In this post: modeling agencies, photo shoots, model releases, contracts, fees, usage rights, rates, tattoos, outfits, change of clothes, portfolio, case studies.
Modeling agency stories and those about models for hotel and resort photo shoots swing in either direction.
At all costs avoid thinking beautiful people will be staying at your hotel or visiting your restaurant and for the cost of dinner or attraction. It’s unrealistic to believe that for a few drinks or dinner you can talk guests and customers into being models for your photo shoot.
In more than 35 years of being involved with photo shoots, I’ve only seen that happen once and we shot the two people from behind as they toasted the sunset. We got lucky.
Using a modeling agency is well worth the investment; do not nickel and dime their rates. Photo shoots are expensive and involved. Do it right. Pay for high-quality models that are a match to your intended clientele.
Can you have bad experiences with contracted modeling agency services? Absolutely.
Case Study #1
The recent college grad with a degree in photography, who happened to be related to the hotel general manager, arranged for the models. Rather than a one-time fee, the contract required an annual fee to be paid to the models in perpetuity. This must be what was taught in some college courses.
With the turnover in hotel marketing and management, how do you keep tabs on something like that? You really can’t. A year after the GM moved on, all the digital images from the photographer including those with the models were destroyed. The next photo shoot with models … we encouraged the property to pay a higher one-time fee for unlimited usage rights. Pay once and be done.
The agency that hired the photographer also hired the models. One 30-ish male model while tan had spent too much time in the sun or in a tanning booth. He had deep wrinkles on his forehead and crows feet around his eyes. The other male model when paired with the dark-haired female model came off more like a friend than a husband. Any marketing manager having done their homework would have found the tan model was featured on other hotel websites, too.
When the hotel was asked if they’d like the wrinkles decreased with a little retouching magic, the answer was a very loud no. Not necessarily a wholesome image but what the hotel is locked into for years to come. The model might have been a better fit for a cowboy western.
Can you have good experiences with contracted modeling agency services? Absolutely.
Benz Modeling, a professional modeling agency, out of Tampa did a quick turnaround in providing model options. Fortunately, the client was willing to pay the going rate. While all of our preferred models weren’t available due to the short lead time, those that were hired were perfect for the project. They worked well together and even stayed afterward to have dinner with the client.
While some people always want to haggle over price, realize the person most impacted will be your model. Give them a reason to be happy they accepted the job and stay through to the bitter end when the photographer or videographer says, “We got it.”
If the expectation is that your models will come with a variety of outfits for each of the shoots know their mobile closet is an expense to them…tools of the trade if you will. A fair wage allows them to keep their closet fully stocked.
As you look through an agency’s portfolio, make sure to find out when the images were last refreshed. Always assume some touch-up might have been done, too. Look to see the model in a variety of settings and clothing.
If the shoot is going to include swimwear, short sleeves, shorts, sleeveless attire and none are shown, start asking about tattoos.
Plan to use the final image selections for a minimum of five years. As such, make sure you’re extremely happy with the models you plan to hire.
If you’d like us to review model portfolios or take a look at those choices you’ve narrowed down, please contact us.