When it makes sense to model for free. Test shoots
Both model and photographer can expand their portfolios and creative skills by trying out new and different poses or looks. Working for free only works and makes sense when you're trading your talents with another creative professional.
If you know and respect a photographer it may be a good idea to set up a test shoot. Both of you can gain collaborative images that will be shared within your individual portfolios. You’re both helping advertise your art and hopefully representing the best you have to offer.
Look to work with someone that is in line with your style. When trading and investing your time in exchange for photos make sure you have control over your image. Set a tone for the test shoot to represent you and your image. You want the test shoot to help bring future jobs that you want.
Charities, PSA’s and Non-profit organizations are a huge part of gaining a good reputation by supporting your local community and are 100% acceptable in volunteering your time.
Remember test shoots and volunteer jobs that support your community are worthwhile. Working for free is not. Giving your talents away for free creates a standard that will negatively affect you and your peers. Let's work together to eliminate the ridiculous idea that it pays to work for free.
photo credit: Kaden Stuart, Windham Photography