At 42, I quit my job in property management to become a webcam model. Now I earn $1,000 a day and make my own schedule – here’s why I love it.

Ainslee Divine
Ainslee Divine worked for 15 years as a property management company owner before changing careers.

  • Ainslee Divine (not her real name) is a 46-year-old webcam model who lives and works in Scottsdale, Arizona.
  • She worked for 15 years as a property management company owner and says her new life means more freedom.
  • This is her story, as told to freelance writer Jenny Powers.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

It all started when I was 42 years old. I’d owned a property management company for 15 years, so I wasn’t looking for a career change – just a little fun.

I’d lost a ton of weight and I was feeling pretty good and wanted to show it off, so I started an Instagram account. My husband has always been supportive, and he basically said, “Go ahead, show the rest of the world how beautiful you are,” so I began posting sexy pictures. Early on, I posted a pic wearing a Malibu Strings bikini and the brand reposted it on their feed.

The next thing I knew, I went from zero to 20,000 followers in 45 days.

I wound up meeting a guy through Instagram and we got to talking, and he suggested I started webcamming. He said if I wanted to make a name for myself and make money, that was the way to go. I was completely unaware of what webcamming entailed, but he gave me the short and condensed Reader’s Digest version – a rundown of what I’d need to get started (laptop, lighting, strong internet connection, camera, toys, etc.) He encouraged me to look at the three main webcam platforms and watch other models which was invaluable.

Ainslee Divine
Divine on the golf course.

We also talked about what I’d be willing to do online. The fact is being a webcam model doesn’t always equate to getting naked. We also talked about personality and being friendly and not giving trolls any of my time. All of it piqued my interest – and my husband was open to my exploring this new avenue.

On October 4, 2016, I went live for the first time. The combination of excitement and nervousness on my face must have been priceless, but I was so well-received I found myself instantly drawn to it. Due to my age, I suddenly was considered a MILF, a term that – as the mother of a 23-year-old – I was familiar with, but had not embraced.

Now this is my full-time job. I’m at the top end of my industry and making more money than I ever imagined.

I cam on Streamate Friday through Monday beginning at 8:30 a.m., and I don’t stop until I hit my minimum daily goal which ranges from $1,000 to $1,800. About eight months ago, I decided to step up my game and began spending Tuesday through Thursday creating subscriber-only content to post on OnlyFans. I bring in five figures a month on each platform and get paid via direct deposit weekly. During my best month to date, I earned dollars shy of $80,000.

The pandemic has definitely caused a spike in the number of cam models.

There used to be anywhere from 1,700 to 2,200 models online, but now with everyone home, it’s more like 3,000 models at any given time. There’s a crazy amount of content creators now, but since I was on an upward trend before all of this started, I’m not really concerned about the influx. Things are good; I was just nominated for Best MILF Cam Model for the XBiz 2020 Cam Awards happening this month and I recently got new 32G boobs and got a publicist to help me venture into mainstream projects as well.

My set-up is pretty simple.

Ainslee Divine's camming setup in the guest bedroom of her home.
Her studio is in the guest bedroom of her home.

We live in Scottsdale, Arizona and our guest room doubles as my studio. There’s a bed, and as far as equipment goes, I’ve got a laptop, a 4K webcam for the best picture quality, a big screen I hook it all up to, two big-box lights to light me, and a rack of clothing and a box of toys I use on camera.

Really, I can work from anywhere as long as there’s an internet connection. Sometimes if we’re on vacation and I feel like making some money, I’ll cam or post online for a bit. I’ve cammed and interacted with fans while vacationing in Hawaii, Mexico, Florida, California, Oregon – even Bora Bora. We’re going to buy a boat soon and I’ll be able to cam from there too.

This is a 365/24-7 job, but during the day I take lots of breaks.

Finding balance is important. I’ll lay by our pool, play with our French bulldog, play golf (I’m a 9 handicap), do laundry, and pick up groceries.

I get over 3,000 direct messages a day on Instagram and selectively answer between 50-100 daily. Since I appeal to people worldwide, 30% of the messages I receive are in a language I don’t know. The messages are overwhelmingly complimentary. I’m very proud that all my followers are organic. I’ve never paid anyone to advertise or buy followers. I run my own accounts and don’t use third-party apps, either.

My look, personality, and age niche all make up me and my brand, and most people respond very well to it. You’ve got to have a thick skin in this business, though, because you can’t make everyone happy. Every day a few people will tell me I’m too old or to get a real job. I just tune them out and the platform allows me to block any abusive people from my room.

Camming is ideal for me because I’m a real people pleaser. I have way more freedom than I did in corporate America, because now when I roll out of bed, I’m already at work.

Read the original article on Business Insider

What it takes to be a hand model who earns $75,000 a year

  • Parts models, who model their hands, feet, teeth, hair, and more, can earn up to $4,000 a day. 
  • We spoke with a hand model about his hand-care routine, which involves moisturizing 30 times a day and two manicures a week. 
  • He also talks about the preventative measures he takes to protect his hands, such as avoiding cats and washing dishes.
  • While the industry shut down at the start of the pandemic, it is slowly getting back to business with social-distancing and PPE measures in place.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Following is a transcript of the video.

Narrator: This is no ordinary hand. This is the hand of a hand model. You don’t know it, but it’s one you’ve seen before, holding cups in Starbucks ads and even acting as Jay-Z’s hand in a Samsung commercial.

Ray: And there’s nothing wrong with Jay-Z’s hands. It’s just particularly that they’re putting the camera over your shoulder. You know, they needed his face. That don’t need his hands for those type of things, so that’s why I got called.

Narrator: Ray has worked as a hand model for 10 years now. To keep his hands camera-ready, Ray moisturizes his hands 30 times a day and gets at least two manicures a week. But what is it that makes Ray’s hands so special? Well, for one, Ray’s complexion is ideal for editing.

Ray: We all have a variety of different complexions. So mine works really well. I guess it’s “ambiguous” in post. They can lighten it, or they can darken it.

Narrator: Ray’s hands are also the perfect size.

Ray: So, what keeps me working a lot is actually that my hands are rather big, but not too big. I can grab a phone, especially today’s phones, and my hand looks natural holding them. They don’t look too small. They don’t look too big. It actually seems like it’s the perfect hand for the phone.

Narrator: But you need more than just the right hands. You need to know how to use them. Hand modeling is harder than it looks.

Ray: Sometimes, you’re asked to do some really funky positions that are totally unnatural, but on the camera it looks natural. It looks perfect, and that’s all that matters.

Narrator: Which means that shoots can be physically taxing, especially when hand models are asked to hold objects up for long periods of time. Shoots can sometimes last up to 12 hours, and models can find themselves in uncomfortable positions under hot lights and intense scrutiny.

Ray: Like, having your hands up like this for a second, no biggie. 10 minutes, though, it starts to wear on you.

Narrator: But Ray has some tricks up his sleeve when it comes to giving his best during a shoot.

Ray: In between takes, I keep my hands up to have the blood circulate down, so I don’t have too many veins in my hands, so that when I bring it in for the shot, it’s a less-veiny hand. Sometimes stop motion, you gotta be really, really still and do these very subtle adjustments. One of my early mess-ups was definitely drinking coffee for a video shoot. That’s not good, ’cause then when it came, really, it was like, “Oh, oh, shaky!” And I had to, like, put all my zen into that moment. So, especially when I’m doing video or anything like that, I try not to have coffee.

Narrator: And when Ray’s not on shoots, he spends a lot of time doing this: moisturizing.

Ray: Whoo, if I had to count how many times I moisturize a day, 30 times a day? I have lotion all over my house, in the places where I know to remind myself, “You should moisturize right here.” Some people talk about lotions and oils. I particularly like oil. Our bodies naturally have oils, so putting on a really great organic oil adds to that natural oil, and it’s just really great for, like, skin rejuvenation, skin hydration, and just all around.

Narrator: Ray also has a go-to manicurist, who makes sure his nails are in tip-top shape before each shoot. Ray: So, this is my manicurist, Erica. Erica: Hi. [laughing]

Ray: We’re here in Washington Heights. She is the one who is behind the amazing nails that I do for many of my shoots. Narrator: In addition to his skin-care regimen, Ray takes a lot of precautions when it comes to protecting his hands. This means putting SPF on before going outdoors and straight-up avoiding cats.

Ray: I can’t be around cats. Their claws are just too sharp. They’ll go, “Nnat!” And you’re like, “Oh, OK, that didn’t get me.” And then you’ll look back, and blood will just be gushing out of you like, “Ahh, I’m a hand model!” And you think the cat will understand. No. Another thing that is a absolute don’t as a hand model is washing dishes, at least without gloves. The soap or detergent can be too rough on the skin.

Narrator: Protecting your hands is extremely important, because any blemish or scratch could result in a lost job. But makeup can sometimes save the day.

Ray: One time I ended up having a cat bite. Everything’s good, but what I ended up doing, I take a little concealer, and I just put it down here, just making sure that your color and skin complexion all blends good.

Narrator: When it comes to getting paid, a weekly salary isn’t guaranteed. Models are essentially freelancers who are paid per job. Day rates can range from $150 to $1,500 or more. Ray says that he’s earned up to $4,000 for a single job before. And, sometimes, jobs come up at the last minute.

Ray: It’s one of those things that literally you can get a call the next day and say, “Hey, you’re booked!” You might have had something going on the day before, especially if you had a job, or, for actors, a callback. If you’re booked the next day, then you gotta go.

Narrator: The amount of work can fluctuate week to week. But since Ray has been working as a hand model for 10 years, he generally books two to three jobs a week now, earning him over $75,000 this past year as a hand model.

Ray: I’m still shocked. Because nobody says or aspires to say, “You know what? I want to be a hand model when I grow up.” [laughs] You know? It’s almost weird, but then you take pride over it. You know, you start seeing your hands all over the place. You see it on billboards. You see it on magazines. You see it on buses and just all over the place. So, yeah, you take pride over it.

Shirley: Hey, I’m Shirley. I’m the producer of this story, and I interviewed Ray in November of 2019, before the pandemic. I thought I would reach back out and see how Ray and the hand-modeling industry are doing during this pandemic.

Ray: When the pandemic started, everything stopped. It froze. There was no nothing. Once, I think, right after phase one into phase two, slowly work started trickling in. People were putting out feelers. “Hey, are you willing to work during this pandemic?” Sometimes it would be like, “Oh, there’s only gonna be three people on set. It’s just gonna be the photographer, you, and a stylist.”

So, yeah, booked my fist hand-modeling job about two weeks ago. We go on set. Everybody’s wearing masks, hand sanitizer’s everywhere. A lot of people have gloves on as well. And everybody’s just trying to be as safe as possible, keep each other 6-feet distance. Something that really transitioned well for me was just how everybody was able to get the work done. It’s also funny, like, at this time too, they’re trying to be extra safe. They’re trying to hire people that live together. The way that my girlfriend and I booked this one job, they were like, “Do y’all live together? OK, cool.” They did the interview and everything like that. And they were like, “Oh, you’re booked!” But they were doing that with everybody else. You would see castings that literally say, “We only want people that live together.” If you have a relative or something like that, like, I had one audition that I had to put my uncle in. It’s like, “All right, even if y’all live together, are y’all safe with being together without your mask on?”

Me and my modeling friends are talking often about, you know, is this going to be… is this gonna be OK? Like, can we truly survive in the state of the way things are right now? And I don’t know. You know, I just really don’t know. I hope so. It seems like there is some type of slow progression, but is that gonna be enough? You know, we still live in New York City. Rent is still due. So, yeah, there’s a lot of questions on, is this going to be sustainable?

EDITOR’S NOTE: This video was originally published in August 2020.

Read the original article on Business Insider