Asked to shoot an anniversary party????

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by Ptyler22, Aug 23, 2009.

  1. Ptyler22
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    Ptyler22 New Member

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    So I am an amateur photographer that just shoots for fun and I also shoot for the local newspaper. I did a shoot of my friends new truck just for fun, and his mom saw the shots and was really impressed. She asked me if she could hire me to shoot her parents 50th anniversary party. She said she wants a family portrait, and some shots of the day. I told her that I have never shot anything like this before but I would certainly try and she said she still wants me to shoot it.

    So my questions are, what should I look at for inspiration and ideas for types of shots to do, and what do I charge, and what type of equipment should use for it?
  2. CSR Studio
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    CSR Studio New Member

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    Do you really think YOU should be photographing this 50th Anniversary?
  3. Ptyler22
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    Ptyler22 New Member

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    Well, thats the thing, do you think I should shot her more sample shots of other types of things I have shot. Because I know it will be a stretch, but I don't think it will be a complete failure
  4. JerryPH
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    JerryPH New Member

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    Unless you are at the very least welll versed and practiced in off camera flash photography, have fast lenses and a camera that is clean at higher ISO... it may not be a complete failure, but you are certainly not going to be able to deliver a quality product that a couple that has been together for 50 years really deserves.

    These things take places in dark reception halls or restaurants. Natural light or on camera flash is NOT going to cut it, not by a long shot.

    Time to put ego aside and seriously ask yourself the question... is what you can deliver with your equipment an experiences REALLY what they deserve, or is a more experienced photographer going to be able to deliver something that you simply cannot.

    This is certainly not about you... it is totally about the couple and what they deserve.

    No need to answer here... look to your own heart for the answer, and don't be afraid to be brutally honest, because that is just what it takes.
  5. Plato
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    Plato New Member

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    I wanted to see what you've done so I clicked on your Smugmug link and it took me to the Smugmug home page --- http://www.smugmug.com/. I did a search for "Tylerpap" and nothing showed up. What am I doing wrong?

    Edit - I just realized that, by the time that you see this message, I'll be unable to access the web. I'll be out of touch for a while.
  6. MelissaMarieImagery
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    MelissaMarieImagery New Member

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    Are you the only shooter? Are they passing up hiring a "pro" in order to have you shoot it? Were they not hiring anyone to shoot it and since you happen to have a background in Photography they just asked if you would like to?

    The answer will make the difference. If they decided to use you instead of a pro and you aren't confident you can capture the moments they want the way they want them, then you should pass. However if they just asked you if you wanted to do it for fun since they have no official photographer, and it's okay if things don't look PRECISELY the way you want (since they know you don't have experience with this type of photography) go for it! Practice makes perfect and these are the best places to start.
  7. msf
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    msf New Member

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    Just an idea, find out where the party will be, and find out if that location has another party planned before hand. Contact those people to see if you can be there and take some shots that you would be taking at the paid one, to see what you can get. Then show these to the paying people to see if they still want to hire you. :) Plus give a couple to the free ones for letting you practice, and you never know, you might get some print sales from the free one as well.
  8. Ptyler22
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    Ptyler22 New Member

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    So I asked about location and it will be in their yard, which is a big open field, so lighting and such won't be a problem. I think it sounds like maybe I should ask my friend who is an experienced professional photographer and knows my background, since she knows what kinds of things I shoot and such.
  9. KmH
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    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish

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    Actually some of the more difficult images are made in 'big open fields' during daylight.

    Really professional images still require added light during the day. In fact a lot of light since you're competing with the Sun and can't drag the shutter. At a minimum you should have something to diffuse direct sunlight falling on your subjects and a reflector or two to fill the deep shadows you'll likely get if you're trying to shoot anytime before the last hour of sunshine.
  10. Stranger
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    Stranger New Member

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    Try sitting down with the mom and asking what she expects of you. I just photographed a family reunion out in a park which was my first time doing this sort of thing. It's all about communication. Yes I am well versed in off camera lighting and such but I didn't use it. I barely used in on camera flash for the stuff outdoors. Why? Because the client just wanted me to be a 3rd party with no affiliation to anything or anyone who can snap some candids of the guests. Can i get some good candids while carrying around a lightstand and stuff outside in the wind? Nope, people will be watching me. Was it worth dragging around an assistant to try to sneak up on people and light them? Nope, client wasn't worried about having professional top class photos of everything. Just wanted to something to remember the day by.

    I guess what I am trying to say is that instead of asking a bunch of pros who only do top class work and feel you have to have years of experience or else you will fail will only bring about one answer or response. At the end of the day, our opinions dont matter. Just the clients.

    I booked my first wedding without ever 2nd shooting one. I had a buddy come along to help me out (so i guess in a way i 2nd shot? though I got the money). Turned out they loved my photos. They recommended me to a friend, I shot their wedding (solo) and they loved my work as well.

    The key to a successful shoot is successful planning and making sure everyone is on the same page. We can not get you on the same page as the client, that's something you guys must work together to achieve.

    Best of luck to you!
  11. bigtwinky
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    bigtwinky Well-Known Member

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    If it was being held indoors, and you were not used to shooting with off camera flash and dont have the right gear for low light shooting, I'd say no based on technicalities.

    But its mostly taking place outdoors, which means brighter light. While that still has its challenges, not as many as indoor shoots.

    I had a look at your webshots gallery and I think you have a good enough understanding of light to shoot outdoors. Not sure if you have shot candids before, but if not, you need to brush up on what to look for (faces, emotions,...).

    If you are realistic with the client about their expectations and your level of ability, then by all means, shoot it. It is practice. We aren't going to get better if we sit at home and wonder all the time if we are good enough.

    So read up on event shooting (overall shots, emotion shots, setting shots,...), try a practice run in similar light conditions, read up on posed portraits, scope out the area ahead of time (if you can) to get an idea of locations where to shoot.

    Even if they just want 1 family portrait, you'll definatly get requests for others. Be confident, have fun and put your client 1st!
  12. inTempus
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    inTempus New Member

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    +1

    I shoot in direct sun quite often and it presents its own challenges. I have a large full body diffusion panel, reflectors and strobes to get what I want. With a dark room you just need a strobe on a frame to get by with most shots.

    If anything, shooting in the direct sun is more challenging than shooting in low light.
  13. JerryPH
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    JerryPH New Member

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    If someone thinks that being outside doesn't need off camera flash, thats someone that I would have to say doesn't even have the basics of flash down... in which case... I kinda feel bad for the couple who are celebrating the 50th as they are going to get a lot of washed out or silhouetted shots.

    Indoors or out doors... if quality shots are required, off camera flash is a prerequisite.

    You are not going to get outdoor natural shots like I show below without off camera flash.

    Diffused outdoor light... this is about as good as it is going to get:

    [​IMG]

    Take control of it, and you can get results closer to this:
    [​IMG]
  14. Ham1
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    Ham1 New Member

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    It looks like Plato has ended her SmugMug account. Let me know if I can do anything to help?

    Markham
  15. JerryPH
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    JerryPH New Member

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    Plato did not end the account, ptyler22 did for whatever reason. Let's hope that they put the needs of the client before their own. Learning and practicing as the main photographer at a 50th anniversary, because you are not up to the task, is NOT the place to be learning and practicing.

    Learn and practice as the secondary to some events, or on your own time, not at the expense of others.

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