Is every person who claims to be a “model” or “photographer” a model or photographer?
No. Of course not.
Internet models are models whose sole experience with modeling is by working through the internet via such sites as ModelMayhem or OneModelPlace. Many internet models often claim to be “professional” or “semi-professional”, yet their only source of modeling income is through “internet photographers/GWCs”. They rarely work on project-specific ventures which are intended to make money and instead make money from internet photographers.
Internet photographers are photographers whose sole experience with model photography is by working through the internet via sites such as OneModelPlace. Many internet photographers often claim to be “professional” or “semi-professional” yet are rarely paid for their work. In fact, many internet photographers either offer their services for free or pay models to work with them. Many times they have no intention of making money from photography and simply use the fact that they have a camera as an opportunity to take pictures of “pretty girls”.
Internet photographers (also known as “GWCs : Guys/Girls With Cameras), more often than not, are simply hobbyists, not professionals and often lack the skills necessary to take professional-level photographs.
Internet models often work with internet photographers because they find the idea of getting paid for having their picture taken appealing. Internet models often have little concern over the actual quality of the photographs taken during these sessions.
A common mistake made my internet models is to work with photographers who provide poorly shot and unprofessional photos. Photos from these photographers are of very little value, often a complete waste of time, or can actually be detrimental to anyone serious about a career in modeling. Models should always select photographers based on their skill level.
Internet models tend to be very distrustful of photographers. This is most likely based on experiences they’ve had with “internet photographers” and initially groups all photographers she deals with into this same category, until proven otherwise. These experiences with internet photographers include inappropriate or unprofessional behavior, not receiving their photos, and more.
Internet models tend to think that they are in demand and making a career out of modeling because they are getting paid jobs with “internet photographers”. Not true. This is a dead-end street and should not be considered “professional” modeling nor anything you can make a career out of. True professional modeling most commonly involves working on projects which are used to bring in money (advertisements, brochures, catalogs, web sites, and more).
Photographers that pay models to work with them can only afford to do so if they are working on projects in which actual photos of the model are intended for some purpose that will generate money.
“TFP” (time for prints/cd) agreements typically do not allow for commercial use of photographs. If a photographer is providing the majority of their services for free, or worse, paying models to work with them, then they are likely not professionals because anyone whose sole source of income is photography could not afford to do this.
Professional photographers can and do pay models when/if they are working through a 3rd party on a specific product in which the photographer is paid (and the model either compensated by the photographer or the 3rd party).
Internet models tend to think that paying for photos is unnecessary or completely undesirable. Why pay for photos when there are “internet photographers” willing to shoot them for free? Anyone serious about modeling understands that paying professional photographers is a worthwhile investment and typical for anyone interested in attaining some degree of status in the field.
Professional photographers do occasionally provide TFP, but often do so with a specific purpose in mind. This is usually to test a new idea, new equipment, or try different techniques. It is also sometimes done to establish a working relationship with a model and determine their value for future paid projects.
Models who shoot TFP often do so to obtain experience, work with a new photographer, or add new photos to their portfolio.