Does it really matter if I do not turn up for A TF shoot

Posted on Monday 5th of March 2012
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Written by 32 comments

Many photographers and models will have at some point in their adventures arranged a TF shoot and for a variety of reasons one or the other fails to show up on the day. Does this really matter that much? After all, no one has been paid, there are no costs and no one is out of pocket are they?

Well, if this is what you think I would urge you to think again!

It’s correct that in the true sense of the term no money changes hands between contributors on a TF shoot. Time is given up on both sides of the camera to create images to mutually benefit all involved but is there really a financial cost?

From a models perspective, there is the cost of travelling to the shoot to start with, make up and clothing may have been bought specifically for that theme of the shoot and of course there is their time.

From a photographers perspective there is their time and skill to account for, travelling to location and even the cost of hiring a studio (this open up another can of worms which I may write about at a later date).

From a make up artist’s perspective, they may have purchased make up items specific to the shoot based on what the model or photographer wants to achieve. There are also the usual travelling costs incurred too.

Apart from the financial cost there are other hidden costs too. How many people actually set out to create a poor reputation as being unreliable, a time waster? But this is what you will get, at no cost I might add, and any negative references on your profile will be shouting loud and clear ‘STAY AWAY FROM THIS PERSON’.

If you are serious about making progress in this industry your reputation is worth its weight in gold and should be promoted well and protected wherever possible. This is how people will judge you besides the quality of your images. There is an old saying that reputation is difficult to build and takes a long time to do so, but it can leave on a fast train in seconds!

Life can get in the way in many ways and if this is the case the least you can do is to contact the people you are going to collaborate with to let them know that you can’t make it. A text message only takes seconds to create and send, even if you are on deaths door with an exotic illness or your grannies cat’s funeral starts soon!

So yes, there is a cost implied with TF shoots for all involved in terms of time, cash and reputation and it really does matter if you don’t turn up so please make every effort and only arrange a shoot if your intend to turn up…preferably on time!

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photographer skennama Ray H from Staffordshire profile photo
A TF shoot is a commitment .........All you need to do is contact your model / Tog and say I cannot make it . Sorry! You have at least prevented wasting other peoples time and expense . You could give a reason ? But at least you have considered that you may have prevented others losing out on other work waiting for you to "show". If this happens more than twice without good reason ! YOU ARE a Time waster !!! members will soon let others know . . If that is not important to you ! I am lost for words... I have very very few "No -shows" But I can sympathise with members who have been less fortunate... Your Modelling/ Photography career is likely to be very short lived . !!!
neil6819 liked this 2015-06-10
model kt83 from Swansea profile photo
Of course it matters, photographers and models put time into the shoot and if you don't turn up then that is time wasted, and money spent if travelling is to be done
photographer Pos from Milton Keynes profile photo
A commitment is a commitment. If something happens to stop that being fulfilled; which ever way, then the least you can do is communicate. A decent enough explanation should hurt less and might even have a positive rather than negative effect on your reputation.
model cherryblush from Nottinghamshire profile photo
The fact that you need to even ask this question, shows your unproffessionalism. If that is even a word.
model cherryblush from Nottinghamshire profile photo
cherryblush It is when it is spelled correctly.
model cherryblush from Nottinghamshire profile photo
cherryblush Not with two "F"s .politely meant !
photographer Malloch Caldwell from East Sussex profile photo
Tf shoots are a trade. One only has to ask the tax man how he considers that.
photographer Malloch Caldwell from East Sussex profile photo
Malloch_Caldwell As a former tax man/now self-employed slave of the tax herberts, if no profits are realised, it is only a hobby. I have this in writing from my local taxbot. I would send any losses to the tax man to have it set against my overall tax burden. No NI is payable on loss-making businesses. Tell me how you get on. Canon makes lovely cameras and lenses.
studio The Studio by the South Downs National Park from West Sussex profile photo
neil6819 - a TF shoot is just that. I would not pay expenses for the model. Would the model pay my travelling expenses? I very much doubt it. The model is getting my 25 years plus of experience, my studio time, heating, equipment, £2 million public liability insurance, image editing time, and my agency scout accreditation. That's not a bad deal on TF. In a couple of weeks time I am shooting a model whole day TF. Why? Because this model has huge potential and I have a strong feeling the model will be accepted by one of the agencies for whom I scout. OK, I will get a finder's fee if the model is accepted. And I do have a better than 1 in 25 hit rate (compared to average agency acceptance of budding models at less then one in one thousand). But in total I will probably spend about twenty hours on this model. My normal fee + studio fee is £40 an hour, and editing fee is £15 per hour. So should the model pay me that £500? No, I don't think so. But I do expect the model to turn up - on time, wide awake, not hung-over, all the clothes neat and clean, all labels removed, all accessories matching, Seems like a very good deal to me.
model Raven Nyx from Bristol profile photo
I think its a reputation thing. If you cant even turn up for a tfp then how will we know if you will turn up for a paid shoot? Could just be a time waster. TFP you're still getting paid for but in photos. And yea it would annoy a tog because some travel miles and pack a lot of stuff and that takes time, effort and petrol money. Should give at least a few hours notice if to cancel.
photographer neil6819 from Dorset profile photo
Would it not be wiser if say the photographer paid the model some travel expenses and not pay them the hourly rate ontop til the model at least makes at least the first shoot?
photographer Stuphoto from Gloucestershire profile photo
Travel? wasted time and effort? reputation? If you arrange a shoot, turn up or contact the person involved to either cancel or re-arrange. Not turing up is just bad manners
photographer Martin Jones Photography from Merseyside profile photo
Money or Time you are still trading and should be counted the same, If you want to call yourself professional and get work "All work" should be treated the same.
photographer shphotoguy from North Lanarkshire profile photo
I believe it is very important to keep your word and attend a shoot thats been pre arranged and set for a date on both parties, model or tog tf or paid ,
whether you have a legitimate reason or simply cant be bothered on the day, notice should be given out of respect if you cant make it,
we need to all work together and have fun,

feedback is very important and gives others the chance to see how a shoot went or how the person performs,
a lot of new models and togs with little or no experience dont have any feedback, but it doesnt deter me, i give everybody an equal chance,

and if they cancel for any reason, just try and re arrange for another day its not the end of the world,

try and hold your end of the deal, if you do and give your best then thats all thats needed,

too many people " spit the dummy " and give bad feedback when the situation could be resolved better by maybe taking amicably about it,

not everybody is genuine though and do waste it for others
model Aurora Violet from Perth and Kinross profile photo
TF shoots are just as important as paid shoots. I see it as an opportunity not to be passed, nor to mess around the photographer just because there is no payment involved as the photographer still may pay for studio hire, or even the cost of petrol for him to get to the location unless shooting at his/her house of course. Always communicate and if you do need to cancel it should be at least 24hrs or more in advance.

I have never just not turned up to a shoot, however as i have learned the hard way twice now unfortunatly, if things do end up going wrong with your travelling or anything else that cannot be helped all you can do is work even harder on any shoots after that and when receiving any bad feedback use it as a learning curve and do not be put off. There is only yourself to blame and yourself also to focus on not making these mistakes again. There are models who do muck around and are not professional but if a model is clearly not giving you her phone number or is not communicating well then clearly they are possibly going to let you down and just not showing up with no contact whatsoever is very rude, i have heard from other photographers of many models doing this but i assume they are not very serious.

I work very hard to avoid letting anyone down or even having to cancel shoots. I am going to learn from my setbacks and make sure these are not problems in the future for me.

Always make sure you take your phone with you and have the photographers number saved. So if you do end up taking a train that is delayed or you have a problem with your car then you can call/text and let your photographer know what the problem is if need be.

Great topic!

photographer Perfectpink from Lancashire profile photo
There is an easy answer. In your TF offer, whether you are a Tog or a model you state that a now show will incurr a £50 fee for waste of time, studio fees etc. Then you have a perfectly legitimate case if they no show of covering your costs.
photographer Diamond Dragon from Surrey profile photo
Cancelling a TF shoot is as bad as cancelling a paid shoot. As already stated, there are occasions where studios etc have been paid.

On a legal standpoint, a TF shoot is as legally binding as a paid one, there is an offer to treat, consideration and acceptance. The consideration being modelling in exchange for images. Cancelling is therefore a breach of contract. It is therefore possible to sue for breach of same. Although only a petty person would actually do so.
photographer jcl0405 from North Lanarkshire profile photo
Couldn't agree more. I had one model (who uses this site) cancel not one but three shoots an hour before we were due to start citing that her mother, grannie and she was ill. She was on Facebook and was laughing about having a hangover on all three occasions. I had paid for a studio on the first shoot, paid a location on the second and told a paying client (who never returned) that I had a shoot arranged on the third occasion. Between the three I was out of pocket to the tune of over £800. Now if a model cancels or doesn't show without good reason she is blacklisted and I'll never work with them again. - John
model lollylou from Cheshire profile photo
Totally agree it is incredibly rude to not just show up from both parts, the least you can do if you can't make it is to let the other party know preferably in advance.x
liked this 2012-06-26
photographer J W Photography from Northamptonshire profile photo
It is not just bad form but incredibly rude, to just not show. Plans will have been made by one or other of the participants and an incredible amount of work can take place to prepare for the shoot. Remember also that if you are serious about your photography/modelling career then you may just have missed your one chance to create that great pic that gets you noticed. John
model Mata from East Sussex profile photo
I agree :-)
photographer bdfoto from West Sussex profile photo
As a sufferer at the hands of more than a dozen no-shows in the past year I agree 100%. I know of one tog who had a model turn up two hours late for a paid shoot a few years ago. She admitted having been in a night club till 4 am, looked as if she had had little or no sleep, and was sent home. The photographer then sued the model through the County Court for the total of his time, the MUA and the rather expensive studio that had been hired in. He won and she paid up - nearly £1000. Now I have never done that to a model, but I have come very, very close.
Well said. As a location photographer I usually travel to a location prior to the shoot to make sure all is well, sus out particular angles, where the sun/moon is at the time of the shoot, etc and might do this a few times, only to have the model drop out at the last moment.
model charlie121a from Stirlingshire profile photo
Ditto! Shame not everyone thinks sensibly like the rest of us :)
model gracefaith from Glasgow City profile photo
Agreed! :)
photographer LuxVobiscum from Midlothian profile photo
I totally agree - if something unforeseen arises it is not difficult to send a message, preferably the day before the shoot, but at least a few hours before. That is why I always give a model my mobile phone number, and I'm always suspicious of models who fail to give me theirs. Models who do a 'no show' without a good excuse (and tell me in good time) go on my blacklist, never to be offered a shoot again...
model gracefaith from Glasgow City profile photo
Agreed Jagman
photographer jagman from Northumberland profile photo
Another cost is the lost chance that some other more reliable model could have had
model gracefaith from Glasgow City profile photo
If I lost my cactus I would indeed be a bereaver ;)
model gracefaith from Glasgow City profile photo
What if your cactus died? That's worth cancelling a shoot at short notice for isn't it...? ;)

Lol, only kidding. Good article Glen. Excellent points raised.
model gracefaith from Glasgow City profile photo
Photoman1707 Sheffield it is a sign of the times,people cannot be bothered to keep gp,dentist,hospital appointments so there is little wonder they have no qualms about not keeping a free photographer appointment
In 2012 40% of my tfp models failed to keep their appointment and I became so angry I started to make a note on models portfolios that they failed to keep the appointment or cancelled at short notice
edit history · 2014-01-02
model gracefaith from Glasgow City profile photo
photoman1707 mines 60 40 the other way ie 60 percent cancel

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