TFP (or time-for-print) is a term that is thrown around a lot in the entertainment & creative industries, it refers to arrangements often between photographers, stylists, hair and makeup artists and talent (models/actors), who exchange their time for good quality images to use in their portfolio, rather than for monetary compensation. In a true TFP shoot, no one involved will receive a commission or hourly rate.
As a parent, we know that your child’s wellbeing is paramount and that the idea of taking part in a TFP shoot with your up-and-coming little star may seem intimidating. But TFP work can be a wonderful opportunity! TFP shoots can be a great way to build your child’s portfolio and confidence in front of the camera, as well as build a network of valuable connections in the industry. Having said that, it is important to be selective with the TFP work you chose to take part in so that it truly benefits your child. It is one of the scariest things in the world to think your child may be taken advantage of, which is why we’ve created this simple list of “Dos” and “Don’ts” when it comes to TFP work for your child:
- Be very clear with your expectations BEFORE agreeing to take part in the shoot.
Don’t assume anything. Make sure everyone involved is aware of your expectations by putting them in writing. When it comes to your child’s wellbeing it’s always best to have this in writing, rather than trying to arrange everything verbally.
- Be a delight to work with
If everyone involved in the collaboration enjoys working with you and your child then, as well as building your child’s portfolio, you’ll also be building a professional reputation. We all know that positive word-of-mouth can be your biggest asset when trying to book jobs. Often times clients who book your child for a TFP shoot may go on to work on larger, commercial projects, so these connections can be invaluable.
- Learn how to say NO
You should always be strategic with your child’s project choices. Never feel pressured to say yes just to be polite, if you don’t think the exchange will benefit your little star then don’t take part. Be selective and save your energy for the jobs that you and your child are truly passionate/excited about and that will add to your portfolio in a positive way. However, it is important to take advantage of as many opportunities as possible, as these building these experiences are what makes a great career.
- Credit all involved when sharing TFP images
TFP shoots are all about experience and exposure, for all parties. Social media is a very powerful tool in the industry, so when sharing your child’s images on any platform, it is important to credit all people involved in the TFP shoot. This includes photographer/videographer, hair and makeup artist, stylist and agent.
- Don’t cancel on short notice.
While your child is not getting paid, your professionalism is still on display and you have others that are counting on your involvement. Don’t commit to a TFP shoot unless you’re sure you can make it because if you pull out in the last minute you will likely jeopardise the whole shoot. It’s safe to say that those involved won’t be recommending you to any of their friends in the industry or wanting to work with you again if this happens. In the same light, if you are punctual and professional, you will be top of the list!
- Don’t sell TFP images.
If you are presented with the opportunity to make money from the images you acquire from a TFP shoot make sure you get permission from everyone involved in the project and be prepared to share the profits.
Remember, when it comes to TFP work the experience and exposure your child can achieve by taking part can far outweigh the lack of compensation for that single project and can even result in a number of paid jobs! At Bettina Management we are here to help you every step of the way and want to see your child succeed just as much as you do. So don’t be afraid of TFP; think of it as an incredible opportunity that is a stepping-stone to getting your child the experience, exposure and connections required to thrive in the industry.