📸 Skai Chan Photography

TFP / TFCD Tips for Models & Photographers

TFCD photography

Tips for New Models for TFCD Shoot

I have worked with numerous models who are totally new to modelling. Below are some tips for all new models.

  1. Most photographers, including professional ones, do TFCD shoot.
    It is a matter of whether you are good (looks, attitude and open-minded-ness) enough. The more popular a good photographer is, the more demanding he would be in selecting a model for TFCD shoot. It is likely he is getting paid for taking portrait shoot for his clients and thus he has to justify the reason for taking up a non-paid job. Many popular photographers you can see in social media are not getting paid for shoot and thus they are more than willing to use you as a model to get even more popular. Of course, new and hobbyist photographers are very likely to work with you regardless of your looks (not if you are too bad looking though) because some of them are even paying models for photoshoot.
  2. Some professional photographers produce very different quality work for TFCD shoot.
    I have known of at least a case of a photographer who does commercial work and also TFCD shoots with hot "models". He doesn't seem to be using his professional lighting equipment for outdoor shoots and somehow the lighting can look quite bad on the photographs. He also does give away all the raw photographs to the over-confident models for them to edit (disgustingly) by themselves. So, it seems that he shoots with the hot "models" more to enjoy the process during the shoot instead of creating some good art work. I have happened to see an album of his studio shoot and he's definitely much more experienced than most camera owners that you can see in Instagram.

    Unfortunately, I suppose all these "models" who have received the photographs have very different art sense from the real professionals. They are proud to boast "I have worked with this commercial photographer who does my bidding", not knowing the photographer has under-delivered.

    Therefore, it doesn't mean that if you get to work with a professional photographer, he will do the TFCD shoot professionally with you. If a professional photographer does a FREE shoot without trying to gain new impressive portfolio for marketing/showcasing, what else is he trying to gain?
  3. The photographer has to know your look before making any decision.
    If you approach the photographer through social media and your profile is in private mode, the photographer will not know how you look like. Also, if none of your photographs is clear enough, do not expect the photographer to judge your looks. Therefore, do prepare some clear photographs of you without makeup to send the photographer when you approach him. To be frank, this is common sense and if you do not even know this, many professional photographers would simply treat you as a problem child and may not want to mix with you.
  4. The photographer (and HMUA) has to see your clothes to think of a suitable theme.
    Most of the time, you have to use your own clothes for shoots. You may be rich and have bought many kinds of clothes but it will make you look immature and lazy if you simply tell the photographer you have everything. There are a few times I have met such "models" who have approached me and they really embarass themselves and also waste my time for thinking of something, which they do not have. It is not difficult to snap photographs of some of the outfits when most of us have camera phone and social media and phone app are created to be so convenient.
  5. Wear the outfit and snap a full body picture with your face
    An outfit may look nice but it may not suit every model and theme. It is likely to look different when you put it on the bed or over the hanger, compared to you wearing it. In the past, there were countless times that I had gotten shocked at the start of the shoot because I did not insist the model to wear the outfit, which appeared very different. There were also times when the model brought along "rejected" clothes but they actually looked good on the model's body. Since everyone has different body shape and length, sending a picture from the blog shop that you have bought the outfit from may not be accurate as well. Remember that you are the owner of the outfit and you have probably tried it on and know how it would look like - do not assume a third party knows it. If you are too lazy to put on the outfit to snap a photograph, it really speaks well of your character.
  6. Check the background and portfolio of the photographer whom you are going to work with.
    The photographer should have a portfolio to showcase to you at least in social media like Facebook or Instagram. Serious photographers will even have their own photography websites. Look at his work and judge if he is just casually taking girls in loose/skimpy clothes with sexy poses. Note that there are also fake "female" accounts in Facebook (and other social media networks) that are run by male "photographers". Learn how to judge a photographer.
  7. Ask to bring a friend along if it's an indoor shoot or if the venue is an abandoned place (rare in Singapore).
    Note that if you are going to work as a professional model in future, you probably won't want to bring someone along. It is rather safe in Singapore for outdoor shoot because Singapore is overpopulated and there are always passers-by at most outdoor places. Even abandoned places are often being visited by the Instagram lovers. However, for an indoor shoot, it may not be 100% safe, furthermore, indoor shoot is likely to involve a sexier theme. There are cases of "photographers" attempting to touch the models as testified by my model friends, although the black sheep are not being sued because it is not easy to provide evidence. If you have to get a friend along for the shoot, make sure the friend will not pose any problem like keep staring at the photographer or trying to act smart, which can be very insulting to the photographer.

    When I was new, I found it very uncomfortable to have a "stranger" to tag along but as I become more experienced and confident of my skill and equipment, I would even request the model to bring a female friend along, provided the friend would help out. The female friend should at least be assisting in tidying up the model's hair and outfit when necessary. If your friend is offering no help at all, it will definitely make it look like you are suspecting the photographer is a pervert and thus need the escort to safeguard you. to the photographer.

    By the way, having boyfriend or husband along as escort can greatly degrade the quality of photographs because no matter how you assure that you won't be affected by your partner's prescence, you will be; stop fooling yourself. On the photographer's part, no matter how experienced he is, he has to take into consideration of giving instruction and suggesting poses, which will further drain his brain since he has many other things to focus on during the shoot - composition/framing/angle, lighting, expression... etc.
  8. Google the location where the shoot is going to be conducted at.
    Make sure you know how to get there on time and which route to take to escape when necessary.
  9. Google for some poses before the shoot.
    It will be very helpful if you can do your own posing and the photographer adjusts them verbally, depending on the photographer. At least, it will be good if you know certain poses may be weird but will look good on photos.
  10. Bring your water bottle along for the shoot.
    You need to be in top form at all times. If you are dehydrated, your lips will look dry and will not appear good in photos. Bring your own drinks because you do not want to share saliva with the photographer and his drinks may not be sufficient for himself. Lastly, you do not want to risk taking any weird drinks.
  11. If a HMUA is involved in the shoot, clarify if you need to turn up in your naked face.
    Most professional makeup artists would want to start everything by themselves. Everyone has different skin tone and thus the foundation may need to be mixed. You don't want to waste time removing your makeup after you meet up with the makeup artist. Nevertheless, just clarify with the makeup artist before the shoot in case she forgets to inform you.
  12. Keep at least a friend updated about the shoot with the photographer's contact details
    You can just let a friend know about the shoot, including the time and location. During any break, drop a text to keep the person updated, especially if you are not close with the photographer. However, note that it's very annoying when a model starts hogging onto the phone like hating to go back to shoot. When the HMUA is helping you with the makeup, using the phone may also be quite irritating.
  13. The photographer should not touch you at any point of time without seeking permission.
    There are stories of photographers trying to "adjust" the postures of the models. This is very subjective but I would stand by my principles of not touching my models, especially when it comes to sensual themes. Of course, by not having any body contact, it may take longer time to guide the model into the correct poses. I have to give up some poses at times when the models cannot understand even after demonstrating to them.

    I have model friends who have done indoor sexy shoot with photographers and most of the photographers get to touch them without them knowing they have been taken advantage of. I have heard of real life stories that some photographers in overseas do caress the model openly and I'm sure it would happen in any country.
  14. Different photographers have different terms and conditions and working style.
    Double confirm everything with the photographer before you do the photoshoot with him. Don't make assumption especially if you are going to work with a professional photographer who has solid rules.

Read: Dangers of doing sexy photoshoot for female models

Tips for Photographers for TFCD Shoot

I began with doing purely TFCD photoshoot when I was new to portrait photography. The factor I looked for in my models was mainly their attitudes, although most people would not reveal their true colours immediately. I learned things through the hard way. I had wasted a lot of time and also put up with some not-very-sensible models in order not to turn things ugly.

I was quite lucky to eventually get to shoot with some nice models with good character and attitude.

Do note that I have been approached by models (mostly aspiring models) most of the time and yet, these have happened; if you are approaching the model, expect worse.

  1. Most TFCD models are lazy or/and fickle-minded.
    They are probably not trying to play you out but expect them to change their mind towards the shoot. You are lucky enough if they even bother to keep you updated when they have changed their mind.
  2. Most TFCD models will think you are unprofessional if you sound too humble.
    Unfortunately, this is the hard truth of life. They may even step over you or belittle your work. Be nice but there is a limit. Of course, there are some smart ones who will can make better judgement (about you).
  3. Being average looking or worse does not mean the girl will agree to do TFCD shoot with you.
    There may be certain period of time when you are just unlucky and cannot find any good model to work with. Even if you were to lower down your standard so that there will be a higher chance to set up a shoot, it does not mean the model you approach will definitely agree to work with you. You do not have to settle for a model who is below average, in the hope that she will give you zero problem.
  4. Most TFCD models who promise to get back to you after getting their schedule will not.
    If the model is so busy to even know her own schedule, she is likely to forget about you. Most of the models who have told me that they are only available the next fortnight or a month later will eventually end up MIA.

    If you think about it - why would they approach you when they aren't even ready? If they are so busy that they cannot commit a few hours to do the shoot with you soon, what makes you think that they will be able to do it the next month? Life is unpredictable and everyday, there are new problems and challenges coming up.

    The key thing is to not pin too high hope because it can hurt you when the truth is unfold - when she finally goes MIA.

    Of course, what you can do to increase the chance to have the shoot done is to keep in touch with them regularly until the "next month". This may, however, cause suspicious that you are trying to hook up with them.
  5. Most TFCD models are already approached by other photographers.
    In these days, every girl can be a "model" and every camera owner can be a "photographer"; there are many models and photographers. Every hobbyist photographer has probably approached countless number of girls and thus you can be assured that the girl you are approaching is likely already being approached by many other photographers as long as she has more than an average look or she has posted sexy photographs in her social media account. It is a human nature that when you are too spoilt for choices, you will not cherish everyone.
  6. If the TFCD model cannot afford the time to even show you photos of the outfit before the shoot, don't expect anything from her at all.
    It takes just a few minutes to snap a shot of the outfit and send you via Whatsapp or Facebook Messenger. If the model cannot even spend such time, do you think she can afford hours of her time for the actual shoot? Even if she eventually turns up for the shoot, trust me, there is a high chance for problems to emerge. She is just not a team-player.
  7. Most TFCD models are not your photography admirers but just looking for FREE photos.
    This is heartbreaking but you have to accept it. Most TFCD models will approach you just because they want to build up their portfolios and it means that they have also approached many other photographers as well. There is nothing wrong with doing so since many photographers do the same. However, be wary of such TFCD models since they can ignore you once they have set up shoots with other photographers, especially if they will get paid.
  8. Most TFCD models will sound over enthusiastic when approaching you, don't believe completely.
    Enthusiasm will wear off soon - you don't want to be disappointed.
  9. Most TFCD models will not take the shoot seriously and they will cancel/postpone the shoot any time.
    Most people do not appreciate free things. They are likely to give very low priority for the shoot. They are likely to reschedule the shoot with you if they have other new appointments.
  10. Some TFCD models may go MIA (missing-in-action) after confirming the shoot with you.
    Some people do have very low EQ. They can be very insensible and selfish to choose to go MIA when they decide not to shoot with you anymore. Get used to it.
  11. Do not commit too much time before you confirm the model is totally serious in the shoot.
    Unfortunately, it is difficult to judge. Most people do not understand the amount of time good photographers take to prepare for the shoot. If you work similarly like me, going through the model's Facebook photos to study her looks and outfits, researching for suitable location, planning suitable themes, blah blah blah... you are going to get very disappointed when the model eventually gives problems to waste the timeslot you have reserved for her, knowing that you can have actually spend the time to set up a shoot with another model instead.
  12. Most TFCD models cannot differentiate quality.
    Often, they will just go for the popular photographers who have taken countless photos of many hot models. Therefore, if you do not have a huge portfolio (shot with many models), they may not be interested to work with you. On the other hand, you can simply boast your way through to gain their admiration for your work.

    The sad fact is that even if you have a solid portfolio, the models may not show you respect. Then, you will continue to see them uploading photos taken by other hobbyist photographers.
  13. Some TFCD models are looking at quantity over quality.
    They just want many photos to be uploaded into their social media profiles. They may even demand/con/sweet-talk you to give them all unedited photos, which will not represent your work. You may be inviting troubles if you are going to work with such person.
  14. Most TFCD models will turn up late for the shoot.
    Get used to it, especially when dealing with inexperienced models. There may be chances that you will miss the golden hours in the early morning or you get very little daylight time if you plan the shoot in the late afternoon.
  15. Most TFCD models cannot take negative feedback unless you are a master of words.
    When you try to help them to improve, there are high chances that you will offend them accidentally. If you cannot play down the damage by using "colourful" or tactful words, do not try to be too helpful.

    I repeat - do not try.
  16. Some TFCD models have worked with other photographers who have different working styles as you.
    There will be some expectations from the model. Many photographers cannot afford the time to be too detailed and some will even not do any post-production work at all - therefore, they are able to produce the final work immediately. If you are detailed like me, you will probably even take a few days just to filter and select the best photos. Hence, be sure to communicate with the models well before the shoot.
  17. Most young TFCD models are more immature than they behave in front of you initially.
    Everyone, regardless of age, has her own maturity and immaturity. Often, when a model first approaches you, she will probably bring out her most mature self. It does not mean that she will not give you problems unintentionally in future.
  18. Most TFCD models will give problems after the shoots.
    Even if you have made them read through your terms and conditions before the shoot, they are likely to go back on their words. Some may even backstab you.

    For example, even if you have clearly indicated you will only deliver four edited photos for them, some may start bashing that you're stingy despite agreeing to your rules.
  19. Most TFCD models cannot do/understand proper make-up.
    Some models do think that they can do good make-up by themselves. It is always better to trust professional hair and make-up artists who have much more experiences.
  20. Many TFCD models underestimate the power of good make-up.
    Human always appears duller in photos. Without proper make-up to bring out the attributes of the face and hide the flaws, the result will be very much affected.

    I have encountered some models who prefer doing makeup on their own because they think they know themselves better than professional HMUAs.
  21. Most or almost all TFCD models know little about photography, especially lighting, although some may act knowledgeable.
    Some models may tell you they are busy and give you timeslots near noon time despite it is difficult to shoot. Some may even try to "guide" you along.
  22. If the TFCD model insists in the time (near noon) and location (open space) that will turn out to be disaster, give up the shoot.
    Even if you have an assistant and tools (big diffuser, lens filter) to work under the harsh sun, the result will be less flattering and you may end up disgracing yourself. Moreover, the model is probably tough to handle.
  23. Some TFCD models may try to guide you along during the shoot or offer to do the post-production work for you.
    They are, unknowingly, implying that they can do the same or better post-production job than you. It is an insult to you.

    Try to encourage them to get their grandmas to shoot for them instead, unless you can take the insult. Such models will probably not make it far and it will probably be the last time you work with them; thus, you do not have to get too upset over it.
  24. If the girl rejects your request to do TFCD shoot, give up.
    No matter how long you continue to persuade her, the girl is likely to reject you again, and eventually you will feel like a loser. Even if she finally "agrees", she will likely to give excuses to drag it on. If you are lucky and she finally does the actual shoot with you, do not expect someone who is not keen to cooperate well with you.

    Take the time to talk to other potential models instead!
  25. The girl who ignores your "hi" may end up approaching you in future.
    When you are new, models may ignore you because they have very poor foresight that you can become skilful sooner or later. Keep improving yourself!
  26. Although the success rate of approaching TFCD models online may be less than 10% if you don't have a big (quantity) portfolio, do not give up.
    Most photographers will experience rejection often. However, when your portfolio grows in both quality and quantity, models are more likely to be interested in working with you.
  27. Most TFCD models are just using you just like how you are using them to build portfolio or gain fame.
    Most models do not have the time to befriend you even if you are geniunely treating them as friends. They are probably too busy with their lives after receiving their photographs.
  28. Most models will give casual empty promises to shoot again.
    Even if they know you can produce very good quality photos for them and that you treat them with full respect during the shoot, they may not shoot with you again.

    Most of the models would suggest shooting with me again during the shoot but most of them do not keep their promises. Life is hectic in Singapore and there are also many changes. Most TFCD models are not serious in modelling or at least they understand they cannot make a living out of it. Some of them get attached soon.

    A model may also suggest doing a shoot that may benefit her more than you first but you may never have the chance to do another shoot that you are more interested in. Therefore, treat every shoot as the last time you would be doing with the model and do not hold back your ideas.

Just keep shooting and you will improve and get to work with better models.

TFCD Shoot with me

Yes, I do very selective TFCD shoot with open-minded and good models who will benefit my portfolio; Garden Shoot doesn't help.

You may like to read:
- Top ridiculous things TFCD models do
- TFP/TFCD photoshoot in Singapore
- Ways to insult a professional photographer
- Clients from hell
- Things that models have been doing terribly wrong
- Crazy things that professional portrait photographers do

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