Model Mayhem was the website that more than any other helped me find models to work with when I was just getting started with portraiture. Starting this month, Model Mayhem has updated its subscription service going far beyond offering perks as it once did. While the update is being touted as an improvement, photographers using Model Mayhem are likely going to be quickly re-evaluating if this service is one that they are interested in continuing to use.
In the past Model Mayhem was, for the most part, an open and free social network for models, photographers, makeup artists, stylists, and other creative professionals. It served as a fantastic way to find other amateurs to work with who also want to build their portfolio. Their search tool allowed for a photographer to search with specific detail and individually contact any model that he or she wished to work with.
Starting this month Model Mayhem has taken a page out of the LinkedIn playbook and severely limited the ability for free accounts to contact other users. Previously a "Basic" membership was allowed to send five private messages per day to users it was not already connected with, but that feature has been completely removed from the basic plan now and now requires a subscription in order to contact potential models unless they respond to a friend request first.
The new subscription structure enjoys three tiers: the "Basic" membership is free, while the "Premium" membership costs $6.00/month, and the "VIP" membership costs $10.00/month. Existing paying users have been grandfathered into a "Legacy" membership that seems to be a slightly upgraded Basic membership. Full comparisons are included below this article.
What do you think of Model Mayhem's new subscription structure? Are the newly added paid features worth investing in or do you feel that Model Mayhem no longer will be a tool that you use? Let me know in the comments below.