• Angelita

"TFP" Part II - The Studio Experience

Updated: Jun 11, 2020

Keep These in Mind For Your In-Studio Photo Shoot Collaborations!

BEFORE THE SHOOT: There is a list of standard details that should be communicated and organized to avoid confusion during or after a TFP shoot. Studio time, props, food and equipment are not free, so who will take responsibility for these expenses should be discussed prior to the shoot. For example, is the photographer covering the studio rental time while tasking the models with doing their own hair and makeup? 

Here are some other general details to cover with the model(s) and collaborative group prior to any creative shoot:

  • Where is the shoot? If the shoot is outdoors, is there a backup plan for rain?

  • Who is responsible for hair and makeup? Will there be other artists collaborating with you to help with the styling, hair and makeup? Or, will the models handle all of that themselves?

  • How long is the shoot? How many outfits or looks do you intend to cover during the shoot?

  • What is the style or mood of the shoot? Are there any extreme outfits, looks or partial nudity to discuss with the participants? Make sure everyone is on the same page and comfortable - That is key!

  • How many images will be provided to the model? How many will be edited vs unedited?
 (an approximate range could be 10-50 photos — just clarify so the model is aware.)

  • Cover the difference between color correcting/light editing (Lightroom or Photo Mechanic) and full retouching (Photoshop).

  • RAW Files - The model should not even ask for them. Culling and editing is part of the photographer’s entire process, and that’s why the model or client chose to work with that photographer. Aside from potential intellectual property concerns, it takes away from the work photographers do to deliver a finished product. If photographers make that exception for one, then it would be hypocritical to deny other people the same thing.

  • Photographers should provide a model release prior to the shoot to make things clear and avoid an issue like this one. If the model does not want to sign, then that may be a red flag that you two are not on the same page in regards to collaborations. 

I encourage photographers (at any professional level) to give TFP shoots a try. They are an opportunity to expand your portfolio, and try new lighting techniques and setups. It allows us to practice freely outside of paid gigs and to create content that may surprise ourselves. DURING THE SHOOT - GENERAL TIPS:

  • Arrive early and keep in mind that “setup time” is included in your studio rental time.

  • Do you need a backdrop or are you using the studio’s surroundings/props?

  • Are you doing a bit of natural light or solely off-camera lighting?

  • During my shoots, I started setting a timer so that I do not spend too much time on one model or outfit. Keep the flow going and make sure every model receives the same amount of shooting time.

  • Play music! Ask the studio if they provide a way to play music or if you can bring your own portable speaker/iPod dock.

  • Photographers should give some posing direction to their models, but every model is different. Some models require less or more guidance than others.

  • Snacks and beverages are always good… always.

  • Have fun! This is an opportunity for you to try new things and get creative without any contractual pressure.


Photographers should deliver photos to their models in a timely manner. No news is old news, as they say. What is your method of delivery (email, Dropbox, WeTransfer etc.)?

I typically use Pixieset to deliver photos, which is a great client gallery service for $30/month.

I have heard a lot of photographers vent about people or businesses posting their work without providing a proper photo credit on social media. Worst case scenario, Instagram has a Copyright or Trademark Infringement form online, where you can submit to have a photo or video removed, if you feel your work has been used improperly. Why would this process be necessary? Unfortunately, some people do not tag the photographers after the shoot is over; it sucks, but it happens. 

See this link to learn more about Reporting Copyright Infringements on IG.

PSA Regarding TFPs:

TO ALL MODELS & ARTISTS - Kindly STOP adding filters to the final product Photographers send to you. Seriously, it drives photography professionals up the wall, and NO, YOU DID NOT IMPROVE THE PHOTO. I would prefer, in this case only, that you not tag the photographer at all. This is purely my opinion, but I have heard a lot of photographers complain that they took their time to edit or retouch a photo, to then see it posted on Instagram with a hardcore “Valencia” middle-finger-filter. If you alter the image, it is no longer our work.

TO PHOTOGRAPHERS - A photographer should NEVER push a model past what he or she has agreed to do, and a model should never feel pressured to go to a level that he or she is uncomfortable with. The model’s time is valuable and everyone’s time and efforts should be respected. As long as your TFP process is laid out clearly, you act PROFESSIONAL, and all of the details above are agreed on, everyone should be getting something out of shooting with you.

I encourage photographers (at any professional level) to expand their portfolio and try new lighting techniques with TFP shoots. It allows us to practice freely outside of paid gigs and to create content that may surprise ourselves.

Check out The Visual Chrysalis, a female collective of photographers based in NYC.


Click here to see original Blog Post on the VCC website.


Thanks for reading; so, did I miss anything? We would love to hear from MUAs, Hairstylists, Models and other professionals to get their take on it too.

Share your thoughts on the comments below!

14 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All