What is TFP/TFCD?

no tfcd

There are three common arrangements between a model and a photographer.

  1. Photographer gets paid by model to work on their portfolio
  2. Model gets paid by photographer or by photographer's client.
  3. Model and photographer setup a shoot where the photographer pays the model with photos for her portfolio.
  4. Or when a model and photographer choose to collaborate for mutual benefits.

This is known traditionally as TFP ("Trade For Pictures") or TFCD ("Trade for CD"). This is a common way for a model and photographer to create images to build their respective portfolios without cost to either of them. The model gives their time, signs a release and receives images for their portfolio as payment. The photographer retains the copyright but allows the model to use the photos for self promotion.


Usually the photographer selects the best images at times with model helping select a limited quantity of images they would like to have edited. The amount varies but it works out to 3 or 4 images per look. The reason for the limits is that you only want the very best images to be shared publicly. This benefits both of you since the idea is you put your best foot forward in the modeling and photography communities. In a TFCD project nobody has commissioned the photographer to take the photographs. The photographer does personal work.

TFCD is typically a low budget venture and models usually be required to do her (his) own hair, make-up and nails, and supply her (his) own clothes. This is something I dont recommend, its better to include a MUA and Stylist where the outcome can be even better both, the model and the photographer cover their own expenses. Although its not paid projects, everyone is expected to display professionalism and treat it as work, but fun work.

What to expect for TFP/TFCD

The number of edited photos a model should expect will vary depending on how many looks or outfits they photograph, and the time they spend shooting them. Generally they share all usable images, resized and watermarked as samples, either online or via CD.

For example:

  • 1½ - 2 hours (2 looks) - Model selects 6 to 8 edited images
  • 2 - 3 hours (3 looks) - Model selects 9 to 12 edited images
  • 3 - 4 hours (4 looks ) - Model selects 12 to 15 edited images

Both the model and the photographer put in her/his time, resources and effort.