Model Pay by Hollis Ireland


Photos by Creyr Glas Lightworks.


Despite the overwhelming amount of women who are comfortable disrobing for a camera, I still believe that shooting the female form should be considered a privilege, not a right. Therefore, I think a model should (almost) always charge a fee, no matter how small, when shooting artistic, glamour, or Playboy-level nudes, and she should always charge a fee when shooting erotic or Hustler-style content. I think nude trade should only be pursued with extremely talented, well-known photographers (and although the two don’t have to be mutually exclusive, working with a big-name photographer can help boost a model’s brand). If a new model wishes to build a portfolio of nudes, or any type of high-quality photo work for that matter, she should consider paying a highly-skilled photographer instead of shooting trade with an often unworthy-but-willing amateur.  



With the above exception of portfolio-building or worthwhile trade with a professional, I don’t think a model should accept unpaid gigs regardless of how much she enjoys her craft. Can you imagine how many individuals would be out of a job if every profession adopted that attitude? When a model chooses to consistently work for free, she does a disservice to herself and to every single female trying to make a living creating nude images. On top of devaluing her talent, beauty, and professional behavior, she is also making it that much harder for every other model to find photographers willing to pay for the privilege of shooting her. Even if a woman only models part-time and doesn’t charge an industry-standard rate, it still enforces the idea that she deserves compensation in trade for sharing her nude form.  



When shooting erotic work, I don’t think any exceptions should be made unless the model owns and runs a website or other sort of business venture, and will be able to profit from the images in the future. There is nothing wrong with a woman who is comfortable being photographed in sensual, erotic, or downright sexual situations as long as she is being treated like a business person. Too many photographers seem to believe that if a woman enjoys showing off her curves, it is his right to see her more private parts (and potentially photograph them in detail). This is an attitude that can only be made right by models denying a client this type of content without proper payment. In the case of erotic work, rate discounts or negotiations should not be taken as far. If a man cannot pay a decent rate, then he should not be allowed to photograph a woman in such an intimate situation. Even with the prevalence of pornography, which in itself is far from being inherently wrong, more models need to take control of how men value their contribution to the niche.  


~ Hollis Ireland


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