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Thread: Launching myself as a family portrait photographer

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    Launching myself as a family portrait photographer

    I find I'm spending more and more time doing photography, particularly of people, kids, candids, etc. It's not paid for, but everyone I've spoken to says I ought to start offering a family photo opportunities.

    So I've now built up a page describing service, costs, etc and would really appreciate your thoughts.

    http://www.xavimages.com/gallery/8301239_79ywH

    For the background, I've constructed an "about me" page here: http://www.xavimages.com/gallery/7275853_WdM4A


    So what do you think?

    Cheers

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    Photographer Bobster's Avatar
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    Re: Launching myself as a family portrait photographer

    congrats on taking the next step, however, i think you're pricing yourself a little high as far as prints go for the quality of your work.. perhaps when you improve you can then stick your pricing up..

    you should re-visit your wording on the How it works, to make it a little more appealing for people to book you as well..

    also
    instead of 30 minutes, leave it at: additional time is charged at £30.00hr

    don't worry about listing the actual equipment you use, nobody but a photographer gives a stuff

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    Re: Launching myself as a family portrait photographer

    Thanks Bob.

    Pricing is one of those tricky ones. I'm not arguing your point, it's just difficult to know where to place yourself. I've researched the market, but most photographers don't publish their prices

    My idea was to be straight and clear up front. You know exactly how much it will cost you to get whatever you want.

    Some of the portfolio photos aren't the best, I agree. It's a kind of chicken and egg scenario.

    But I suppose having those photos are better than nothing at all? What would be your C&C ?

    I have a few friends with kids and they've asked me to do a shoot next week so that will give me a chance to produce better photos.

    Thanks

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    Re: Launching myself as a family portrait photographer

    Reworded it a bit and removed the bullet points, and I think it looks better

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    Re: Launching myself as a family portrait photographer

    Quote Originally Posted by tfboy View Post
    Pricing is one of those tricky ones. I'm not arguing your point, it's just difficult to know where to place yourself. I've researched the market, but most photographers don't publish their prices

    My idea was to be straight and clear up front. You know exactly how much it will cost you to get whatever you want.

    Thanks

    If they don't publish, ask? I'm pretty sure most togs aren't going to pass up potential business

    Also, presumably you've checked brick and mortar studios/stores too (besides websites)?

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    Re: Launching myself as a family portrait photographer

    C&C on the photographs that are currently up? tbh, they don't scream hire me to take your family portrait.. so is it good to have them up?

    its better to have 1 shoot of a family up on your blog with information, than to launch your portrait site with a mish mash of shots that look like any mum or dad can take..

    take your friends and their kids to say, the local park, and get them to interact and have some fun.. stuff like the kids standing up on the swings with parents behind, dad pushing the kids etc

    the one thing that kids don't do well, is pose you haven't got alot of time to get to know your subjects, so you need to get them to have fun or you'll find the kids will get bored very quickly...

    also take this away from the list
    At the end of the session, I will take all the images away and work on them to get the best composition, colour, etc.
    you're saying that the photographs you take aren't any good until you get them back to the computer.. this shouldn't be the case.. you should be conveying that your shots are Great straight from the camera!

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    Re: Launching myself as a family portrait photographer

    Quote Originally Posted by Bobster View Post
    also take this away from the list

    you're saying that the photographs you take aren't any good until you get them back to the computer.. this shouldn't be the case.. you should be conveying that your shots are Great straight from the camera!
    Thanks. I initially reworded that, but have now removed it completely.

    edit: I'm doing a family shoot on Thursday for friends so will have some more appropriate stuff to show then
    Last edited by tfboy; 25-05-2009 at 11:07 AM.

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    Re: Launching myself as a family portrait photographer

    Well, I've now completely redesigned the layout, having it spread over several pages, and it's a lot better imho. More of a journey as you go from one page to the next and not just a dump of information. Reworded it a fair bit too, and have unique photos on each page (well, nearly )

    Best bit was yesterday afternoon, going out to the park with Nathan. Was a bit tricky with the late afternoon sun and annoyingly, nearly all the amusements at the park were perpedicular to the afternoon sun, so had that to contend with too.

    Still, not too shabby of the results, and have posted some of the better shots in the blog.

    Updated design here for those interested: http://www.xavimages.com/gallery/8326344_L3vMq

    Nathan's parents are over the moon, so I guess I can't complain too much, although I'm still very critical and not quite satisfied with some of the shots... But it was definately good practice and they said they wanted more photos as soon as possible and they'd let me know when they go to the park so I can tag along and take some more shots

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    Re: Launching myself as a family portrait photographer

    Out of interest, do you have a CRB check?

    If i was going to let anyone take pictures of my (if i had any) kids, i'd want to know they had an up to date CRB to know they didn't have any ulterior motives!

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    Re: Launching myself as a family portrait photographer

    i think as long as someone has a good rep and enough variation of shots i wouldnt be bothered with a CRB check, after all the shots that happen are going to be as a family rather than leaving your child alone with the photographer..

    those new shots are better, but i dont see any with the parents.. you need to remove the other shots, you should only display your best images, and only show the best images to the client..

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    Re: Launching myself as a family portrait photographer

    I didn't get round to taking any with the parents, they were keener to get some just of their kid. But will do it next time, if they want it.

    I'm not too bothered as I'd rather deliver what they want. But if it carries on like that, I may amend my wording...

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    Lightbulb Re: Launching myself as a family portrait photographer

    Quote Originally Posted by tfboy View Post
    But will do it next time, if they want it.
    need to brush up on your negotiation skills

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    Re: Launching myself as a family portrait photographer

    Quote Originally Posted by Bobster View Post
    need to brush up on your negotiation skills
    LOL. They're friends, so I'm not going to boss them about. I did suggest taking some family portraits with both of them and Nathan and they were up for it. We just didn't get the chance to do it the other day. Gives another reason to take some more photos

    One of the reasons I said family portraits and not child portraits was to avoid people jumping to conclusions of male with camera + child photographs = dodgy stuff

    My main advertising will be word of mouth more than via the website. The couple I shot last week are continuing to hassle me in waiting for me to give them the green light in terms of suggesting me. So I'm not going to complain

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    Re: Launching myself as a family portrait photographer

    do you need a CRB for this?

    edit

    just noticed this has already been said.
    □ΞVΞ□

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    Re: Launching myself as a family portrait photographer

    Turns out it's just as well I might be able to get away without a CRB because it's not exactly easy to get one. Not in terms of "qualifying", but no individual can apply for one, only via large companies which are CRB-certified or subscribed or whatever the term is.

    Taken from their website:
    The current legislation does not allow the self-employed or individuals to apply for a CRB check on themselves. In addition, parents who employ a nanny/au pair/babysitter directly cannot apply for a CRB check; however, if an agency supplies the nanny/au pair/babysitter, the agency is entitled to carry out a CRB check.

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    Re: Launching myself as a family portrait photographer

    Your new shots are better, but I'm not inspired. I've just done some flickr/google searching for kids portraits and I'm still not inspired... I've asked a few friends for links to what they consider great kids photography so we'll see what comes up there.

    One thing to say is watch your background (not criminal ). You obviously know how to use a wide aperture to isolate subjects, but the background still has an influence. There's also some very flat lighting and a lot of very central compositions. Finally, there's no rule that says portraits have to be at wide apertures - try to mix it up a bit. Shallow DoF on an entire gallery looks a bit samey.

    There's also some really good stuff coming through - the one on the swing is almost great (watch the feet!) and the one peeking through the circular hole is very neatly done (again, get all of the head un-obscured - this is a controlled environment).

    When you direct a shoot you're not 'bossing people around' - you're directing a shoot. It's expected, especially with kids you need to be playing with them. A couple of your candid shots at present look very candid - ie a bit rough round the edges. If you're going for this candid style you need them to be candid but still controlled. Try making the kids and parents act and then shoot them in the middle of it.

    I dunno what the expectations of your clients are - for that you need to sit down with the parents of the kid you just photographed and ask them for no-holds-barred critiscm. No pandering to your feelings, and if you can get past the 'oooh he's got a shiny 85 1.4 and a D700 so the IQ is really nice and it's got a shallow DoF that I can't get with my compact' kind of critiscm then that's even better.

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