Is Modeling Expensive? How Much Does it Cost?

modeling fees and expenses - modeling adviceSome of the most common questions I get involve modeling and money.  Questions like: Is modeling expensive?  What about modeling fees?  Do I have to pay for classes?  How much does it cost to start modeling?  These are all great questions and should be asked before you begin a modeling career.  The last thing anyone wants is to spend all kinds of money on materials and classes that aren’t necessary.  So what does it cost to be a model?

In all reality, the answer is no…  modeling is not expensive.  Here is a list of items that a model will need to invest in at some point in order to be successful: portfolio, comp cards, and professional photographers.  Portfolios are necessary to show agencies and clients what you really have to offer.  These can be fairly inexpensive at roughly $25 – $75.  Composite cards are basically a model’s business card and these are left behind at castings/auditions for clients to remember you by.  Depending on how many you order, you can expect to pay roughly $100-$200 for these.  And what would a portfolio and comp cards be without strong photos to put on them?  This one is truly important as the better photos you have, the better your portfolio and comp card will be.  A professional photographer can cost anywhere from $250 – $1000, but think of this as an investment.  A model can make lots of money from a few great shots.  If you can swing it, pick a couple of great photographers and set up a shoot with them.  This will literally make you a better model by giving you legit experience and photos.

It is worth adding, as of late, many agencies have been becoming more viral.  They are uploading model’s photos to websites and databases that clients can simply login to and see.  This movement seems to be doing away with handheld portfolios and comp cards as clients can simply search models from any computer, or even their phone.  This leads to a new type of modeling fee, the agency website fee.  Many agencies will charge anywhere from $50 to $200 to be a part of their agency database.  But in the end, this is worth it as thousands of clients can view your résumé with the click of a button.  So it is definitely worth investing in.  At the moment, this does not replace the portfolio and comp card, but may in the near future.

When it comes to classes, that is kind of up to whoever is taking them.  Yes they can be expensive and yes they can help, but I personally do not believe that they are completely necessary (I will write more on this in upcoming blogs).  If you have the money and want to learn everything now, then take the classes.  Otherwise, save your money and find a mentor.

So there you have it, a quick yet efficient breakdown of what a model should need to get started.  Of course models will be expected to pay for their own travel, clothing, and expenditures on photo shoots and jobs, but just remember to be smart and ask questions when a client or agency asks you for money.  This way you will avoid scams and heartache.  The only real items a new model should have to pay for is a portfolio, composite cards, and a couple professional photographers (possibly an agency website fee).  Classes are optional for those interested.  But stay smart and take your time with these things and before you know it, you will have great a portfolio and amazing comp cards.  Then you are off to becoming a professional model.

 

 

17 Comments

  • Ryan Coleman

    Reply Reply June 20, 2012

    Excellent advice to those getting their Modeling portfolio started, our website http://www.photomodel.com/ is a place where anyone can upload Modeling portfolio to help get found. its a worldwide site that also has a network of professional photographers who can also help to build a portfolio to help get you started on your way to ‘becoming a next top model!’

    • admin

      Reply Reply June 20, 2012

      What a wonderful asset to have! Thanks Ryan:)

  • Claire

    Reply Reply July 4, 2012

    Hi Jonah,

    Thanks for sharing all of these great insights. =) I’m actually reading all of your post to refresh some of my memories about all the things in the modeling industry. Haven’t worked in it for over 6 years but thats another story.

    I hate to plug anything into a comment box but I just wanted to share that in regard to the composite card, our company offer 100 cards for $99 plus free ground shipping. I think its the best price you’ll find online. I hope someone out there may find this useful and we can save them some money. http://www.printcompcards.com

    Again, thanks for all of your great posts. Its very insightful.

    • admin

      Reply Reply July 5, 2012

      No problem, this site is all about helping others reach their modeling goals and dreams by giving them all the answers they need in one spot….. and that spot is right here at Modeling Wisdom:)

  • pj

    Reply Reply January 7, 2014

    What sould i do to become a model

  • Shawnaa mckenzie

    Reply Reply September 10, 2015

    hi my name is shawnaa and my sister Brittany she needs to be a model she is freaking out the world beautiful and she needs to be a model

  • Ethan Coomer

    Reply Reply March 7, 2016

    Hi my name is Ethan Coomer, and I am very interested in the modeling agency, it has been my dream for a while now and I would love it if you could give me a chance.
    (Thank you),
    You can reach me at
    (270)-791-3460

    • Jonah Levi Taylor

      Reply Reply March 14, 2016

      Hi Ethan and though we appreciate it, Modeling Wisdom is not a modeling agency. We are an informative modeling website geared towards helping aspiring models get their start and find their answers. However, begin looking at agencies in your area and reach out to them just like you did to us! God bless Ethan:)

  • stella

    Reply Reply April 21, 2016

    i want to be a successful model, how should i do?
    where do i sign up ?

  • stella

    Reply Reply April 21, 2016

    i really want to be a successful model. where can i sign up ?

    • Abby

      Reply Reply March 11, 2017

      Where can we sign up

  • Angel

    Reply Reply July 14, 2016

    Hi I read your information on modeling. Thank you so much!

    My problem is I want to be a model and I live in Arkansas 🙁 I Have what it takes and I’m ready! People told me try Texas but I just can’t seem to find a legit modeling agency :'( I don’t want to give up my dream I have my profolio set and everything!

    If anyone could give me a legit agency close to where I live it would mean the world to me! Please email me any information you have at angelstovet575@yahoo.com

  • Angel

    Reply Reply July 14, 2016

    Hi I read your information on modeling. Thank you so much!

    My problem is I want to be a model and I live in Arkansas ? I Have what it takes and I’m ready! People told me try Texas but I just can’t seem to find a legit modeling agency :'( I don’t want to give up my dream I have my profolio set and everything!

    If anyone could give me a legit agency close to where I live it would mean the world to me! Please email me any information you have at angelstover575@yahoo.com

    • Abby

      Reply Reply March 11, 2017

      Thanks so much for the great fashion advice, I want to do it, Plz reply

  • Vishal kotkar

    Reply Reply November 10, 2017

    I wanna become model

Leave A Response To Claire Cancel reply

* Denotes Required Field