My first "Gig"

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by RKW3, Mar 5, 2008.

  1. RKW3

    RKW3 TPF Noob!

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    A lot of rambling on.. If you read it and comment somehow I'll appreciate it.

    My dad told me yesterday that I have an oppurtunity to shoot at a QuinceaƱera celebration (when a Latino girl turns 15 I think). My dad works for a large company and I guess one of his acquaintances at work needed a photographer for this celebration. My dad showed her my photo gallery and then I guess she was impressed enough to say ok.

    I've never done anything like this before, and I am just a 14 year old kid (almost 15!) who is very inexperienced. I told my dad I'll do it, so I guess I will. I'm confident in my photography, but I still have questions on how to approach this..

    - How much $ should I earn for showing up and taking tons of pics? It will be an all day event at a church and maybe a park. How does $300 sound?
    - What equipment am I forgetting? I'm thinking of getting the 50 and 85mm 1.8's because that set up is kinda cheap. Or should I look at a different lens?
    - My dad said maybe he'd get me a D300, I don't want to be pushy and I know I am capable without one. Then the D80 could be backup.
    - My dad will be my assistant/ second shooter. He has an XTi that he can borrow from work. He knows little about photography, but he is a smart guy. I'm thinking about getting the canon 50mm 1.8 for that for a backup.

    About the printing, etc.:

    - I'm thinking about maybe making a smugmug acct and they can order the prints seperately from there? Is smugmug a smart choice? What alternatives are there?
    - Should I make a CD? I think I should, how would I copyright it so they can't copy those files onto their pc's and they can only view them? Do we have to sign a contract or something about the rights?
    - Business cards? How do I make those and what should I put on it? Or maybe I don't need business cards?


    I have more I could ramble on about but that is where I will leave for now. Hopefully I get some responses. Thanks!
     
  2. derekclapham

    derekclapham TPF Noob!

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    RKW3,

    Congrats on the possibility of this gig. I can still remember how awesome it was when I got my "first gig".

    My only advice to you would be not to over capitalize on your equipment. I often shoot events like this and do it all with my trusty D70, 18-200 VR and SB 800 speedlight. No assistants no frills.

    If you already have a D80, in my opinion the only thing you should even consider purchasing is the 18-200 VR. It's not the highest quality lens but I've got the 18-200 as well as the 70-200 VR which is a $3,000 lens and I use the 18-200 a whole heap more than the 70-200.

    As far as charging for the day goes, I wouldn't charge too much considering it's your first gig. At this stage, you want to build some experience and get a feel for this type of photography. Consider it an investment in you education :) Learn now, earn later.

    I'm not sure when you're shooting but I'm releasing a service quite soon that I've been working on for some time that is similar to smugmug but offers a lot more flexibility and also has a free option. You can keep up to date at my blog http://photomerchant.net .

    Either way, make sure you enjoy the experience if you do it, you'll get a real buzz and you'll sleep well that night I guarantee!

    Derek
    http://photomerchant.net
     
  3. kundalini

    kundalini Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Seems like you got yourself in the middle of it Robbie. Congrats.

    My immediate thought is to cover your expenses. Period. You never want to be out of pocket. However, you also want the experience. This is (IMO) a time where the term "paying your dues" comes to mind. It truly is being between a rock and a hard place. What is more valuable to you? The work experience or the dollar?

    There will no doubt be opinions on every side of the coin on this, but I say that the experience is much more valuable.

    Looking at your sig, it is my opinion that you may want to look into renting a lens or two. There are a couple of ways to look at it, but my preference would be to rent primes rather than a zoom. 35mm, 50mm, 85mm would be my first considerations. Yeah, you'll have to change lenses, but there will be down times. An advantage of primes is IQ, low light capable, light weight and unobtrusive. Food for thought.

    On charging, I'll leave that to others and yourself. Good luck and we're (I'm) proud for you.
     
  4. RKW3

    RKW3 TPF Noob!

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    Thanks guys, the price is something I'll have to get settled. I don't want to be expensive at all, especially considering my age and my inexperience, but I want what I deserve for sacrificing most of my day taking pictures + all the time it will take to organize and photoshop all these pics. The experience I will value but of course I'd like something extra in return.

    I'm pretty sure that most of the event will take place in a dimly lit church, so I am currently looking at primes.

    More comments are appreciated. I will be back on tomorrow afternoon since I am grounded from the pc today. (supposed to be, my parents will be back from work soon though.)
     
  5. JIP

    JIP No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    You want to "get what you deserve"?!? at 14?!?!? man if you charge these people $300+ expenses for an event like this you better produce something. Just remember when it comes to that kind of money I think the "I'm just a kid" exception goes right out the window and they are going to expect decent results. Whatever you do do not do this without a decent flash if you walk into this with nothing but a pop-up you are in for serius trouble. Also you should take hat your dad offered to buy you a D300 and seriously consider geting some good glass to use with that SB-800 something like a 17-55 2.8 would do nicely.
     
  6. RKW3

    RKW3 TPF Noob!

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    I'm pretty sure I'll produce good pics, I guess I'm confident. I do have an SB-600, I forgot to add that.

    By the way, I was not the one that proposed that I should charge $300 at all. My dad originally said $500 and now I got him down to $300. I know I'll end up charging like 50 bucks though, my dad just wants me to make money so he's trying to convince me to go high.

    So you guys convinced me that I should go with a very cheap price, I suppose that's a good deal because there's a lot less pressure and I don't know how I would perform under a lot of pressure haha.
     
  7. kundalini

    kundalini Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I don't think anyone is suggesting for you to go cheap. Your father is a smart man to get you to (eventually) understand your worth. As I mentioned earlier, cover your expenses. But putting in the time to hone your skills at these types of events, my main consideration would be to gain the experience and confidence to handle large groups and different personalities. I guess what I want to say is that in the early days it's not always about the money. You happen to be in a very fortunate situation.
     
  8. RKW3

    RKW3 TPF Noob!

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    Yeah your right, I guess I was sounding ridiculous thinking $300. I'm just going to do this for the fun of it, and the experience. I don't even need the money, my dad just wants me to earn some.

    I'll just take 50 bucks or so (a lot for me), and I'll still get a small profit for each print they buy. It should work out.
     
  9. CanAm

    CanAm TPF Noob!

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    Go higher than that. Any referrals you get through them will expect to be charged what you charged them. A six times jump in price is going to seem fishy.

    I say charge 50 bucks initial fee (for prints and other expenses) plus X amount hourly. X being whatever you think you should be paid on hourly wages.
     
  10. RKW3

    RKW3 TPF Noob!

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    Ahh good idea, thanks.
     

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