Prob­a­bly every­one who held a cam­era in their hands heard about TFP, many did such shoot­ings, some­one was even sat­is­fied with the result. How to orga­nize a TFP shoot, find mod­els, explain to them what is required of them, get beau­ti­ful pic­tures and not go crazy, we under­stand in this arti­cle.

To shoot or not to shoot TFP — that is the ques­tion / Pho­to: unsplash.com

What is TFP
When and why TFP sur­veys are need­ed
How to pre­pare for a TFP sur­vey
Where to look for mod­els for TFP
The main secret of TFP of a healthy per­son
When you are offered to shoot TFP

What is TFP

TFP stands for Time for Prints. Ini­tial­ly, this is an agree­ment between the pho­tog­ra­ph­er and the mod­el, in which no one pays any­one. The mod­el does not pay for the shoot­ing, the pho­tog­ra­ph­er does not pay for the work of the mod­el. The abbre­vi­a­tion was formed and set­tled at a time when pic­tures were giv­en only in the form of prints, hence Prints. Now prints are rather rare, but the idea con­tin­ues to live and work.

TFP is treat­ed dif­fer­ent­ly. Some­one thinks that this is a great oppor­tu­ni­ty for devel­op­ment and co-cre­ation, some­one thinks that TFP is a syn­onym for free­bies, cor­rupts the mar­ket and does not lead to results.

In fact, TFP can be both first and sec­ond, depend­ing on how it is approached and how it is orga­nized.

Many peo­ple think that a TFP pho­to is a free pho­to shoot. This is not true. Ide­al­ly, it is worth work­ing with peo­ple who are inter­est­ed in a spe­cif­ic idea of ​​shoot­ing, who are ready to invest in its cre­ation. It’s great when the mod­el agreed, got acquaint­ed with the idea and takes the ini­tia­tive her­self. For exam­ple, she shows what clothes she has for this pho­to shoot, gives advice on what make­up to do, and offers more inter­est­ing loca­tion ideas. It’s good to work with such peo­ple in the sense that they bring some­thing of their own to the shoot­ing, mak­ing it more com­plete and diverse.

When and why TFP surveys are needed

There are var­i­ous rea­sons why pho­tog­ra­phers shoot TFP. Most often this is done to:

  • To replen­ish the port­fo­lio, to shoot a spe­cif­ic cre­ative idea that does not fit well into the frame­work of com­mer­cial film­ing.
An exam­ple of a cre­ative TFP shoot. To real­ize this idea, every­one had to work hard / Pho­to: Alisa Smirno­va, Fotosklad.Expert
  • Try out new tech­niques, try out inter­est­ing approach­es to film­ing. For exam­ple, you want to try work­ing with a freeze­light. Doing this on a com­mer­cial shoot is more risky than on TFP.
Cre­ative shoot­ing with freeze­light ele­ments. The pic­tures began to turn out the way they should be, not imme­di­ate­ly / Pho­to: Alisa Smirno­va, Photosklad.Expert
  • Run in a spe­cif­ic loca­tion or idea for future com­mer­cial film­ing.

If you are work­ing in some tech­nique for the first time, warn the mod­el about it. This is the guar­an­tee of a fair exchange.

How to prepare for a TFP survey

First of all, you need to decide on the idea, make it as under­stand­able and visu­al as pos­si­ble. You can write in words, you can col­lect a data­base of ref­er­ences (pic­tures that you are guid­ed by). It’s best to do both. You can assem­ble a mood board, for exam­ple, on Pin­ter­est.

Board for shoot­ing with a hut. This approach helps the whole team to bet­ter under­stand what is required of them / Illus­tra­tion: Alisa Smirno­va, Photosklad.Expert

Pre­pare all equip­ment. If you plan to try a new tech­nique on a shoot (like with the same freeze­light, for exam­ple), take a few test shots in advance with­out the mod­el. This will give you an under­stand­ing of how to set up the cam­era, and you will not have to spend time shoot­ing on it.

If shoot­ing requires rent­ing a room or buy­ing props, look for options, esti­mate the mon­ey. Cal­cu­late how much of the cost you are will­ing to take on if nec­es­sary. If you need a styl­ist and make-up artist, but don’t have the bud­get for them, look for those who want to add to their port­fo­lio and at the same time are on the same wave­length as you. Learn how to assem­ble a dream team in this arti­cle.

When every­thing is thought out and pre­pared, you can pro­ceed to the search for mod­els.

Where to look for models for TFP

Each spe­cial­ist has his own approach to where to look and how to select mod­els. The most com­mon options:

- TFP com­mu­ni­ties. As a rule, they are in all social net­works. If you live in Moscow or St. Peters­burg, this is eas­i­er — in big cities there are many com­mu­ni­ties in which inter­est­ed peo­ple gath­er. In the provinces, this can be more dif­fi­cult. Some­times you can find some­one suc­cess­ful in groups like “Mas­ter and Mod­el”, where beau­ty mas­ters look for peo­ple to prac­tice their skills.

- Friends of friends of my friends. If you have already filmed all your friends and you want new faces, you should take a clos­er look at acquain­tances with whom you com­mu­ni­cate lit­tle or peo­ple whom you know in absen­tia. The same prin­ci­ple works here as with the job search — it is eas­i­est to find it through acquain­tances. In addi­tion, it is eas­i­er to find con­tact with a per­son who knows you at least casu­al­ly or knows your friend well.

- mod­el schools. You can try to write to sev­er­al and offer to shoot on TFP terms. There is a chance to get an answer — novice mod­els also need prac­tice.

- Search in social net­works by geo­t­ags. It works like this: enter your geolo­ca­tion (the name of the region) in the search, write to 10 peo­ple, four of them sim­ply will not answer you, three will imme­di­ate­ly refuse, you will chat with three more, and you will be able to shoot with one.

- Your social media accounts. If you run pages on social net­works, you can try to throw a cry among sub­scribers. There are chances to find a per­son with an inter­est­ing type of appear­ance, from those who do not hang out in TFP groups, do not study or work with mod­el­ing agen­cies. But you need to be pre­pared for a bunch of peo­ple who do not under­stand what it is about, and will offer you to rent a grand­moth­er’s birth­day par­ty or hand­made can­dles for sale under these con­di­tions.

When search­ing and choos­ing a mod­el, be guid­ed by your expe­ri­ence. A very expe­ri­enced mod­el may not be inter­est­ed in shoot­ing with a novice pho­tog­ra­ph­er. And vice ver­sa — if you have been shoot­ing for a long time and con­fi­dent­ly, it makes no sense to call the mod­el for whom this is the first shoot­ing.

It’s beau­ti­ful when the mod­els fit the image exact­ly / Pho­to: Alisa Smirno­va, Fotosklad.Expert

There are, of course, excep­tions: when, for exam­ple, a per­son has a com­plete­ly unique appear­ance, but he has nev­er been filmed. But prob­lems often arise when work­ing with begin­ners: it takes more time to set up a per­son for work, to explain what exact­ly is need­ed from him, than to actu­al­ly cre­ate.

The main secret of TFP of a healthy person

The main secret is to dis­cuss every­thing “ashore”, before you start buy­ing props or go to the shoot­ing. And I mean absolute­ly every­thing. In my expe­ri­ence, there was a young lady who thought that a “port­fo­lio” is a paper fold­er that sits on a shelf at home. Well, or pre­tend­ed to think so. She did not mind that her pic­tures would be used in the port­fo­lio, but was cat­e­gor­i­cal­ly against pub­li­ca­tion on the Inter­net. It hap­pens.

To avoid this, in a good way, you need to ask the mod­el to sign the mod­el release before shoot­ing. The uni­ver­sal form can be found in search engines. Remem­ber that for under­age mod­els, the release must be signed by the par­ents.

So it is worth say­ing in detail where and how exact­ly you plan to use the fin­ished images. You should not agree to the options “well, I’ll look, and which I choose, it will be pos­si­ble to pub­lish” — there is a large field for var­i­ous manip­u­la­tions.

It is worth dis­cussing in detail with the mod­el:

  • loca­tion;
  • idea;
  • props;
  • pos­es;
  • image (cloth­ing, hair­style, make­up, acces­sories);
  • who pays for what (as a rule, the costs are divid­ed either in half, or a more inter­est­ed par­ty takes on most of it — how can you agree);
  • do you give the source code;
  • When will the pho­tos be ready?
  • how the pho­tos will be used (both by you and the mod­el);
  • Do you tag each oth­er on social media?
  • what do you do in case of force majeure (bad weath­er, some­one from the team got sick).
The main secret of TFP film­ing is to think every­thing through / Pho­to: unsplash.com

But even with the most com­plete agree­ments, you should be pre­pared for sud­den can­cel­la­tions, film­ing post­pone­ments and oth­er prob­lems. This is an inte­gral part of TFP film­ing. Expe­ri­ence shows that when peo­ple do not pay for some­thing, they, with­out real­iz­ing it, may deval­ue it some­what. So, if the mod­el sim­ply did not come to the TFP shoot with­out warn­ing, you can con­sid­er this a bap­tism of fire.

There may be soft­er options. For exam­ple, you planned that a girl with an unusu­al cre­ative make-up would come to the shoot­ing, this is part of the shoot­ing idea. And she comes with a clean face, explain­ing that the make­up artist is sick.

Not all peo­ple, of course, behave this way, there are won­der­ful respon­si­ble mod­els, but unpleas­ant sit­u­a­tions can hap­pen.

When you are offered to shoot TFP

Some­times some­one else will offer you TFP. For exam­ple, it could be a make­up artist with whom you con­stant­ly work: she came up with a cool idea for a make-up, with which you can make a beau­ti­ful shoot. If you are a por­trait pho­tog­ra­ph­er and you like the idea, this is a great option.

There are more ambigu­ous cas­es. Some­times, for exam­ple, rep­re­sen­ta­tives of stores or event orga­niz­ers may offer to shoot “in exchange for expe­ri­ence”, “for inter­est­ing acquain­tances”, “for adver­tis­ing on social net­works”, “for gifts from part­ners”, and they call it all TFP. Such barter, in prin­ci­ple, has the right to life, but, as a rule, it has noth­ing to do with TFP.

Is it worth it to agree to such con­di­tions? The ques­tion is moot. If you are still a novice pho­tog­ra­ph­er, and the shoot­ing that you are offered just cor­re­sponds to the direc­tion of pho­tog­ra­phy in which you now want to devel­op, then there is a point. For exam­ple, you are inter­est­ed in adver­tis­ing and cat­a­log shoot­ing, and you are offered to shoot aspir­ing mod­els show­ing off clothes from a new local brand. On such a shoot­ing, you can get both use­ful expe­ri­ence and acquain­tances in a mod­el­ing school and fash­ion design­ers. And if you are offered to shoot a chil­dren’s hol­i­day with the same input, think twice why you need it.

TFP? Barter? And do I need it? / Pho­to: unsplash.com

What kind of barter is def­i­nite­ly not worth agree­ing to:

  • For many hours of shoot­ing with seri­ous pro­cess­ing. TFP should­n’t take a week off your life. So you just burn out. To make acquain­tances and show your­self, an hour or two is enough.
  • For out­right com­merce. If peo­ple, for exam­ple, hold a con­cert or a sem­i­nar, take mon­ey for entrance tick­ets, and offer you a job in exchange for expe­ri­ence and acquain­tances, this is not a good sto­ry.
  • Some­thing that you don’t real­ly care about. For exam­ple, if you spe­cial­ize in female por­traits, it makes no sense to take on the sub­ject.
  • To char­i­ty if you are not allowed to use ready-made images in your port­fo­lio. This hap­pens when, for exam­ple, we are talk­ing about shoot­ing chil­dren, and the orga­niz­ers do not want to waste time and nego­ti­ate with par­ents about the pub­li­ca­tion.
  • For an unequal exchange. If, for exam­ple, your hour of work costs 3000, and you are offered to work 4 hours in exchange for adver­tis­ing on social net­works, con­sid­er whether such adver­tis­ing is worth that kind of mon­ey. Isn’t it more prof­itable to invest them, for exam­ple, in tar­get­ed adver­tis­ing? In gen­er­al, adver­tis­ing in social net­works is a sep­a­rate sto­ry.

If you receive such offers, you should learn to deter­mine whether the com­mu­ni­ty or account in which you are offered ads is alive. There are spe­cial ser­vices and tools, such as Live­dune. But, as a rule, they are paid and require skills in deal­ing with one­self. The sim­plest thing that can be done with­out addi­tion­al tools is to check the cor­re­la­tion between the num­ber of peo­ple in the account and the num­ber of likes, com­ments and reposts. If you are offered adver­tis­ing in a com­mu­ni­ty (or account) of 50 thou­sand peo­ple, but you go in and see that the last three posts have 4 likes each, then the group is dead, you don’t need to con­tact it.

The aver­age accept­able engage­ment rate is 5–10% for accounts and com­mu­ni­ties up to 5000, 3–5% for large ones. It is also use­ful to look at the com­ments: if they are all of the same type under all posts — “wow”, “super”, “thanks for the infor­ma­tion”, “very use­ful” — this is a clear sign of cheat­ing.