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TFP and me

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Emeritus
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Photographer
Las Vegas, Nevada
Lounge Host
1191 Posts

Top TFP and me

Lately one of our members has made an impassioned claim that TFP is the devil's spawn - that it "enslaves" models, that they are "used" or "abused" because someone takes their pictures "for free".  It's a remarkable claim, and his twists and turns in making it have been the source of a good deal of amusement here on the forums.

Well, I do TFP.  In fact, that's pretty much all I do these days.  So perhaps a bit of a mea culpa is in order for all the times I have "enslaved" models - and continue to.

Perhaps a bit of preliminary information would help.  I've been a professional photographer, for a very long time.  I've sold lots and lots of pictures, have lots and lots of tearsheets, and really don't need to see my name in print anymore.  Now I'm retired.

I love photography for its own sake, don't like the hassles that come with being "in business", and don't need the money.  So I have chosen  not to get a business license here, and as a matter of policy will not, ever, charge anyone for photography.  From time to time I am asked to do commercial jobs.  When that happens, if it's something I really am very interested in doing, I do it for free.  If it's not, I refer it to a good commercial photographer here, who is perfectly happy to charge clients for his work.

Now to the mea culpa, where I detail the way I "enslave" models.  Perhaps the best way to do that is by giving examples.  So here are two current ones:

Ivana

Ivana is rapidly becoming my muse.  She came to me as models often do, by word-of-mouth referral (read:  some other model I had "enslaved" liked it so much she suggested to Ivana to call and ask if I would take her pictures too.)  She asked me how much I would charge her (even though I had not charged the friend who referred her); when I said I don't charge for photography she was very pleased.

Ivana is bright, pretty, creative, and enjoys both the process of taking pictures, and the shots that result.  I enjoy working with her.  She has no intention of ever being "a model" - she just likes modeling.  I like that in a woman.

So far we have done two shoots together, and the third will be this coming Monday.  She's looking forward to it, and I am too.

Loren

Loren was referred to me by a local modeling agency who told her I could take pictures of the kind she needed to market herself with.  I've told the agency that I don't want to do commercial test shots, but they like me and my work enough that they keep making referrals.  Apparently they find value in what I do.

As it happens, Loren's daughter is also a model, who is repped by agencies both here and in Los Angeles, and has been getting quite a bit of work.  Would I take pictures of them?  How much would I charge?  She was confused when I first said I didn't want to do it, and that if I did it I would not charge her - because I don't.  That's my policy.  It hasn't been easy to get that message understood:  she offered lots of money, sweetened the pot by telling me she had a neighbor who wanted portraits done and would pay well to have me do them . . . and I turned it down.  It wasn't what I wanted to do.

Two things happened to change that.  I got a call from the agency saying how badly they needed pictures of these two, and asking me to help.  And Loren told me she had a farm, with a barn and lots of interesting scenery, and she wanted to do location shots there.  OK, now this is sounding a lot more interesting; I told her I would do it.  Still, I insisted that I would not charge her, and would not accept "gifts" in lieu of pay because it's my policy not to.

I'm shooting Loren and her daughter tomorrow, for free.

Mea culpa. It's obvious that I am "enslaving" and "using" those models, if our interlocutor can be believed.

Let the flogging begin.

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Peter Flanagan
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Photographer
Downers Grove, Illinois
238 Posts

Top Re: TFP and me

Emeritus wrote:

Lately one of our members has made an impassioned claim that TFP is the devil's spawn - that it "enslaves" models, that they are "used" or "abused" because someone takes their pictures "for free".  It's a remarkable claim, and his twists and turns in making it have been the source of a good deal of amusement here on the forums.

Well, I do TFP.  In fact, that's pretty much all I do these days.  So perhaps a bit of a mea culpa is in order for all the times I have "enslaved" models - and continue to.

Perhaps a bit of preliminary information would help.  I've been a professional photographer, for a very long time.  I've sold lots and lots of pictures, have lots and lots of tearsheets, and really don't need to see my name in print anymore.  Now I'm retired.

I love photography for its own sake, don't like the hassles that come with being "in business", and don't need the money.  So I have chosen  not to get a business license here, and as a matter of policy will not, ever, charge anyone for photography.  From time to time I am asked to do commercial jobs.  When that happens, if it's something I really am very interested in doing, I do it for free.  If it's not, I refer it to a good commercial photographer here, who is perfectly happy to charge clients for his work.

Now to the mea culpa, where I detail the way I "enslave" models.  Perhaps the best way to do that is by giving examples.  So here are two current ones:

Ivana

Ivana is rapidly becoming my muse.  She came to me as models often do, by word-of-mouth referral (read:  some other model I had "enslaved" liked it so much she suggested to Ivana to call and ask if I would take her pictures too.)  She asked me how much I would charge her (even though I had not charged the friend who referred her); when I said I don't charge for photography she was very pleased.

Ivana is bright, pretty, creative, and enjoys both the process of taking pictures, and the shots that result.  I enjoy working with her.  She has no intention of ever being "a model" - she just likes modeling.  I like that in a woman.

So far we have done two shoots together, and the third will be this coming Monday.  She's looking forward to it, and I am too.

Loren

Loren was referred to me by a local modeling agency who told her I could take pictures of the kind she needed to market herself with.  I've told the agency that I don't want to do commercial test shots, but they like me and my work enough that they keep making referrals.  Apparently they find value in what I do.

As it happens, Loren's daughter is also a model, who is repped by agencies both here and in Los Angeles, and has been getting quite a bit of work.  Would I take pictures of them?  How much would I charge?  She was confused when I first said I didn't want to do it, and that if I did it I would not charge her - because I don't.  That's my policy.  It hasn't been easy to get that message understood:  she offered lots of money, sweetened the pot by telling me she had a neighbor who wanted portraits done and would pay well to have me do them . . . and I turned it down.  It wasn't what I wanted to do.

Two things happened to change that.  I got a call from the agency saying how badly they needed pictures of these two, and asking me to help.  And Loren told me she had a farm, with a barn and lots of interesting scenery, and she wanted to do location shots there.  OK, now this is sounding a lot more interesting; I told her I would do it.  Still, I insisted that I would not charge her, and would not accept "gifts" in lieu of pay because it's my policy not to.

I'm shooting Loren and her daughter tomorrow, for free.

Mea culpa. It's obvious that I am "enslaving" and "using" those models, if our interlocutor can be believed.

Let the flogging begin.

Spiros

Spiros was referred to me by a colleague who is an aficionado of Gyros sandwiches.  Spiros operates a small shop down the street from a project I am working on.  I went to Spiros' place today for lunch and ordered one of his famous Gyros with all the fixings.  He charged me $5.85 for the Gyros and fries and a medium drink.  I felt fortunate in that the same meal combo would have cost me about 8 bucks or so elsewhere.  I was happy, Spiros was happy.

However, if we are to accept the logic of a poster on another thread, then any or all of the following must be true:

1.  I took advantage of Spiros and should have paid him $8.

2.  Since Spiros isn't charging $8 for the combo, his food must suck.

3.  Spiros is a prostitute

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StudioCMC
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Photographer
Bear, Delaware
37 Posts

Top Re: TFP and me

I have my slavery session on Sunday with my muse er Master Slave on Sunday.

The one thing about the Prostitution, is that money needs to be exchanged somehow.. In order for it to be solicitation. Right?

We need some hookers in here for some clarity.. wink

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John Rayner
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Photographer
Rapid City, South Dakota
1325 Posts

Top Re: TFP and me

I shoot my bride Diane. I don't charge her. We are both happy with the shots.

1.  I took advantage of Diane and should have paid her $500/hr.

2.  Since Diane isn't charging $500/hr for her time, she must suck. We won't go there...

3.  If you call Diane a prostitute and I will pop your eyes out and skull fluck you with a toilet brush. big_smile

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Ademac Photographics
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Photographer
Berry
18 Posts

Top Re: TFP and me

I do TFP and I pay if I am being paid...........................the OP is entitled to his opinion but he can't push his ideology onto me or others.

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Emeritus
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Photographer
Las Vegas, Nevada
Lounge Host
1191 Posts

Top Re: TFP and me

Since I am the OP . . .

Ademac Photographics wrote:

I do TFP and I pay if I am being paid...........................the OP is entitled to his opinion but he can't push his ideology onto me or others.

I'm not trying to push anything on you.  I am simply saying what I do.  Other people do other things, which is just fine.

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Ademac Photographics
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Berry
18 Posts

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Sorry if you misunderstood my post............................I was refering to the poster you started the thread about.
Sorry again.............................I probably should have just said I agree with you.

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Brent Hampton
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Photographer
Wenatchee, Washington
240 Posts

Top Re: TFP and me

Right now for me  I am on dissability  and money is very tight I have a full sized truck and rairly drive it because its such a gas pig  it cripples my ability to work with models  and greatly slows my skill advancement.

I am going the route of T4CD   and looking for most anyone that will work with me but my area is not a big modeling area MI has no models listed in my area  (wenatchee wa)  and no ability to travel to other cities.  I also have no studio so ask that the shoots be done at the models home or on a location.
I would like to include up to classic nudity in my work  but will gladly work with a model regarding the content of a shoot.
so far ive did a few posts on craig  and have had a few contacts but no solid shoots yet.
I was thinking about placing flyers at our local college  and i think there might be a dance/theater center in town

Emeritus: do you or any one else have any sugestions about finding subjects to do test shoots with? there are some models on MM  (8) but i havent done a shoot so I cant place a profile there to contact them yet and most probably wouldnt be interested in working with a no experience photographer. I did contact Skylar Sandman  but she declined  and I politely moved on.
so you know my equipment level  i have a fuji 12mp bridge camera 18x zoom, tripod, 2 monotreobes softbox and reflect umbrells anda couple of halogen work lights and a few sheets for backgrounds,, I also have a large round reflector. basicly enough to  attempt many tryes of shoots. my local club is not very helpful  they are usually too busy  and clubnight they seem to just look at the same pics on their website not sure if I will bother going back, you guys have been more helpful.

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Emeritus
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Photographer
Las Vegas, Nevada
Lounge Host
1191 Posts

Top Re: TFP and me

Small world.  I used to live in Wenatchee and my brother was born there.  It's not, as you say, a good place for modeling.  Some things you could try:

1.  Camera clubs.  As I read it, you have been to a local one and it wasn't much use.  That's common.  Camera clubs tend to be populated by bug and flower shooters.  They usually aren't oriented towards model shoots.  But you could start your own.

2.  Meetup.com  is a place to try.  You may find a compatible group within your area.  If not, you can start one.

3.  Although it is reviled, and in some sensed justly so, craigslist has worked for a lot of people and is worth a try.  You just have to be careful in wording your ad so the busybodies don't zap it.

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Brent Hampton
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Photographer
Wenatchee, Washington
240 Posts

Top Re: TFP and me

it could be I just got the club at a really bad time  but I was dissheartened at the lack of support  even to answer simple questions like how much editing  they did on photos.

things would be easier if I had a studio  and  had enough money that I wouldnt have to wory about  every little trip to town for a meeting. (im actually looking to try to move into a place in town that would be closer and cost less)
I plan to take some time and go through the yellow pages  and some local event panthlets to look for potential models. in the mean time take other pictures, work on my skills, gather more equipment and props/clothes  and scout out locations.

If anyone is on model mayhem  and would be willing to drop the models near me a note letting them know about my looking for T4CD models that would be cool they might not be available but maybe they know someone or have sugestions.
brent  and the word at  nwi followed by the dot thing and net  and if you have any equipment  i might find usefull that would be amazing too everyone has to start somewhere
Thanks guys  for your help here  I really like this site and the pictures in the daily contest are wonderful  some days its really tough to choose just 1.

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Emeritus
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Photographer
Las Vegas, Nevada
Lounge Host
1191 Posts

Top Re: TFP and me

Brent, one other thing . . .

Your portfolio here is empty.  That's a big problem.  When models decide whether or not to shoot with a photographer, particularly if they are not getting paid, they want confidence that it will be worth their while.  The get that confidence by looking at the work the photographer has already done as a guide to what he is capable of.  You really need to have something for them to look at - and the better it is, the more likely models will choose to work with you.

If that means asking non-models (friends and family) to pose for you, so be it.  At least it's better than nothing.

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Brent Hampton
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Photographer
Wenatchee, Washington
240 Posts

Top Re: TFP and me

Emeritus wrote:

Brent, one other thing . . .
Your portfolio here is empty.  If that means asking non-models (friends and family) to pose for you, so be it.  At least it's better than nothing.

Thats the catch22   I can't post models until I have models to post I only know a few people and I havent convinced  them to pose for me.    so when I say i'm looking for subjects  I'm including some people I know
but I don't want to be pushy so I just bring it up occasionally and see how it is received.  for instance I have this one waitress im familiar with  she says she doesnt think she is pretty enough, she is very slightly curvy but very attractive and photogenic  I even took the opertunity when her boyfriend gave her flowers  to have her pose for a few quick snapshots so she had a positive experience from that.  I would really prefer to do my first shoots with someone im familiar with because they will be kind and patient and we allready have a repore and some trust.
I talked to a model yesterday sadly she is far too busy for modeling to be a priority but there is a small shoot opertunity we might do on the 19th,, She and her husband are getting dressed for a party and want some shots  so we will see.

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SLE Photography
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Photographer
Arnold, Maryland
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2567 Posts

Top Re: TFP and me

brent847 wrote:

If anyone is on model mayhem  and would be willing to drop the models near me a note letting them know about my looking for T4CD models that would be cool they might not be available but maybe they know someone or have sugestions.

That's not likely to happen because it's a violation of MM rules.  If someone does that for you & a model reports it, then the person helping you out would lose their account.

BTW, you might not want to post your email like that, scammers use programs that sweep for things like that & then send you SPAM.

If you can't edit, I can fix it for you.

I am a Model Insider site admin, please feel free to PM me with any site related issues, or for faster response contact our team via the Helpdesk

James Glendinning / SilverLight Esoterica Photography / SLE Photography

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Brent Hampton
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Photographer
Wenatchee, Washington
240 Posts

Top Re: TFP and me

ah  no i didn't know that would be a violation   I will just continue plugging along  something should happen soon.
LOL I can allways hold up some cardboard by the highway.

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John Rayner
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Photographer
Rapid City, South Dakota
1325 Posts

Top Re: TFP and me

brent847 wrote:

LOL I can allways hold up some cardboard by the highway.

That is one I haven't tried.

"Will shoot for Release".