To Media Makeup,
Recently, on local creative page that I am a part of on Facebook, I came across a post from one of your students. The student was seeking a model for a shoot as a part of one of her assignments for you. In her post, she claimed that for a whole day’s work, the model would receive one image for her time, and would have to purchase every other image for her portfolio.
[I spent half an hour staring at my computer; dumbfounded; trying to start this paragraph.] A model having to purchase her photos? I can’t honestly believe how ridiculous it is that I should have to explain it. I’ve had modelling agencies warn me that if someone tries to charge you for your own photos, to get outta there quick smart, because they are scamming you. Creatives have been fighting this for years, amateur or professional. Listen to us! We are not slaves or servants. You are seeking models (or any type of creative) out as amateurs/professionals that deserve to have their time compensated in one way or another. Why? Because they have a skill that you do not possess, that you need. THAT IS WHY YOU ARE HIRING THEM.
Your student sent me a personal message after I commented on her post, asking why I was so upset, and that I shouldn’t be because she herself has to purchase the images too. Which, of course, made my head nearly implode. You charge $11,800 for a diploma in Makeup, plus the student has to buy pictures of their own work? Who are these photographers you are are using, and why are they and you yourselves, scamming students who are just trying to learn? I’m beyond astounded.
I’ve been modelling for six years, and working as an editorial stylist for three. I consider my skill of considerable worth, and I charge accordingly. Now, considering how you are conducting and letting your students be a part of the aforementioned shoots, I’ll have to assume that perhaps you’ve never been a part of a professional, creative photoshoot for example a magazine, or advertising. You see, the way it works is that each creative person (photographer, creative director, model, makeup artist, hair stylist, so on) are compensated for their time, in the monetary amount decided by themselves, or an agent. Photos that are created on this shoot are not exchanged for monetary value (unless being used for licensed advertising, but thats a whole other issue), they are distributed to the team because they deserve those images; those images are their work.
You are a school. You are responsible for students. These people are passionate fresh minds, and you are responsible for helping shape their ideals, their creativity, their confidence, and their self-worth, both today and for the rest of their careers. By showing them that people in creative fields will pay money to work, you are not only lowering their inevitably low self-worth when they launch themselves into the creative work force, but you are also lowering the standards of local creatives everywhere. By the end of their course with you, they should know that 1) you do not pay for images you work on yourself, 2) sometimes it’s okay to work for free when starting out, but only if you feel confident that the images will be worth it for your portfolio or experiences, and 3) you deserve to get paid for what you do, because what you do is important and wonderful!
Advertising on a creative Facebook page is not the greatest of ideas for your students. The page itself is used for TFP or paid work, and generally, trying to charge creatives for their own time while receive incredibly hostile feedback – not something that students need at the blossoming stages of their career – ESPECIALLY if they expect the creative to be experienced/skilled (like in this post, ‘Model needs to be confident with posing’). Professional people will get angry (somewhat like I am now) at your students for trying to get them to work for free or trying to charge them for their time and skill. If your students are planning on advertising for amateur models or creatives for their assignments, it comes highly recommended that you allow your students to do it TFP. That means time for prints, by the way. I can confidently assume you might not have heard of that term because you were too busy trying to make money. Please feel free to get back to me via email to explain this process, and why you are ripping off local creatives, and the students that you are entrusted to protect and teach.
– I have protected not only the student’s name (as she is at no fault whatsoever) and also the name of the creative Facebook group, to protect the admins who played no part in the interaction at all –