Hey guys, it appears we are sold out for factory space until January, so Nash is waitlisting brands right now. While we are busy sewing and cutting, we decided to talk about some technical parts of the business to help friends grow their business. Today, paid catalog modeling jobs. Professional catalogs are a designer’s lifeblood, and for models, they provide a great way to earn extra cash. You don't need to be perfect, just well-cared for. Prices generally range from $100-300 for a 4-hour or less shoot to $1,000/day for larger sets. This is a great way to legally make a good chunk of cash in a few hours of work. Breaking in generally gets down to signed representation and model speed.
The signed representation part is what everyone talks about. Models are often booked in groups instead of individually, so it's easier and safer often to join a group for photo shoots. From personal experience of living with several models in college and hearing their wins and horror stories, I’ve observed that many models consider the female run or husband/wife team better than male run ones. When a woman is in control of all or part of the company, the PAY and treatment are often better. There are exceptions to this rule of thumb, but it seems to be something people talk about in my travels. There are two to three firms in the area, but Raleigh is a bus, train, & plane hub, so it's easy to reach larger agencies by travel. Ford in NYC is the gold standard, but there are many others. Excellent local photographers can put together a series of headshots for you at $50-200 to help you land that first gig. Locally, Chris Florio springs to mind.
Which gets to the other harder part of the equation. A lot of what makes the big bucks for models is not just looking pretty (to be frank, pretty doesn't mean a lot to photographers as they know tons of tricks to make you look pretty), but being able to work quickly. People remember you if you can quickly strike profitable poses in succession that clients will LIKE. Most photographers ideally want to photograph an entire collection in a day or weekend. Their equipment is expensive and technical. They have expectations on the number of items they need to shoot each day, generally 50+ and sometimes upwards to 200, depending on the client. In addition to the time you are there, they will have to set up, break down, and edit the photos afterwards in the studio.
Thankfully, speed modeling is also something you can learn to give yourself an edge for being remembered and requested. I stumbled across this gem of a youtube channel a while ago and thought I would share it for aspiring model friends. Katya Shaposhnikova has some of the best videos and explanations I've seen to date on how to model. If you have a couple of minutes and a bathroom mirror, I encourage you to watch her and learn a few tricks. Even if it's just to improve your Christmas cards. Happy modeling.
Dara and Nash are two happily married craftspeople who love making practical beautiful things.