I’ve been over this multiple times on forums such as Hungangels, across social media and in private emails to potential models, so in the interest of both saving me time and having this information available for all to see, it’s time to give the actual facts about being a transgender model in the current adult industry. There is so much misinformation, however well intended, by individuals who really know very little about the real industry. Although the information given here is only from our experience at Grooby, we are the largest producer of TS content worldwide and I believe much of it is pertinent to other companies.
Anybody considering becoming a model on websites, should take a look at this guide and facts.
Why do you want to be a model?
If it’s only for the money, then you need to have a rethink. The money you can make as a model is relatively small (more on this later) and it’s unlikely it’s going to be enough in the short-term. Most models see the income as a supplement to other incomes and model because they enjoy both the act of modeling and the exposure that it gives them. Many models already work on cams, some work as escorts and some have plans to model to build their own brands (websites, video releases, etc.). Many girls model for the validation it gives them by appearing on websites or DVD’s.
If you are not going to a) enjoy it and b) understand that your image is out there forever, then this is not for you.
That’s right, once you’ve photographed for a website, your images will potentially re-surface at anytime across the internet. Even if a website promises only to show the sets in it’s private members area, there is no recourse against thieves, borrowers, re-posters and pirates. You need to be 100% confident of what you are doing and happy and comfortable enough, to be able to say you enjoyed doing it. This applies to all models of course, not just transgenders.
Recently, a male performer in a number of our productions was “outed” at the University he was attending, who threatened to have him expelled. He appealed to us to remove the content, much of which has only been shot months/weeks previously. This was a significant budget and without any way to compensate the members we were simply unable to simply remove it. I still don’t know how or why, he didn’t think he was going to get found out and as much as I sympathize with him, he didn’t think through the consequences fully.
Other models over time, have requested for us to remove their content. Depending on the length of time the content has been up and the situation, we’ve looked at different ways to come to a solution with them and help them get their content removed not just from our sites (easy) but from pirated type sites (not so easy), even with them getting the content deleted, there is always the risk that it will be shown again. I repeat, if you are worried about people you know, seeing your nudes – don’t do it.
Soooo … how much money can I make?
I can only speak for what we pay, which is $600 for a solo shoot (of 2 sets) or $800 for a hardcore scene. We have this standardized across N.America/Europe for all girls appearing on our websites, we don’t get into negotiating different prices for different models and with the exception of our “early-transitioning site” (coming soon) which is a little less, we keep the payments the same across the sites. We shoot more new models and debut shoots then any other company – and sometimes that’s as far as model gets, 1 solo shoot – and either she decides that she doesn’t want to continue, or her sets weren’t popular enough at that time, to warrant further shoots, although many models do return further in their transition.
Models who are popular on our sites, usually get picked up (poached!) by other companies and for the first month or so, can find a lot of work coming in from different sites or DVD companies, scrambling to show the “next new thing”. Very few models have that pace of work continuously and you should expect it to drop off. Many girls also do cam work to increase earning and your popularity as a model may help that, especially if you start to gain a following on fan boards and social networks.
It’s unlikely, you’d be able to make enough money as solely a freelance TG model to afford a basic living.
What if I don’t want to do ABC or XYZ?
You should be agreeing with the photographer exactly what is in the scene (or set the limits for the shoot). Nobody should ever be expected to do a hardcore or have personal interaction unless they want to do it but if you agree to do a shoot, then you need to know what’s expected. If you feel uncomfortable doing something, then you should explain that to the photographer before the shoot, who then could cancel or adapt the shoot. You should never go into a shoot agreeing to do something that you are uncomfortable with and you should not be afraid to cancel that shoot.
Why is the pay so low when the companies are making $1000’s off my shoots?
This is a common fallacy often perpetuated by individuals who know nothing about the economics of running a company. We’re a successful company of over 17 yrs and we have many different revenue streams that help keep us afloat. While we pay $600/$800 to a model for about 1/2 days work or less, we also have to pay the photographer, photo/video editors, webmasters, office rental/utilities, server costs, book-keepers, lawyers/accountants, tax, etc. before any profit is realized from the sets. We aim to make on average $200-$300 profit from each shoot, so it’s an economy of scale, where we are producing a large number of shoots across multiple websites in order to make our profits.
Again, I can only speak for Grooby but much of those profits go back into future websites (which can cost anything from $70-$100,000 for their initial set-up) or other areas, like our Transgender Erotica Awards. If we could release new sites that would break-even or have minimum profits, instead of loss, then we would – this would keep more models hired and more work for our photographers, but the amount of potential members simply aren’t there. Sites we set up three years ago, are just starting to pay back their initial investments now.
Yes, as a company, we do make a profit but to think that we’re profiting even close to what we pay you for the shoot, just isn’t true.
Ok … so why do it?
Do it because YOU want to do it!
We’ve had thousands of girls who’ve enjoyed doing anywhere between a one-off shoot just to enjoy the exposure to girls who’ve became the largest TS models ever. We work with girls of all different looks, ages and types. Grooby celebrates transgenders in all the forms and respects the models for who they are! Do it if you are confident about showing your body (or if you want to gain some confidence from showing it off). Do it for extra pocket money. Do it to become part of a great industry and enjoy gaining fans. Use it to your advantage to market your cam, you personal videos or yourself through more exposure.
Just be aware of what the industry can or cannot do for you. Talk to other girls, ask questions in public and they will be answered.
The decision is yours alone.
I’ll be happy to answer any pertinent questions.