TFP, traditionally known as Time For Print, harking back to the days of film. It's a collaboration between model and photographer. The model will offer his/her time in exchange for photos from the photographer. It's a trade off, both parties work for free in exchange of each others skills.
TFP is reviled by many photographers in the Industry. Many believe that a skilled photographer should never offer his work for free. One should value their self worth, have confidence in their skills and appreciate the time and money invested in both equipment and education. The naysayers will also argue that you will quickly be labelled as the cheap or free photographer and it will be difficult to shake that label further down the line.
Finally on the negative side, it is usually argued that TFP will only attract beginner models and the images produced will reflect the lack of experience and confidence of the model.
I usually approach a TFP shoot for exactly what it is. I'll have a basic plan but I don't go in with huge expectations. I also use these shoots as an opportunity to experiment with new methods and fine tune my skills in a relaxed environment. As a photographer you are under absolutely no pressure to perform as you don't have a paying client or Bridezilla with unrealistic expectations breathing down your neck.
Photoshoots are quite a daunting task, especially when you are a solo act. Monitoring the lighting conditions, managing your camera, adapting to the weather conditions, running back and forth to your off camera lights, diffusing your lights and keeping them standing in the wind. Why is it always windy when I go out on a shoot? Adding an inexperienced model to the mix only complicates matters.
Coming back to my original question...To TFP or not to TFP. I am happy I did this shoot as I am pleased with the results. The model was very enthusiastic and had a small repertoire of poses which worked well together with a bit of input from myself. So yes, I'm happy to do collaborative shoots but I won't hesitate to use pro models to up the quality of my portfolio.