TFP – This term has come to have many meanings in the modeling and photography industry. Possible meanings: “Trade for Prints“, “Trade for Portfolio“, “Time for Prints“, “Time for Portfolio“. In any case, the idea behind it is that both the photographer and the model contribute their respective time, experience, and resources to help build each other’s portfolio in return for the same. In some cases photographers will give printed photos (which we do not) and others give CD’s or make the final images available for download from an online image gallery. As mentioned just previously, we do not offer print at this time, but we do offer download and CD.
TFCD – Same as TFP, but refers to the receipt of a CD/DVD of photos for time contributed, rather than prints. We do this.
TFDL – A term we have coined (have not seen it anywhere else), referring to “Trade for Download”, where final images are made available via an online image gallery for immediate consumption by the model.
Q. – Do you have a studio?
A. – Officially, no. In nature photography, the whole world is one’s studio, so we haven’t needed a formal studio until recently. If a studio environment is necessary, we have space that we can arrange on a case-by-case basis, but this may require monetary investment on your part.
However, all of our equipment, with the exception of processing and development system, is portable, and we have a nice van for transporting basically anywhere. If you have a place where you are comfortable, we’ll be happy to set up and shoot there.
Q. – Do you travel?
A. – Absolutely. However, at this time our service radius is limited to about 30 minutes drive or around 25 miles. Schedule availability will have a major part to play in this particular aspect.
Q. – Do you do hair/makeup/cosmetics?
A – No. we are not licensed to perform these services, and thus, by law we can not. You are welcome to do your own, or have it done by the person of your choice. Also, we will gladly refer you to artists we work with, however, you will need to contact them to make appropriate arrangements, and may have to pay for their services. Those arrangements will be between you and the artist.
Q. – Do you provide wardrobe?
A. – Sometimes. If we have a particular project in mind, we may provide wardrobe for that specific project. Otherwise, if there is something in particular that you would like to use in your shoot, please bring it along.
Trade Shoot Policies and FAQ
The following outlines what we expect of you in relation to a Trade Shoot (also known as TFP/TFCD/TFDL), and what you can expect from us. The information found here is a general outline of certain non-negotiable rules and other guidelines which are flexible to some extent.
What to expect from us:
Respect. We treat our models with the utmost respect, and do everything in our power to ensure our model is comfortable, safe, and secure during the shoot. We won’t touch you without your permission, not to move a piece of hair or to correct a pose/position. We will not force you to do anything you do not feel comfortable doing. The purpose of our existence is to serve you to the best of our ability, and that’s what we intend to do.
Open and Honest Communication. We work hard to establish a solid channel of communication between us and our models, leading up to, during, and after the shoot.
Leading up to a shoot, we will be contacting you to work out details, such as what types of photography will be done, what wardrobe and/or cosmetic arangements need made, scheduling, travel, venue, and soforth. We may arrange meetings to take place in the week(s) prior to the shoot to hammer out some of the finer points. We may also need to call you 24-48 hours before the shoot to make final confirmation.
The day of the shoot, we may call you if you appear to be running late. We will provide you with a model release form that must be signed and agreed to before we start. During the shoot, we will talk to you constantly, and give you feedback on what we see through the lens. This helps ensure a good shoot.
In the days and weeks following the shoot, we will be in contact with you regarding your proofs, retouch of your images, and delivery of the final product. We also may discuss opportunities for future shoots, provide you with usage license documents and/or letters of recommendation you can use to get more work.
If ever there should be a problem anywhere down the line, we will notify you as soon as we are physically able to do so.
Model Release Agreement. This is the document that governs our working relationship for the duration of the shoot and thereafter. It outlines our responsibility to you, and your responsibility to us, and also covers things like copyright, ownership of the photos, photo usage, etc. We will not shoot unless you sign this document.
Only the Best photos taken. Some models request that they receive a CD of all frames taken during the shoot. We do not, and will not provide this. We only release images to you that are the best of the shoot, those that best display both of our respective abilities. Usually this means that you will get at least one good image from a given set/outfit/look. This is not a guarantee, but a generalization. Sometimes there will be more than one image form a given set, and none from another. Such is the fickle nature of light and models, but we strive for as many “keepers” as possible, and sometimes an image that looks like it’s not salvageable out of the camera, is one of the best of the bunch with just a few minor adjustments (brightness, color, saturation, etc).
More to come…
What we expect from you:
Respect. We treat you with the same respect that we would like to have shown to us. The Trade Shoot is a colaborative effort between model and photographer to expand both parties respective portfolio and professional experience. Please don’t cop an attitude. If you have a question, please ask. If there’s something you don’t understand, again, please ask.
If you have a “Diva Complex”, leave it at home or don’t bother leaving home. If you are disrespectful to us during the shoot, we reserve the right to terminate the shoot immediately, delete the photos, tear up the release, or all of the above. If this happens, you will be asked to leave the premises immediately (if in studio) , or we’ll just pack up and leave (if its an outdoor/public shoot). We do not have the time, patience, or inclination to work with such self-centered individuals.
Professional Courtesy. If you say you are going to shoot with us, and we start working out the details, we expect that you will carry through with the shoot. If you change your mind, or something comes up in the days and weeks prior to the shoot, we expect you to tell us. Give us a reason, or don’t…lie to us if you have to, but at least do us the favor of saying “I’m sorry, I can’t shoot with you this time…“. We understand things happen, stuff comes up, conditions change. Don’t just fall off the face of the earth a few days prior to the shoot, and expect us to understand. Don’t just read our messages and not do us the simple courtesy of a reply, even if it’s just a simple “I got your message, and I’ll get back to you again when I have more time.”
Some models believe that a Trade/TFP/TFCD Shoot is free, and because no money changes hands, that they are not obligated to the photographer for anything. The truth of the matter is, once a photographer has committed to the shoot, they are devoting time, and sometimes money and other resources, to making the shoot happen. If a model backs out or disappears at the last moment, it represents a loss of time, money, resources, and opportunity that the photographer could have invested otherwise.
Professional Responsibility. We expect you to be on time to the shoot, and if you are lost or running late or can’t make it for some reason, we expect you to call. Like you expect us to take care of our equipment and be ready to do our best, we expect you to do the same; take care of your body prior to the shoot, and be ready to do your best work the day of. Your hair, nails, teeth, and skin should all be in their top condition. This means if you have to shave or wax, do it far enough in advance that any swelling, redness, or bleeding has gone away. If you are a party animal, go easy or abstain the night before a shoot. Get plenty of rest. If you are tired, hung over, or otherwise not well, it will show in the photos, and it will result in a waste of both of our time.
Escorts. We have no objection to your bringing an escort along for your own safety and comfort (in fact it is suggested for first shoots), however, only under the following conditions:
- The escort stays out of the way at all times, unless otherwise instructed by us. We reserve the right to put them to good use (say holding a light or a reflector).
- The escort is quiet and only speaks when spoken to. This may seem a bit harsh, but some escorts are disruptive in either telling the model and/or photographer how to do their job, talking loudly on a cell phone, or just interrupting in general. This cannot happen, and escorts doing this will be asked to leave the set.
- The escort does not interfere in any way with the shoot. In some cases, an escort can do more harm than good. If the escort causes a problem, they will be asked to leave the set. If they continue to be a problem, both of you will be asked to leave, and the shoot will be over.
- The escort is someone you are comfortable around. In some cases models bring a spouse, boyfriend, or family member who they do not feel comfortable posing in front of. It is suggested to bring another model or a close friend instead.
- The escort will not touch or go near any equipment or materials unless directed to do so by us. If your escort should steal or damage any of our equipment, you will be held responsible.
Trade Shoot Frequently Asked Questions
Q. – Is this a FREE photoshoot?
A. – From the standpoint of monetary investment, you could consider this a “free” photoshoot, since, unless you require special arrangements (studio rental, etc.) it costs nothing but your time and effort. However, technically, this is a collaborative effort between the photographer and model, performed for the sole purpose of gaining experience in their respective field and improving their portfolio. Each participant “pays” the other through their unique contribution to the process.
Q. – Can I have all the “negatives” from my shoot?
A. – No. While we might shoot 300 frames in a given session, not every frame will turn out. For example, a model might blink just as the shutter opens, a flash might fire out-of-sync, or the focus might not be just right. That said, only those images that are best, and best represent our work, will go on to the proof and finishing process.
Q. – What type of retouch is offered with trade sessions?
A. – Because retouching is a time and labor intensive process, we only offer basic retouch services for trade shoots. What defines “basic retouch” will vary from photo to photo, so if you want something done, please ask. The equipment and software used to perform this process is very expensive, so rather than spend days retouching a “free” image, it’s more cost-effective to spend that time on jobs that can help pay for those resources. Also, we will only retouch one or two images from a given “look”, so keep this in mind when selecting your final images. If you desire “advanced” retouch, or want more than one or two images retouched (for a given “look”), we offer these services at reasonable rates. Please ask for details.
Q. – How many images will I receive?
A. – This will vary from one shoot to the next. There are many variables involved in photography, and while we strive for the highest number of “good” images, sometimes things don’t fall into place for 300 perfect frames. That said, the more experience that all parties have, the more likely the chance for a higher number of “keepers”. Generally, one can expect to get at least one good frame per “look”, but this is never guaranteed. Also, keep in mind the retouch process figures into this as well.
Q. – How long will it take to get my images?
A. – Up to 90 days. The process works like this:
» We upload your proofs to our server within 30 days of the shoot.
» You have up to 30 days to review proofs, request retouch, etc (this may process may be repeated, depending on the extent of retouch)
» Final images will be made available online, or CD sent within 30 days after final approval of images.
Have a question about Trade Shoots that isn’t answered here? Contact us and ask!