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Advice on setting up visiting portraiture business

peterjones Plus
16 4.7k 1 United Kingdom
2 Jul 2007 8:18PM
Just like weddings in portraiture people skills are paramount and are at least as important as your L lenses or whatever; having said that as usual you need to buy the best lenses you can and you may find that your existing glass is inadequate in delivering quality; I use a 35mm f/1.4L and an 85mm f1.8 both of which are superb when coupled with a 5D.

The organisations: SWPP; BIPP and the MPA all run courses on portaiture and some research into good books on the market will help in lighting techniques. total familiarisation with your techniques including posing and lighting is important as you don't want to be looking totally amateur in front of clients fiddling with lights or whatever.

As for s many pros charge little for the session knowing full well that they will be well recompensed with the subsequent print orders which in my experience can be substantial.

Best o' luck, Peter.

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ade_mcfade 14 15.2k 216 England
2 Jul 2007 8:29PM
Cheers.... though I didn't dare do it to Teresa when she was here on Saturday though Tony Smile

Posing and portrait's a thing you need to do a lot of I guess, I've got men sorted - i.e. lots of mates have posed under duress

Little kids - done one session with 4. Nightmare

Babies - 2 sessions, once, too small, second time, miserable baby syndrome

Women - 2 sessions, easier than kids of course, but still need to read the book on telling them how to pose - got there in the end, but there's a lot of laughing and dodgy/naff shots in between Smile

hence I never charge... yet Smile
Hanners Plus
12 875 10 Ireland
2 Jul 2007 8:39PM
I haven't charged yet for any sittings, as I tend to rely on the print sales, but to be fair I do a lot of Nurseries so when you shoot 250 kids a week (and everybody loves their own little cherubs), I get a decent return. But it's not just a case of turning up, setting up lights, gaining kids confidence - even the crabby little sods and pointing a camera at them, you've got to process all these shots so that time has to be taken into connsideration too. At the end of the day it's bloody hard work, but hugely rewarding and enjoyable - most of the time....Smile
Paul Morgan 17 19.1k 6 England
2 Jul 2007 9:02PM

Quote:I have no laptop so can't download the pics for people to choose at the time in their house

If or when you feel ready get a laptop and Lightroom and shoot tethered, it will save so much time plus the customer can see the pictures at the end of the sitting. Will not need to be a top spec laptop neither Smile
peter shilton 14 1.1k England
2 Jul 2007 10:08PM
Further to my previous comment advising you to charge more I have now looked at your portfolio.

I do not feel that you are ready as yet.

Have a look at some of the images on the portfolios on here, and when you are nearly up to that standard, give it a go.

But if you do it regardless, and make a go of it, good luck to you.

It's a tough world out there.
garamerun 11 27 England
2 Jul 2007 11:24PM
I agree with Paul about the need for a laptop. When i do portraits for family and friends i allways have my laptop with me. This way your customers can see the results there and then. Get rid of the shots you dont need and take a deposit for any they want printed. You can also edit in photoshop if needed, crop etc.When you get home send off to photobox. Like i say i do this for friends and family so i cover my cost only. I think using a laptop would make you look more professional when turning up at someones home. I would also agree about the need for L glass but you could try getting a 50mm 1.8.
tanyard 11 109 United Kingdom
3 Jul 2007 2:28PM
I believe running through the shots onsite with a laptop and taking a deposit would generate a higher print order. That way you could avoid the sitting fee, telling them the sitting is free, and cash in on the excitement of instant playback to create eagerness to buy. Fortune guaranteed.
Seriously, it's a tough commercial world out there. Good luck.
Paul Morgan 17 19.1k 6 England
3 Jul 2007 4:29PM

Quote:I would post the pics on photobox a couple of days later, in a professional gallery

This will have the potential of putting customers off, some will be paranoid of the thought of having there siblings posted on the net. Also not everybody owns or has access to a PC.

I`ve had a look at your sample pic in the CG, although its ok as a snap, its not quite at pro level yet and thats using natural light. How will you cope with studio lighting, you still have a fair way to go. Good luck anyway.
agoreira 14 6.0k Wales
3 Jul 2007 4:53PM

Quote:This will have the potential of putting customers off, some will be paranoid of the thought of having there siblings posted on the net. Also not everybody owns or has access to a PC.

I'm sure he would use the "private" facility, where only the people that you invite can view the photos. They are not for public view, unless you select that option. I would think just about everyone has access to a computer if they want it, public libraries are free, and well used from what I can see.
lobsterboy Plus
14 14.9k 13 United Kingdom
3 Jul 2007 5:07PM

Quote:I'm sure he would use the "private" facility, where only the people that you invite can view the photos.

Yup but I have had people refuse even that. For some people the words internet & pedophile are so closely linked they "dare not risk it" !?

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