Day rates vs hourly?

What are the going day rates for hair/makeup:
Half day
Full day
Photo shoot

Also, do you always charge a kit fee?

Thank you in advance!


  • Hi Shannon,

    I believe it depends on the location. For NYC/NJ TV shoots for short-form programming I've seen rates between $500 - $800 on a 10 hr day. Kit Fees are usually $50 and only some of the budgets I had included them. I would consider it a half day rate for anything under 5 hours. Hope that helps.

  • Thank you Alyx. It does help. Just wanted to check to see if everything is still comparable to the rates I've been going by. Thanks a bunch!

  • Hi Shannon, I find that is all over the place now. Clients are dropping every line in the budget to a minimum. We are paying for commercial gigs between 500-750 / 10h. For films $350/10h, for corporate work $250-300 /4h. Unless you are dedicated to a specific talent (celebrity) which makes it negotiable and usually higher.

    We are budgeting right now for a small commercial for a bank, rate for MUA was $750, they are asking to find someone at $250 just because the idiots who shot the previous work for them had that rate! Of course they are hiring me now because they hated the previous work. So, go figure!

  • Thank you Carlos. I have to agree that it is all over the place as well, which is how this question first came about for me. Wow, $750 to $250, that's a big change. I've been doing Make-up for over 18 years and started to notice the wide range of budgets, so wanted to see what was happening to everyone else out there. I know there are many different budgets, but it's also good to have an idea for consistency. I hate to turn down work but also don't want to lose the gig if I am able to work something out. Take care and wishing success to all!

  • I know, I barely ever get my normal rate unless is a commercial job. All I know is that if I am not busy, I rather be in the field or studio shooting. At times I have even done it for free if its a cool project. The good thing is that I am able to hand pick those low paying ones, and 2 out of 5 times it has brought other jobs. So its another piece for my reel (if I ever put it together) and good networking.

    The MUA I use most often works with me often in very very low paying things, but she knows that in the length of the year she will also make a lot from my other work. Let's hope is that way in the Trump era, as I see clients postponing work, I am scared!

    Best wishes to you as well.

  • It's disgusting that its come to this. Who is making the rate you or the client.
    WE make the rates not the client.

  • The client is requesting them as they know they can get away with it. Then hopefully they learn the lesson the hard way. I have had to let go of a good amount of work due to some idiot with a camera phone or GH4 that now thinks s/he can be a photographer or cinematographer. They may have a great creative eye, but when they get into trouble... I love hearing the stories!

  • I just did an estimate for one of the largest ad agencies, with a very big brand name as the advertiser. We passed our estimate, the agency told us what to cut and to what amount. I told this to the creative director and an internal fight started. The CD agrees with the higher rates but the art producer/buyer said she can get it for less. Then the acc exec of course sided with the buyer. Will find out the end of the story soon, I hope.

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