Advice on Graduation Shoot

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by msf, May 7, 2007.

  1. msf

    msf TPF Noob!

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    Im going to be going to a friends graduation service next weekend and I was planning on taking pictures while there. And then I had the idea of taking picturs of each graduate and then offering prints to those that were interested. I figured I could put the pictures online for people to order if they wanted. The target market would be those that didnt get good pictures of their kids for one reason or another.

    But I had a couple thoughts about this.

    Is there any legal ramifications to this? For instance...

    Do I need permission from the college?

    Is it legal to just put the pictures online to be ordered? A model release would be hard to get for every graduating student, especially since I would be busy taking pictures. I know not everyone wants their picture online, and I could put a message on the site stating that anyone that wants thier picture removed only has to ask.

    And my final question would be, what would be a good online service that allows a photographer to upload their pictures, set a price for the pictures, and then the site would take the order, the payment, perform the printing and finally deliver the final product to the customer, and most important, doesnt require a monthly/yearly fee. I know of smugmug and some other sites that do this, but the accounts required to do so are $100 or more I believe.

    I just figured this would be an easy way to make some money while doing something im already doing. Just steak out a good spot, put the camera on a tripod, pre focus, and just use a shutter release when the subject is in the right spot, checking the preview and histogram after each picture. This way I dont have to be holding a camera for an hour or so. :)
     
  2. AprilRamone

    AprilRamone TPF Noob!

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    Usually colleges hire a pro to come and do everyone's grad. picture. I have a feeling they might have a problem with you doing it as well, depending on where you are planning to do it. I suppose if you set something up off the premises, then it might be ok.
     
  3. msf

    msf TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the reply. My telephoto lens isnt that long to setup off premises. :mrgreen:
     
  4. zioneffect564

    zioneffect564 TPF Noob!

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    I dont think he meant it that way lol
     
  5. AprilRamone

    AprilRamone TPF Noob!

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    So you are talking about doing the actual shot as they are walking across the stage?
    How do you plan to let everyone know that you have prints for sale? Will you have someone standing off to the side handing out your biz card to each graduate so they know how to find you later?
     
  6. EOS_JD

    EOS_JD TPF Noob!

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    I suspect you'll need approval from both the Uni and the place where the images are to be shot. Like the above posts, these are normally all controlled by pro shooters and in fact you purchase your images BEFORE the event! I paid £153 (about $300) for my images and it was paid before the event. I turned up and the backdrop and camera and lights were all rigged up and images taken with a dummy certificate.

    I think it sounds like it'll be more bother than it's worth. Don't let the pro's catch you doing this :)
     
  7. msf

    msf TPF Noob!

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    I guess this is something that I will have to wait until next year to do.

    As for how to contact the graduates, I was just planning on telling the people that I know there, and ask them to pass the word on, and then possibly get some emails sent around. Once again this was just short notice and was mostly for fun, with the possability of making a bit of money.

    Do the schools usually deal with the same photog for many years, or do they just get who ever asks them first, that also has a good profile?

    Do the schools usually get a take of the profits, or do they pay you to show up?
     
  8. EOS_JD

    EOS_JD TPF Noob!

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    The photographers at my graduation are a national company who do all the images for all universities I believe. My images cost me £150 and I had to trim them myself!!! It's a pretty huge deal that you will not be able to get into I doubt. What you may be able to do is offer to take images of the graduates away from where they normally get their images done. The can then pay you a lot less than they were going to pay...... But your images had better be very good :)

    My images took 2 minutes to take and they came out great. They are very standard images.
     
  9. bbrown2146

    bbrown2146 TPF Noob!

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    I work with a lot of schools. They all receive a percentage of the photos from most, but not all events. The percentage runs from 25-50% depending on and if a guarantee is used at the school. Graduations usually fall into the percentage category and usually the school gets 25%.
    Prior to the actual graduation the company will set up and do formal posed images of the students with the cap and gown and a diploma cover. Some even photograph the students not only on the stage but after the event on a background by themselves or with their parents, etc.
    If you want to do this you need to come up with something different as a location or in posing to get the students away from the school. Most times the actual handshakes (grip and grins) are done only by the schools official photographer.
     

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