Where do you get your portfolio started

One of the best ways to get better at being a photographer and making a name for yourself, or at least a portfolio worth sharing is trade photo shoots. Commonly known as TF, TFP or some other combination of letters it is a scourge but necessary part of the process of getting better at creating people focused pictures. You could grab your spouse, best friend or child of course but here is what happens, they get tired of being your model very fast and being the subject of all your pictures on Instagram or Facebook. Or they could just not be attractive or cute, which is a big importance to those wishing to gain social media followers.

TF is a very common practice and is how most of us get our portfolio filled out. Models, photographers, make-up artists, designers and more have used this method for years. With the addition of social media, much more predominant from when I started building mine, cross promoting each other as a rising tide raises all ships. Here is where I get a bit, perturbed, will irritated and sometimes pissed. The trade partner never shares or posts the photos of the other person, networking, taking and helping them gain a name.

So maybe they do not like your pictures, I understand. Some of the shots I have taken are terrible over the years but that is what made TF so wonderful, there was no expectation of excellence. Just working out a style and technique that works for me and in the process helps the other person get better at what they do, practice makes perfect. But they will share that crappy selfie made in the gym with the phone hiding most of the face. Ok, I hate selfies, not self portraits, but selfies. #upgradetheselfie

I regress, no ranting Ed, be positive. So here I go again as my wife mentioned to me, I am cutting off TF shoots for the most part. Last time I said it I wanted to go cold turkey like I did with cigarettes years ago. That proved to be a failure as I love meeting new models and other creative and learning something or maybe teaching something to them. So I have figured out a solution, I will continue to do TF shoots but more selectively and strategically.

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