Trade Terms

(Updated: 08-Aug-2013)

My current Trade (TFCD/TFDM/Barter/Pro Bono/Free) terms are fairly simple and as follows:

A. You, the Model will …

1. Contact me via phone/text/email the day or evening before your scheduled shoot to confirm your intention to shoot. Minors should have a parent or guardian make this call.
2. Provide a phone/text number at the time your shoot is scheduled.
3. Sign a simple Model Release Form. Minors (under 18 years old) must have this document signed by a parent or legal guardian prior to the day of the shoot, so as not to surprise them at the last moment. As this is a legal document, you are required to provide a complete mailing address to verify your identity.
4. Bring a photo ID for age verification (Driver’s License, School I.D., etc.).
5. Arrive at the agreed upon location promptly and ready to participate.
6. Unless stated otherwise, provide their own wardrobe, make-up, props, etc.
7. Provide Photographer credit for images posted on Modeling web sites such as Model Mayhem, Model Brigade, Facebook, etc.
8. Novice Models should review all of the information on my “Aspiring Models Page“.
9. Have fun at the shoot and smile often, especially when asked!
10. Model must bring a USB drive (2, 4 or 8gb thumb drive) to receive unedited images. If a USB drive is not provided, there will be a fee of $20 (cash) to either provide you with a USB drive (If I have one) or to process and mail the images on a CD or DVD. If none of the above works out, it will be discussed on a case-by-case basis.

B. I, the Photographer will …

1. Contact you approximately a week ahead of time to confirm your intention to shoot. If I am unable to make contact with you after repeated attempts, I may schedule someone else in your time slot.
2. During the shoot I will provide direction (if needed).
3. Immediately after the shoot, I will provide you a copy of ALL captures on a USB drive provided by the model, each being up to 10-Megapixel JPGs in unedited form. In a typical 2-hour shoot this will be 100+ images. See number 10 above for additional info.
4. Within a week (usually a day), I will edit a minimum of 4-6 images (2 per look) of my choosing. You can immediately access these edited images on this web site. Right clicking on images on model pages is disabled. To save the image you want, you must first click on the image so that the image itself is in your browser’s address window It will end with “.jpg”. Then save the file by either using the “file, save” Windows menu function or right click on the image and use the “save image as …” function. If you’re using an Apple computer or a browser other than Firefox or IE, sorry but I can’t help you.
5. Furnish the edited images optimized for web usage – 72 DPI and 800 pixels wide (1200 pixels high for portraits and 600 high for landscapes). If edited images are needed for printing, see my Fee Schedule. Image files for printing are very different than those used for internet purposes (CMYK versus RGB and 200 or 300-dpi versus 72-dpi). If you elect to print the files yourself, which are intended for internet use, you will not be happy with the quality.
6. VERY IMPORTANT: If hard copy prints are needed from me, please let me know prior to shooting, so that I may capture images in the proper format. An editing fee and a print fee may also apply.
7. Furnish all of the images, unedited and edited free of watermarks and lettering, except Artistic Edits will be digitally signed.

C. TFCD Theory

Models and Photographers is one of the last bastions of a centuries old tradition originally referred to as “Bartering”. In simple terms, “to barter” means to trade products or services without an exchange of money. In the modeling world this is known as either “Trade for Prints” (TFP) and more currently “Trade for Compact Disk” (TFCD). The later is the more common as photography is now almost entirely a digital domain. The term needs to be updated to Trade for Digital Media (TFDM), as myself and a growing number of photographers now transfer image files immediately after shooting to a model’s USB drive.

D. Shooting in a Studio

If you want to shoot in a studio, there will be a charge, as the space will need to be rented. The going rate is approximately $100 for a couple hours to half a day. I would also recommend hiring a Hair Stylist and a MUA if you’re going to the expense of shooting in a studio.

E. My Rant on TF work

I have read, literally, thousands of model profiles over the years and I have noticed a trend lately. More and more, models are demanding CDs of their photo shoot immediately upon completion. I suppose for studio photo sessions this is not an inconvenience. As I primarily do location shooting, I ask models to bring a USB drive with them and after the shoot, I will transfer the unedited photos to this drive.

However, it appears that Models are increasingly wanting Photographers to provide them with large numbers of Edited (or Retouched) images. As an enthusiast of Photography and Photo Shop, I routinely “play” with the better captures from my shoots and spend countless hours trying to create the best images my skills can offer. I’m glad to say my Photo Retouching skills are growing proportionally with time. It’s not unheard of to spend an hour or two retouching a single image.

And to me this is where the problems lies. If a Model and Photographer do a shoot together, then they have each invested an equal amount of time to this point. If the photographer then spent a few minutes transferring, burning and delivering or mailing a CD, this would be an equally proportioned barter – time wise. Yet, models now want the Photographer to go and spend unknown hours in the editing room. One model demanded 20 edited pictures for a TFCD. If the Photographer/Retoucher was extremely efficient and spent no more than 20-minutes (LOL) per image, this would amount to 400-minutes (6 hours and 40 minutes) of edit time. Basically that’s nearly a full workday. Does this sound like a fair trade/barter to you?

In legal usage, quid pro quo indicates that an item or a service has been traded in return for something of value, usually when the propriety or equity of the transaction is in question. For example, under the common law, a binding contract must involve consideration: that is, the exchange of something of value for something else of economic value. If the exchange appears excessively one sided, courts in some jurisdictions may question whether a quid pro quo did actually exist and the contract may be void by law.

(And I’m not even going to mention the amount of money invested in purchasing and maintaining cameras, lights, supports, backgrounds, studio space, computer hardware, computer software software, etc. – Hell, I’ve spent $100 for a single darn replacement bulb for a flash unit. The counter argument becomes comically absurd when a model attempts to justify her expenses in the cost of her wardrobe but only charges for posing nude. I must have been absent from school the day this was discussed.)

Anyway, on a typical 2-hour location photo session, I am taking pictures nearly continuously and at the end have 100-200 captures, and I’m thrilled if I have a half dozen keepers. Now grant it there are a lot more variables on a location shoot such as varying lighting conditions, things moving in and out of the frame, model distracted, camera decided to arbitrarily focus on something else (hey, it happens more than you think), bad framing, etc., etc. But my point is getting 20 quality shots out of 100 captures is an unrealistic expectation. Perhaps Studio Photographers have a better success ratio, but I doubt they take as many picture either.

There is a growing number of Photo Retouchers that are not Photographers. If a large number of edited images is what you desire, perhaps a better strategy would be to make acquaintances with a number of different Retouchers and either pay or do “trades” with them. I’ve seen Retouchers boast prices as low as $20 per image. To me this seems like a bargain for a quality glamor edit.

One last point, if a Model feels his or her time is so much more valuable than the Photographer’s, perhaps he or she should not be doing trades at all. At least not with me. God created us all equal, right?