There has never been a time when so many prospective transgender models are looking to break into the industry and those who have had shoots already, looking for more work. Year upon year the number of models is increasing exponentially driven by more trans girls wanting to get themselves out and show themselves to the world, a need for income and supported by the fact that they’re seeing other similar girls able to do it. The bad news is that there are less shoots available than anytime that I can recall in the last 10-12 years – but the good news is that it has never been easier and more manageable to be able to produce your own content and get it to your fans.
Can I be your next superstar? (or how you cannot make a living just being a model).
We can get anywhere between 10 and 30 new model applications a week – I’ve touched on this before, that many potential models have an unrealistic expectation of what working in erotica can do for them, both financially and as a stepping stone and I’m frequently directing girls either to this blog or giving them a more realistic version of what to expect. This blog post, is an update for 2015, as to not only what can be expected as a model for our company, but also a general state of the industry as well as giving direction for those who want to do it.
I want to begin by looking at some facts and figures. For the purpose of this, we’re discussing websites or production companies that use N.American or European based models as the Asian and S.American sites are a completely different animal. Grooby, as far as I am aware, is by far the largest producer of TS content worldwide, producing just under 200 scenes a month (where a scene is one set of either solo or hardcore). That sounds a lot but when we break down for the model group we’re discussing, that’s 91 scenes – but two scenes are shot of each model so we’re looking at closer to 20 hardcore shoots and 35 solo shoots (2 sets per shoot) per month. That is to keep Shemale Yum, Black Tgirls, Shemale.xxx and a few side sites, full of content. We’ve 100’s of models competing for those places, we shot over 360 unique N.American & European models in 2014, competing for 660 shoots. Most models get to shoot 1-2 times with us a year, at the most. At a payment rate of between $600-$800 a shoot, the numbers speak for themselves. We’ve had another excellent year but production is only part of what makes up our company’s income and we’re constantly trying to look for new production opportunities and ideas for sites or projects that can be financially viable, this also means we need to look at sites that are under-performing and in 2014, we stopped shooting for two of our US production sites cutting back approx. 120 shoots a year. Hopefully, our ideas for 2015 will be more successful and provide more available shoots.
Looking at other available modeling opportunities with companies and the outlook isn’t great. There are only a handful of production companies in the USA shoot paid model shoots. There are the steady ships of Shemale Strokers and Bobs Tgirls which shoot similar models to Grooby, there is Kink’s TS Seduction who rotate around the same 15 or so models a year, Shemale Club who used to shoot a few dozen US models a year seems to have taken most of it’s production abroad and is down to maybe a dozen of the highest rated models. Trans 500 who looked last year like they were going to be doing a lot of US shooting, looks like they’re also doing most of their production in S.America and Thailand and only shot 15 US based TS’s this this year. Then we have Joey Silvera, Devil’s Film and a few more independent outfits shooting content but they mainly concentrate on the known performers and their output is in the dozens of scenes, not the 100’s. So in conclusion, expecting to be able to make a living, just shooting for other companies, is very unlikely.
So … why work for Grooby? (or what to expect from working with us)
We love to feature TS models of all types. We’ve been instrumental in bringing almost all of the big named stars to the public for nearly 20 years (2016 will be our 20th Anniversary) and we’ve also made a point of showing the widest spectrum of TS models both in looks, age, body type and otherwise on Shemale Yum while our other US sites Black Tgirls specializes in our ebony models and Shemale.XXX in the best from both sites as well as the best international models.
Every model who submits via our application area will get an answer. Every email gets looked at and considered whether, based on the photos and information send, we can shoot you for one of the websites. What applicants need to understand is, this is a business and we can only invest in producing a scene if we think we can at the very least, recover the investment. So if we’re unable to work with you, then hopefully we can at the least, let you know why (or give some advice). Many of our more popular models weren’t accepted the first time round.
If you are someone we’d be interested in working with, your application will be forwarded to your closest photographer who should be in touch to see if a shoot can be arranged. What happens at the shoot? Well that’s for a different blog.
What you should be aware of, is that if you work as a model for any company, you’re going to sign a model release which gives away practically all your rights to that content. You should take the time to read the model release (you can request it ahead of a shoot). Grooby uses a standard model release as do most of the companies. Your content will be used on one of our sites and for the promotion of that site. Given a few recent moans from a few individuals, you should be aware (and it’s silly if you’ve gotten to this point and aren’t) that we run sites called “Shemale Yum” & “Shemale.XXX” – you can read more about the word and why I agree with it’s use in the context of porn at this blog post I wrote. If you don’t wish to be featured on a website with “shemale” in the title, then you shouldn’t work for us.
What you will get is unparallelled promotion and be featured on some of the most viewed websites for trans women in the world. If you just want to give it a go once, or if you want to think about working more fulltime in the adult industry, Grooby IS where you start branding There is a reason why top tgirl models return to work for us, year after year. There simply is no other company like ours.
Can I re-shoot? (it should be a yes or no answer)
A typical scenario would go … a new model applies to Grooby who photographer her and promote her. Companies which don’t invest as much in finding new models, or don’t have the budgets to test new models usually see how they look or are received on our networks before they all jump in. So Miss. New Model, is getting 2-3 shoots a week in LA for the first few months, shooting for all the sites and producers … and just when she thinks she’s made it, the work slows. It’s an unfortunate part of the adult business that generally, everyone is looking for the next best thing and once a successful model appears on a website, then every competitor wants her on their site also. You need to be aware and prepared for that. I used to argue that a model shouldn’t appear on every single website and take every job, but there is so little available shoots around, that I’d say, take it while you can! Just make sure contracts are signed, that they’re legitimate companies and you get paid right away.
As the largest producer, we do offer the most popular models more work when we can, or models which fit what we might be looking for, for a specific scene or to balance the updates. We have a large social network presence on Facebook and Twitter and encourage models to interact and help us promote each other there but inevitably models come looking for more work.
How do we choose who to re-shoot and when? Without wanting to name anyone, some models just have “it”. Whatever “it” is, they have it and the customers want more of them, so these models would probably get more shoots. Models who have a large social network presence and ones who interact with us on the networks, also tend to get re-shot a little faster as we can see how many fans/followers they have. We go off the popularity of the models shoots on the websites, feedback and ratings, we judge models on how their promotional material went on Facebook, Reddit, Hungangels, etc. and we go off gut instinct on what we believe the members want to see. We’d also probably feature models who had featured less on other sites than models who’d appeared everywhere recently. Some models, we just simply cannot take back unless they develop or change their looks or styles.
It’s a shame as again, I’d love to have the venues and the budgets to shoots as many models as many times as they wanted and have dozens more quality sites out there but the facts are, the pool of people willing to pay for TS erotica is relatively small – and as successful as we are, we can only shoot so much content and make the return on it. To dispel any myths about how the porn industry “underpays” or how we “make fortunes off my photos but hardly paid me”, which I’ve heard for years, here are some facts. Yes we pay each model $600/$800 but there are other costs associated with those sets, starting with the photographer costs (incl. locations), through photo-shop and video editing, making promotional materials, paying affiliates (those banner ads or Twitter links to our sites, we have to give the webmaster 50% of the sale). We have to pay for the office, the book-keeper, postage, bandwidth and hosting costs, staff expenses and taxes. This is a real business. I’d estimate for every model who gets paid $600, the profit that our company makes from that, is around $60-$100.
So how can I make a career in the porn industry? (you’re still here?)
As I mentioned, the time has never been better to produce your own porn. Once upon a time, a few years ago it was difficult to set up your own site – you need skills and money so you had to run it with a company unless you had those skills (and money). Now with software like WordPress and companies like Clips4Sale or Hotmovies, it’s possible to run it yourself. For those that still want to be in charge of their own content and website but want it even easier (and getting the promotional and advertising from a large company like Grooby, we have Grooby Network which works as easier as updating your Facebook page and links to other revenue opportunities like your own cam. I don’t think every girl should necessarily have her own site – but if you’ve worked for the major companies, if you’ve a social network presence and people are wanting more of you, then it’s a way to supplement your income and coupled with cam work (or other production work) then you can make a living at it.
What is shooting for trade? (nearly free content).
There are now enough girls (or guys) shooting their own content for their own releases. Instead of paying other models, they both shoot with each other for free – and both can use the content on their sites. This is a great way to keep budgets down and get some great content but you should always have a contract, don’t shoot with everyone and make sure you know exactly what you (or your partner) can or cannot do with the content. It’s pointless shooting a scene, when your trade partner releases it and promotes it on their site a week before yours, you have to agree to release it together – and to make sure that if they sell it, what the arrangements are. You will also need to make sure you have the legalities (2257 and model release forms) for your trade partner.
2015 is going to be an exciting year, we’ve two new sites planned as well as increasing production on our early transitioning site Femout. We’re working on more themed sets and productions as well as some less explicit erotica, we want you to be part of it – but only if you are aware of what the adult industry can offer you. It’s not going to make you a millionaire, it’s a lot of hard work and once your image is out there, it’s there forever. So think about it – and if it’s still for you, we’d love to hear from you.