We’ve talked about TFP models a fair bit recently. It can be really useful, but if you’re not careful with how you go about finding a photographer it can also be a bit risky. You won’t typically find time for prints work through your modelling agency, because it isn’t a transaction where money changes hands. As such it can be a bit more risky. You won’t necessarily know who you’re dealing with, and unless you specifically tell someone, no one will know where you are. It’s important to be careful with your personal safety – you wouldn’t usually meet a stranger somewhere secluded without telling anyone and you shouldn’t with TFP either.
Is working as a TFP model a rip off?
There’s often concern from people starting out that they’re falling victim to a scam by doing modelling work for free. While most instances will be completely legitimate, because it isn’t really policed, sometimes people will try to take advantage.
As long as you know what you’re getting, and make sure you discuss if and how the photographer can use your photographs before you get started, it should be fine. If everything is done properly it’s a useful agreement which mutually benefits both parties, so nobody is getting one up on anyone else.
When is TFP Modelling useful?
It’s quite simple. If you’re just starting out in the modelling industry, there’s two different ways that being a TFP model can help you along your way. It’s a great way to get a little bit of experience, and add some pictures to your portfolio. There is no need to do it a lot, if fact, for most people just one stint of being a TFP model might be all it takes to give you the experience and confidence you need to land your first paid job.
Your modelling portfolio is the way you’ll find most of your work through your agency, and if you don’t keep it up to date there is a very real chance that jobs which might have been perfect for you never come your way. The photographs you get through TFP can be added to your profile, and even if they aren’t the most professional snaps you’ve ever seen, they will still show that you’re able to work with a photographer, hold a pose, and get on with the job at hand. Your portfolio doesn’t need to be made up of professionally taken photographs unless you’re pushing very hard for a career in the high fashion end of modelling – and for most of us this just isn’t the case.
Make sure you prepare fully before going to any TFP photo shoots so you’re able to make the most out of the experience.
Why time for prints works for photographers
You might be an excellent photographer, but if you’ve never worked with models before then it can be really difficult to find work in that area. Like anything, you need experience before you can get started. And finding experience when you haven’t got any is also tricky. It’s all a bit of a catch 22.
To solve the problem, photographers ask models to give up a bit of their time. The photographer will be able to work out how their studio lighting needs to be set up, and get a bit of practice giving some direction.
As TFP models you will need to remember that these pictures might not be the greatest ones you ever take. When you work for a photographer who has been working with models for years, you’re likely to see a noticeable difference. Sometimes people might be a little bit awkward about telling you how to stand, how to angle your head, how you should be leaning. It all comes with experience, just like the modelling itself.