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Top ridiculous things TFCD models do

Most photographers, like me, started off portrait photography by doing TFCD shoot.

I have my fair shares of dealing with ridiculous things that some of these "models" do. Even when I have a solid portfolio, most of these models will still continue to give problems. Perhaps, when thing comes for free, people will tend to appreciate it less.

Unfortunately, many of them don't have basic common sense.

  1. No clear recent photographs
    Imagine you're a photographer and someone approaches you to collaborate, and yet you cannot figure out her looks, how would you determine if that person is worth your time and effort? What's more is if you're a professional photographer?

    I had encountered someone approaching me, telling me she used to be a model with an agency but she couldn't even produce any old modelling photograph. I totally had no idea how this supermodel actually looked like.
  2. Reply slow
    It takes lots of time to discuss over a shoot. Before and during the actual discussion, photographers may inject some casual chats to build up the trust. Therefore, if the model replies slowly, it will take forever to do the shoot.
  3. Insist for only fashion shoot
    The most common kind of shoot is "fashion shoot", which will not help much in portfolios because models, photographers and HMUAs need to demonstrate that they are versatile. If a model is given a good chance to do something creative with a good photographer and yet she only wants to do Garden Shoot, she's wasting the chance and being selfish to the photographer.
  4. Refuse to disclose contact number
    In Singapore, one of the most commonly used chat applications is WhatsApp and it's much more convenient than other platforms and messengers. It requires the actual contact number of a user in order to add him/her. Models can approach photographers in different social media platforms or even forums, which may not have very user-friendly chatting platforms. Some models somehow refuse to share their numbers to discuss via WhatsApp.
  5. Refuse to share pictures of outfits
    For most TFCD shoots, the models have to provide their own outfits. If the photographers don't know what the models have, it's impossible to think of anything. Most photographers are also male and don't know a lot about women's clothes. There are times the models would boast, "Just tell me what you want and I will find it in my wardrobe", but they are actually pure lazy.
  6. Behave like clients
    TFCD models can be more demanding than clients, partly because they are already being spoiled by other "photographers" who are trying very hard to get in between the legs of the models. While clients follow photographers' rules (service agreement), some TFCD models may demand more.

    The most common demand from such TFCD models is to get back the photographs fast. If a professional photographer tells his potential clients that they will only get back their paid photographs within two or three months, how fast should the models expect? Of course, there are many amateur photographers who can even produce the final work within the same day.
  7. Give only bad timings for outdoor shoot
    For a studio shoot that's well blocked from the sun, the photographer can set up artificial lighting and not worry about any harsh sunlight. However, for an outdoor shoot, especially with no shelter/shade, timing is very important, even if the photographer has powerful lighting.

    When I was new, I worked with a model who was featured in Singapore's FHM magazine. She postponed the shoot twice, and eventually gave me a bad timing in the early afternoon. It was a good opportunity to get a hot model for my portfolio and thus I tried to accustom to her, partly because I wasn't experience enough and didn't know the fieriness of such terrible sun. Since she was late and yet in a rush, I didn't even try setting up my speedlite with umbrella in order to save time. The sunlight was harsh and in order to avoid it, I got some overexposed background while lighting on her face was flat.

    Every now and then, there are still people who will give me very bad timing for shoot that even with my upgraded equipment, I know I can never take good photographs. However, to them, photographers are supposed to do magic. Why not? If they can raise their budget to add more equipment and manpower, why not?
  8. Oversleep/late for shoot
    This happens a lot for early morning shoots.

    I'm a night owl and I usually sleep right before sunrise, which means that for early morning shoots, I may only sleep for one or two hours. If I could wake up to board the first train, why can't the model who's getting a free shoot from a professional photographer?
  9. Reject photographs
    In the commercial world, most models have no say. If the model thinks the photographer has a bad judgment of photographs, why should the model work with the photographer? Rejecting photographs chosen and edited by the photographer is directly insulting him.

    When I was new, a TFCD model made me travel to the commercial makeup artist's house to go through the bikini photographs together. After the photographs were done, the model rejected all the full body photographs just because she wasn't confident of her legs, even after the assurance of the very experienced commercial makeup artist.

    I had also encountered a few TFCD models who, only after the shoot, told me not to upload the photographs. I wasn't dating them by doing TFCD shoots like what many "photographers" might be doing and I had already told them beforehand that the shoots were meant for my portfolio and social media. One of them gave me the reason that she didn't want her boyfriend to know she had done a photoshoot, not even a fully clothed decent fashion shoot. There was also an instance that the model's excuses to leave out some of the tastefully taken boudoir photographs was she didn't want anyone to know that she was topless (but covered) alone with a guy inside her room, although both her parents were at home. Besides, she already had a few such photographs posted on her public Instagram account.


You may like to read:
- TFP/TFCD Tips for Models & Photographers
- TFP/TFCD Photoshoot in Singapore
- Misconceptions and myths in professional photography
- Ways to insult a professional photographer
- Clients from hell



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