More portrait questions

Discussion in 'The Professional Gallery' started by Corry, Oct 30, 2004.

  1. Corry

    Corry Flirtacious and Bodacious Supporting Member

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    Ok...I seriously would like to get into doing portraits on the side once I get a bit more skilled. I want to look into how much things are going to cost me, and what kinda of equipment I need.

    My first question...there are NO labs in my area besides one-hour types...ONE of those might actually does decent work (never had any of my own done there, but I've seen a friends pics that were developed there...haven't seen anything bigger than 4x6, though..ok, getting to the question...do any of you know any places online that are good for printing this type of thing??? Oh, and I'll be doing this when I get my digital camera, not with my current film camera.

    Other than that...if any of you have ANY tips for me...tips on getting started..things to practice...lemme know, k??? Thanks everyone!!!! :)
     
  2. Jamie R

    Jamie R TPF Noob!

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    It's hard to think of any photographer who has never shot a portrait before. Sooner or later, most of us do.

    Don't worry about the poor quality of the machine prints; if you can afford to, just use these for proofing your final selection before sending your negs to a quality mail order lab in your continent.

    One alternative is to upload your clients' work on a web and let them pick which images they want to have printed maybe. Showing clients machine run prints isn't a rewarding experience!

    Most of portrait work is about revealing the qualities of the person: not trying to create a perfectly flawless image with impecccable lighting. I guess I believe this which is why I reverted back to shooting film: most of my clients preferred my work in film over digital. Film takes more effort to work well.

    Digital is certainly quicker, faster and more convenient; it can rake in the money too.

    Tips?

    I'd humbly offer the following -

    1. Work out where you are going to pitch your portrait market: the numerous cheap wedding fill-in crowd photography needs a different approach from meticulous fine art work.

    2. Sort out your workflow: you could do film, digital, or both to get the best of both worlds. Work out how much you need to sell your prints to get a return. If you're like me, you'd be appalled at how clients are constantly trying to get cheap repro prints at museum quality finishing!

    3. Create your own signature style for your portraits: by that I don't mean use a tacky starburst filter in the corner of every portrait! Do something that others come to know your work by - it's more rewarding in the long run to be satisfied with your work than have raked in loads of dosh ;)
     
  3. markc

    markc TPF Noob!

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    Get a good prime portrait lens, like a 85mm f1.8 or 125mm f2.8. Not mandatory, but if you end up doing a lot of portraits, I think you will be much more pleased with it over a zoom.
     
  4. green

    green TPF Noob!

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    Don't be too concerned with "one hour photo labs" I get the majority of my printing done at a Grocery Store... even my 8x10s (I refuse to get anything bigger done there because they have to send it out and I'm not on speaking terms with the lab they send it to... long story) Just find a place that has someone good running the machine. I have yet to be able to see a difference between prints done at the pro lab and ones done at the grocery store (and I'm really picky)
     

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