What is the Difference Between a Test Shoot and a TFP Shoot?

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2 comments… add one

  1. Don Giannatti July 2, 2012, 10:22 am

    As a photographer since the late 70′s I can affirm that the term ‘test’ was and is the same as the newer term TFP.

    A model test or a photographer testing with an agency would shoot the model for his book and the model/agency would receive prints for their books in return.

    The term ‘test’ was born somewhere in the early 70′s and related to the photographer doing ‘tests’ to see how the models may work in front of the camera.

    As to model releases. I never worked with any model agency who would allow the models to sign releases. A release is just that… the model now has NO rights to the images. Photographers who get releases from models when doing TFP or Tests disgust me. They are blatantly ripping off the models – the models get nothing and the photographer gets stock to sell.

    TFP means Time for Print – NOT “time for me to make some images for sale and the model gets a file or two”.

    I have used small contracts that explain the usage of the images (constraints upon model and upon my use as well) for decades. If I were to ask an agency model to sign a release, I would no longer be on the test list.

    Model agencies use Vouchers when working on commercial assignments and they ARE the limited release of the models image.

  2. Paul Manoian July 2, 2012, 10:39 am

    Don, you definitely have some great insight! I couldn’t agree with you more on TFP means Time for Print … that is, NOT “time for me to make some images for sale and the model gets a file or two”. I’ve certainly seen it get abused!

    I guess the terms are not interchangeable in my area. I’ve spoken with many people at agencies here that see a difference between the two. As for releases, I’ve shot a number of events for agencies and they always requested that I use my own releases if I want to use the images in my portfolio or post them online.

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