You’re probably a passionate photographer if you’re reading this. If not, you’re thinking about hiring one and want to know what reasonable prices are. For the record, TFP is open to everybody. Working photographers may certainly do this. Photography enthusiasts and amateurs alike may participate in TFP. But there is definitely something to be said for both morality and reciprocal gain. In actuality, symbiosis—which is more crucial than ever—is what I believe it comes down to.
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WHO ARE TFP?
TFP has undergone significant evolution throughout time. In everyday speech, it had a meaning akin to “time for print.” It implied that a model was donating their time in exchange for the promise of photographs. However, it has evolved to imply diverse things in more recent times. I often see the phrase “Trade for Photo” used.
Here are some instances of this in practice:
Free food in exchange for pictures
Free beverages for pictures
Free entry to a gathering for photographs
Free mannequins for pictures
Free usage of a picture gallery
If you are competent and have strong interpersonal skills, people will continue to work with you on a TFP basis. Almost every employee has sometimes worked for TFP. But it’s crucial to establish limits. We’ll talk more about it later.
WHY DO SOME PHOTOGRAPHERS FIND THEIRSELVES DOING TFP?
With regard to TFP, there is a significant distinction. TFP denotes receiving something in exchange that you typically consider to be a fair deal. That’s the way it should be, at least. TFP may also be seen as just giving someone a favor without expecting anything in return. And it’s simple to develop that habit and believe you’re providing service to a plethora of unrelated individuals and businesses.
The world will often attempt to utilize you in an unsustainable way.
I’ve visited restaurants a few occasions and taken pictures of the meal I was going to get, but they never gave me a discount or anything like. I usually get some type of bargain at bars. TFP, however, ought to ideally imply that you get the meal and more for nothing. A food photography session might easily cost a couple of thousand dollars for a photographer. Is the food as valuable?
If it is, that’s great. If you think it will be worthwhile for you, go for it.
If it’s not, either change what you’re doing to reflect this or decline the job. I often accepted a job that was less expensive and did not post-process the photos. You better believe I won’t take more than five more minutes to get them images if they requested me to cover a two-hour event.
WHAT IS WRONG WITH TFP DONE REGULARLY?
TFP is a virus that spreads easily. More and more people will attempt to hire you as a photographer if you keep doing it. That’s OK, but you must be unwavering in your demand for a fair deal. You harm professional photographers if you continue to provide freebies. Consider if getting your buddy out is crucial enough to risk hurting someone you don’t know.
WHEN SHOULD TFP BE DONE?
In the end, you should only engage in TFP if you’re looking to give back (and can deduct it from your taxes) or if you believe you’re receiving a fair deal. If not, keep the pictures for your own use. If someone asks you for the pictures, they have to be prepared to pay you.