TFP / TFCD Photoshoot in Singapore
- What is TFP or TFCD photoshoot?
- Purposes of this TFCD page
- TFCD/TFP Photoshoot with Skai
- Details required from models
- Terms and Conditions
- Reasons you should not work with Skai
- Some stories
#1: What is TFP or TFCD photoshoot?
TFCD means Time for Compact Disk (CD) and TFP means Time for Print. Some people may use "trade" or "test" instead of "time" or even reverse it like PFT (Print for Time). Both TFCD and TFP have similar meaning, such that the photographer, model, stylist, makeup artist, hairstylist and fashion designer would work together (trade their time) in a project for free to help building up their portfolios or simply for self interest. Basically, it is a collaboration shoot. At the minimal, the photographer and model would take up all the roles.
In the past, the photographer might give the model printouts (hardcopy photographs) for TFP photoshoot, while a compact disk (CD) for TFCD photoshoot. However, with the improvement in technology nowadays, many photographers would prefer sending the final work through the internet, such as email or Facebook. Therefore, nobody should expect to receive a printout or CD even though they are doing "TFCD" or "TFP" photoshoot. Some TFCD photographers may be dying to meet up with the models again and thus insist on providing a CD.
The model needs not be a professional or aspiring model nor require any modelling experience, same goes for the other parties. No one should demand for any remuneration, not even for food or transportation; if one party demands for "transportation fee", it is no longer considered a TFCD shoot. The number of photographs given by the photographer is to be discussed between the team. Some photographers may give all unedited photographs to the models but good (in skill) and decent photographers would usually give a couple of well processed photographs.
You may be interested to read: TFP / TFCD Tips for Models & Photographers
#2: Purposes of this TFCD page
I've spent lots of time and effort in writing and updating (very frequently) this page for big reasons.
I started off with zero knowledge but I'm lucky that a very experienced commercial makeup artist has been guiding me on everything, including the rights of photographers and proper ground rules; therefore, I've a good head start.
However, through my years of encounters with various makeup artists, made-up artists, models and "models" who have approached me, I can see that there's a very unhealthy trend for TFCD shoot. It's likely due to their previous experiences in casual shoots that have given them the wrong knowledge and expectations. Many people are not cooperating well in the planning phase and they also have many unreasonable demands.
I believe most people do not mean any harm but they do insult photographers unintentionally.
Reduce number of weird "models" approaching me
I receive requests for TFCD shoots frequently. My time is flexible but extremely tight, to the extent that I have to turn down clients sometimes, apart from replying them late.
Whenever a "model" approaches me for TFCD shoot, I have to spend a lot of time looking through her social media and discussing with her while determining her character, style and expectation. Therefore, everyone who approaches me will take up a lot of my time regardless whether we do go ahead with the shoot or not. Besides, I can get soft-hearted easily and thus I have to "get rid of" unsuitable models before they contact me.
When I mention "weird", I literally mean it, especially in term of attitude. Browse around my website or ask me directly for the stories, and you will understand why I have to defer people from approaching me.
As I pile up with more information, including requirements, here, I have successfully reduced the number of enquiries even though my portfolio and marketing are improving tremedously. The length of this page may have also driven away many potential models who can help me to create very good work - I cannot help it.
Reduce redundant typing work and be consistent
Whenever any model approaches me, I will give the URL of this page to her directly and this has thus saved me from typing the rules and procedure over and over again. Moreover, this page will prevent me from missing out any important point.
Avoid wasting anyone's time
Since I have stated the rules clearly, the model can go away if she does not agree with them. It's absolutely a waste of time for models to contact me and realise we have different views halfway through the discussion.
Avoid any miscommunication/misunderstanding
The clear rules will help prevention of such problem. I try to stay as friends with people who approach me, especially those I get to work with. It's better for us to remain as strangers than to fall out during the process - before, during or after the shoot.
#3: TFCD/TFP Photoshoot with Skai Chan
I'm a freelance photographer who makes money through taking photographs for clients. My portfolio is sufficient to showcase the quality of my work. Due to extreme time constraint, I'm only doing limited and selective TFCD photoshoots that can benefit me.
My goals for doing TFCD Photoshoot
My two main goals are for marketing and creating art work.
My main purpose for doing TFCD photoshoot is for marketing. I will post the new work to my website and social media or even use them to take part in competition. I'm expecting the team to tag me when they upload the photographs on their social media profiles as well, which will showcase my talent to their followers.
In order for the photographs to go viral easier, I'm looking at more interesting or artsy themes, which may be sexy in nature.
One type of art work I'm looking at is boudoir shoot. Many clients who have the real spending power are young or middle-aged adults who want to keep the photographs as memory before they turn old. Therefore, I'm looking forward to create more boudoir albums in order to showcase to potential clients.
Creating art work
My greatest interest in portrait photography is on art photoshoots, which is more unique and challenging to do. The usual kind of Garden Shoot will not benefit any professional photographer, except those who are simply looking for a date with the model. The usual clients would request for other types of photoshoots, such as fashion, corporate and wedding, and thus there's no logic for me to do TFCD photoshoot for those normal themes. Since most clients would rather pay me more in order for me to keep the photographs private for art shoot, I'm more in need of models who allow me to showcase my talent in art work to the public.
I can't describe my ideas in full details in my modelling casting calls because I do not want others to pick up and do before me.
Ease of work
Whether it's a paid or collaboration (TFCD) shoot, I would definitely do my best to create a masterclass work to be showcased on my portfolio.
While everyone can appear pretty in photographs with the help of a very good hair and makeup artist, and good planning of the shoot by the photographer, it depends on the looks to determine the effort to be spent. For TFCD shoot, I'm looking for good-looking models so that I can produce beautiful photographs easily, especially without the help of any hair and makeup artist.
After all, there are many aspiring models approaching me for collaboration work and thus I have to be very selective on the looks of the model.
I have written many tips and articles related to photography. For some articles, I need specific illustrations. For examples, I need to display the before and after Photoshop photographs to demonstrate what is professional photo-editing and I also want to show people what is fashion gone wrong. There are many topics I wish to touch on but I need the photographs, which will require brave souls to take up.
Try/practise new shooting style or equipment
There are countless different shooting styles and equipment (lenses and light modifiers). They require hands-on to try out in order to understand and get used to.
Test "new" hair and make-up artists
I practise cautious and will at least have a test shoot with the hair and make-up artists (HMUA) before introducing them to clients. This will help to discover the make-up artists' skill and attitudes.
Help potential models and make-up artists
You can call me busybody but it's my habit to try to help others within my capability. Of course, I will only help people who really deserve it in term of their attitude. What I can do is to produce the quality of work to improve their portfolio while giving them some exposure.
Make friends of same interest
No man is an island and we need friends who share the same interest. I have enjoyed working with most of the people who have spent effort in creating art work with me. People who have worked with me will understand my true passion in the art. We may not be free to keep in touch but the photographs do remind us of the beautiful moments.
Learn new things (photography and others)
No one knows everything. I have been picking up knowledge of all kind even from amateurs. Therefore, for every TFCD project, I'm looking forward to learn more things, including things that are not related to photography.
Talents I would work with
The person must have reasonable level of IQ and EQ, and is open-minded.
Opportunities are open to:
Read requirements at: volunteer as a model
Hair & Makeup artists (HMUAs)
Read requirements at: hair and makeup artists (HMUA) in Singapore
Read requirements at: photographer assistants needed
- Fashion designers / Wardrobe sponsors
Benefits of working with Skai
My mentor, Tricia Lee, is an experienced professional commercial makeup artist who has taught me to look out for flaws in the photographs. Both of us have a high standard for artistic/tasteful photographs, and thus no sexy theme will become porn-like. In contrast, many "photographers" have produced low quality sexy photographs that have printed negative thoughts on the shoot.
Quality of photographs
I will be doing advanced editing to the photographs like what I will do for commercial standard, which may take hours for each individual photograph. You will be able to get some decent quality photographs if you can cooperate fully with me. You can judge the quality from my portfolio and compare them with other photographers' work. At least, clients are willing to pay me to have their photographs taken by me.
I do not force any model to do anything that is obviously dangerous.
You want to feel safe no matter how much or little you are going to wear during the shoot. I have heard stories from models about what many "photographers" try to do during the shoot. I'm a guy but I know how to respect my models. I do not even touch my models to pose them during the shoot - you can verify this with the models who have worked with me before. What I'm eyeing for is to produce good art work.
I will send you the photographs, as a form of respect, before I upload them anywhere, unless you don't reply to my text fast (within a day) or even go MIA somehow.
If you happen to shoot with any blacklisted photographer, people who see the photographs may be wondering what may have happened during the shoot and your reputation is at stake. On the other hand, the artsy photographs would definitely improve your reputation.
I'll also try to do a write-up on the album, which may help you.
No blaming game
There're many factors contributing to the success of a shoot and often, unforeseeable problems may surface, including bad weather. Even if our photoshoot doesn't turn out well due to you lacking experience, you won't be blamed if you've cooperated with me. That means, for examples, you should have done things such as sending photographs of you in the outfits during planning phase and turning up on time for the actual shoot.
Do note that I will be including the mistakes/problems encountered into my articles, without stating name, for educational purposes. I don't mean to insult or blame anyone.
I will rope in people who have worked with me before (and can click) for any commercial project in future. Of course, if I were to get paid for any project, I will not let my team-mates go home empty-handed.
You request for a shoot with me only if you:
- Are fascinated by my art work
- Trust my (2) professionalism and character
- Trust my ability in delivering excellent and unique work
If you think other photographers can produce similar or better work, kindly not waste my time because you are likely not going to put in enough effort even for the (long and tedious) discussion. Besides, those photographers can probably do many things just to please you.
#4: Details required from models
To understand your physical looks, character, intelligence level, preferences, availability and whether you can fit into any shoot that I'm looking for, please provide me with the following details/items immediately:
(You may copy and paste them and include your answers by the side or below each item.)
1. Do you agree to the terms and conditions?
2. Will your boyfriend/husband and family be concerned of you doing the shoot? 3. Your purpose of doing the shoot (e.g. just for fun or for modelling portfolio).
4. Your age.
5. Your height and weight.
6. Your full body vital statistics.
7. Your home location.
8. Your makeup and hair-styling skill.
9. Your experience in modelling.
10. Themes that you are interested in (if applicable).
11. The portrait album(s) of mine you like most.
12. Your restrictions (e.g. no nude, implied nude, lingerie, swimwear, low-cut, short bottom... etc).
13. Your recent (1) full body and (2) closed-up photographs with (if you know) and without makeup.
14. Links to your social media profiles that are viewable.
15. Your dates of availablity.
16. Your contact number for WhatsApp.
17. What do you like and hate about your looks?
18. How would working with you benefit me in my photography? (eg. you're pretty, versatile, easygoing, popular... etc. There's no right or wrong answer.)
19. Do you intend to have just a shoot with me or more than one shoots?
20. Have you and are you going to contact other photographer(s)?
- If I can't get a clear picture of your looks (figure and naked face), I can't decide on anything.
- If you don't dare to show me your naked face, you're probably looking too horrible for any photographer to shoot.
- If I don't get to see (not imagine through your description) your outfits, I can't decide on the theme/style.
- If you approach me without providing the details/items above, I may mistake you as a weirdo and ignore you. You can carry on with your compliments for me but it will not help in determine your eligibility.
#5: Terms and Conditions
You can spend 10 minutes to read and understand these rules for doing TFCD photoshoot with Skai, or you can spend 10 hours finding excuses to defend yourself when problem arises.
These terms and conditions are included to:
1) Help you to receive the best art work possible.
2) Protect my rights as the photographer.
3) Not damage the professional photography industry.
4) Avoid any misunderstanding.
By doing TFCD photoshoot with me, you agree to the following terms and conditions:
1. All Phases:
- Contract. Both verbal and digital agreements to the terms and conditions stated on this page are legal contracts between us, without the need of physical document. All our digital conversations will also be kept.
- Consent. If you are under the age of 21, you need to get the consent of your parent or guardian before agreeing to shoot with me.
- Cancellation by me. I will cancel the shoot, at any point of time, if I cannot tolerate your working style or attitude, or lack of trust in me or if you feel uncomfortable with me in any way. I will also cancel the shoot if you do not agree to any arrangement, including the theme.
- Cancellation by you. You can cancel the shoot at any point of time as well by informing me directly. However, it will reflect on your character since you already know the rules and my character and working style - all written on this website - before you decide to shoot with me. Remember that it takes up lots of my time and effort to plan, including the initial discussion with you.
- Slow replies. If you take ages (over 24 hours) to reply messages, you may not get any reply after that.
- No reply. If you stop replying me suddenly instead of updating me directly that you are not keen in the shoot anymore, you will be blacklisted.
- Priority. You place our shoot as top priority and not change the date and time due to your last minute stuff like lesson (piano or driving etc) or your brother wants you to accompany him - unless your grandma is giving birth.
- Do not tell me to Photoshop. Professional photographers put things correct at the shoot to reduce Photoshop work. If you have a scar or pimple that makeup cannot cover completely, it is fine. However, if you, for examples, use a bra with transparent/translucent straps or wear a shorts under your skirt that will somehow be visible easily, do not waste my time.
- You will be judged. I may also be discussing about your looks and attitude with my team (most likely, a HMUA) to determine if you are suitable for any theme or even suitable to do the shoot with us. We will also share views throughout the shoot, including both positive and negative stuffs, to improve on future shoots and decide if we should work with you again. We are not obliged to share any detail with you because some truths may hurt.
- Keep the conversations between you and me. Throughout, I may be sharing stories about my previous shoots and I may talk about the people whom I have worked with. You do not share any comment from me with anyone, not even if he/she is involved in our shoot, since stories/jokes may accidentally be twisted.
- No commercial work. I don't hurt the photography industry by doing free commercial work, including if a company sponsors you an apparel that you are required to take a photograph and upload to your social media account or blog. The penalty will be you paying me twice the amount of my photography services for the entire shoot. Informing me about it during the shoot or after I block off the date and time for the shoot will amount to the same fee to be paid to me.
2. Planning Phase:
- Providing information. If you refuse to give me information such as your contact number for WhatsApp discussion, you can have your privacy by being your own photographer.
- Judging you. Show me your photographs, preferably Facebook, to find out your style and personality. If I cannot even see your looks (face and full body) to judge properly, it shows your intelligence.
- Restriction. Let me know of any concern and restriction, including the terms stated here. For example, if you are highly allergic to grass or dust, or you cannot swim, let me know.
- Your escort. Strictly no male companion. If you need to bring a female escort along for the shoot, let me know immediately when you contact me. You can bring along a female friend but she has to be useful enough to assist you at least in tidying up your hair and securing my equipment, such as light stand and modifier from the wind. Do not behave like she is a real escort because that can be an insult to my character and professionalism.
- Theme and location. You are very welcome to suggest some themes and location but I have the final say. If you have done certain genre, theme or concept with another photographer or "photographer" before and you reject my proposal, you can go back to the same person instead.
- Date and time. Preferably on a weekday. Time of shoot should not fall between 10am and 3pm, unless we are doing an indoor (eg. studio) shoot. For morning shoot, we may have to begin right after sunrise and for afternoon shoot, we may have to begin around two hours before sunset. Therefore, if a professional HMUA is involved, the styling for morning shoot will begin in the early morning.
- Building trust. Read about me, this page and look at my portrait photography portfolio to know both my working and shooting style. You are likely able to judge my character through my portfolio and writing as well.
- Video Chat. I may request you for a video chat for easier discussion and to reduce awkwardness during the actual shoot since we haven't even met before. If you're too shy for a virtual meet-up, you're probably too shy for the shoot.
- Knowing your taste. Tell me your favourite album(s) of mine and show me some other people's photographs that you like for me to understand your taste. However, do not expect me to produce the same style work.
- Availability of hair and makeup artist. If a hair and makeup artist (HMUA) is available, you have to work with her instead of doing your own, no matter how good you think your own makeup skill is.
- Mentioning of your name and other details. I will try to do a write-up about the shoot before uploading the final photographs to my website and social media. If you have issue with me indicating your full name or even real name, or other details when I upload the photographs after post-production, let me know before we proceed with the discussion.
- Selection of outfit(s). You may suggest some outfits but I make the final decision. If you have uploaded a photo of any piece of outfit in your social media or have used it for any photoshoot, you do not turn me down if I find it suitable for our shoot. For example, if you have done a bikini shoot with another photographer or "photographer" before, you do not reject me if I'm interested in using bikini for our shoot.
- Show your outfit(s). Most of the time, there's no sponsor and thus you have to provide your own outfit. You have to show me and the makeup artist (if available) what you have in order to decide the most suitable one(s). You put on the outfit(s) and snap a full body (including your face) photograph each for me. Don't ask me to visualise how the outfits will look on you. It is also to avoid (repeated) cases of miscommunication or last minute realisation of missing outfits.
- No bra with transparent straps. Strictly no bra with transparent/translucent straps.
- Push-up bra. Depending on the outfit, if you have a push-up bra, use it.
- No revealing of bra and underwear. Not even by accident due to movement during shoot. If it is not intended (eg. lingerie, glamour or sporty theme with sports bra or racerback bra), no part of your bra or underwear should be exposed during the shoot. For any bareback or sleeveless outfit, such as spaghetti, tank top or tube, you do not wear any bra that come with straps. You may use strapless bra, stick-on bra (adhesive/nude bra) or nipple sticker, as long as they will not be shown easily as you move about during the shoot. For V neck outfit, you may consider using plunge bra. Safety pants may be useful for certain clothes/themes like cheerleader's wear but they have to be very short, or otherwise, keep it to panty.
- Bodycon/figure-hugging outfits. For bodycon/figure-hugging clothes, use seamless bra and panty. You may also consider using nipple stickers or nude bra if necessary. Make sure the bra and underwear is similar colour to your skin or outfit. Depending on the material and theme, you may prefer to not use any bra or/and panty. For certain glamour themes, you may also use g-string.
- Braless. If the theme requires, the outfit would look better or you do not have a strapless bra, nude bra or nipple tape, you may go braless, prior to agreement of the team.Read: Fashion disasters for portrait photoshoots
4. Before shooting:
- Personal grooming. Take care of your personal hygiene and grooming - nails, complexion, eyebrows etc. Sleep early the night before to be in tip top condition and your skin will be able to absorb makeup better.
- Hair and Makeup. If a hair and makeup artist is involved, you may need to go in naked face to avoid wasting of time to remove your own makeup; else, you have to put on at least basic makeup by yourself. I emphasize a lot on eyebrows. Your hair has to be dry for hairstyling - make sure you shower earlier.
- Presence of third party. I will inform you before the shoot if my assistant and/or makeup artist, if available, will be tagging along. I will try to keep the team to all female to avoid any uneasiness for you (and I), but there is no guarantee to this since most of my friends who drive are male and they can help to carry my equipment. If we are doing any indoor shooting and none of my female assistants is available, I may request you to bring along a female friend of yours.
- Avoid bra marks. For example, if you are going to wear a tube top/dress for the shoot, you must not wear a bra with straps that may leave marks on your shoulders for hours.
5. During shooting:
- Duration. You have to set aside at least four hours for the actual shoot, excluding makeup and hairstyling. Of course, we can end the shoot earlier if things go very well.
- Model release form. At the beginning of the shoot, you may be required to sign a model release form, which is mainly for you to acknowledge all rights of the photographs belong to me even though it is a common knowledge that photographers own the rights and agreements in digital form is also a contract. This will eliminate all disputes in future and such that I will not be wasting my time to do the shoot.
- Positive mindset. You have to trust the concept/outfit and also be confident of yourself, else your expression will spoil the photographs. If you think the concept/outfit is weird and will not work, you have to voice out during the planning phase.
- Your suggestions. My working style is exploring and sharing of ideas. You are very welcome to make suggestion but not demand.
- Be accommodating. You are expected to walk as we find good spots at the site. You are expected to sit, squat, kneel or lie down - do not complain about getting dirty or drenched unless you have voiced out before the shoot.
- Looking at you. It's my job to look at you from a close distance from head to top, from time to time, to spot any error. Errors can be tiny strands of hair on your forehead or even misalignment of your bra or your underwear showing out. These errors may cost me additional hours of Photoshop time for each photograph and in many cases, the photograph(s) can't be saved.
- Body contact. We stay professional. My female HMUA or assistant will assist you in posing and may have limited body contact with you. If there's no third party around and given any necessary situation, I will be the one adjusting your hair and outfit. If you verbally grant me permission to adjust your poses, I may use the back of my hand to do it; but most of the time, I would rather give up the pose if I'm very certain that we have already gotten some excellent photographs.
- Sneak preview. You can look at the photographs on my camera if both time and my camera's battery permit. I may even request you to see to improve on your posture/expression or build your confidence during the shoot. Some photographs may look nice on the small LCD screen but when we zoom in on large monitors, your expression may be bad or maybe it's a test shot (eg. for camera setting, composition or lighting).
- No demand for any photograph. You cannot make any request, demand or whatever term you would use to make me send you any photograph just because you think it is nice or whatever. We may take a few hundreds of photographs and there may be a dozen of good ones, but I will only choose the best few that are nice and also suit the theme/concept most.
6. After shooting:
- Third person viewing of photographs. Photographs may be vetted through by my post-production team (eg. a makeup artist) even if she is not involved in the shoot.
- Wait for final photographs. You do not chase me for the photographs if you are not paying me. It may take up to a month or longer to process the photographs, especially if no professional hair and makeup hair artist is involved or if you do not have fantastic complexion. I will not give any promise that would make me rush out some unsatisfactory work. Obviously I also want to finish the photographs fast and move on to collaborate with other models. Unfortunately, it is difficult to schedule shooting projects and thus some may fall into same period of time - do expect to wait longer. I have my work and other paid shoots, which will take higher priority than TFCD shoot. Do not ask me to make exception to send you one or two photographs soon for whatever reason.
- No expectation in quality of products. Do not have any expectation of the products - different people have different taste in arts. Do not tell me to re-edit any photograph to your liking when you choose to trust me in the first place by working with me.
- Number of edited photographs. Around one to six. This is roughly around one to two photographs for each outfit if we are doing fashion shoot for three outfits. I will try to provide more photographs if the quality (not too much editing work is needed) is good and time permits. In cases that your makeup, hair or expression is not up to standard and beyond my limited Photoshop skill to touch up, I will try to give you a few "behind-the-scene" photographs for your personal keepsake instead.
- No raw photograph. Only the edited photographs in JPG format with watermark (copyright) embedded will be given to you, via online download.
- Case studies. I'll be using the problems faced throughout to educate people.
7. After receiving photographs:
- No editing of photograph. You do not edit any of the photographs in any way. You may be a designer or somehow have knowledge in Lightroom or PhotoShop, you do not insult my work. Do not add any filter by using any APPs, such as Instagram or Mei Tu Xiu Xiu.
- No cropping of photograph. You do not crop any of the photographs in any way. If you are posting any photograph in Instagram, click on the feature to upload picture of the original ratio. If the photograph is in portrait orientation and Instagram has limitation in displaying the full length of it, do use an APP to add borders or make it square before uploading it.
- Copyright. I own all rights to all photographs (RAW and edited) taken and will put them up online, such as this website, as my portfolio, or submit them for competition. You have no rights to reject or make me remove any photograph at any point of time.
- Credit everyone. Credit to everyone involved, including the HMUA and me (my Facebook page, Instagram page and this photography website) when you post your photographs anywhere. It will be extra helpful if you can indicate to ask your followers to follow me in my social media accounts.
- Tagging/Crediting you. Marketing is my top priority in doing TFCD shoot. I will upload the photographs into my social media profiles, such as Facebook page and Instagram, and I may tag you on the photographs.
- No mention of TFCD. When you upload any of the photographs, do not directly or indirectly mention TFCD, for example, thanking me for the "opportunity". Do direct all enquiries about prices to me.
- Write-up. You have no right to request me to amend or remove any part of the write-up. Any information you don't wish to be disclosed should be given before you receive the photographs.
- Write me a testimonial. Do write me a testimonial based on the photoshoot to help other people know better about me.
The terms and conditions listed are created after encountering real problems through my experience. They are included to improve the quality of photographs and avoid any future dispute with anyone. These are mostly common sense but many models who have some experience shooting with other photographers, especially hobbyists, are likely to have disregarded them. I learn things through the hard way. Doing a proper photoshoot may seem easy but it actually takes lots of planning, such as the theme, location, time and outfits; no random stuff.
#6: Reasons you should not work with Skai
I'm not sure what other photographers will do to please you for TFCD photoshoot, but I have my principles and I'm not going to "spoil the market" (set bad trend, kill the rights of photographers... etc) even though it is already in a mess now. I'm a person who is endlessly trying to make every friend happy and satisfied, but please be mindful that I'm not trying to bed you.
We take time and effort to discuss and plan. I do not just count on luck to produce good work; I do my best in planning. Even if the final product turns out to be less pleasing than expected due to unforeseeable problems, I will be glad that I have done my best given the situation. That means my model has to cooperate with me during planning phase, including discussion of the exact outfit(s) to be used. It just takes a few minutes to snap photographs and send me to make sure we are on the same and right track and that I can visualise the shoot better. From my experience, models who give excuses not to show me the actual outfits beforehand are over-confident and lack of real experience and likely not easy to work with.
You may not always hear the good things. I will not blindly say you are pretty when you are not, and I may point out flaws for you to improve/hide. If you have low self esteem or is doubtful of people (their intentions), you will probably feel offended. Furthermore, your admirers must have been worshipping you in social media without pointing out your flaws that may make you unable to accept the reality that no one is perfect.
You do not get a free chauffeur to fetch and send you home. You are expected to walk with me to find good spots for outdoor shooting. If you are lazy, do not force yourself and end up feeling frustrated. Just do not forget that photography equipment are usually over 10kg and sometimes double or triple the weight, and you do not have the right to complain if the photographer is not.
Have only a small makeshift studio
Most of the themes I tend to be interested in are more suitable for outdoor shooting. To put it simple, you are likely not going to have the comfort of having air-con or clean chair during the shoot. If necessary, I can set up a small makeshift studio in my house, which will take 3-4 hours to set up and dismantle, including moving furniture and cleaning up.
For TFCD shoot, I may work on my own because my assistants are likely not available. Even if a makeup artist is present, I would avoid asking for assistance, unless I need to secure the lighting equipment from the wind. I do not like to abuse people. Therefore, I may need more time to set up my equipment, including securing them somehow. If you need someone to carry your stuff, do get your female friend along.
Low or no budget
I'm not born with silver spoon. I would rather spend the money for a TFCD shoot on buying equipment. If the item is very "small" and can make a big difference, I'm fine with it. I will persuade my team member(s) not to waste money as well. So, renting of studio or hotel is a no-no for my TFCD shoot, unless we have a sponsor.
Small number of photographs
Read: How many photographs should a photographer give?
If you weigh quantity over quality, you are going to be disappointed while I'm going to be even more disappointed in you. Even if you are lucky enough to get a good makeup artist to work together, your face will still be required to be touched up. It takes time to filter and edit photographs. I have experienced spending five hours just to touch up one photo to the extent that my wrist started aching. If I were to work on more photographs, I will not be able to keep up with my patience and there will be many photographs that are under-satisfactory despite you may not be able to tell the flaw(s). Lastly, if you are the type of person who wants a lot of photographs in the same outfit and location, trust me, you do not know how to appreciate photographs.
No raw photographs
If you are someone who knows a bit of PhotoShop or Lightroom, you still do not have the right to insult the photographer by implying that you can do the same or better post-processing job. The actual taking of photographs together with post-processing work represents the photographer's work. No good photographer will allow you to do editing work and credit to him; you are only going to tarnish his reputation. Of course, there are some "commercial" photographers who do this to please the "models" because they aim to enjoy the process of shooting naked models instead of creating additional art work for their own portfolios. Every shoot I do will be for my portfolio, although I'm trying to enjoy myself during the shoot, in a clean and decent way.
You do not get to choose the photographs
I may allow you to view the photographs on my camera and highlight which photographs you like a lot. However, the final decision lies with me. Firstly, photographers hold the rights and secondly, different people may have different opinions. You work with me because you trust my taste.
You are not allowed to edit or crop any photograph
Phototaking and post-processing (editing) come in a package, just like a baker who bakes and adds toppings at the surface of his cake. The final photographs that are sent to you are edited to my liking and you believe in my taste and skill as a photographer, or otherwise, pass a camera to your grandma to help you take photographs instead. That means if you like certain filter of an application or prefer the photograph in square dimension, you are still not allowed to edit.
I cannot return you the photographs fast. I have my life and work, and I have my clients to answer to. Some photographers can promise you to give you the final photographs, with or without editing, within a day, a week or a month - I cannot give any empty promise. At least I know my final photographs have certain quality. If I have stated on my service agreement for clients that they would receive their photographs within two month, don't expect a better "treatment" than those who are helping me with my ricebowl.
This is actually very good for new models, but in case you are socially awkward or just want to keep a super duper low profile, you should not work with me. The main reason for me to shoot with you is probably for marketing and thus I will post the photographs online and even submit for competitions. Therefore, there is no way I'm going to shoot for you as collaboration and not upload the photographs - remember that I do not owe you anything.
I do not take down any photograph
In future, if you somehow regret having your photographs taken due to whatever reason (eg. your mama or boyfriend not happy), I will not entertain your request. I do not let anyone make use of me when they are happy and then kill all my effort (including doing of write-up, resizing the photographs to web versions, coding the new page and linking various pages to each other) when they somehow change their minds. Note that I do not even entertain any client who does not want me to publish any of the work - I have even turned down shoots from big companies.
Symptoms that you are not interested
"If you are not serious, people can feel it through your actions; no sweet words can cover up your lack of interest."
Besides for marketing purpose, I'm always on the lookout for suitable TFCD models to accomplish various shooting themes and concepts that not many paying clients would be suitable for. Unfortunately and fortunately I have met uncountable number of time-wasters. This is the main reason I try not to plan too much until I confirm the model is serious and I'm sick of model approaching me and asking me for ideas for the shoot. Ideas are valuable, especially customized ones.
I have been dealing with many fickle-minded girls who have always sounded chatty and delightful during our initial discussions. I suppose they have also messaged a few photographers at the same period of time. Obviously, they cannot tell the differences between professional and amateur work, or at least they do not foresee the photographs I'm going to produce with them would make a difference to them.
Here are some tips to find out if you are really interested and serious about doing photoshoot or NOT:
- You take ages to reply my messages
- You reply with any unconstructive message (e.g. "lol") and stop
- You cannot confirm the date and time for our shoot
- You dare not promise me that you will shoot after confirming our shooting date
- You take ages to prepare photographs of your outfits to send me
- You postpone our shoot because of your newly scheduled tuition or driving lesson etc
- You do not sleep early for the early morning shoot
Q. Can you do TFCD shoot with me?
A. Just read the entire page and provide me with the details in order for me to judge and decide. You need to have a little bit of IQ and understand that no photographer will work with you without knowing your exact looks. He will also not be able to think of a theme for you without knowing what kind of wardrobe you own.
Q. Can I don't reply you some of the sensitive details?
A. No, I don't earn anything from doing TFCD shoot and I have limited time in taking up projects. Thus, I expect to qualify every model properly and have proper planning in order not to waste my time. Most of the details that you think are sensitive are likely to be on professional models' comcards and online modelling profiles. Let's just stay professional.
Q. Why do you need the details?
A. To judge you and plan the shoot, including the types of clothes that will fit you and the theme. Different clothes suit different body figures.
Q. Why do you even need to know where do I stay?
A. To be honest, given your level of intelligence and trust, there's a high chance we will have conflict even before the shoot. It's obvious I will try to plan a shoot not too far away from your house if possible - I won't want to make you travel to Pasir Ris if you are staying in Boonlay. I also want to consider the time of the shoot, given how convenience is the mode of transport from your house to the shooting location. You don't even have to tell me your house number and I'm not interested in doing housevisiting to meet your parents.
Q. Do your friends need to provide the details as well?
A. If I have already met them, most likely no. However, I will still need to know the outfits and some of the details.
Q. I'm just a teenager, am I eligible for TFCD shoot with you?
A. Yes, as long as the shoot benefits my photography. Models usually start from young. However, young models usually give more problems - limited clothes, extremely conservative, lack of communication skill etc.
Q. Do you only shoot young girls?
A. My expertise is working with girls and for TFCD shoot, I only work with female models. I don't go for young models and instead, I rather go for more mature ladies who are likely to give less problems. However, most girls who are inspired to become models are younger girls and that's why there are much more young girls who have approached me. My female adult friends are not interested in photography while clients prefer to keep the photographs private.
Q. I'm married, am I eligible?
A. I do professional shoot and I'm not trying to date you. Therefore, your relationship status isn't a big concern - if you have a boyfriend or husband, you better make sure they are agreeable to you doing a shoot with me.
Q. I'm very short, am I eligible?
A. Height does not matter too much in still photographs as long as your body proportion is good - body VS legs. Of course, you may be at disadvantage compared to taller girls with good body proportion.
Q. Will a HMUA be provided?
A. I will always try to get a HMUA since one of the reasons for doing TFCD shoot is to test new HMUAs and help my existing HMUA friends to build up their portfolios. However, it's subjected to various factors. For example, if the model doesn't seem firm, I won't want to risk wasting anyone else's time to discuss. If the shoot is impromptu or it has to start very early in the morning, I may not look for a HMUA. Of course, the model must be able to do very basic and decent makeup, given also that the shoot requires a simple look.
Q. What kinds of shoot are you looking at?
A. I'm doing TFCD shoot (limited) mostly for marketing purpose and thus I'm looking at themes that are more artistic or creative that can increase viewership. I do have many interesting ideas in mind but they require suitable model, wardrobe, props and location and I don't expect to pay for a non commercial shoot.
Q. For fashion shoot, what kind of clothes do you want me to wear?
A. You show me what you have instead of me racking my brain and then you tell me you don't have it. By doing it, I'm also able to judge your taste.
Q. Do I need to wear the clothes to snap photographs for you?
A. If there are too many of them and you are lazy, you can take photographs without wearing them. After we scale down the number, you have to put them on because it is difficult to judge the exact design, cutting, length and the "feel" without you wearing them. However, I may miss out some nice clothes since I won't know the actual design and cutting. This is why fashion shops have mannequins.
Q. Why do you do sensual shoot?
A. Reasons why I love the art.
Q. Do you only do sensual shoots for TFCD?
A. Sensual shoot is just one of the types of shoot I do and I'm open to various types of shoot. Most of the time, it depends on individual model. If the model doesn't have the look or aura of a supermodel and there's no interesting theme I have in mind for her, the easiest choice is sensual or art shoot that can help in term of marketing value. Unfortunately, most of the girls who have approached me for TFCD shoot can't fit into anything.
Q. Do you do nude shoot for TFCD?
A. It depends on the model's looks and intelligence, and trust in me. It's a form of art that I wish to show others that it can be done tastefully as well. I will likely use Photoshop to hide the private parts (nipples and vagina), such as drawing a line over, in order to be able to present them to a wider range of audience.
Q. Why do I reject models' requests for shoot?
Most of the time, I do not reject requests - they (models and aspiring models) are the ones who have rejected themselves. Arrogance, half-heartedness, low self-esteem, lack of trust are the main killers. Photography is my passion and it means having fun for me; thus I need not put up with people who are not paying me any cent. I seek not to waste any time and effort and thus I will want to make sure every shoot is properly planned to a certain extent.
I have vast experience dealing with people and have encountered countless unappreciating ones. Generally, people appreciate free things less. Since doing a TFCD shoot with me basically means a "model" is getting free professional services, there's a higher chance of her giving problems, such as postponing or being late for the shoot. Whereas a client would have to place a deposit and with that, things will go much smoother.
I'm fortunate that there are a handful of girls approaching me for shoot every month. Unfortunately, most of them have wasted my time somehow. For example, some girls have very packed schedule at the point of time when they approach me and they eventually go MIA after our discussion despite showing their enthusiasm initially. Perhaps, they are just half-hearted. Many time-wasters have trained me very well in judging people due to the frequent request.
There are also a handful of HMUAs who have approached me as well but our schedules can never match. Most HMUAs who are available for TFCD work have a full-time job that has occupied her weekday slots.
After all the disappointments I have encountered, I have to put on a more serious tone before the shoot to discourage half-hearted people from wasting my time further. Therefore, do not be shocked when I start cracking jokes during the shoot - you should feel very glad instead.
The girl approaches me and when she says her phone's battery is going flat or she is going to bed, she does not get back to me again.
- Too busy The girl approaches me but she is not available until the next month. The girl replies me a few lines after a few days. The girl does not have the time to take photographs of her outfits to show me.
- Alien The girl does not have any clear and recent photographs of herself to let me judge her looks. The girl claims to be an ex-model but she does not have any portfolio or modelling photograph to show me.
- Unflattering appearance The girl has major flaws physically or simply below average looking, and will never produce good photographs without extreme makeover and that the angle of shoot will be very limited.
- Lack of self-grooming knowledge/skill The girl looks average but has poor self-grooming skill when it is difficult to get a HMUA for TFCD shoot.
- Over-confident / arrogant The girl thinks her makeup skill and fashion sense are excellent and needs no help when she is actually wrong. The girl does not heed any advice/feedback because she is flawless. The girl thinks she can produce any kind of good expression but she is actually very stiff inside her portfolio and casual photographs.
- Poor fashion sense The girl has only very boring clothes that limits the shoot to normal fashion shoot that clients will be paying me to do, even though nice/stylish clothes do not need to be expensive.
- Lack of trust The girl has trust issue and doubts my professionalism just because there are many black sheep out there. The girl thinks I want to stalk her when I try to find out her residential address to plan for a suitable shooting location. The girl subconsciously knows most photographers shoot with her just because of her boobs and not looks, and she thinks every photographer only wants her to do porn.
- Low EQ The girl thinks the shoot is going to be sexual when she is being requested to use a set of clothes found in her Facebook photographs, taken besides her mum, that are covering her almost fully. The girl is simply not very good in communication. The girl suggests doing certain themes and rejects them.
- Unfairness The girl rejects certain types of shoot that can help me more in marketing, such as swimwear, when she has already done with other photographer or friend, and obviously I can produce more tasteful and professional work.
- Selfish The girl is only interested in doing themes that she wants that will not benefit my portfolio. The girl is making use of me so that she can showcase her sponsored items or even own apparatus for sales.
- Over-conservative The girl can do very limited themes while her looks and fashion sense do not help me much in my portfolio.
- Poor taste in judging photographs The girl does not know how to differentiate between good and bad photographs, and she will approach any person with camera to shoot - she will never make special effort for any good photographer because she can get any random "photographer" easily. The girl thinks she has done a photoshoot for certain theme or at certain location just because her previous "photographer" was using a DSLR, and thus reject the idea directly.
- Inflexible The girl has issues with timings, location, outfits...
- Low self-esteem / over-sensitive The girl thinks I'm rejecting her when I have not. The girl thinks I'm saying she is fat and rejecting her when I tell her she still has many days or weeks to tone up her body before the confirmed shooting date.
- Postponement of shoot The girl has something on that is more important than the earlier arranged day and time for the shoot.
- Spoiled by other photographers The girl has worked with "photographers" without proper planning and thus she ignorantly assumes a good photoshoot needs only agreement for the date, time, venue and "style of clothes" (without showing any picture).
Unfortunately, not everyone will show her true colours immediately. If it happens that I suddenly realise I cannot handle anyone's attitude or working style, I will call off the shoot even at the very last hour. I'm too exhausted to handle these people and also having the quality of my work being discounted due to their uncooperativeness.
For example, the most common bad attitude from models is that they do not show me the outfits that they are going to wear for the shoot. I have had enough of wardrobe malfunction, mismatch with the theme or location and last minute apologies that the outfits are missing or no longer fitting. It also causes me to be unable to visualize/plan the shoot just because the models think too highly of themselves, being unprofessional and indirectly disrespecting me as the photographer who is supposed to oversee everything.
Read: Good Models, Bad Models
#8: Some stories
It's a common fact that sex sells. Therefore, doing casual fashion photoshoots won't help an experienced photographer much in his portfolio as compared to concepts that are sexier. In general, it's also good for a photographer to display his talent for art.
Since I'm not pushy person, it's not easy to get some people to push beyond their boundaries, unlike some photographers who are good in words. Life just isn't fair.
1) From shy to show
When I was very new to portrait photography, I started practising with a net friend who trusted me a lot. She had even announced on her Facebook status that I was the photographer she trusted most. She approached me for photoshoot many times although my work was still amateurish. It was all normal fashion photoshoots that even my "teacher", a very experienced commercial makeup artist, got very bored of seeing. I requested her to do bikini photoshoot but she told me that her boyfriend didn't allow her.
She started her fulltime job and then stopped contacting me for shoot. Some time later, I started seeing her new photoshoot work emerging and it seemed like she was getting poorer and couldn't afford clothes.
2) He's just luckier
When I was relatively new to flash photography, another girl approached me. Later on, she told me frankly that she was friend with me mainly because of my photography skill and that I wouldn't take advantage of her during the photoshoots.
Since she trusted me and my skill a lot, I did casually suggest doing bikini photoshoot (I was in need of the genre) with her but she turned me down because she didn't want to cross that boundary although she's very open-minded. I respected her decision. Some time later, I saw her post a new photograph of her wearing lingerie, soaking inside the swimming pool. The photographer wasn't even experienced.
3) A stranger has greater privilege
I had a shoot with another net friend who was kind enough, in a dangerous way, to work with just any photographer. She was extremely cooperative and was willing to push beyond her boundary until I got scared. Although I wanted to go for very sexy concepts, I was worried that more "photographers" would approach her and make her strip. Hence, I became very protective of her as a friend. We were on good terms and we did another three themes that she would be very covered, which I wouldn't waste my time for TFCD shoot.
Some time later, she suddenly worked with a popular photographer who had bad reputation in terms of character and his work. The makeup artist who helped her with the shoot shared the edited photographs with me. We analysed and agreed that in most of the photographs, her nipples were actually revealed and the photographer simply photoshopped her skin over the nipples.
Since she had already done a few implied nude photoshoots, including this latest one that she was probably unknowingly showing her nipples throughout the shoot, I realised I had been a fool to try to "protect" her all along. Then, I proposed some conceptual implied nude shoot concepts to work with her and she turned me down.
After experiencing various incidents, I've come to some conclusions about doing TFCD photoshoots.
- Shoot only the concept that you need - don't waste time to please your friend.
- Don't have to be over-protective over anyone. The model will eventually do sexier concepts with other photographers.