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When to draw the line???
Old 03-10-2009, 07:23 PM   #1 (permalink)
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When do you decide that you're just too damn good to not get paid for model shoots?? When to draw an end to TFP has been a tough decision for me.

How do you all feel about TFP VS Paid work and what are your reasons for one over the other.......


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Re: When to draw the line???
Old 03-10-2009, 08:11 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Don,

Good question...perhaps an age old question as well. And its rather the dilemma, so next week you decide you are only going to do paid shoots, well and just (hypothetically) your phone stops ringing...

You then start feeling, well damn I miss shooting, hmmmm okay maybe I go back to the way it was (TFP) now models may question your credibility. "This guy is all over the map" Here is something I have told a few people in the past. A lot of people do not perceive getting something for free as having any value. However in this whacky world of glamour photography, there is an exception to this rule, which is held by many models in that they feel they should be shot for free. Well, now what the "F" should a photographer do????

I have preached in the past to people, offer as many "Free" shoots as you like, however the edited pictures will cost you 10 bucks a pop. I honestly did that for years and it worked pretty well for me...my biggest hit was shooting some chick who was married to this guy who really loved her pictures, he bought 100 shots off me...a grand for a free shoot....not a bad deal.
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Re: When to draw the line???
Old 03-10-2009, 08:46 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I would say that I'd stop TFP if it started interfering with paid work. Whether that interference was in scheduling or total workload.

Another thing to think about is that when someone is paying you, they're in charge. You have to shoot what they want. For the last six months I've been working on a personal project. I'm trying to create the perfect picture for this one wall in my new condo. My idea may not appeal to anyone that wants to pay me to shoot them. Without TFP or paying a model, I'd have no one to create that picture with.
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Re: When to draw the line???
Old 03-10-2009, 09:48 PM   #4 (permalink)
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My decision to charge or do shoot TFCD always comes down to one thing:

"It Ain't Free If It Don't Benefit ME!"

Since I've shot with over 400 models in the last six years, there are very few models out there that I absolutely "need" in my portfolio. As a result, I offer very limited TFCD shoots for models that fit one of the following three criteria -- 1. they have a unique "look" or are proposing a unique creative idea at would enhance my portfolio; 2. they are "connected" and can get me exposure with more paying commercial clients or will bring me models interested in paid shoots; or 3. they have the right "look" and are willing to shoot creative ideas that I want to shoot. If they don't fit any of these three criteria, it doesn't benefit me to shoot TF* with them.
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Re: When to draw the line???
Old 03-10-2009, 09:56 PM   #5 (permalink)
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you already know the answer to the question.

when you ask yourself the question....it's time.

move on to something that satisfies your needs. it might not be models. actually you probably would do a lot better, and make some money, shooting anything besides models who have been trained to shoot for free.

but the bottom line...you are done with the model thing. you came, you saw, you conquered and now it bores you.

find your next subject and master that until you are so excited by that new topic that you will shoot it 24/7/365 for free.

models, say goodbye to Don, he's over you.
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Re: When to draw the line???
Old 03-11-2009, 07:05 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I only had done a couple of TFCD's and I've promised myself "never again", maybe you've had good experiences with this kind of works, but I find that people who don't pay don't value enough the work of the photographer.

(i hope you understand me, English is not my language)
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Re: When to draw the line???
Old 03-11-2009, 10:52 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Only do it if it benifits you in some way. It may not be in financial terms, but if you want to test new ideas or concepts that you don't feel are worth being paid for just yet.

Or if you can grasp the pebble from masters hand it is time to let go
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Re: When to draw the line???
Old 03-11-2009, 09:45 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I see all trade shoots as trade shoots. If the "model" has nothing to offer in trade that I want but cash, OK. I do not shoot for free, I shoot for cash, great look, makeup skill, food, booze (not to be consumed on set), cookies, etc.
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Re: When to draw the line???
Old 03-12-2009, 11:27 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I dunno. I'm not at all certain being paid and shooting trades or TCPs are mutually exclusive. Back when I was operating my commercial studio, I did a lot of model portfolio sessions. Many of them were paid, but some were free. Some of the freebies were arranged by agency bookers to whom I owed favors. But others were done as a means of relaxation and entertainment. I'm a photographer and I enjoy shooting photos. I guess that even as a working pro, I was still an amateur at heart because I enjoyed shooting just for the sake of shooting.

I guess my theory was that if my studio was empty, no paying shoots, then it was empty. I could leave the lights off and watch TV and drink or I could do something for fun, something like photographing a beautiful woman. Besides, shooting a trade portfolio stuff for her and figure stuff for me worked out for everyone. I suppose though, those trades are different from a straight TFP.
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Re: When to draw the line???
Old 03-12-2009, 02:40 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I look at doing test shooting as fulfilling a bunch of different purposes. The model is someone you want in your portfolio, you have some new equipment you want to experiment with, you want to try out something different, As Doug said you owe a favour to someone or even better your building credit up with someone. Always good to help out makeup artist, hairstylist, designers and agencies. Their your PR machines, the models not so much. I never shoot models because there going to hook me up.

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Some of the freebies were arranged by agency bookers to whom I owed favors.
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