Trade For Prints
If you want to print out a copy of your photos today, you simply print one from your printer at home or office. If you want higher quality prints you can use photo paper. If the job calls for something even better you can spend around $2.00 and print a full page 8.5x11 at Fedex/Kinkos but things were not always so easy.
What Does TFP Mean?
Up until the mid to late 90's photographers still commonly used actual FILM which meant you had to go develop your film/negatives to get your photos. Now almost everything is digital.
Actors and Models used to commonly carry around a "Look Book/Portfolio" in the form of a photo album to show casting directors their ability to portray different looks. Sometimes the casting directors would even want you to leave them copies of the photos which back in the 70's - 90's could be quite expensive and difficult.
So, the idea was that photographers would develop several copies of photos for you in trade for your time shooting with them instead of money and Trade For Prints.
According to Wikipedia, the origin of the term TFP is uncertain . Other resources have been able to trace it back to the 1960's .
Although the practice of developing photos and making prints is gone away, the terminology has become common nomenclature in the modeling and acting world. People have since adjusted the meaning to "Trade For Photos" , Time For Prints, Time For photos." Etc.
So where is the benefit now?
I do not personally recommend doing "Trade" shoots for exposure or to build a portfolio. (Click here to see my blog post about building a portfolio) however there is one major benefit to TRADE work . (I hate the term TFP) and that is practice. As a photographer you will need to push that shutter button maybe 10,000 times before you get the hang of your cameras settings for different environments. For models, shooting 15-40 times before trying to find PAID work is not just common sense, it's also better for you. It is very common that you will discover your cute face and awesome pose you love, looks horrible to photographers. You want to find this out during a free shoot and not in one where you are acting as a "Professional" model.. so for this reason I say, trade away. Just stop calling it TFP!
Please comment below and give feedback!
For more helpful or useless information on modeling and acting be sure to visit
www.MesaLoftStudios.com or www.NLEmanagement.com
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