How often do models actually travel? What about the “regular” models that do model swaps for charity events and shoot at local events to raise money? The thing is, it’s probably not very often. Why?
There are a few reasons. One is time management. The models who commute to shoot in the big cities generally don’t have a lot of time left over to travel. They spend most of their time in the office or preparing for photo shoots. So they are very aware of how much time they have to devote to promoting themselves, to make more photography sessions, to get new models hired. It takes away from the time they actually travel.
The other reason that most models don’t travel is because their agent, or manager, told them not to go out and hit the circuit, and the models are afraid of losing money. As with most things in life, this isn’t necessarily true in modeling. Some models work with small amounts of agents and managers who tell them not to go to the circuit, while others have agents and managers who encourage them to go out and shoot. Either way, the models end up making less money than they could if they stayed home all the time. A third group of models may even be encouraged by their photographers to go out and shoot, but they pay more for travel expenses.
Even though it’s against the models’ agency policy to go out and shoot, sometimes they are pressured into it. Even though the photographers usually work for small magazine companies, and the models work for larger designer and clothing companies, the model agencies still need models to produce images for their portfolio. So they will go out and shoot – and usually poorly – in order to get the portfolio they want. This doesn’t help the models.
In addition, model agencies often require models to go to shoots on a regular basis. They will tell models that they will “set them up” at an agency, and then when the models visit those agencies, they will be required to do the type of shots that are requested of them. This can be annoying for both models and agents, as the models may not get the desired effect, and the agents are paying for the service.
Even though many model agencies are run on a budget, not all of them have to abide by this law. Some will shoot more photographs for them, so they can get more commission checks. This is part of the “business” part of being a model, and models will have to get used to it. They must learn to say “no,” and “no thanks” to photographers, and they also have to learn how to juggle multiple projects at once. When this happens, models usually don’t get paid properly for the services that they provided.
One aspect of models that never really changes is the fact that models will always need to travel from shoot to shoot. Agencies can arrange for the models to go to shoots that they feel are appropriate for their career, but models have to find transportation for themselves. When they go to shoots that they feel will benefit their career, models have to pay extra for the cost of gas, since they will have to get back and forth to the location on their own. The more time that models spend traveling, the less money they get to make with their photography career.
Some agencies offer packages to help minimize the amount of time that models have to travel. These packages are designed to allow models to save money, because they usually won’t need to fly for the purposes of shooting photos, or to get ready in advance. These packages are usually available for certain times of the year, such as winter or summer. Some agencies offer their models free plane tickets, if they are eligible for a package; these packages are usually open to people who are between six and ten years old.