Friday, December 22, 2006

The TFP/TFCD Debate w/TFC Thrown In

Last week, I visited the G1 forum, as I often do, and posted a link to an article posted on the Fluffytek Photography blog concerning TFP/TFCD.

The G1 thread quickly degenerated into a quarrelsome, semi-flame war between some people involved with photography workshops. It certainly wasn't my intent to foment trouble between a few of the forum's members but that's what ensued.

In hopes of getting the TFP discussion back on track, another G1 member began a second thread regarding TFP/TFCD. This second thread spawned another post on the Fluffytek blog further stating that blog-author's opinions about the whole TFP/TFCD process.

Personally, I don't shoot much TFP/TFCD. It's not that I'm opposed to doing so, I sometimes do shoot models with a TFP/TFCD arrangement in place. But doing so is more the exception to my pretty girl shooting pursuits than the rule. I do, however, shoot something called TFC. (Note: TFC is not to be confused with TLC, altho I do put a lot of TLC into my TFCs.)

If you haven't figured out this acronym yet, TFC stands for Trade For Content.

TFC is like TFP/TFCD in that no money changes hands between the participants. If there are hard costs involved, like an MUA, the TFC principals split that cost. But where TFC differs from TFP is in the permitted use of the images. The model gets to do whatever she wants with her images (with certain restrictions) and I get to do, for the most part, whatever I want with the images as well. (Again, with certain restrictions.)

Let's say you encounter a model who has a membership/subscriber website. Obviously, she needs fresh content for that site. That's part of how she retains members. By trading content, the model gets commercial use of the images I capture. By the same token, I get commercial use of the images. Yep, I can sell those images to other websites or to print media or I can use them for my own commercial enterprises.

I know some of you will immediately envision all kinds of potential problems with this arrangement but there are more than a few web-models and shooters who engage in it and aren't complaining about mis-use of the images later on.

Do I have a specialized release form for this arrangement? Of course I do, although it's not anything that special. Am I still the copyright holder of the images? You betcha. But in this arrangement, I've assigned use that goes beyond promotional use of the images. The model has done the same back to me.

TFC may not work for everyone. Some people are simply too protective of their work or their likenesses to comfortably engage in this practice. I suppose that's because so much of what they shoot is so fantastic or because, as a model, their future is guaranteed to be on its way to superstardom. But it sometimes works for me and for more than a few models I've shot with a TFC arrangement in place.

The model I posted along with this update is Jasmine. I shot these, and quite a few more of her, under a TFC arrangement with her about a year or so ago.


Grumblecat said...

Interesting take and one that I think if there were more people in my area with websites I would go towards. If I understood him right at one of those workshops not to be named this is basically Johnny Olsen's deal but slightly modified. He shoots what the model needs in exchange for her time shooting content for his site.

In the end I believe as long as everyone involved feels that they have been fairly compensated in some way who cares what the payment is.

Rick said...

Great idea. I am always afraid to use images on my own site or portfolio without a release. Someday, hope to earn money by selling image.

Any cahnce to see/get a copy of said release?

Thanks for your daily blog.


Anonymous said...

Bravo. A perfectly reasonable solution to a need. I've done the same thing on multiple occasions. As for the arguers, there is an old saying: "The man who says that something cannot be done should be polite enough to stay out of the way of the man who is doing it."


Frederick said...

I read the exchange that resulted on G1. What a slap fight!