Ask an Agent / Model fees for Moving Image

Ask an Agent is a regular monthly column that answers all your dilemmas about the business of photography – like a photography agony aunt. Whatever area of the industry you are in, or at whatever level, if you have any questions you’d like to ask please send them to Lisa

Dear Ask an Agent,

I am preparing an estimate for a shoot which involves stills and moving image. My question is, apart from my own fees and equipment for moving image do I need to allow for extra for the model fees?

Darren Orange, photographer, Leeds.

Hi Darren,

Whenever you are preparing costs or booking models be very clear about the final usage as this is the one area that can come back and bite you on the bum!

The thing to do is put the exact end usage in an email to the model agencies when you are gathering your costs. So even though it may be online and digital content, 2 years, for example, you should also clarify that this will involve stills and moving image. Then if you do get the job, put the usage in writing again along with the fee available based on your previous research and agreement with the client, and check the model booking forms have the correct information. I know I might sound a bit paranoid but I’ve had several instances where models have attempted to charge more after the shoot as they misinterpreted the usage, and if it’s set out in writing they don’t get very far.


© Julian Love

Some model agencies might not charge any extra for moving image whilst some will, and it’ll be sods law that your client will want to use models from the agency that charge extra. As with any suppliers, we always get a number (usually 3) of quotes to check that we are in the right ball park and quote the client somewhere in between, or what we think is achievable within the clients budget and nature of the shoot.

I was recently quoted a day rate of 18K from one model agency for a small corporate job which involved moving image on the clients website, needless to say I didn’t think it a good idea to include this figure in my estimate if I ever wanted to hear from my client again! As I say most agencies quote pretty reasonable fees for moving image for digital content and at the end of the day it’s going to be your client who dictates the model fees available, not you - something which model agencies often fail to acknowledge.

Please Note:

We reserve the right to shorten questions due to space constraints.

We reserve the right not to enter into on going correspondence.

We reserve the right not to answer all questions.

Please state whether you would like to remain anonymous.

This advice should be taken as a guide only. Lisa Pritchard and LPA take no responsibility for any omissions or errors. Please seek professional legal advice should you require it.