Time for Print (TFP) or Time for CD (TFCD) are popular arrangements between models and photographers on the internet. The basic idea is that no money changes hands, but both sides benefit from the arrangement. It can be hugely beneficial to both parties, but if not organized well can be a disaster or a highly one-sided arrangement.
This article is a set of tips on how to get the most out of TFP / TFCD arrangements.
1) Ask for, or suggest a quick summary of the work. This is to ensure that the rough idea fits in with what you would want (e.g. are the suggested outfits / poses within your limits?). You might decline many shoots at this stage (but politely of course).
2) Check standards. Have a look at the photographer’s profile. Is his work of a standard to enhance your portfolio? Do you want one of his pictures on your wall? How will you benefit from working with him? Bad pics of you floating around will make it harder for you to get good work and paid work.
3) Communicate. Communication is the single most critical part of such an arrangement. It is essential if you are both going to benefit. All the other tips rely on good communication.
4) Agree the type of arrangement. Typically TFP means you get prints, TFCD means you get a disk and Testing means if you pass the test you get paid work. All these are used interchangeably, with different individuals having different definitions. Spell it out and agree it with the photographer early on. This prevents confusion and means you both know what you will get.
5) Agree type of compensation and quantity. If it is prints, what size and how many? If it is a disk, how many images will be on there and what resolution. Will the prints have been post-process or given to you straight from the camera? Some photographers will give you all the photos from a shoot. Some only 2 or 3. Make sure you both know what is expected.
6) Agree timescales. How long after the shoot will you receive the prints or disk? Some might post them the day after. Others might take a month. It doesn't really matter as long as it suits your needs and you both agree on the timescale. Always ask for anything posted to be registered / recorded so there is a means of tracking it. Without that things often get 'lost' in the post.
7) Agree usage rights. You don't want the photographer to be able to sell the photos without asking you, whilst you need to beg to use them in your portfolio, yet unless you agree the terms that is what the default is. Things you might want to clarify are selling, members-only section of websites, submitting to magazines, etc.
8) Agree outfits / poses. Make sure you fully agree on the outfits and poses, to ensure you are happy with them. Is lingerie sheer or opaque? Do you and the photographer mean the same thing by sheer?
9) Agree chaperones. Is the photographer happy for you to have one?
10) Agree extras. Is it just you and the photographer? Is there an MUA? A stylist? Half the local camera club? Don't assume, ask!
11) Agree on a release / contract. Have one of your own you can tailor, or read the photographer's carefully. Are all the items discussed covered?
12) Check references. Do this whilst doing the above. Don't just check one, check a few. This means that personality clashes won't cloud your view, nor is some bad behaviors going to be overlooked.
13) Don't be afraid to suggest ideas (this is for mutual benefit after all)
14) Arrange a date for the shoot. Remember to clarify whether or not this is definite or potential. Sometimes you might want to say 'If I am offered paid work on that day I might postpone, but I will always give you at least 3 days notice.' Most photographers will understand that. They won't understand if you don't turn up.
15) Turn up. If you can't then give the photographer as much notice as possible. Also, be truthful. If you claim to be in hospital and the photographer sees you posting on forums and chatting on MSN then that will do your reputation no end of harm.
16) Prompt. Especially for amateur photographers, there are many concurrent pressures. Prompting gently for your prints / disk can help ensure they arrive in a timely manner. It is better to prompt before the deadline, than to be irate after it.
As I say, most of it comes down to communication. I have had many good shoots, but also my share of bad ones. Almost without exception the bad ones were due to poor communication or lack of honesty.
I do fewer TFP shoots these days than ever, but for me that means it is more important to get them right. Similarly, for your first shoots, you need to ensure the quality is there.
Good luck and enjoy your TFP / TFCD.