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Time for print (also known as trade for print or test for print, TFP and sometimes also print for time or PFT) is a term used in many online photography communities describing an arrangement between a model and a photographer, whereby the photographer agrees to provide the model with an agreed number of pictures of the best photographs from the session and a limited license to use those pictures in return for the model's time. A variant of this arrangement is Time for CD or Trade for CD (TFCD). With TFCD, the selection of images is provided on a CD in lieu of prints. Similarly, with the ease and convenience of digital distribution of high resolution images, the generic term TF* has evolved, where it does not necessarily refer to a tangible CD or Printed image since the same accepted rules apply.
There are benefits to both parties of such an arrangement: the model can build a portfolio of prints to show to prospective clients at little or no cost, while the photographer gets a model for a particular project with little if any outlay of cash.
"TIME FOR PRINTS" or TFP for short, is where the photographer and model trade services. The photographer agrees to shoot the model at no charge, and give her prints for her portfolio or for her to market commercially. The model in turn receives the prints at no cost, in lieu of a modeling fee. TFCD is the same idea, just that all images are given on a CD/DVD for the model to use.
This is a very good way for a model to build up her portfolio, and explore new areas of modeling that she hasn't done before. It also allows a photographer to try out his own new ideas and perfect new techniques.
Some photographs highlight the talent of the photographer. Others show off the talent of the model. If you are a model, you of course want a talented photographer, but you also want the images to spotlight you, and not the photographer.
When a photographer or an advertiser pays a model, they generally have an image already conceived, and the model's job is to bring that image to fruition. The advertiser and the photographer literally call the shots. While the resulting images flatter the product or the photographer, they don't necessarily flatter the model.
If a model is paying a photographer however, the model should call the shots. The model is the client, and what she wants is to highlight her talents - not the photographer's.
So.... when shooting TFP, who is the client?
You both are. The photographer is "paying" the model with his talent and prints. In that regard, she should be working hard to produce the images that the photographer wants, just like for any paying client the model works for.
But the model is also "paying" the photographer. He should be catering to her needs, and producing not just prints that show off his talents....he is obligated to produce work that shows off her talents as well.
Half the shoot should be geared toward what the photographer wants. If he is doing street shots, ad copy/spec, figure studies, black & white art, fashion, nudes, etc., the model should work hard to produce the images he wants for his portfolio. The other half of the shoot should be geared to producing what the model wants - headshots, glamour, etc.
Remember: Everything is negotiable in TFP but also remember that both parties should get what they need. You are partners in this venture.
Should you Shoot TFP?
Yes, it will fit your schedule. If a model has an idea or needs photos fast. The model should be willing to travel but not too far for free. All you should ask for with a TFP Shoot is the ability to showcase the photos you take -