Importance of Name Recognition

By Vicky Phipps, a graduate of The Ohio State University.

When you first begin your career (in any field), it is customary to be forced to accept unpaid jobs or jobs that pay very little. Many of your first opportunities only offer you a chance to be seen by a lot of people. So, smart people choose to do opportunities that do not pay - because they hope to be seen by a lot of people and hopefully obtain more opportunities later.

In these cases, it is good to ask that your name be published whenever your image is used - so you can begin to build name recognition for yourself.

If you are being paid a high rate of payment, you cannot ask for your name to be published. That would be inappropriate and can cause you to get fired or dismissed from consideration. But, many professionals who are working with a low budget do not care about listing your name. You just need to ask. here is how you should negotiate to get your name in lights - or at least in print:

Many low-paying (or unpaid) opportunities only offer you "exposure" - the ability to be seen by a lot of people. However, exposure is worthless without an ability to help you generate paying opportunities later. Will a professional be able to get in contact with you if he wants to hire you - or will he at least be able to know your name when he sees you?

There are many cases where a photographer is casting a good-paying job, sees a guy he wants to hire in an ad, but cannot hire the guy because the photographer does not know the name of the model in the ad.

For example, open any magazine that has an advertisement that includes a male model. Is the model's name shown anywhere in or near the ad? Let's say you are a modeling professional and want to hire that dude. If his name is not listed with the advertisement, professionals do not have a way to contact or hire the guy.

Pros want to know the names of guys they see in photos or in print.

Choose opportunities that are seen by a lot of people and negotiate for your name to be printed near your image. So, when if accept a low-paying modeling job, you need to assure that your name is printed somewhere near the ad or photo (each and every time it appears) as:

MODEL: Your First name and Last name.

So, when offered a small amount of money to participate in an opportunity, say "Sure, I will do it, but I will need a credit that lists my first and last name whenever my image is used." Your name need not be printed in huge letters. Professionals simply need to be able to find out who you are. Just the same size as the copyright notice which likely lists the photographer's name. You cannot ask for your name to be printed if you are being paid a decent rate.

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