That is a vague question, but I will answer by saying that it takes the right client in order to get paid to model. That is based on the benefit to said client. There are multiple ways to get paid to model depending on the type of modeling one does. Also, the best way to get paid is by having an agent as they are good in negotiating such pay. Some of the avenues to get paid are the following;
Advertising: An advertiser who needs something published for an advertisement will pay for a shoot. The ad could be for a newspaper, magazine, billboard, or flier, etc. They foot the bill, but it could be the agency or the photographer who chooses the model.
Commercial: Catalog work or commercial work is the most paying gig. It is considered the “bread and butter” of modeling but many time it is longer hours depending on the scope of the job. They usually work with agencies to get their models.
Editorial: Editorial modeling, which is the most popular, does not pay much but is better for exposure. Editorial modeling is what you see in magazines where is tells a “story” whith images. There are many times that editorial does not even pay at all, but to many, it is the best kind of modeling as it is great exposure. Many times an editorial shoot could be a free shoot by any photographer and then they submit their work to magazines for publication. This is where many in the industry, when they say, “Let’s collaborate!”, mean lets shoot for free to gain experience/exposure. Collaborating in a free editorial shoot, which if you have nothing else to do, is not a bad idea.
Art: This is a vague genre, as anyone can describe anything as being art. A retired Navy veteran who wants to shoot nude girls can say its art to hire a girl from Model Mayhem and pay her $200 to shoot nude in a friends pool. And there are plenty of girls who earn money doing this. There is nothing extremely wrong with this, but it’s a slippery slope to call it art.
Educational: There are many cases where someone can make money by being a model at a photography class. I have heard of MeetUp shoots where maybe 10 people will sign up for a class, pay $50 each to learn “XYZ Techniques” and the organizer pays the model a set amount.
There are many types of models, but the idea of being a model comes with a preconceived notion. Anyone could be a model, but the fashion model is the common idea of one. You can be 5″2″, 43 years old and a tad overweight and be a model for a lifestyle ad for a condominium in Tampa, but you may get strange looks if you tell people, “I’m a professional model.”