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soona   we create the best content for commerce   soona   we create the best content for commerce

How Much Do Models Cost for a Product Photoshoot in 2023?

Freelance or private contractor models typically charge between $50 and $250 per hour. Find out what else to budget for when hiring models.

soona crew
soona crew
written by
soona crew
written by
June 16, 2023
-
1
min

Research has shown that incorporating models in e-commerce product photography can significantly boost sales. With the rise of online retail, e-commerce has surpassed traditional in-person shopping across various categories. However, customers still crave a sense of familiarity with products—how they fit, move, and feel. A skilled model can bridge the gap between the screen and the customer, enhancing their connection with the product. In this article, we'll explore the importance of hiring models in e-commerce, the cost implications based on different options, and best practices for creating impactful e-commerce photos while fostering rapport with other creative professionals.

Factors Affecting Model Costs

As modeling is typically considered independent contractor work, several variables can influence the price, time, and outcome of hiring models. Some models work through agencies that handle their bookings, while others manage their own bookings through platforms like Upwork and Fiverr. Additionally, you may come across models who are friends or acquaintances. Regardless of the type of model you work with or their portfolio, it is crucial to treat them professionally and respectfully. Building strong relationships with studio creatives and gaining a reputation for treating models well will yield long-term benefits.

Different Model Options and Associated Costs

Sourcing Free Models from Friends and Family

Recruiting models from your social circle can be a cost-effective option. Using everyday people as models can also enhance the relatability of your product photography. However, this approach may work well for some but prove challenging for others. Consider the specific shots you require from your models. For example, if you need hand models, you might end up covering the cost of their manicures to ensure their hands look presentable. Similarly, capturing full-body shots for clothing items may take longer when working with non-professional models. Lastly, if your product requires specific skills to use, using amateur models may result in awkward photos. Carefully consider the desired vibe of your product photos to ensure your models can match it.

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Pros:

  • Can lead to more relaxed shoots
  • Results in fun and relatable photos
  • Generally the most economical option

Cons:

  • Photos may appear less professional
  • Models may have limited skills
  • More time-consuming
  • Hidden costs associated with preparing models


Using Child Models

Opting for child models can be an affordable choice, as their rates are often lower than those of adult models. However, this isn't due to a lack of payment for their labor. With children, you may only have a few minutes of viable shooting time before they become tired or distracted. The younger the child, the less time you can expect for posing. If your product requires marketing with child models, a few quality minutes can suffice to capture the desired shots. You can find child models represented by modeling agencies or explore opportunities with local sports teams, where parents may be open to collaboration in exchange for incentives like ice cream. Your approach should align with your desired photo outcomes and the intended interaction between kid models and your product.

Pros:

  • Often the most affordable professional models
  • Shorter shoots
  • Incredibly cute

Cons:

  • Children can be challenging to manage
  • Shorter shoots (a pro and a con)
  • Additional costs involved in managing and cleaning up messes

However, if you book a shoot with soona, you can easily access a wide range of models with just a few clicks, ensuring a refreshed content library tailored to your needs.

The Cost of Using Pets as Models

The price range for pet models can vary significantly. Training a dog, for example, can be a considerable investment. If you require a dog to perform specific actions like wearing a hat or spinning in a circle for a GIF, you'll need to compensate the owner for the time and money spent on training. Just the presence of a dog model or any other type furry friend on your set can catch the attention of potential customers, and you don't always need them to sit still or hold poses. Candid shots of animals exploring your product can be equally captivating.

Pros:

  • Consumers love seeing cute animals in product photos
  • A guaranteed great day
  • Candid photos of pet models often turn out fantastic

Cons:

  • Prepare for cleaning up messes
  • Pet behavior can be less predictable
  • Limited shooting time, similar to working with children
  • You'll need to compensate the pet owners too

Booking Models Directly

When booking models directly, they usually manage their own bookings and set their rates accordingly. Since these models don't work through agencies, you may receive better rates as there are no agency fees involved. Booking models directly can be done through freelancing websites or open-call advertisements, granting you the freedom to find the specific model and experience you desire. However, be prepared to receive inquiries from models who may lack the experience or professionalism you seek. Freelance or private contractor models typically charge between $50 and $250 per hour. It's essential to negotiate hourly rates, travel time, and any necessary preparations, such as hair, nails, or makeup, as well as clothing requirements and availability of changing rooms or tents on set.

Pros:

  • Almost unlimited options for model types
  • Savings on agency fees
  • Opportunity to establish relationships with local models for future projects

Cons:

  • Potential unpredictability and unreliability
  • Additional costs for model preparation
  • Travel expenses depending on the location
  • Negotiations need to be handled independently

Agency Model Costs

Booking models through agencies offers a streamlined process as they act as intermediaries, representing and managing their models. You pay the agency, and they handle payment to the models. However, due to the involvement of this middleman, additional fees can be incurred. Agency models generally have more professional experience and arrive prepared for the shoot. Nevertheless, agencies may charge travel fees and adhere to specific time constraints. For instance, booking a half-day or full-day model may require you to adhere to the agency's designated time frame, and they might charge additional fees for shoots outside their regular operating hours. Agency models typically come at higher price ranges, such as $100 per hour for the model, plus a 20% agency fee.

Pros:

  • Models with professional experience
  • Communication handled by the agency
  • Pricing is generally straightforward

Cons:

  • Agencies often impose additional fees
  • Limited flexibility in price negotiation
  • Time constraints enforced by the agency

{{blog-mini-ad-green="/background-videos"}}

Packaged, Non-Traditional Model Sourcing Opportunities

A stress-free alternative to traditional model sourcing is exploring non-traditional methods. Companies like soona have revolutionized e-commerce product photography by offering a la carte-style shoots, where you only pay for the selected photos you love. With soona, you can participate in virtual photo shoots through video calls or chats, witnessing the photos being taken in real-time. This eliminates travel costs for both you and the model. You can collaborate with soona's studio creatives to bring your vision to life and tailor the photoshoot to your specific needs.

In conclusion, hiring models in e-commerce photography plays a vital role in driving sales and establishing a connection between customers and products. By considering the various options available, such as using friends and family as models, working with child models, utilizing pets, booking models directly, or opting for agency representation, you can choose the approach that best suits your budget, desired outcome, and creative requirements. Furthermore, non-traditional model sourcing opportunities like those provided by soona offer a convenient and cost-effective solution for creating engaging and professional e-commerce photos.

Research has shown that incorporating models in e-commerce product photography can significantly boost sales. With the rise of online retail, e-commerce has surpassed traditional in-person shopping across various categories. However, customers still crave a sense of familiarity with products—how they fit, move, and feel. A skilled model can bridge the gap between the screen and the customer, enhancing their connection with the product. In this article, we'll explore the importance of hiring models in e-commerce, the cost implications based on different options, and best practices for creating impactful e-commerce photos while fostering rapport with other creative professionals.

Factors Affecting Model Costs

As modeling is typically considered independent contractor work, several variables can influence the price, time, and outcome of hiring models. Some models work through agencies that handle their bookings, while others manage their own bookings through platforms like Upwork and Fiverr. Additionally, you may come across models who are friends or acquaintances. Regardless of the type of model you work with or their portfolio, it is crucial to treat them professionally and respectfully. Building strong relationships with studio creatives and gaining a reputation for treating models well will yield long-term benefits.

Different Model Options and Associated Costs

Sourcing Free Models from Friends and Family

Recruiting models from your social circle can be a cost-effective option. Using everyday people as models can also enhance the relatability of your product photography. However, this approach may work well for some but prove challenging for others. Consider the specific shots you require from your models. For example, if you need hand models, you might end up covering the cost of their manicures to ensure their hands look presentable. Similarly, capturing full-body shots for clothing items may take longer when working with non-professional models. Lastly, if your product requires specific skills to use, using amateur models may result in awkward photos. Carefully consider the desired vibe of your product photos to ensure your models can match it.

{{studio-ad="/external-components"}}

Pros:

  • Can lead to more relaxed shoots
  • Results in fun and relatable photos
  • Generally the most economical option

Cons:

  • Photos may appear less professional
  • Models may have limited skills
  • More time-consuming
  • Hidden costs associated with preparing models


Using Child Models

Opting for child models can be an affordable choice, as their rates are often lower than those of adult models. However, this isn't due to a lack of payment for their labor. With children, you may only have a few minutes of viable shooting time before they become tired or distracted. The younger the child, the less time you can expect for posing. If your product requires marketing with child models, a few quality minutes can suffice to capture the desired shots. You can find child models represented by modeling agencies or explore opportunities with local sports teams, where parents may be open to collaboration in exchange for incentives like ice cream. Your approach should align with your desired photo outcomes and the intended interaction between kid models and your product.

Pros:

  • Often the most affordable professional models
  • Shorter shoots
  • Incredibly cute

Cons:

  • Children can be challenging to manage
  • Shorter shoots (a pro and a con)
  • Additional costs involved in managing and cleaning up messes

However, if you book a shoot with soona, you can easily access a wide range of models with just a few clicks, ensuring a refreshed content library tailored to your needs.

The Cost of Using Pets as Models

The price range for pet models can vary significantly. Training a dog, for example, can be a considerable investment. If you require a dog to perform specific actions like wearing a hat or spinning in a circle for a GIF, you'll need to compensate the owner for the time and money spent on training. Just the presence of a dog model or any other type furry friend on your set can catch the attention of potential customers, and you don't always need them to sit still or hold poses. Candid shots of animals exploring your product can be equally captivating.

Pros:

  • Consumers love seeing cute animals in product photos
  • A guaranteed great day
  • Candid photos of pet models often turn out fantastic

Cons:

  • Prepare for cleaning up messes
  • Pet behavior can be less predictable
  • Limited shooting time, similar to working with children
  • You'll need to compensate the pet owners too

Booking Models Directly

When booking models directly, they usually manage their own bookings and set their rates accordingly. Since these models don't work through agencies, you may receive better rates as there are no agency fees involved. Booking models directly can be done through freelancing websites or open-call advertisements, granting you the freedom to find the specific model and experience you desire. However, be prepared to receive inquiries from models who may lack the experience or professionalism you seek. Freelance or private contractor models typically charge between $50 and $250 per hour. It's essential to negotiate hourly rates, travel time, and any necessary preparations, such as hair, nails, or makeup, as well as clothing requirements and availability of changing rooms or tents on set.

Pros:

  • Almost unlimited options for model types
  • Savings on agency fees
  • Opportunity to establish relationships with local models for future projects

Cons:

  • Potential unpredictability and unreliability
  • Additional costs for model preparation
  • Travel expenses depending on the location
  • Negotiations need to be handled independently

Agency Model Costs

Booking models through agencies offers a streamlined process as they act as intermediaries, representing and managing their models. You pay the agency, and they handle payment to the models. However, due to the involvement of this middleman, additional fees can be incurred. Agency models generally have more professional experience and arrive prepared for the shoot. Nevertheless, agencies may charge travel fees and adhere to specific time constraints. For instance, booking a half-day or full-day model may require you to adhere to the agency's designated time frame, and they might charge additional fees for shoots outside their regular operating hours. Agency models typically come at higher price ranges, such as $100 per hour for the model, plus a 20% agency fee.

Pros:

  • Models with professional experience
  • Communication handled by the agency
  • Pricing is generally straightforward

Cons:

  • Agencies often impose additional fees
  • Limited flexibility in price negotiation
  • Time constraints enforced by the agency

{{blog-mini-ad-green="/background-videos"}}

Packaged, Non-Traditional Model Sourcing Opportunities

A stress-free alternative to traditional model sourcing is exploring non-traditional methods. Companies like soona have revolutionized e-commerce product photography by offering a la carte-style shoots, where you only pay for the selected photos you love. With soona, you can participate in virtual photo shoots through video calls or chats, witnessing the photos being taken in real-time. This eliminates travel costs for both you and the model. You can collaborate with soona's studio creatives to bring your vision to life and tailor the photoshoot to your specific needs.

In conclusion, hiring models in e-commerce photography plays a vital role in driving sales and establishing a connection between customers and products. By considering the various options available, such as using friends and family as models, working with child models, utilizing pets, booking models directly, or opting for agency representation, you can choose the approach that best suits your budget, desired outcome, and creative requirements. Furthermore, non-traditional model sourcing opportunities like those provided by soona offer a convenient and cost-effective solution for creating engaging and professional e-commerce photos.

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