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Business (yawn) Profit Sharing
Old 02-21-2006, 09:09 PM   #1 (permalink)
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What's fair? What kind of compensation is reasonable for the model on a profitable photograph? I work with inexperienced and amateur models. I expect to make a profit from the results of my work (well, someday). The girls I work with don't know what to ask for, and I don't know what to offer. I'm not the type to take the money and run. I expect to work with these ladies again, and want to be fair.

Doc
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Re: Business (yawn) Profit Sharing
Old 02-21-2006, 10:35 PM   #2 (permalink)
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In my day job I know a lot about 401(k) and similar types of "profit sharing plans", none of which seem relevant to your topic.

It is laudable that you wish to treat your models fairly and generously. However, in my very brief experience and in conversation with others, it seems photographers are relatively permanent and models transitory. That is, any long term agreements may become burdensome to a photographer trying to keep in contact to fulfill an agreement with a model.

A few thoughts arise: 1. Have an agreement that shifts the burden of compliance to the model. (E.g., the model must annually contact you and ask for any type of residual profit sharing payment) 2. Create a time limit after which the profit sharing agreement expires. 3. Realize that any profit sharing agreement that you create will, if later contested, be interpreted in favor of the model unless you can prove otherwise (I.e., you will be presumed guilty until proven innocent - just contract law theory).

Perhaps there are other, non entangling, ways you could reward a good model. Do you own a time share resort condo that you could let her use for a week? Could you buy her tickets to an event? Could you help her promote her modeling or other goals? Could you just send her bonus checks without a formal agreement? I.e., keep it simple.

Just thoughts. Wonder what others think.

Steve
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Re: Business (yawn) Profit Sharing
Old 02-22-2006, 10:59 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Hey Steve,

I have been down that road early in my career. It was(is) for stock photography. I tried shooting a few models tfp and part of the agreement was to share the profits. One of them called me EVERYDAY for 2 months to see if any of the images had sold. I tried to explain to her its not an overnigt process. It was a nightmare to say the least. My .02...if your planning on making money of images you shoot of them..pay them and tell them to have a nice day. Again...just my .02

Ciao,
Michael
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Re: Business (yawn) Profit Sharing
Old 02-22-2006, 11:13 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I would say don't do it. If you hire a model, she is hired with the understanding that you are paying for her services as a model and once that service is rendered, you have met your obligation to pay her for those services. Likewise, if a model pays you for her portfolio, you provide your service for whatever fee you agree upon and the understanding is that once your services are done and paid for, it's a done deal. You will have no end to heartache and possible legal hassles if you play the profit-sharing game. At least that's my take on it. If the model makes a million off of your pictures, do you think she'll go out of her way to find you and cut you in on the action? I highly doubt it. It's not out of spite though. It's just that you were hired for a service and you were paid for it. Period. If a model I photograph hits it big with one of my shots (fat chance in hell that will happen), I don't expect a dime from her. If I get the credit for the shot, which I had better since it's my work, then business will follow for me as a result of her success. Just because you won't share the profit doesn't mean the model won't return. I think by offering a profit sharing plan with a model, you're creating a codependency that is dangerous and not really professional. Others here are much more qualified to answer this question but that's my take on it.

Best wishes and happy shooting!

Mike
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Re: Business (yawn) Profit Sharing
Old 02-22-2006, 02:50 PM   #5 (permalink)
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The model doesn't share in your loss if (as is likely) you never get any money from the photo(s). Why let her share in any profit?

The arrangement you suggest is the height of lunacy. It ties you forever to a model, and to complex accounting. To raise the lunacy level higher, consider making such entanglements with dozens or hundreds of models!

Pay the girl. Give her money or pics or both. And wish her a nice day. And be done with the matter.

 
 
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