I like shooting portrait photos for TFP, but it seems like it's getting harder to do these days. A comment I read today from a model on Facebook explains why.
Why She's Not Modeling Anymore
I never got a chance to shoot with this particular model, and now it looks like it may not happen. She explained it clearly in her post, though. Despite spending her time in styling, makeup, driving to and from the shoot and a few hours of posing, she didn't get a thing for it. No money or even a single photo. This hasn't happened just once, but multiple times.
Who can blame her for saying “No more” to modeling? Would you continue working and spending money on an activity if you got nothing in return?
Shooting Portraits for TFP
I imagine that most of you know that TFP means “Time for Prints/Photos” or something along those lines these days. Essentially, it's a trade that should be mutually beneficial. When a model shows up for a shoot and gives his or her time, it is simply unfair and selfish to not reciprocate with some photos. You don't have to give every shot, but a couple of keepers for promotion is a reasonable and expected part of the trade.
Portrait photographers and models need each other. You can't get a shot if the model doesn't show up, and she can't promote her work without photos. It gets worse. When a photographer or model gets burned enough by thoughtless folks, they stop participating. The person who wrote the post on Facebook is a model that I wanted to shoot when I had the right concept, but someone else just made it that much harder for me, if not impossible, to work with her.
While shooting portraits for TFP is a cool concept, sometimes it's a good idea to pay your model for your portraits, even when they're personal projects. If nothing else, it's a good way to make sure they show up – though not 100% effective. I was burned once by a model who decided to sleep in rather than work for the money I was going to pay her. I don't mind if that kind of model decides to stop working, though. In fact, I'm sure the market will make that decision for her if she can't be reliable for a paid gig.
Fortunately, that wasn't an issue for this shot with Jess. Now if I had only seen that lurker back there when I was shooting, I'd be a happy camper.