Making Creative Collaboration Work - The TFP Win/Win Agreement

  • Tue 13th Dec 2016

Time for Print (TFP). Whether you’re new to the industry or a veteran of your craft, we’re sure this term means something to you. We hope it’s been a great chance to improve your portfolio while gaining real world industry experience, but we know you’ve probably all got a horror story to tell when it comes to TFP and unpaid work. Whether you’ve been left wanting more from your talent or wishing for more from your photographer, too often the question is raised “why should I work for free?” To that the says it’s time for a new mindset towards TFP shoots and unpaid work. Working for a collective creative goal that benefits your career isn’t really working for free at all. Because with clear communication leading you towards a common goal on a shared timeline the outcome isn’t just a professional portfolio that makes talent and photographer look amazing. It’s also the groundwork for your future. When you multiply time, attitude and creativity you get a formula for success, it’s the’s Win/Win Agreement.


Like any good relationship, communication is key. Making sure all parties have the same expectations is the foundation for amazing results.

Photographers – We understand there’s a lot on your mind when you’re looking through the lens. But getting the perfect shot can’t happen if your talent isn’t on the same page as you. Be honest about your goals for the shoot. Make clear to the talent whether the finished images are for portfolio presentation or commercial usage. Take the time to reach out and let them know what sort of styling will be available for the shoot. Whether it’s hair, make-up or fashion, letting your talent know what to expect will cut down on wasted time and get everyone involved ready to shoot. Effective communication leads to efficient participation.

Talent – The encourages all talent to follow the ABC’s of TFP’s – Attitude, Behaviour and Communication. Working for free doesn’t mean letting your work ethic slip. Think of unpaid work as stretching before the big race. It’s putting in the hard yards to get your name, and your face, out there as you build your career. Be clear with photographers about your expectations for the shoot and your total availability so you can work towards the best result together. Once you’ve shown what you’re capable of keep the communication going through social media. Tell your followers the story of your shoot and share in the success with your photographer.

Key Points

  • Respond promptly to any questions and keep an open dialogue.
  • Confirm with your photographer/talent on the day to ensure the shoot is going ahead
  • Be honest about whether the final images will be for portfolio or commercial usage.
  • Be upfront with your expectations for the shoot. Be clear on issues of nudity, shoot length and posing style.
  • Continue to communicate on social media by sharing the results and engaging   with you audience.


If you’ve ever heard the expression ‘quality beats quantity’ then you haven’t met the team who seek quality within quantity time after time. It’s about setting the standards then delivering to all.

Photographers – It’s a simple matter of keeping things fair when it comes to the number of images you provide to your talent. While you may have a select few favourites in mind the encourages you to provide a minimum of 10 retouched images when your post-shoot work is done. Think of each image as a way for new followers to find you. The final number of images will obviously depend on the type of shoot and the number of usable images captured but be clear about the final product before the shoot so no one is left feeling undersold.

Talent – Open a dialogue with your photographer before you start the shoot so you know what to expect. While unlimited prints would be great they’re also expensive and time consuming, with portfolio quality images not cheap. Understand that your photographer will get the best of the best to you and if you are looking to get more you can expect to pay a fair and reasonable price. At the end of the day a good TFP shoot should be of equal benefit to both parties so if you’ve done your job and helped your photographer get amazing shots then you’ll get the benefit of those shots back.

Key Points

  • The encourages all photographers to provide a minimum of 10   – – – –   retouched images to the talent
  • Be upfront about how many images you expect to avoid issues after the shoot
  • Agree on a reasonable price for any additional images if required
  • Negotiate the quantity expected. Consider asking for a Time for Clothes agreement in lieu of images if it suits you.
  • Be clear on the type of images expected, whether digital copies or physical prints.


The process of turning a vision into reality is an amazing one. So, from talent to photographers it’s about turning up to shoot then turning out the images.

Photographers – With so much to stay on top of as a successful photographer it’s a fact of life that TFP and unpaid shoots can fall down the priority list. As a successful TFP shoot can lead to exposure and paid work the truth is it should always remain a priority. Be clear with talent about the expectations for image timing. This may include a selection of raw images on the day or focus only on the finished retouched versions down the line. The encourages photographers to adhere to the two-week deadline. That’s 14 days to turn your vision into a reality and get it out to talent who can share it with the world.

Talent – It’s an age-old expression, time is money, and it’s ironically truer than ever when it comes to TFP’s or unpaid work. Working for exposure or a portfolio is just as important as paid work. Its value comes from building your brand and setting you up for future success. Remember, you can only make a first impression once. Committing to TFP and unpaid work means arriving on time, with the attitude for success. It’s easy to assume missing a shoot costs nothing as everyone involved was donating their time. In reality, that was time that could have gone to other paid work at the least and could have set you up for future paid work at the most.

Key Points

  • Establish image expectations with talent, from raw images to retouched, on an agreed timeline.
  • Stick to a 14-day turnaround period from shoot to retouched images.
  • Ensure the shoot is a priority and arrive prepared and ready to do your best.
  • Follow up with the photographer as the due date approaches
  • Countdown using your social media so your followers know to expect content and you have an incentive to receive it.



Model // Lauren V

  • Tue 13th Dec 2016