Different types of Photo Shoots

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1 Paid shoots Model:

where the photographer pays the model and has complete use of the images and the model is not entitled to any images or use of same.(some photographers may pass on some images or samples but require that they not be used / published anywhere else).

This also involves the model signing a model release for a particular magazine or use, or an open release, which may eventually allow the photographer to recover the model fees spent.

As well photographic evidence of age (18+) may also be required. In this case the photographer takes all the chances.

2. Paid shoots Photographer:

where the model pays the photographer for the shoot and a certain number of images. The number of images and / or prints and also whether they are airbrushed or not needs to be settled on and agreed to brfore the shoot.

Theoretically the copyright of these images for a private purpose (just as with a wedding, family portraits) should be with the model.

Some photographers want to be paid for doing the images and want to keep the copyright for those images as well and so they get the model to sign the rights and possibly a model release, giving those copyrights back to the photographer. This way the photographer still has control over how images can be used and can also make more money from possible reprints.

Depending on the model release signed the photographer may also be able to sell those images commercially without any further payment to the model or any right of redress by the model.

(I find that unethical, but it seems to be prevalent and many models are too uneducated to realise this. Imagine commissioning and paying an an artist to paint your portrait and then finding they want to inspect how you hang the portrait and also want to stop you from selling the portrait elsewhere.)

These are more or less makeover shots that you would get from specialist studios in some large shopping centres although they do use some images for advertising but are probably unlikely to try and sell images elsewhere as it would be bad publicity for their business.

3. Trial shoots / Speculative shoots / Commissioned shoots:

where the photographer and model agree to shoot for a magazine or other purpose without either being paid up front and sometimes sharing some expenses of the shoot.

a) Trial Shoot:

(i) a short shoot meant to provide some images to send to an editor / magazine for preapproval for possible publication.
(ii) May also be used to see if model and photographer can work well together for possible future paid shoots or to see if the model can perform to the expectations / requirements of the intended use of the images.
(iii) An excuse for a free shoot with as many models as possible under the pretence that the models will get future paid work.

The model should not have to sign a model release for test shoots and they should not be used other than for their intended pre-agreed purpose. Some photographers may provide an agreement where the protections for the model and image use are specifically stated.

Commissioned Shoot

where the magazine has agreed to the photographer shooting a set of images to be published and guaranteeing a payment . (although there have been instances where this has changed in either amount of payment or decision not to take the set and no payment)

Speculative Shoot

In this case both model and photographer are gambling that they will be able to both get some pay from the magazine / client if accepted / published.

It seems to be a norm which I do not feel comfortable with as often it is the photographer asking the model to gamble, and in my case I would feel that I had to ensure that the model did get something should the venture fail.

Spec shoots could also be seen as a TFP with a commercial end in mind and if payment does not occur, at least both photographer and model get images.

A problem can occur here in that sometimes magazines (People /Picture) pay the photographer and model separately while in others the payment goes to the photographer and they are supposed to pass on a payment to the model which may or may not happen.

In Commissioned and speculative shoots the model should sign model releases for the magazines or purposes the images are intended for.

They should not sign an open release for the photographer to use unless they can trust the photographer to pass on payments to the model should they eventually be sold. (This should be evidenced from previous examples). Otherwise the model is giving permission to use said images in anyway and for commercial gain without the model being compensated.

4. TFP (Time for Prints) / TFCD (Time for CD) TFI (Time for Images):

shoots where both photographer and model agree to shoot on a certain theme / styles and where both get access to and are able to use images from the shoot usually for a non commercial purpose. No money changes hand here. Expenses of the shoot may or may not be shared.

Once again you need to find out about the conditions as they are as varied as the photographers.

a ) In the ideal situation both the photographer and model get a full set of full size images that both can use and change / arrange as each pleases. These may be the basic unedited images or all may be edited and photoshopped although that is as rare as hens teeth considering that it may take about 5-20 minutes per image for photoshopping so with say 200 images in a 3 hour shoot that would take anywhere from 16 hours to 64 hours to do. ( Some photographers claim that they spend up to 40 hours processing an image - is that time a measure of their inefficiency , or the mistakes they have to correct.)

b) the model gets all images from the shoot but not full sized and a small number of her choice airbrushed (approx 5 - 40).

c) the model gets a selection of images of her choice from the shoot and they are airbrushed (5-40).

d) the model gets a selection of images of the photographers choice and they are airbrushed (5-40). They may or may not be ones that the model wants or likes.

I regard this as the worst situation but some of the "great in their own eyes" photographers get away with that. They do not want to have any bad images out there of their own work.

Of course it is possible that models may have bad images that the models don't like out there from different photographers choices.

(one could ask how these great photographers take bad images that could be released. Also I believe models and photographers and others should be assessed on what they place in their own folios, not the possibel bad shots that may be floating around out there.)


e) the model only gets whatever images were promised after 6-18 months when she has changed her look and the images are not really current enough for her folio.

f) the model does not get any images at all and the photographer either ignores all communications or disappears.

TFP also has another problem where say the model wants to get some swimwear and lingerie shots for her folio and the photographer wants to get some portraits and formal images.

They could do two shoots of equal time for these images, first for the models requirements and then second shoot for the photographers requirements.

Or if they try to shoot for both requirements in the one shoot it may be that the photographer takes their time shooting 40 minutes of each hour for the formal and portraits and only 20 min for the models swimwear /lingerie - an uneven arrangement.

If both want almost exactly the same thing / images then there should not be much of a problem. But this is where honest and complete communication is necessary.

Along with this there may be some other restrictions placed by some photographers, eg. models not allowed to resize, change colours or otherwise change the image supplied. Images provided at so low a resolution that only good for web and cannot be made into decent sized prints, to do so the photographer charges $20 upwards.

TFP/TFI is heavily weighted in favour of the photographer (except when models flake) so model's need to communicate and find out exactly what they are getting for their time and preparation.


5. TFT (Time for Time):

a relatively new concept where the shoot is split up into equal time segments (or two shoots) where in 1st segment (A) the photographer shoots exactly what the model wants, the second segment (B) they shoot exactly what the photographer wants and this alternates or continues in a mutually agreeable way. At the end the model gets just her images and gets them full size and has total rights and copyright over those images while the photographer gets their images and has full ownership and copyright over those images. Both can use the images for commercial or any other usage. Once again no money changes hands. This idea has not been readily accepted by most photographers as they like to control THEIR images at all times and almost regard them as a mother regards her baby.

However once you have shot over 200 000 images the earlier images have less significance as you keep learming and improving your craft. As well do you really want all those images that a model has wanted that you have no real care for at all.