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All images © 2006-2014
Seán McSweeney Photography

Photo-shoot Questions and Answers

Before, During and After a Photo-shoot - How do Things Work?

What is a Comp Card?
Miscellaneous

A Comp Card (or composite card - also called a Z-Card) is a model's business card. It is normally a 5.5" x 8.5" card with 5 or 6 photographs of the model. It also contains their name and measurements such as height, weight, eye color etc. When you go for a casting call or if you're contacting a potential employer, you use a comp card to a) show them what you look like, b) summarize your stats, and c) leave behind some contact information.

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What is TFCD and how does it work?
Miscellaneous

"Time for CD" or sometimes, TFP "Time for Print" or "Test Shoot". 

A model, or would-be model agrees to give up her or his time and pose for a photographer who agrees to provide her/him with a selection of images for her/his portfolio or "book". It is a "trade" or exchange initiative. No money changes hands. 

The photographer provides his time, equipment, studio facilities and skills to photograph a model without any payment. The model, in return normally receives copies of the photographs taken. While the photographer still owns the photos, both the model and the photographer have "rights" to use the images to market or promote their careers. For a model just starting out it can be a good way to pick up modelling experience and some images to start her/his book. 

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What is a Model Portfolio
Model Portfolios

Often called a model's "book". It's a collection of your very best modelling photographs that you use to market yourself to agencies and potential clients. 

How many pictures you need varies. You should only keep strong pictures, you are only as good as your worst picture! Models should aim for quality not quantity. A basic but versatile portfolio would have a casual head shot, styled head shot, body shot (swimsuit or lingerie/underwear), a fashion shot, and an editorial shot. As you gain experience replace the older pictures with newer ones.

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How long does a studio shoot take?
Miscellaneous

Photo shoots vary in duration. When you arrive for your appointment the photographer will have already prepared for your shoot and the studio will be setup, lights set and everything ready to start the shoot. A portrait shoot can take as little as a few minutes. Model shoots take longer as there will be a variety of poses and probably wardrobe changes. A model shoot will normally take between one and two hours.

Who is present at the shoot?
Miscellaneous

This depends on the studio and photographer. Some photographers prefer to work alone. Some shoots however, can have a large crew consisting of assistants, grips, technicians, sound engineers, consultants, hair stylists, makeup artists, wardrobe stylists, etc.

I generally work alone or with a makeup artist and one assistant, if the shoot requires it.

Do I need experience posing?
Miscellaneous

It is always a pleasure working with an experienced model who moves fluidly and naturally. This comes with years of experience and the shoot normally moves along very fast. If you have never posed before, you will be directed and will quickly learn the basics of posing. Just relax and enjoy the shoot! The more relaxed you are, the more you will enjoy the shoot and the better the images will be.

How many Photos will I get for my event?
Events and Functions

This depends on the length of your event. Here is a rough guideline so you know what to expect.

  • 2 hour event: 125-200 photographs
  • 4 hour event: 250-359 photographs
  • 8 hour event: 450-700 photographs

I believe in quality over quantity but we will always work to your brief.

Do you retouch and enhance event photos?
Miscellaneous

I spend at least a day editing your photos and making them look perfect. We don’t retouch every single one but if this is something you require then this can be factored into our fee. If you need your photo straight after your event for a press deadline your photos will be edited quickly but they won’t be retouched.

Do I get the copyright to my photographs?
Miscellaneous

A photographer always keeps the copyright to their photographs. However, I do not believe in holding your images hostage or charging you a further fee to use the images. You will be given the digital files and you can use them however you wish. Upload them to Facebook, turn them into table-mats, send them to your family. I do however expect that in return, you will credit me as the photographer.

What is a Test Shoot?
Miscellaneous

In the world of model agencies, a test shoot generally refers to a new model working with one of the agency’s approved photographers. This is done to have the model start building her or his agency portfolio and to see if the model has the talent and the personality to succeed in this industry. In this case, it’s basically the same as a TFCD shoot in the sense that the model receives images but it’s up to negotiation if the model will release her likeness or if the photographer will be paid. Usually the model’s likeness is released for all non-commercial purposes and the photographer charges a discounted rate as determined between the photographer and the agency.

What is a Model Release?
Model Portfolios

A model release is a formal agreement between the model and the photographer about usage of the images where the model appears. When a model signs a model release he or she acknowledges that images with him or her in them will be used for commercial purposes around the world.

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Do you retouch and enhance model photos?
Model Portfolios

In a perfect world, each photo would come out of the camera perfectly. This however, is not often the case. Digital photos need to be edited or post-processed to ensure correct white balance, color, and tone correction. Then, they need to be converted to the format you have requested - print quality, web-ready, etc. This aspect of post-production is automatically included in the rate you will be quoted.

I will also provide limited and superficial enhancement of the images presented to you. Remember, when you look good - I as the photographer look good!

If you require enhanced post-production - skin softening, blemish removal etc., for fashion magazine-type reproduction, then this can be factored into my fee, separately. To give you some idea of what this entails, the average Vogue Magazine model cover photograph has probably benefited from between 5 to 10 hours of professional retouching!

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All images © 2006-2014
Seán McSweeney Photography