always campaigns). Every model, whether being marketed as low-end fashion commercial to the highest, edgiest android fashion model needs editorials in her book. A model can't walk around the major model markets with tests in her book and expect decent paying work (good tests=maybe she can do good editorial. doing good editorial=ok, she is capable of doing campaign and catalog. bad test=harder time impressing photographer who is shooting editorial=harder time getting real work=maybe she shouldn't be a model is the reality)

It only takes a few editorials to make a great book. And it doesn't have to be from Vogue (or the conde nast variety) either but obviously here at tfs we like to focus on the creme de la creme fashion girls.
With those few editorials that a new girl spends maybe 3 or 4 days out of her entire first year (lets say she gets an editorial in Surface, Mexico Nylon, Fudge Japan and Ponytail) she can leverage her beginner level career into making some decent money. Some of those jobs could be shooting for the Saks website, a Japanese catalog that wants to use international models, paid lookbooks (yes, these exist!) etc.

Editorials are like better quality tests--when a girl goes on a casting for a money job like a campaign, the photographer and creative director usually go through her book. What the girl does in the editorial and whether or not she can deliver "the money shots" (meaning she has good control of her face expressions, can pose, can move, looks different in every shot) influences the decision to book her for the money job. Remember that campaigns, catalogs and commercials have a budget and they look to hire the model/s who will not require excess direction from the photographer and the need to hire a senior retoucher etc.

Every model needs and proves herself worthy through her editorials. Mind you, there are some girls who are never able to book an editorial because she is dead in front of the camera and therefore no one will book her for a money job. (I hear so much complaining from models who are no doubt pretty but they don't do anything in front of the camera--you can't have a 15 page catalog with a girl doing the same two faces and three poses! that's why she's not making money--sorry, but the reality is that there are too many girls who are trying to model and aren't right for it.)

The true commercial girls don't really make any more money than a buzzed fashion girl from the top 10 agencies. And at the end of the day, commercial clients favor the expensive high fashion girls versus the everyday so-so girls (Tiiu Kuik doing Macy's now, Cecilia Mendez for Bergdorfs)--a reason for that is because rates are so low today that a client will rather use a great girl than an ok girl). If anything, the true commercial girls are treated horribly and make a lot less (but I guess there is argument as to who is commercial and who is high fashion...). As far as I know, the girls who are able to afford to sign to rent an apartment in New York and live somewhat of a comfortable lifestyle (eat out, go out, shopping) are the girls who are doing more fashion oriented work (I live and work in NYC so I pretty much know the majority of the models at all the agencies from the top to the tiniest ones).
The girls I know who are shooting for Walmart, McCall's fashion pattern catalog, shooting for L'Oreal haircolor box etc make a lot less in a year and have more financial difficulty. The money is in luxury goods.

So I don't think models should get paid more for editorial work (and I am a model). Part of the shocking reaction from most people towards Anna J's invoice statement is due to the fact that rates are lower today.
A model needs to be proactive about her career. That includes working on her poses, her connection with the camera etc (Gisele makes the most money for a reason--that girl knows how to work the camera and hide her flaws. She can get the shot in the first try and that's why she is always hired). She also needs to ask and push her booker about her opportunities if she is serious about going somewhere with her career (whether that is trying to walk in 80 shows, wanting to do lingerie, wanting to do catalog etc). In addition, switching agencies can also help. Many models are not like this--many really do think modeling is just about being pretty...but it's not and that is the reason why many don't make it--sorry if this offends anyone.

No one else on the team gets paid for editorial work--it really is just an elevated test. Because sometimes shooting an editorial doesn't even get published! Top models shoot editorials to update their book and stay relevant and show that she still has "it"--it's a way to stay on top.

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^^ your information isn't factual. I'm a creative director and I have in fact been paid for lookbooks that I've worked on as well as editorials. I also know that photographers do get paid at publications for editorial work. If they weren't then why do some editorials cost $3000 to shoot? Things like the photographer and stylist get paid big money to do the editorials for big publications.

Also if you check MDC's top money making girls... they aren't the girls who book all the editorials. Why not, because like it's being laid out in this thread editorials don't make a model money. Basically an editorial is an ad for a model. It's saying hey this is what I can do, look at me. So then people will get accustomed not only to how you look but how you will fit in the pages of the magazines they will more than likely publish their campaigns in...

I don't really feel like readdressing every point you made but your information... just isn't factually based.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by markese91 View Post
^^ your information isn't factual. I'm a creative director and I have in fact been paid for lookbooks that I've worked on as well as editorials. I also know that photographers do get paid at publications for editorial work. If they weren't then why do some editorials cost $3000 to shoot? Things like the photographer and stylist get paid big money to do the editorials for big publications.

Also if you check MDC's top money making girls... they aren't the girls who book all the editorials. Why not, because like it's being laid out in this thread editorials don't make a model money. Basically an editorial is an ad for a model. It's saying hey this is what I can do, look at me. So then people will get accustomed not only to how you look but how you will fit in the pages of the magazines they will more than likely publish their campaigns in...

I don't really feel like readdressing every point you made but your information... just isn't factually based.
Yes, for big publications they can get paid more than the model. But for the majority of editorials out there, they don't. And I don't think the models should be getting paid for editorials. We are talking about different levels of prestige. Very few new fashion girls get into the big publications and there is a greater chance of booking the smaller budget independent publications that don't have contracted photographers (which is what I was talking about)--where no one is getting paid and sometimes it is just a spec so it is shopped around to get picked up or maybe not.
But either way getting a good book together is important for a models career and that means turning tests over and getting tearsheets in there. (I'm not sure if you read my response very clearly. )
I've never done a lookbook in which I've never been paid, maybe it is because I'm lucky or maybe it's because I've done some editorial.

MDC's money girls are the creme de la creme models that every girl dreams about. Many of them, however, were at some point getting very prestigious editorials which got them where they are. They're not walking around with empty books or just tests.

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05-12-2010
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Models should get paid as every other person going to work. I don't do work for free, neither should anyone else. The magazines should compensate the models for transportation and other expenses related to the shoot. That's how it works in the real world.

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2 things.
I fail to understand the "investment" thing about editorial.
If they must accept to work for peanuts caus editorial are supposed to be good for their carreer, isn't the same could be said from a big campaign?
Would u imagine CK to say to an agency, Sorry i dont pay your girl for my next campaign caus it is good for her carreer to work for me?


second thing is for me more disturbing. What's money turnover generated by a Vogue monthly? MILLIONS of dollars.
What is the production cost of some editorial? 25-50.000$ is not exceptional for big editorials.
so truly, who on earth can justify that the model receive 150$ in an overall production budget of sometimes 50.000$?


Last edited by fritmayo; 05-12-2010 at 04:51 AM.
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