"What happens when an irresistible force meets an immovable object?"
This is a paradox that has pondered man for a long time. But I think it goes right along with, "What happens when a model who doesn't "pay for pictures" meets a photographer who doesn't "pay models?" Does a shoot still happen?
I bring this up, because every once in a while, whether its on Model Mayhem, One Model place, or other modeling/photography websites, I see more and more models saying that they "do not pay for shoots." I also see photographers who say that they do not pay models, but yet I see many of these model/photographer teams working together...hmmm.
So here is my two cents. YES, instantly I will take the side of the photographer. It's not that I have a problem paying models, its that most of the models who make that kind of demand are not "experienced" models. They do not have the portfolio or the creative offerings (i.e. nude, shooting in cold weather/adverse conditions, etc...) to demand payment. I mean would you pay a photographer $500 for a shoot who shot with a disposable camera and didn't have a portfolio to back it up?
When I see that on a profile, its almost a red light to me because it makes me think "DIVA!" Most photographers have a big enough ego as it is, and doesnt want to have anything to do with more on a set. For me I just move on to the next profile no matter how much I might have wanted to shoot with that person. It just leaves off a bad impression. Conversely I feel as a photographer, that if there is a shoot that I want to do, and I can't find a model who would want to work on it whether TF, or to save that idea for a paying shoot, that I should be able to pay a model. With that being said, there is no such thing as "Pay me, but I wont do..." If you are getting paid you are getting hired to do a job.
The photographers that you work with have not only invested the time, but they have invested a lot of money in the continual process of trying to make people look their best. I know of photographers who do great work with $1000 cameras, and we consider that cheap, when you have photogs out there who shoot with $60K cameras. Price and quality often go hand in hand.
All that being said. If you are only shooting once a month, because you are waiting for paid gigs, or maybe once every two months... are you getting better at your chosen skill?