Automotive Photography

Discussion in 'The Aspiring Professionals Forum' started by Aedai, May 20, 2017.

  1. Aedai

    Aedai No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I've recently begun dabbling in automotive photography with my boyfriend and was wondering if there was anyone who could give us pointers as far as starting a business portion of it.

    What to charge - how to market - anything else because this is all new to me!

    I've personally been a hobbyist photographer for many years but I've gotten a lot of encouragement to push myself out of my comfort zone and that's kind of how this began.

    Here's my page if you would like to take a look - portfolio is still building so at this point and probably for the next month or so we're doing free shoots but we'd really like to make a real business out of this!
    AutoFocus Photography


     
  2. webestang64

    webestang64 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I do automotive photography as a side job for 20 years. I charge $250 a car or motorcycle, if the client say has 4 cars to shoot, I'll do the first at $250 and the others at $150 each. Most of my business comes from going to car shows, talking with the hosting group for their ok and then take up conversations with car owners. Most times the car owner talks to me first as I shoot film and they are always curious as to why I shoot film. I also carry a 4x6 portfolio to show them why I shoot film and more than likely they like my style and hire me to shoot their car(s).
    And word of mouth is a big deal in the car world, one will always tell another about your work.
    My system might not work for everybody but it's a start.
    Good luck, your photography looks good to me.
     
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  3. Aedai

    Aedai No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Thank you for this information! Do you have a website? I'd love to see what you do!
    I feel entirely too cheap then for what I've been charging compared to you - although most of my shoots thus far has been from car shows. My plan was to market prints more than market the photography - at least for now until my name gets out there a little bit more.
    I still have a long ways to go but everyone starts somewhere!

    In fact this is my "initial" start... I really want to get into photographing people, families, couples and maternity, but I wanted to wet my feet a little with something I'm more comfortable with! Hopefully this is just the beginning of my journey!
     
  4. FotosbyMike

    FotosbyMike No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I am a little confused about these statements:
    If you really want to photography people then I would focus on that because photography people and vehicles are not even close and in some sense why waste your time with a subject you can't really learn from.

    What makes photographing cars more comfortable, do you know cars, is it because cars don't need posed like people, is it because cars don't need coached, encouraged...etc.

    IMO either stick with subjects that make you comfortable or dive into what makes you uncomfortable and absorb, learn, practice, read, watch videos as much as you can about people.
     
  5. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    A few thoughts and/or comments. First and foremost, pick a genre and stick with it. As Mike mentioned, automotive and people are two VERY widely separated areas. Second, yes, you're way too cheap. Third, facebook is a social media service, it is NOT a portfolio, it is not 'your' website, so: (1) Get a proper website with a proper gallery-style portfolio; and (2) get a proper print portfolio, in at least 8x10. Fourth, your work isn't bad at all, especially the composite stuff; it has a very advertising/commercial feel to it. It still has a way to go, but you're well ahead of most of the other people walking around car shows with a camera, and last, but DEFINITELY NOT least, if you're going to do this and you're taking money, please, for the love of gawd, tell me you have insurance.

    As far as pricing goes, $250 a car seems a lot more reasonable, but that's something you need to work out for yourself, and once you actually sit down and calculate how much it costs you to shoot that session, you will see how much you're losing every time you shoot a $20 car.
     
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  6. webestang64

    webestang64 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I do not have a web site. I like for my clients to see my work in print instead of say on a phone. As to going from autos to people Mike and tirediron have good advise.
     
  7. Aedai

    Aedai No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Auto because it's my boyfriend's interest. It's something he started and I joined in on and I really enjoyed it - that's how I began this journey! I'm still learning my camera at this point, and teaching my boyfriend what I know and we learn things together. That's why I'm doing Auto Photography right now, and I really love it but my long term goal is to photograph people once I'm 1) experienced in photography and 2) more confident in my skills. I do feel like, and am, learning a lot from doing this type of Photography.

    I'm truly honestly scared I'm going to take photographs for a family and have the photos come out trash and they'll be disappointed and I'll be disappointed and really - if it comes to it, I've been using PS long enough at this point in time that I am absolutely confident I can make a car photo look decent.

    BUT that being said you all have very good points and maybe it's time I take the plunge for what I really want to do.

    Everyone is so helpful here - I very obviously need to figure out more on the business side as well. Thank you all for the information you have given me!

    Any more thoughts or insight is appreciated as well!
     
  8. FotosbyMike

    FotosbyMike No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I finally had some time to look at your FB page, these are pretty good shots. With a few adjustments they would be ad worthy. If you are interested check out a tutorial by RGGEDU on Car Photography & Retouching with Easton Chang

    So when you are shooting cars yes you are learning how to use the camera and some settings but that basic knowledge for any type of photography.

    What you are not learning is how to pose(that's an art), make people feel comfortable, work with you, ways to coach them, picking a new angle/scene in only a few seconds/minute without letting them known...etc. all this besides the lighting, off camera flash, bounce cards... picking the correct lens for people to not make the look distorted.
    Natural Light Portraiture & Retouching with Dani Diamond

    So I would start with family and friends first charge nothing to a little ask non-friends like this forum to critic your photos and go from there, but at some point you will have to book a real client, charge your full fees and suck it up. Not everyone will like your photos/style and the people who do will book you.

    Best of luck!
     

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