TFP photo shoots are a very common practice in fashion photography & modeling. If you are new to the fashion industry, it’s a good idea that you know what a TFP shoot is.

WHAT IS A TFP?

TFP  stands for “Time For Print”. This is a way that photographers & models can compensate one another without spending any money. Rather than paying a model or photographer, both parties exchange services at no cost.

In most cases, no physical prints are exchanged. After the portraits have been fully retouched, the photographer will make the finished images available to the model via download or USB.

SHOULD YOU DO TFP SHOOTS?

Every single photographer and model needs a portfolio. If you are new to portrait photography or fashion modeling, accepting this type of photo shoot can be very helpful in building your portfolio.

As you gain experience, you will want to update your portfolio to be a more accurate representation of your skills. Having a professional portfolio is what you will use to get paying jobs in the future. That means you want to put a lot of time and effort into building an impressive portfolio. TFP photo shoots make this a much more affordable process.

Once you have established a streamlined portfolio, TFP shoots can still be useful. As a professional creative, you need to be innovative and experiment with new ideas on a regular basis. However, you might not want to attempt some crazy experiment while working with a paying client. Trade photo shoots allow you to experiment without the worry of failure. You can take the time to perfect your ideas before attempting them with a paying client.

THE DOWNSIDE TO TRADE SHOOTS

While the idea of building a portfolio for free sounds great, there is a downside. Most models and photographers who accept TFP shoots are not highly skilled professionals. After all, the main point of doing these type of shoots is to gain experience.

As you improve your skills, you will have to use your best judgement when matching yourself to a model or photographer. Ask yourself if you will benefit by accepting the TFP shoot. While this type of photo shoot can offer a lot of advantages, they can also be a waste of valuable time. However, once you find a creative that compliments your style, the two of you can make a lot of amazing images over time.