What is TFP? TFP stands for Trade for Print. Originally it was a model & photographer and sometimes others coming together to help one another build portfolios and or an Artistic Vision. Today it’s become code for I don’t pay. Which is great if you can do it and if you can deal with the drawbacks.
What drawbacks am I talking about? First off there is the Flake. This is the person(s) who either cancels the night before a shoot, the day of or even worse just never shows up. Unless there is an injury or a death involved this is pretty much a fast track to getting black balled.
The value of the trade may not be the same for all. This happens when a Photographer shoots a model and initially everybody is totally psyched about the shoot and are itching to see a final product! Then the photographer falls off the face of the earth. It happens. Why? Perhaps the cause is that TFP has to take a backseat in to paid work. Maybe the photographer is really slow at post? Perhaps he/she is trying to find a publication that will pick up the shoot? Or perhaps because there is no monetary incentive and though the shoot went well it’s not going to add their portfolio and they’ve decided to catch up on a favorite tv series.
The bait and switch. What is this? It’s when a model who either does not wish to pay or can’t pay does a TFP shoot then later finds their photos have been sold by a photographer to a Stock Photo company. Is this legal? Depending on the Model Release signed you bet it is. It may not be the most moral thing in the world to do, but the model got a free shoot and photos and the photographer can stay in business.
The Casting Couch… yeah, ’nuff said?
What’s the best way to avoid these traps? Do your research. This goes for everyone. Pay. Yes, pay for your shoot. It gives you more control of the shoot. Especially if the shoot is being used to get bring you money. Demand a receipt and make sure there is a contract outlining what the shoot will entail and what happens with the finished work.
Questions or comments? Feel free to contact me below