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Learn about "TFP" or trade for prints, trade for portfolio, test for prints. Read tips for a TFP shoot. Build your modeling portfolio & find local TFP photographers in your area.

Professional photographers can be expensive.  Some photographers and models do a TFP session, where no money is needed.  TFP means that the prints from the photo session can be included in the modeling portfolio as well as the photographer's. 
A lot of beginner models engage in TFP’s to build up their modeling portfolios.  It does not mean that high quality images and great prints are not produced.  Many photographers like to work with lesser known models whose previous work or look they find interesting.   Modeling portfolios contain photographs from TFP sessions all the time, and have gotten callbacks from agencies and fashion editors.

“TFP” is also used for a similar idea known as a “test” for prints.  A “test” is a shoot where the photographer isn’t taking his usual fee from the model.  However a somewhat established photographer (and anybody else involved like a makeup artist or stylist) may be paid a nominal fee for their time and effort, which is a small percentage of what they’d normally get for that level of photographic performance.
Some models will agree to pay a reasonable fee for testing with an established photographer to add to prints to their modeling portfolio.  A photographer with a $2000 day rate might do a paid “test” for a few hours and only ask for a few hundred dollars if the model wants the right to use the pictures in her modeling portfolio. (If the model doesn't want the pictures, she obviously is not going to pay anything.)

To search for photographers in your area - click here


  1. A friendly, professional photographer. Even if the photographer is an amateur, or a beginner, they should act and look professionally, and treat the model as a valuable client.
  2. Expect high-quality prints. Do not settle for  “second-class” photos. Only the best prints should be added to your modeling portfolio.
  3. A signed release specifying how many prints the model is to receive as her compensation.  Prints for a modeling portfolio are not cheap. The photographer should offer a reasonable quantity.  If the images come in digital form, remember that the photographer is the primary rights-holder. Most TFP releases provide that the model may only use the photographs for self-promotion and may not sell or relicense them.


  1. Show up.  Some models believe that since they are not getting paid, they have no obligations to show up to a scheduled TFP shoot.  However, a photographer has committed to the shoot could have scheduled something else.  A no-show model is wasted time and opportunity wasted, and both of those have a very real monetary value.  The world of photography is surprisingly close-knit and models must depend on their reputations.  If they are dependable, they are more likely to get callbacks and referrals.
  2. Know what’s expected.  This should be agreed to ahead of time and both photographer and model should honor the agreement. Specify wether “implied shots” can be included or “no nude shots” at all.   However, if the session is going well and you are both comfortable with each other, you may decide to “kick it up a notch” and do a lingerie shot.  Either way, both the photographer and model should agree. never feel pressured to do anything that you do not feel comfortable doing
    Read tips for a Model's Photo Shoot, Posing and Photo Tips

To search for photographers in your area - click here

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