What does TFP mean in modeling? What does TFCD mean?

by Sarah McDowd on June 4, 2012

In the modeling industry you will surely hear these acronyms come up in conversation; freely thrown around amongst models, photographers, makeup artists, and modeling agencies. It is important to understand what these acronyms stand for, as well as the concept of what they are and what they entail.

Essentially the terms TFP and TFCD both represent a trade.

  • What is TFP? “TFP” stands for “Time for Print”
  • What is TFCD? “TFCD” stands for “Time for CD”
  • What is TF*? TF* is a more ambiguous term; meaning “Time for…” with the * implying that a negotiation that will occur between the individual parties

TFP signifies that the photographer will provide the model with prints of the photos they take, in exchange for her modeling services. These prints may either be physical (for example, 8×10 glossy prints to add to your portfolio), or digital (photos sent to you via email). It is important to clarify with the photographer beforehand

TFCD signifies that the photographer will provide the model with a CD containing the images from their photoshoot, in exchange for her modeling services.

These terms signify that the model and photographer (or makeup artist, stylist, etc.) are in full agreement that the work and services they are providing is a trade amongst themselves; neither party will receive a payment, nor will they make a payment. Their “currency” is the service they are providing, not money.

Photo: Andrew Fashion Model: Sarah McDowd

We hope this explanation was useful- at Model Mentors, we are happy to give modeling advice and answer any of your questions. If you need further clarification or have a related modeling question, please leave us a comment below!

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{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Matt Wallach June 5, 2012 at 10:02 pm

I myself use the term TFI or Time for Images.


admin June 6, 2012 at 2:22 pm

Hi Matt! I have never heard the term TFI, but I very well may start using it! I have found that more and more, photographers prefer to provide images digitally (as opposed to physical prints or a CD), so this is definitely a relevant term/acronym. Thanks for your contribution on this 🙂


rick mc ardle June 7, 2012 at 6:55 pm

Thanks for the info! I am a 57 yr. old male commercial/sports/fitness model…in and out of the industry for yrs. I just wanted to say that when u have a look in a youth oriented ‘community’,there can be room for work as an older person. I have been connected with the fitness industry for 35 yrs. and I am currently working with clients. Sports/fitness modeling, even at my age works. I have been given a discipline and time with genetics to keep my body in prime form. Why am I talking about this? I see young (men) who let themselves go and help those who want it.
The best to all,


admin June 7, 2012 at 7:07 pm

Hi Rick! Firstly, thank you for stopping by and interacting. Secondly, wow! I am very impressed. I have a lot of respect for individuals who make the clear and conscious decision NOT to let themselves go. They stay active, they eat right, and they maintain themselves- usually not for superficiality’s sake either, but rather for the sake of their health and well-being. (Those last two gifts are priceless and should never be taken for granted!) A lot of people should take note from your example and strive to adapt the same mentality!
Glad to have you here and look forward to getting to know you better!


Martha June 13, 2012 at 4:04 am

I just want to add to the comment about Rick..
Is great to know that there is people out there who defenetly care about their health and well being!!!
Congrats Rick!.

Thank you for the definitions .,,
Is great to keep our selfs inform..
I’m a make up artist & hair designer in California..



admin June 13, 2012 at 9:43 pm

Couldn’t agree more Martha! That’s great that you are a MUA/Hair stylist. Where in California do you work?


David Rinker July 27, 2012 at 2:15 pm

The TFCD concept is a slippery slope to engage in, but certainly without merit. I occasionally work with models and stylist to network and test new people and challenge my skills with less known talent. I’ve done great work with represented talent recommended by their agency.

What I don’t find comforting is that there is a certain expectation that if you are approached by model you should fall over yourself to photograph them TFCD. Frequently they come back for updates because they loved their photos and want you to shoot them again – for free. With few exceptions will a TFP model come back with any offer to pay you for a shoot – even at a discount should they need a little assistance to afford your services. When artists donate their time, be appreciative enough to credit and recommend them to others if you liked working with them – for paid gigs – TFCD gigs from TFCD is not forward financial gain.

I have also been involved with agencies that will happily send their models to TFP shoots to build their books – but do little to recommend photographers for paid “test” shoots – unless there is a commission involved.

Another thing I’m noticing is that an investment is a great motivator. If they are paying for your work they do their best to get their best from the artist. I’ve had several models and MUA blow off or phone in their shoots with no energy – even with a great team involved. (NOT a good way to promote yourself.) When THEY are ready to bring an A game to reschedule their TFP shoot you get attitude when you smartly refuse. (Again, nobody wants to work with an unprofessional and egocentric model, sorry beautiful.)

Sooo, to put a cap on this rant, please be professional and always follow through with your TFP commitments. Promptly get your models their photos and sell a photographer when they do a great job for you. Remember, you model to support yourself, we photograph to support ourselves and our families, and to pay for the studio and equipment used to make you beautiful. If we go broke doing free portfolio work, we can’t hire you.


admin February 24, 2013 at 8:58 am

Love it!!! Could not agree more. This is a great post. And I love that it is coming from a perspective other than a models. Would love to repost this with your permission. Let me know 🙂
Sarah McDowd
Owner, ModelMentors.com


shaun engler August 4, 2012 at 11:31 am

Where can i get a good Model release form to print out for Models to sign…?


admin February 24, 2013 at 8:56 am

Hi Shaun! We will be posting an article about Model Releases, as well as a few Model Release Templates in an upcoming blog post… definitely stay tuned! To make it easier, feel free to subscribe to our Monthly Newsletter, as we will notify you with links to all of our new posts/articles/content for the month.
Also please feel free to share our website with your friends/peers that would find our Modeling Advice/Blog useful as well!
-The ModelMentors Team


Jimmy September 25, 2012 at 3:18 pm

Thanks For The Definition, Can You Clarify Something For Me? Does TFP Or TFCD Mean The Photographer Gives The Model “EVERY Photo” That is Taken Or Just The Edited/ Touched up Copies. I Guess What I’m Asking is Does The Photographer Have To Turn Over The Raw Images Before He/she Edits them Or Does He/She Gets To Edit Them First?

Thank You


Brie June 24, 2013 at 6:10 am

In reply to Jimmy’s question- I know he wrote that a year ago but incase anyone else comes by and has his same question. The answer depends on the photographer in which you coudl ask up front. Some photographers will give you all images on c.d., but I hate to say it, those are generally the lesser on the totem pole ones, as in cheap or low quality- shoot n burners they call them. Whereas other would say no way jose because they only want their best work out there representing them. If the model happen to blink in a shot I wouldnt send that to her because its of no good to her or I. Futhermore, theres the editing part of it- editing is a lot of work and to edit an entire shoot is many times crazy talk. What I do and know many do is narrow down the top lets say 8 and then make those just how we want them. if you don’t like the photographers style, then you either didn’t do your homework on them, or just wont be working with them again and get better at selecting who you work with.
hope that helps.


Sarah McDowd October 3, 2013 at 12:25 am

Good answer Brie! 🙂
-The ModelMentors.com Team


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