TFP vs. Pay

Non-paid work vs paid work: who pays, who gets paid and who can use the pictures? A short overview about the various payment models.


Time for Print or TFP shoots are shoots where the photographer doesn’t pay the model and the model doesn’t pay the photographer. They are a great tool for when models and photographers are starting out or when they don’t have a budget

All participants are donating his or her time, and the photographer is supplying pictures the participants (model, make up, hair dresser, designer…) can use in their portfolio. It’s an arrangement that’s been around as long as photography.

If the TFP project involves some cost, e.g. travel, styling, studio and gear rental, each participant covers his own costs. Sometimes, some cost might be shared or covered by the iniator of the TFP session.

TFP images can't be used for commercial reasons other than building up the own portfolio. This images can't be sold to stock agencies, used for advertising or any other commision, no matter if paid or compensated.

It is important to understand that Influencers and Instagram models with a certain amount of presence and brand collaborations do count a business clients with commercial interest.


When it comes to paid shootings, there are two main use cases:

  1. The photographer needs a model, make up artist or stylist for a commercial job or a special project.
  2. Any client, a model, make up artist or stylist needs a photographer for a certain project, e.g. headshots, a commercial job, updating his porfolio or has a special project in mind.

In both cases, the initator pays. In 1., it's the photographer who pays the model, in 2. it's the model / mua / stylist who pays the photographer.

Generally spoken, only the iniator of the session can use the images for his purpose, e.g. in the first case, the photographer paid the model for the job and has the right to publish and market the images. The model is not allowed to use any of the images, except one or two pictures for their portfolio, if this is agreed upfront.

In the second case, the photographer is not allowed to use the images, as the client (…model, makeup artist or stylist) has the rights on all images, except a couple of images for the photographers portfolio, depending on the agreement.

It's important to understand that the copyright for the images stays with the photographer, however, the usage of the images is controlled and restricted by the iniator, based on the contract / model release form.

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