There are two main reasons for doing a TFP shoot. One is to be able to use the images for your portfolio and social media for marketing purposes, and the other is to practice your photography.
By the way, TFP stands for “time for prints” but how many models print out images anymore? They mostly end up going straight to Instagram or Facebook.
TFP could stand for “time for photos”.
It should probably be changed to TFD — “time for digitals”. That makes more sense, don’t ya’ think?
Setting the Stage
I like to keep my TFP agreements short, one page, compared to my standard boudoir photo shoot contract, which is three pages… and if you’re interested in either one of those just click on the appropriate link above.
TFP shoots are more laid back than paid shoots. There’s less pressure to get it right so there’s no need to lay on the legalese which might scare away some people.
It is important, though, that each party understands what they’ll be getting for the arrangement and that it’s clearly spelled out.
What’s In My TFP Model Agreement?
Notice I call it an agreement and not a contract because “agreement” sounds more friendly and less intimidating — and I use the term “contract” for my standard boudoir photo shoot session because there’s money exchanging hands and needs to have more gravity to it.
So, without further ado, what’s in my TFP boudoir photo shoot agreement?
It starts out stating exactly what kind of shoot it is, a boudoir photo shoot, so there’s no misunderstanding, and that it’s a trade shoot so no money will be exchanged — and that the model agrees she is at least eighteen years of age (or whatever age is legal for your area).
There’s also language that states the level of nudity is at her discretion and if there’s anything she’s uncomfortable with, like a particular pose or outfit, that she will speak up.
The next section talks about the arrangement, exactly what the model and photographer will each be getting. I like to offer my TFP models seven fully retouched and post-processed images in exchange for their time and talent.
I think seven is a good number because models only end up using half a dozen or so shots anyway from any one session. There’s no need to give them the entire shoot, which could be 150-200 images, and this limitation serves as quality control for my brand because it prevents them from posting images that have not been finished with retouching and post-processing.
I learned this the hard way when models would post images I hadn’t even worked on in post and they would post them anyway on their social media. And not that they were great images straight out of camera, they weren’t. It’s just that most people don’t have a trained eye when it comes to understanding the full potential of what an image can be.
By the way, I am constantly trying to get better at reducing the time I spend in post by getting it right in camera first as best I can.
Another advantage of a small limited number of images is it forces the model to choose her favorites in a timely manner. Handing over 200 images that might sit on her hard-drive for god knows how long could delay her displaying your images on her social media, which limits your exposure to all her friends who might want to hire you for a shoot.
This next part is key because it’s one of the main reasons for doing a TFP shoot in the first place, which is being granted permission to use the images publicly for your portfolio and social media for marketing purposes.
Moving on to usage rights, a lot of models are not aware that they don’t own the images. In other words, they can’t go off and sell them to a third party for money or trade them for something of value… and neither can you for that matter.
This is a must-have in your TFP agreement because once again, I learned from experience by having a model go out and try to sell her images to a third party thinking she had the right to do so.
Well, she didn’t and whether out of ignorance or not, it’s important your TFP model understand that you, as the photographer, own the copyright to all of the images simply by being the one who created them.
By the way, you can’t just go out and sell your TFP images to a third party either. That would be in violation of the model’s publicity rights.
If either one of you was approached by a third party wanting to use the images from your TFP shoot, then a commercial usage license would have to be drafted and separate compensation for the model would have to be made that would be fair and appropriate.
But say there’s a small local independent clothing designer that hires you to shoot some of their fashions using TFP models. Now, it’s one thing for a model to do a trade for this kind for exposure if that’s what’s being offered, but she needs to know that going into the shoot.
Where Can She Display Her Images?
After all this talk about what she can’t do with her images, I feel it’s necessary to state exactly what she can do with her images.
This part of the agreement tells her that she can use the images in her portfolio, both physical and online, and on social media… pretty much anywhere the images won’t be used to promote or sell a product or service because that would fall under a commercial usage license agreement.
By the way, if that does happen and you have a model that sells her images after signing a TFP agreement that states otherwise, then you have incredible legal leverage to seek compensation.
What you don’t want to have happen is you’re driving down the street one day and you pass a billboard with one of your images from a TFP shoot on it advertising some product or service… and this is the first you’re learning of it.
(On second thought, you may actually want that to happen, but only if you’re covered by your TFP agreement like the one I’m telling you about here. If this does happen then smile, because you have a pay day coming.
Anyway, you get my point. Get it in writing and cover yourself.
What If The Model Changes Her Mind?
This next part is something I’ve added recently because it’s something I read about in a private boudoir Facebook group thread.
A woman had done a TFP boudoir shoot giving the photographer permission to use her images for the photographer’s marketing, but then for some reason she needed them taken completely off the internet. (I believe her boyfriend of husband didn’t approve and talked her into having them removed.)
In effect, she wanted to break the terms of her signed agreement and was putting a lot of pressure on the photographer to do so.
What Was the Solution?
After much discussion online, a solution surfaced that since the model wished to break the terms of her agreement, it was only right to treat her TFP photoshoot as a paid shoot, in which, in order for the photographer to remove all her images from the internet, the model would have to compensate the photographer the cost of the photographer’s regular photo shoot fee.
So, this section of my TFP agreement explains how if the model wishes to have all her images taken off-line under the terms of the original agreement, it’s at the discretion of the photographer and the model agrees to compensate the photographer (me) the total sum of a fully paid photo shoot.
And that’s fair and everyone walks away happy, unless you captured an amazing image from the shoot that you’re now not able to use. That’s a bummer, but the trade-off is that you got paid for the shoot and just treat it as someone who wanted to keep her images private.
Can I Bring Someone To The Shoot?
I clearly state that the model can bring someone with her to the shoot as long as that person is not disruptive or a distraction to either myself or the model.
Being a male boudoir photographer I always encourage clients and models to bring someone with them because first of all, they don’t know me from Adam, and I want them to feel comfortable and safe and okay with the arrangement.
Second, I want as many people as I can see me work so they can get excited and tell their friends and others to book with me. I’m proud of what I do and how I do it and I want my art and process to be exposed to as many people as possible.
They’re always surprised at how much work and thought goes into a shoot because I’m constantly explaining to both the model and the guest what I’m doing and why I’m doing it so they get a behind-the-scenes running commentary of what it takes to pull off a successful photo shoot.
I’m sure many people have an ill-conceived idea about male boudoir photographers (and not unjustly earned I might add, from unscrupulous male “photographers”) so I welcome any opportunity which allows them to see “behind the curtain” of what actually takes place.
Problems can arise when your model shows up with three or four people she didn’t tell you about beforehand and now you have to deal with that on the spot. It hasn’t ever happened to me, but I’m sure it’s happened to others.
Clearly stating she’s allowed one guest, or at least an agreed upon number of people, before the shoot takes place is critical so the shoot starts off without any unwanted surprises or noses bent out of shape.
Dazed and Confused
And finally, I have a clause that states what will happen if the model shows up drunk or under the influence of drugs.
I haven’t run into this yet, but others have and I thought it was a good thing to add because it stresses the professionalism you expect from your model and it forces her to respect your time and your approach to the shoot.
This isn’t a party, this is work. It’s fun work, but it’s still work. It’s not like we’re partying backstage with Aerosmith or Jay-Z.
This sets the tone of what they can expect from me and what I expect from them, even though no one is getting paid each party is getting something of value and that value needs to be protected for the benefit of both photographer and model.
So, that wraps things up with what’s in my boudoir TFP agreement but if you’re interested in using the one I use, check out My Ultimate Boudoir TFP Agreement here.
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Thanks for your time!
Founder / Lounge Boudoir
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