People seem to “get” how to support creators of other sorts of art and other things they are fans of (anime, movies, actors, musicians, etc), but when it comes to models I kind of notice a gap. I’m not sure if this gap is because people assume models make a lot of money already or if they feel we should be offering our “product” (as in photos and such) for free, or if it’s something else altogether. So I wanted to share some behind the scenes information as well as some ways you can support your favorite models whether you can do so financially or not.
Why Do Models Want/Need Your Support?
Obviously, all models are different, but for those of us who really devote the time and effort into out modeling and who invest ourselves and sometimes quite a bit of our resources into it, this is at minimum how we earn part of our income. For some of us it’s the sole source of our income. Chances are if you’re following us and you’re a fan, we’re also somewhat of an “internet model” meaning that we do our best to maintain a fanbase, to have new content (photos and such) for you to see, and to interact with you. These are not normal model things that every model does. Not all models do this and those that do are actually using time that could be spent working or doing other things to maintain their social media, website, Zivity, Patreon, etc. You may not realize it, but some of us spend hours on these things. We also may shoot more of what we know you like or take on what are called trade shoots in which we don’t get paid, but we trade time with the photographer to shoot photos for Zivity sets, Patreon content, or just to share on social media.
And I’ll tell you this too: models don’t make that much money. Even the successful full time freelance models aren’t rolling in cash. I’m sure there are a few very, very rare exceptions, but for the most part models are living pay check to pay check (or shooting trip to shooting trip). And all of that pretty lingerie, gorgeous latex, and other wardrobe is not cheap. Some models may be lucky enough to have sponsors or to be able to borrow wardrobe, but most of us are expected to supply our own wardrobe for shoots. And on top of that, we can really only shoot in something once or twice before photographers and fans get tired of it. We usually learn to mix things up so we can reuse them, but we still spend a lot of money on wardrobe and that sexy skimpy stuff isn’t as cheap as you’d think.
In order for us to keep doing what we do, we have to be able to support ourselves and the things we need (wardrobe, makeup, etc). Some of us have day jobs or second and third jobs because modeling isn’t always a consistent income. This is why we can’t always just shoot whenever we want. Some of us may have another source for our living expenses income, but in order to keep modeling we need to make some income from it.
How You Can Support Your Favorite Models
Now with that explained, let’s talk about ways you can support us.
If you can afford it, most of us sell prints or photosets and a lot of us are on sites like Zivity and Patreon where you can spend a small amount ($5 or even less) to support us. I have over 3,000 likes on my fan page and if every one of those people pledged $1 a month, I’d be able to do so much! So even if $1 is all you can do, I promise it adds up. Most us offer special goodies that you can’t get otherwise for those who support us on Patreon and Zivity (and other sites). For example, I send out thank you cards that sometimes include mini prints and I also shoot lots of selfies that only my Zivity Backers and Patreon Patrons get to see. I also send out special goodies to those who vote on my Zivity sets since I get royalties from those votes.
Back to the prints for a moment: these are a great way to support a model (or photographer) you appreciate. It’s a one time purchase, unless you want to buy again, so it’s good for those who don’t like the idea of a subscription.
Okay, so what about for those of you who can’t do the financial support thing?
Share our work on Facebook, reblog us on Tumblr, tweet about us on Twitter. Basically, tell people about us. But please don’t download our photos and re-upload them without giving us credit. It’s much better for us if you share or reblog something we’ve posted so it’s easy for people to find us and we really want new fans to find us because even though you might not be able to financially support us, you might share us with someone who can. Likes and (positive, thoughtful) comments and things like that help too.
And I’m not saying that you have to share or reblog every thing we post, but if you see something you like, pass it on to others and help us out.
We love what we do and we want to be able to keep doing it, so do us a favor and show us a little (or a lot of) support, pretty please!