"I'm STILL waiting for photos from a TF/TFP photoshoot!"

Just a reminder to all that "TF"/"TFP" (trade) photoshoots still require releases/agreements for everyone involved! In regards to agreements my mantra is,

"If it wasn't written and signed, it didn't happen."

The biggest complaint I get about photographers above all is the length of time that it takes to get photos back to the model (or makeup artist, etc). We understand that photos take time to be retouched, this is not the issue. My first question I typically ask the people who are upset about waiting endlessly for photos is "Did you sign an agreement stating that they had to get photos to you for a specific deadline?" Most often the answer is "Well, no... but it was TF!"

Exactly. It was a trade.

What were you and the photographer trading?

Without a written agreement, the photographer technically owns the photo and could argue that their part of the deal was just being there to take the photo in exchange for your donated modeling/makeup/hair design/wardrobe, etc. If you slap a mutually signed agreement on the deal outlining what your trade entails, it would the actually require the photographer to send you photos for your own use as well (or whatever the contract says).

Not only would the signed contract make them legally obligated to provide copies of completed work to you, I find it puts a bit more push on the person to get it done at all, and shows you know the business. Having written agreements is like having to-do lists, which are an effective way of prompting people to get things done!

You may like the idea that you can trust all the people you work with to hold up their ends of bargains- but let's be realistic. We all have people we love to work with and will collaborate with or make compromises with, and that is fine, as long as at the end of the day everyone still gets their promised images/payments. Even friends/family should sign contracts if it is important that you see the end results.

To put this into practice, pretend that in order to do any photoshoot, or to put a brush to someone's face (makeup artists, I'm looking at you) or a comb to their hair, you must complete the required documentation first. Just get into the habit of using releases as a regular part of your job. I have attached below a link to the most simple mobile app for a model release which can be amended to make it appropriate for all.

Remember that any contact can be amended! Don't be afraid to cross things out, rewrite or reword anything that doesn't specifically apply to your needs!