I’m asked all the time by freelance models how to determine your model rate. 💵 It’s tough to lock down a solid answer for this question because there are a lot of variable to consider:

  • How long have you been modeling?
  • What is your strength?
  • What type of gig is it, and what will you be doing?
  • Who is it for?
  • How many hours are required?
  • How far do you have to travel?
  • What benefits do you bring?

I believe freelance models should have a runway rate and a print/other rate. Based on your strengths, you can charge more for one rate over another. Also, determine how you will establish your rate (and this should be per gig) – hourly (if hourly have a minimum number of hours, i.e. 2 or 3-hour minimum), day rate (have a max number of hours for day rate, no less than 8 hours), half day rate (half day is generally 4-5 hours worth of work).

Runway shows are generally long days, so I suggest a flat runway rate. Where print/promotional or other gigs may be shorter, so I suggest an hourly rate. If you know it’s an all day gig, you can do a day rate, etc.

Do your research on who the gig is for … is it a small, local, up & coming boutique? If so, they may not be able to afford a high hourly or day rate. Know your worth, but if it’s a gig you want, don’t be afraid to negotiate. Are you willing to work for a lower rate plus an item of clothing? Or is this boutique so poppin’ that just being a part of this will give all kinds of social media exposure, and you’re willing to work for free? This is all subjective. Make it worth your while.

Know what you bring to the table. I know I have a strong runway walk, years of experience, and a professional attitude and demeanor. I will have a higher runway rate. However, if I don’t do a lot of photo shoots, and I know I need to be coached, I’ll ease up on my print or promo rate because I’m not as strong in that area, got it?

Just as important it is to know your worth, you also don’t want to be overpriced for what you bring. If you’re brand new to the industry, have booked minimal work, and still have a lot of experience to gain, don’t expect to get paid the big bucks right off the bat. They’ll book the model who bring the most for the lowest cost.

Here’s a general range for aspiring freelance models (don’t forget to consider all of the above):

  • Runway Rate: $75-$300
  • Print Hourly Rate: $50-$300/hour (minimum 2 hours)
  • Half Day Rate (4 hours or less): $75-$300
  • Full Day Rate (8-12 hours): $200-2,000

Of course, if you are represented by an agency you don’t need to negotiate your own rate. However, if you are booking your own work be realistic in your pricing. You don’t want to do too much for too little, and you don’t want to be overpriced. Understand that it may take a few gigs to understand what exactly you’re getting into, and also know that if they didn’t go through an agency to book it’s likely because they don’t have a large budget.

Comment below to let me know how you’ve determined your model rate. Has it been helpful?

See You on the Runway! 💋