TFP or Trade For Print allow a model and a photographer to build their portfolios by working together without pay. So if you just started modeling and need to build your modeling portfolio, but can’t afford to hire a professional photographer, here’s how.

Trade for Prints: Step 1

Find A Photographer

Usually a photographer who is also just starting their career will be open to doing a TFP shoot.  Many photographers like to work with lesser known models whose previous work or look they find interesting. Let him know what type of modeling you are trying to pursue. Look at his work and see if you like his work. If you don’t have any modeling photos yet, find examples online, in magazines or catalogs of how you want your photos to come out and show him. Ask if he has any experience or interested.

Discuss Your Ideas

Remember this will be a collaboration. Discuss your ideas about how you want the photos to come out and ask the photographer for advice. Ask what kind of clothes, shoes, and accessories you should bring. Decide on a location. Will he be shooting you in his studio or a public space for a particular setting?

Trade for Prints: Step 2

Agree on the Terms

TFP means you both own the photos, so make sure there is an agreement on how the photos will be used. Is it just for your portfolios? Will the images be sold? If so, you both need to have each other’s permission. Both of you should have a signed release specifying the terms.

Ask for High Quality Work

Photos – for modeling especially – need editing. Ask the photographer to edit the photos and that you will get high quality images. Low quality photos will make both of you look bad. So he has an incentive too.

Trade for Prints: Step 3

Be Punctual and Professional

Come to the photoshoot on time. Make sure your wardrobe and accessories are clean and not wrinkled. Be professional during the shoot. Remember this is a collaboration and you both agreed to devote your time to work together. Listen carefully and follow his directions while he is shooting.

Promote Each Other

Refer your photographer to other models or for other photoshoots. Put a link to his portfolio on your online profile or your social media posts. Leave a positive review on his website or yelp or google.  Make sure he does the same for you. He can put a link to your modeling portfolio on his site and let refer to any auditions or modeling jobs he knows of.

Other Things You Need to Know

How to Start Modeling with No Experience

Preparing for a Modeling Photoshoot

Modeling Tips for Beginners