TFP Shoots vs. Test Shoots

TFP Shoots vs. Test Shoots

What is the difference between a TFP photoshoot and a test photoshoot? Some would say they are one in the same, however, there is a difference between the two.

A TFP (or “Time For Prints”) photo shoot is a shoot where everyone involved in the photo shoot (photographer, assistants, hair stylist, makeup artist and model) are all donating their time and effort in exchange for images. While no money is exchanged for this type of photo shoot, it is generally expected of all parties involved in this type of photo shoot to bring their A-Game to the photo shoot to produce usable images for the portfolios of all involved.

Photographer & Hair/Makeup Artist preparing model for shoot.

Hair/Makeup Artist – Gil Aldrin; Model – Kristin Rutty

Behind the Scenes Image by Robert Olsen

A test shoot, on the other hand, may or may not be paid. This type of photo shoot is generally set up for one of a few reasons. Perhaps a photographer wants to test out a new piece of equipment or try out a few new lighting styles. A photographer may also be looking to test a new hair stylist or makeup artist. If all involved in this type of shoot perform well, good portfolio images may result and might be shared, but for a test shoot, it shouldn’t be expected to receive images in exchange for time.

Resulting image.

Model: Kristin Rutty

Image by Dawn M. Wayand Photography

Sometimes, an agency will send a model to a photographer for a test shoot to see if the model photographs well. The photographer may or may not be paid for such type of shoot, however, the agency does expect to receive usable images for the model’s agency portfolio.

Regardless of whether a photo shoot is a TFP photo shoot or a test shoot, it’s important to get model releases signed in order to protect all involved and to outline the rights of all parties as to the images that are produced during a photo shoot.

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