A “commercial photographer” specializes in photography for commerce. A commercial photographer is not necessarily a model or portrait photographer.
Don’t shoot or model for commercial or stock use for free! Someone will use your work to make money. You should expect to make money for your work.
73% of internet statistics are made up.
Most of us (models and photographers) will never make a living as a model or photographing models. If we could, we would be with agencies.
Model releases are for the benefit of the photographer – not the model! Models, you are better off NOT signing a release. Photographers, if you want to do more than share your photos in your on-line or off-line portfolio or in exhibitions, pay the models and get a release.
Photographers – deliver what you promised, and don’t try to screw the models (take that however you want)
Models – don’t expect more than what was agreed upon.
Why model for free?
Experience – you are new to being in front of a camera and you want to learn how to pose, how to express, how to dress, how to do make-up, etc.
The photographer is really good – if you have the chance to work with a photographer that will give you better photos than you currently have, and he/she isn’t going to charge you, do it!
The project/shoot is interesting – want to work in a pool? How about doing a pin-up shoot? Ever wanted to pose with a classic car? Sometimes a concept is worth shooting for free*
Fun – face it, you like to be in front of the camera because you enjoy it. The location is cool, or the photographer is cool, or the idea is cool, or you just don’t want to have to do housework that day.
Why shoot for free?
Experience – you are new to photography and/or a student. You need to hone your craft and skillset.
Testing – you have new lights, or want to try a new set or lens. Sure, you could use an apple for that, but why not put a person in front of your new gear?
Fun – model photography rarely pays. I know I shoot pretty girls for fun, for creativity, and to keep from doing housework on the weekends. I get paid for family portraits, business portraits, senior portraits, and events.
Connections – my free shoots have led to publication in magazines, featured work on award winning DVDs, set design pieces on famous TV shows, paid work doing stills for independent films, etc.
Now get off my lawn!0