It’s a concept I learned from shooting for Modeling Agencies. Often clients of the agency would request a “test”. Simply a shoot to see how a model would pair with their product. Essentially a free first look. If the client liked the result they would engage in paid work. The compensation to the model would typically be keeping the product they are asked to model or represent as a thank you for their time doing this in an unpaid test. Also the model would be allowed to have the images to use in their own portfolio. In some instances the company initiating the test would come back after the fact and go ahead and request use of the images and hire the agency and model for additional shoots in the rest of their product.
In the above scenario, I would get paid by the client regardless for my time. However I decided to start using this in reverse to give companies an opportunity to work with me and essentially “test” my photography in trade. Now, I have ongoing relationships with a number of top brands because of this “test” opportunity that I created. My social network is huge and it also gave the company exposure of their products. Lastly I am often requested to provide editorial content to a number of magazines. Primarily in the luxury and fashion industries. This gives me content to provide them adding additional benefit to the new brand I am working with. Also I pair up with models and agencies I work with to help them get images for their portfolio in trade for them participating in the shoots as well.
At the end, its a collaborative out of the box way to “date” before anyone gets “married”. Everyone simply benefits without much risk at all. Time and some product is all that anyone is at risk. Do note any products you provide to be shot will not be returned. This i the “Trade” portion of the agreement.
Lastly – why do you think Brands such as Coca~Cola, Apple, General Motors and many others pay so much money to have their products used in movies, television, lifestyle campaigns and the like? Easy. Brand recognition and association. This is a huge inherent value to be involved in any of our shoots. Another major value add for Brands positioning themselves with us.
A few of the FAQ’s
What is distribution of the images?
Social Media of myself and the other parties ie model, agency, other product suppliers also engaged in the shoot, etc
Lifestyle shots to add to various portfolios of all the parties engaged
Potential editorial publication exposure (Stock Images)
Obviously any distribution or use you would use for your brand (If you have a list of specific shots you would like please let us know and we will try to accommodate you as best as possible)
What is the context for the shoot?
Context of this shoot would be “Lifestyle” We will incorporate other products often in with images to provide a cross marketing of potential products. An example would be high end fashion with a private jet charter.
How will I get the images?
They will be made available via electronic download. Also please be sure to follow us on our social media as you will see some of our favorite images edited and published. If we use them in other publications we will let you know where those are published as well.
What do we need to do to get started?
If you would like to “Test” please provide a list of the products you would like to send along with an ETA of when you can deliver/ship them so we can evaluate and plan accordingly.
Please include as much information as possible in your email to email@example.com