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Let’s talk a bit about TFP/CD shoots and paying a photographer for portfolio pictures.

TFP/CD is a mutual trade shoot between a model and photographer and sometimes support staff like make-up artists, hair stylists and wardrobe stylist/designers. The purpose is to capture usable images for portfolio use, without having to pay each other out of pocket.

Paying a photographer is a basic business transaction, in which you(the model) pay for images to use in your portfolio, sometimes this includes a make-up artist & hair stylist and if it doesn’t I would consider hiring one also, because if you’re willing and able to pay for a photographer, a good make-up artist will make the images even better.

This is pretty much a basic overview, but since I like the doom and gloom, let me share a bit of that.

When you are trying to do TFP/CD, you will be approached by many beginners and sub-standard photographers. It is your job to not just weed though these offers, but to network yourself to get TFP/CD shoots with great photographers, while not burning bridges with new photographers who may pay you later.

When you are seeking to pay a photographer, you need to seek out someone who is shooting the style you’re seeking. Just because someone someone shoots amazing editorial fashion, doesn’t mean they have a clue how to shoot quality commercial images.

So now you are saying to yourself, “Why pay when I can get it for free?” Well first off a TFP/CD shoot isn’t free, it is an investment of time. Also, by paying a professional photographer you are getting, known and proven results, without having to set-up 20 different shoots. Paying is a fast and easy way to get a jump start on a quality portfolio, but it isn’t a guaranteed path to paid gigs or big time magazines, that is paved with hard work, determination and the right look at the right time.

These are images Conceptually Black trades with models, so both parties walk away happy.