Do Models Get Paid for Editorials?

Models averaged $26,110 a year in 2012, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
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Editorials are articles published in newspapers and magazines. Some editorials use models, especially fashion editorials that aim to tell a "story" through artistic pictures involving fashion, makeup and elaborate sets. It would be nice to think every person is paid a reasonable wage for a day's work; when it comes to models, however, sometimes that's true, and sometimes it isn't. Pay depends on the magazine, the model's level of professional recognition and her agent's ability to secure paying work.

Building a Reputation

    When a model is starting out, it isn't unusual for her to take on editorial work that doesn't pay anything at all, says Refinery 29. What's she looking for in exchange is exposure and the chance to become recognized. On the other hand, it sometimes happens that unscrupulous editors promise to pay money, then wind up pay nothing at all. Working with reputable agents and magazines is the best way of avoiding this pitfall.

Taking Trade

    Payment may involve trade, which actually means that instead of earning money for her work, a model receives material compensation. She may be allowed to take home some of the clothes she wore during the editorial shoot, or the clothing brand may present her with a gift card that she can use toward purchases with only their company and may not include the current season's fashions. While trade payments may make a model's closet a little more fun to peruse, it doesn't exactly put food on the table.

Fees and Expenses

    In the best-case scenarios, models do get paid for their time on editorial shoots. Sometimes models are paid a combination of money and trade. In either case, models often don't receive their payments for weeks or even months, so should plan ahead when it comes to finances. Their managers typically take 15 to 20 percent commission off the top, and other expenses, such as travel and lodging fare, are usually paid for by the model or deducted from her fee if paid for by the magazine. Models who are struggling to pay bills can receive an advance from their agents, but usually do so at a high fee, warns New York model Ashley Stetts.

Other Paying Work

    Appearing between the covers of a glossy magazine may be glamorous, but there are other modeling jobs that pay a little more and offer steadier income. Becoming a fit model, who acts as a live mannequin for clothing manufacturers to perfect sizing, can open the door to regular work and money. According to Stetts, fit models are paid $250 an hour and up. Trying on clothes before runway shows so designers can make last minute changes can pay as much as $1,000 a day, according to Refinery 29. As a model earns more clout and the demand for her increases, she can be sure of commanding much higher fees for editorial work.

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