TFP Australia is an online community designed to enabled creatives from a range of fields to network, communicate, and ultimately work together to create content they can use to promote themselves. And all for free. Learn more from our FAQs below.
What is TFP (Time for Prints)?
“Time for Prints” (also sometimes called “Trade for Prints”, or “Prints for Time”) is an arrangement between creative professionals where they agree to collaborate together for free on a creative endeavour in exchange for the ability to use the outcomes of that endeavour to further their career.
Typically, a TFP arrangement is between a model and a photographer, where they each donate their time and skills to create photographs that both of them then have permission to use to promote themselves. No one is expected to earn money directly from the photographs produced.
TFP is a traditional and industry-recognised arrangement, and has been extended to include other creatives such as videographers, Hair and Make-up artists and stylists.
Read more about TFP here: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Time_for_print
So is it just about working for free?
TFP is a mutual collaboration. It’s not free labour. It’s about two or more creatives donating their particular skills in a single collaboration that they are then permitted to use for self-promotion.
The work created is not intended to be for-profit. No one is expected to profit directly from the work produced during the collaboration. However, if either party to the collaboration earns money from the work produced, they are expected to share that money with the other parties that contributed.
Even though no money is expected to be earned directly from the work created, both parties are able to use the work for their own self-promotion.
Who's the boss? Who is the client?
As a mutual collaboration, a TFP session is a team effort, where all parties are equal.
Having said that, it may be that one of the parties initiated the collaborative effort for a specific reason – such as producing images of a certain genre or style. In agreeing to the collaboration, all parties should be clear about their goals, their intentions, and what they hope to get out of the process. That way, everyone should be clear about the session before they agree to take part.
No one is expected to do more than they have offered, or to participate in something they are uncomfortable with.
What sort of work can be done under a TFP arrangement?
Technically, there is no limit to the nature of the work that can be done. While TFP has traditionally been used for simple still photography shoots requiring only a few hours of work, the same arrangement can be used to create more complex still shoots, short films, and other creative works.
However, TFP is about donating time, so most TFP arrangements tend to be for shorter engagements of less than half a day.
Because TFP is designed to be a mutually beneficial arrangement, it should never be used as a means to engage free labour on a job for profit. Neither party should profit directly from the work produced under a TFP. If profit is generated, then it should be shared, or the other parties compensated under professional rates.
What sort of creatives use TFP?
TFP has traditionally been used for simple still photography shoots by people starting out in their creative careers, or by people wishing to expand their skills or experiment with new styles or ideas.
That may mean that many people using TFP arrangements are amateurs, or at least not yet fully professional. That’s not always the case, and it also doesn’t mean they’re not skilled at what they do.
Because TFP is not used for paid or commercial work, it can often be more creative and more experimental. There is no paying customer with a set of rules or guidelines that must be followed, so there are no restrictions on style, content, or approach.