After starting a fashion company, some of my clients recruit their beautiful friends as models for early photo shoots. While it is lovely to work with friends, at some point, you may want to work with professional models. These questions are meant to help you with that first hiring discussion. There are other topics to potentially address as well, but these are the basics. When you are ready to draft a contract between you and the model, it is best to seek an attorney’s advice and drafting assistance. If you have any questions regarding this article, please contact Rachel at email@example.com
1. Does the model have a representative or agent?
Many models sign on to a modeling agency to help them book events or shoots. Because of this, fashion companies frequently go to agencies to find the right model. If you happen to find a model through a different way, such as through an advertisement or a chance meeting a fashion networking event, be sure to ask if the model has a representative or an agent. If the model is represented, you may need to negotiate with the agency directly.
2. What types of events or photo shoots are being planned?
It is important to be clear about what your goals are for the events or photo shoots so that the model can know what to expect from the bookings. Give as many details about dates and times as you can, including the expected dates and time of pre-event work, such as rehearsals, fittings, and hair & makeup tests. You’ll also want to give planned time lengths of each event so that the model can appropriate plan his or her schedule
3. Requirements of Behavior or Tasks of Model
You may want a model to interact with guests or potential customers at an event, such as at a trade show. If this is the case, be sure to plan some time to train the model on how you’d like him or her to interact with guests. The model will likely receive questions on the garments, the company, and the designer. Prep your model with the appropriate information so that he or she is able to confidently speak on your behalf. If there are other tasks you’d like done as well, such as demoing functions of the product, ensure that the model is comfortable and prepared to do so.
4. Special Needs of Model
Ask if there are any special needs or requests that model may have for job. In some cases, the model may need assistance with transportation to the event or photo shoot. It is best to ask so that they model is not delayed if he or she is likely to have difficulties with transportation. You should also ask about allergies or sensitives. You may need to answers to this question because of allergies to components of makeup, metals in jewelry, and types of fabric, such as wool. Allergies and preferences should also be considered when planning meals or snacks for your event team. When asking about special needs, ask this question open ended, and then offer some examples. He or she may have special needs that are particularly unique.
5. Expectations of Appearance
Models may make changes to their look from the time of booking to the time of an event. If you are expecting the model to have a particular length of hair, color of hair, a piercing or tattoo (or lack thereof), or a tan, be sure to explain these expectations to the model.
You may also want to describe how you’d like the model to appear prepped for the day of the event. Do you want the model to come with a “fresh face,” meaning no makeup? What about nail polish? Would you like his or her hair styled in in particular way, or recently washed with no styling products? Discuss these needs in advance, and offer a reminder right before the event as well.
6. Compensation of Model
Models will certainly want to know what their compensation will be for the event or events. Explain how the model will be paid and when the model will be paid. You may wish to offer a retainer for the model’s services prior to the event, and then pay the remainder after the services are complete. Do mention any needs you may have for invoices and tax forms, such as W-2’s or 1099’s.
7. Reasons for Cancelling or Terminating the Contract
This can be a tough topic to discuss, but it is better to discuss it and have a written agreement prior to the relationship souring. You may find that you have difficulty working with the model, or you might no longer need the model’s services. Think through these situations in advance and include them into the contract for a easy reference to an ending. Examples may be as simple as your needs changing for an event or show. They may also be look based, such as the model getting a tattoo. If you have a series of events planned, you may also want to terminate the relationship if you were displeased with the model’s behavior at an event. This discussion will help create a clear understanding of the relationship and the expectations for continued employment.
These topics are simply to help the negotiation along. When drafting your contract, you’ll also want to include releases, allowing you to use the model’s image in promotional material and advertisements, should you or a photographer be taking photographs of the model. You may also want to address health and safety risks. As with all Law On The Runway posts, this is general information, not legal advice. For more information on this topic, you are welcome to reach out to Law On The Runway, at firstname.lastname@example.org