Avoid the TFP trap.
Recently I've received a number of communications from local models about setting up shoots. Typically these communications go in the way of Hello, I have this idea and I think it would be awesome to set up a shoot. The interesting thing is all of these models are interested in trading their modeling in exchange for images for their portfolio.
This trade is typically referred to as TFP or Trade For Print.
I am going to outline some ways to maximize the effectiveness of the "free" shoots.
- Check portfolio. This should be a no brainer, but alas I constantly see aspiring models and photographers so eager to create that they often work with people that are incompatible to the vision. What do I mean by this? A model may need to show her versatility with facial expressions but a photographer needs to show more full body wedding dresses in his portfolio.
- Check References. After making sure that both parties can create the type of images you're looking for seek reviews based on previous work. That last thing you want is a drama queen or a creeper with a camera.
- Communicate. If I have to explain this one this industry is not for you.
- Set a goal much larger than your immediate need. Many times TFP is driven by a need to bolster Portfolio, but don't let the usefulness of images end there. Instead of just a portfolio shoot why not gear the shoot for editorial publication, what's the worst that can happen?
- Be consistent. Now that you've planned the shoot and have the vision, follow through. That means promoting the images in a mutually agreeable manner.
Of course there are more variables, as with everything. But these few tips should get you on your way to not only to creating images but to building a network of professionals.
Let me know how it goes.
If you would like one of the limited TFP slots for 2017 fill out the application below.