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Understanding Media Distribution at Miami Runway Shows: A Guide for Models and Photographers

Priscila Ricart walking during miami swim week
Model Priscila Ricart walking at paraiso miami beach

There's a prevailing confusion about how media from runway shows, especially here in Miami, is supposed to be distributed. Let's delve into this issue, as it often leads to misunderstandings between models and photographers about content rights and responsibilities.

During Miami Swim Week and other fashion events, different types of photographers fill the media pit, each with distinct roles and restrictions on how they can use and distribute their content. It's crucial for everyone involved—models, photographers, and event organizers—to understand these differences to ensure smooth interactions and respect for each other's work.

Types of Photographers at Runway Shows:

- House Photographer/Videographer: These professionals capture content exclusively for the show organizers and designers. Their footage is typically distributed to models without charge and is used for brand promotions.

- Publication Photographer: These photographers are often on assignment from magazines or online platforms. They do not own the content outright and usually cannot distribute it freely as they are working under contract.

- Freelance Photographer: Operating independently, these photographers own their content and decide how to use or sell it. They might sell photos to models, brands, or publications.

- Amateur Photographers: Often newcomers trying to build a portfolio, these photographers might distribute content for free to network and build relationships.

- YouTube Videographers: This group is creating content for their channels. Access to shows can be restrictive, and their content distribution varies—some may charge, while others might offer content for free to increase their exposure.

The Model's Perspective:

- Agency Models: Typically have arrangements through their agencies and are paid for their walks.

- Freelance Models: May walk for free or negotiate some form of compensation. They are more likely to purchase content from photographers.

- Instagram Models: Often want content immediately and are usually well-connected enough to obtain photos through photographer friends or acquaintances.

- Amateur Models: These models might expect free content and can be uninformed about the business aspects of runway shows.

Runway walk by Jasmine B during miami swim week
Model Jasmine B walking the runway during miami swim week

Compensation and Business Dynamics:

Runway shows are a business. While models may walk for the experience or exposure, photographers and videographers are there to work and earn. For instance, photographers selling runway walk clips is a common practice throughout Miami Swim Week. Understanding this business aspect is crucial for new models who might walk for free and demand content without understanding the professional boundaries.

Models are sometimes paid per designer or production they walk for, with rates varying based on their experience and the budget of the show. It's essential for models to negotiate their rates or understand the terms of walking for free.


The runway show environment is a professional setting where both media creators and models are conducting business. It's important for all parties to respect each other's roles and financial interests. As someone who covers these events extensively, I encourage models to seek compensation for their walks and media professionals to establish clear rates for their content.

Remember, if you're participating in a Miami runway shows, whether you're behind the camera or on the runway, respect and professionalism should always be your guide.

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