Earn money as a model: rights of use and buy out for jobs

How do models make a living? How can you earn money as a model? Every year many young girls and of course boys ask themselves whether they can become models themselves and how they would make a living from their job as models? Whether magazine models, like Cara Delevingne model Mama Heidi Klum, Bella and Gigi Hadid, a perfect life in a rush, between hip as VIP parties and campaign shootings. Where exactly does the money come from? We met with an expert today to answer the question! See the full List Buy Out / Rights of use.

Tip! Interview with model agency owner Stephan Czaja (CM Models): Become a model

Earn money as a model – usage rights

As a model there are different ways to earn money. As our expert from Model Agency One says, each model starts with building its own model folder. The first thing to do here is to build up your own portfolio in a variety of ways. From Portrait Shooting to sports shoots and also pictures with other models, e.g. in situations like love or friendship. The better one’s facial expressions and gestures become, the stronger one’s personality and the more professional and friendly one’s appearance with the customer is, the further a model can go. The larger the customers become, the more frequently the produced media are used. Whoever makes it as a model in one of the top agencies can earn a lot of money here! Let’s look at a simple example:

Lukinski Villas

Germany - Spain - USA

The first jobs: small customers

The first model experiences you will make with smaller customers or also with larger, international customers but then these are small jobs. Small customers, for example, can be regional fashion brands that do not have a national or international presence. An example of a small job would be a showroom for a collection presentation. Every season, new fashion collections come onto the market, yet fashion designers present their new collections to their customers six months in advance. This moment when customer and designer come together is called a showroom – a small fashion show without an audience. If you convince with this first job, you will get the opportunity to do photo shoots for online shops or even better, film and video productions.

All the big jobs and usage rights

Punctuality and professionalism are very important in this industry, as your model agency will only refer you to big jobs if your appearance is right.

The shooting of such a commercial is much more complex in comparison to a photo shoot! In a photo studio, the teams usually consist of only a few people:

  • Photographer, directs the shooting
  • Model for presentation
  • Make-up artist for hair and styling
  • Stylistin for the outfits
  • Assistant of the photographer or photographers
  • Sometimes an employee of the customer, e.g. from marketing

In productions for commercials, the teams are already much bigger. Here the list would also be much longer, briefly summarized

  • Production management and assistance
  • Camera people, cable tray and pickups
  • Models and Actors
  • Comparsen, these are e.g. people in the background at an inner city scene
  • Make-up Artists for hair and styling
  • stylists for the outfits
  • Set designer with props
  • Light technician
  • Special Effects for everything from dust to special props
  • Catering and service staff

Not only the production is more complex but also the usage rights are much more diverse and the publications are of course much bigger than a free shooting.

Use rights comparison small and big jobs

For small jobs, the usage rights are often very clear. For example, the customer only has a website or an online shop on which the photos are presented. If customers book models for a job, then you also send the corresponding usage rights to the model agency, where an appropriate offer is then calculated. For this calculation you need different data, which are the most important ones:

  • Media – In which formats are the photos or videos shown? Print, online, social media, poster advertising, cinema, streaming,…
  • Countries – Where will the photos or videos be displayed?
  • Time – How long will the photos and videos be visible in each media format?

At the beginning the inquiries are relatively clear, so a small customer, who has e.g. 5 stores in Berlin, would book the following relatively simply

  • Onlineshop and website for one year + Social Media

Based on the Buy-Out list the model agency can now calculate the fee for the model including the usage rights for the one year with website and online shop. For larger jobs, as well as commercials, the rights of use are of course correspondingly more extensive, this can look like this in a short form:

  • TV station, 6 months, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France, Great Britain, Italy
  • Posters in calendar week 42 to 46 in Paris, London, Berlin, Rome
  • Online video for advertising in social media, six weeks before premiere

The buy-out list also helps here, because it not only has the individual items, for example for social networks YouTube, Instagram, Tik Tok and Facebook, here you can also find package prices. If a customer e.g. different print media bay, one can make a larger package. In the end, the model earns more money, but the customer also saves a little. Win Win for both sides.

Calculation example for Model Jobs

When models work is always a basic daily commitment agreed. A simple invoice, for example, would be 1000 EUR for the customer. But now he wants to use the photos internationally for streaming. The model agency now takes a look at the list and can calculate from it how high the client’s budget must be. In the Buy-Out list you will find percentages, these are calculated on the daily fees. It’ll look that way:

  • Day ticket 1000 €
  • Usage rights 560 % = 5600 €
  • earnings 6600 € total

If the usage rights are then extended for another year, the model will of course earn money again! And this is where we come to the crux of the matter and the answer to the question, how can you earn money as a model? If the commercial is bought for another year, with the same rights of use, the model earns 5600 € again. If the video is bought for another year, it will be 5600 € again. In the end you have earned more than 15000 € from one single day of work!

Model Agency One: Official Buy-Out List

Model Agency One is a free platform where models can find the most prestigious agencies worldwide. Whether New York, Miami, Los Angeles, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Milan, Paris, Shanghai, London, Hamburg or Cape Town. Models can not only find the best agencies worldwide for free, they can also find a lot of tips, a complete guide on the subject of models and of course all important information on the subject of minimum size, weight and of course all kinds of jobs, from fashion shows to trade fairs, photo shooting for online shops and of course commercials.

On Model Agency One there is also a buy out list for model agencies. Here, these agencies can find out worldwide how high the usage rights are for individual media, for individual countries and, of course, for a specific term. This makes it very easy to calculate job offers. The Bayreuth List is updated twice a year and is based on the respective gross domestic product of the individual countries. This means that the more money a country makes, the higher the buyouts.

A list of usage rights is available for free download here