So what is a test shoot, exactly? A test shoot is an excellent way for aspiring stylists to showcase original looks on a model with a photographer (and sometimes makeup artist) in exchange for images. It’s a win-win situation for all involved parties. In the industry, test shoots are commonly referred to as TFP’s meaning Time for Prints or Trade for Prints. Listed below are the reasons we think you should go out and arrange a test shoot like, now!
Build Your Portfolio
Starting off as a key stylist can be tough. Gaining clients is hard when you have nothing to show them so you need a legit portfolio to display your original styling work. Styling jobs done as an assistant CANNOT be included in your book as it is considered the key stylist’s work and can only be included on your resume.
Networking w/ Photographers and Models
Tests shoots are an excellent way to network. You can meet up-and-coming models and amateur photographers and develop relationships with them that can carry on into the future. You never know if you’re working with the next Kate Moss or David LaChapelle.
With no exchange of money, you’re merely trading talent for talent.
It’s great practice for the real thing. You can start pulling from boutiques/PR firms and develop your relationships with them without the added pressure of a client or job breathing down your neck.
There are no rules or guidelines for test shoots. You have more liberty to collaborate with the model/makeup artist/photographer and more say-so in art direction of the shoot and so forth. As far as the actual styling is concerned, test shoots are the wild west. You can be as risqué or kitschy as you want. You get full reign in deciding what your model wears.
What are you waiting for? Go out and find some aspiring models and photographers to drum up an awesome test shoot!