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Make money as a life model

Chiara Cavaglieri 23rd Jul 2020 223 Comments

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Working as a life model and performing different life modelling poses is a creative way to make money from your body.

The Register of Artists’ Models (RAM) recommends a rate of £15 per hour for your trouble. Obviously, a big part of the job involves stripping naked, so you’ll have to work out if that’s something you really want to do. If it is, you will get to see yourself recreated in a host of (hopefully) beautiful paintings and sculptures. What’s not to like?



Life Model Wanted: What does life modelling involve and is it for me?

Elderly female life model

The main thrust of the job involves complete strangers staring at you intently – whilst you’re naked of course – for hours on end.

  • You can expect life modelling sessions to last around three hours, with a couple of breaks for rest.
  • Remember, you don’t have to be beautiful or in top shape – if anything, you’re likely to be in more demand if you have a unique look or an interesting body shape – so don’t let any paranoia about your looks stop you.
  • However, you need to be comfortable with both nudity and a certain amount of discomfort and boredom. This is a very important thing to remember when considering life modelling.
  • You may also be asked to create your own poses, so practice in front of the mirror and consider taking some lessons as a life model to get a feel for what art directors may want you to do. If you have a partner, ask them for their opinion on your poses.

It is also fairly common to ask two models to pose together – you may be asked to pose with a member of the opposite sex so ask yourself honestly how comfortable you are with the idea. If you have some doubt, then this may not be for you.


Life Model Wanted: Are there many life modelling jobs?

Female life model

These days life modelling is a professional occupation and most employers regard life models as employees.

You will probably find there isn’t much work going that pays in cash so prepare to have to work on PAYE and supply a National Insurance number.

Your first port of call should be local art colleges and education centres. Here a couple of contacts to get you started.

  • The Art Academy, 020 7407 6969
  • The London Sketch Club, 020 7352 8209, contact them to offer your services to members
  • Also keep an eye out for adverts in shop windows and local papers too.
  • Your local Gumtree website may also throw up the odd life modelling job too so check in every now and then.
  • It may also be worthwhile posting on Gumtree yourself stating your availability as a life model.
  • A good place to check for jobs are general job searching websites such as TotalJobs or Indeed.
  • If that doesn’t muster up anything, try social media websites, as sometimes ads are put out in Facebook groups or via Twitter.

Always be careful with any advert you see online, and always make sure you are using a reputable company.


The Register of Artists’ Models (RAM)

There’s also a mega handy website The Art Models Register (RAM) – a sort of unofficial life modelling union – which features jobs all around the country. All the jobs are restricted to RAM members only – but membership only costs £35 per year (£38.50 to join) so it’s probably worthwhile signing up if you’re struggling to find work elsewhere.

Being on the public list of RAM members could make a big difference. Some colleges and private art groups only employ RAM members and Bare Facts model booking service for London also only supports RAM models.

  • London applicants must audition at the life drawing workshops in Holloway or Richmond but RAM does state that most applicants are accepted.
  • Outside of London there is no need to audition so you join as an Associate Member initially. Then, once you’ve sent two tutor references from jobs you can convert to full membership at any time, for no extra charge.


How much can I make as a Life Model?

Male life model

Pay varies widely but you can expect, on average, between £12 and £15 per hour depending on where you live in the country.

  • In London you should expect to make about £15 an hour (that’s what is recommended by RAM) and it will be around that amount in large cities.
  • Outside of the cities and in the regions it’s likely to be a couple of pounds less than that per hour but it does vary from venue to venue.
  • Don’t be afraid to have life modelling as a side job. Many people do this as it is an easy way to top-up your main salary.



Alternatives to life model jobs

Male life model from behind

If you decide being a life model isn’t quite for you, there may be work out there as a hand or foot model.

  • Check out websites Body London and Derek’s Hands for more information.
  • Or you could try to find work as a regular model. It’s easier to do than you might think, in fact there are companies out there like UK Model who you can submit an application to and wait to find out what they think.
  • Alternatively, you may have decided that being a model just isn’t for you. So instead, why not try being a life model director or tutor? You can join RAM as this for £10.
  • If you’re not interested in life modelling at all, there is something called wild life drawing, where instead of drawing naked life models, you draw animals instead. If your drawing stands out, you could make money from them.


Have you tried working as a life model? Share your experiences by commenting below – we love to hear about your money-making tips and experiences.


Other ways to make money



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9 years ago

Hi 30, slim, 6ft2″ part time life model looking for more varied work. I am currently available for modelling and teaching hen parties and art groups, body painting and the like. You can contact me on [email protected], if your looking to book a nude model in the liverpool/manchester areas

Daniella Armstrong
Daniella Armstrong
9 years ago

Hi, I have no previous experience but am interested in becoming a life model. I’m female, 22, blue eyes, dark red hair, 5’4, 8st with a toned body.
My email is [email protected] if anybody is interested.

9 years ago

I’m a 49 yo guy living in Fife. I’m just over 6ft tall and over weight, so I have interesting curves. Not tried life modeling before but would love to try.
Contact me via [email protected]

9 years ago

Hi, my names Jono,

I’m a 28 year old white male, long hair, athletic build, unusual shape, 6’1″, 75kg, based in SW London.

I’ve done a few regular modelling shoots before, but no life modelling. I am very comfortable with my body and would love the opportunity to become someones art ^_^

Phil lewis
Phil lewis
7 years ago
Reply to  Jono

[email protected]

Life model jobs available for people that enjoy it

9 years ago

I am 5ft 1, Slim athletic, blonde, age 49 and available for Life Modelling in London, west preferred. I am based close to chiswick. I prefer Class set up and do have experience.

9 years ago

38 yr old male, 6ft, athletic build, available in the Bournemouth / Southampton area. No experience but willing to give life modelling a try.
Do get in contact if you require a model.
[email protected]

Vince Gorman
Vince Gorman
9 years ago

53 yr old guy living in Kettering in Northants. Never done life modelling before but wouldn’t be a problem stripping off. Possibly unusual but I don’t have any body hair due to alopecia. 6 foot tall and 12 stone so in pretty good shape for my age.. Available at random times due to other work and music interests..
Call 07766 605049 or email [email protected]

9 years ago

Hi im harley im a 18yr old girl and was looking for an easy job im very comfortable with my body im a fear build but not massive im 5ft5 and around 12stone im from Manchester and would love to try this out please if anyone has anything in my area let me know on here or email me at [email protected] thanks

9 years ago

Hi, I am an experienced life / nude model

I am a slim, fit and healthy mature life model available across Scotland to work with artists or photographers

It is great profession and loads of fun as well as being very liberating.

I can provide more details and a link to my modelling pages for any individual or group who may be interested in a drawing or photo session

Look forward to hearing about your projects

9 years ago

Is there an age limit. I am 64 and never been a life model before. I am confident about my body and not shy to show to photographers or painters.

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