newbie, workfow, time spent, $$

Discussion in 'Digital Discussion & Q&A' started by Shannon, Jun 13, 2007.

  1. Shannon

    Shannon TPF Noob!

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    Here is my very involved question,

    I just did my third paid session. I spent 1-1/2 hours on the actual photo session for 3mo old. I took 150 pictures, and edited down to 80 for the clients online proofs.

    I spent a total of 7 hours on this when it's all said and done. A little breakdown - download RAW images, make back-up disc. Use canon viewing software to edit. (This software does run a little slow to open each image). Open all the RAW images in Photoshop. Make hisogram adjustments with Photoshops RAW window (I could apply the sliders to several pics at a time that were shot with similar light, etc), then open in PS, do any cropping, and did some minor retouching on maybe 10 images (i.e. removing the corner of my reflector that was in the shot on black - fast fix), and edited a few more. Converted about 30 images to B&W. Then it took another 2hrs maybe to create their online webpages and upload to to the internet.

    My $85 session fee is not going to make this worth while enough . . .
    I know how to use photoshop, but I would imagine I would get faster at this with the more sessions that I do.

    How do you guys do it? How much time do you spend on a session and preparing their images for online, or for proof books or whatever. How many proofs do you show? How much do you charge for a portrait session to cover yourself for all this time ? . . .

    Thanks!

    BTW, I posted them online last night at 2:00am and my client emailed me back this morning already and said what a wonderful job I did and she will have a hard time picking her favorites. So at least the images are good quality :)
     
  2. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Welcome to the forum (If I haven't already).

    That sounds about right...except that you only edited it down to 80 shots. I would try to edit it down much further. Depending on the number of poses or wardrobes...I would try to get it down to less than 30...or lower if you can. This can be tough...but it will mean less processing work for you and if you only show them the best of the best of your shots...you look really good.
    *edit*
    Although, with babies...I will sometimes give them low rez files of most of the shots...because every little face that a baby makes, is cute and precious.

    That's not bad. I've spent more time for 1 1/2 shoot and I've spent less. Editing does get faster with practice but you may want to re-tool your workflow. The Canon viewing software is crap...and the RAW part of photoshop isn't all that great either. I use Raw Shooter Essentials and it has significantly improved my workflow. That software has been absorbed into Adobe Lightroom...which is what I would recommend. There are several others, like Capture One. A good workflow program should speed up your editing and reduce your time in Photoshop as well. Which is good for the bottom line.

    Also, I find that the better I set up my lighting...the less editing I have to do. I only have one studio strobe and sometimes use slave flashes...and I use bed sheets for back drops. Most of my editing time is spent on getting the background to look good. If I had a better light set up and a better backdrop...my editing time would be much less.

    I would probably agree. Look around and check what other photographers are charging...it's probably more than that.
    Of course, you have to take into account your total income. $85 would be OK if you make some money on print sales. Many photographers have very low sitting fees but charge $45 for a 5x7 print. Others charge $300 for the sitting fee but include high rez files so the client can order their own prints or whatever.

    :thumbsup:
     
  3. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    There may be something wrong with your tools. You seem to be working in a very complicated way. I don't think photoshop is ideal for this type of image work. For my work flow the only time I include photoshop is to get artsy with diffused glows, or hit the cloneing tool.

    Have a look at some workflow oriented programs. Lightroom for instance. Click import and the entire memory card gets downloaded. As soon as the first is down you can already start working on it. It has very advanced image wide retouching like crop rotation selective hue and saturation, colour adjustments, a RGB histogram, curves tool, camera profiles, the works. Oh it has red-eye reduction too. Delete the ones you don't want, process the ones you do, for those that need some cloning just rightclick and click edit in photoshop, highlight the entire mess and click export.

    See if that makes you more efficient. If not charge more :)
     
  4. Jeepnut28

    Jeepnut28 TPF Noob!

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    I keep my editing and shooting in line with pricing to it comes out to me making between $30 to $50 an hour.......

    it sounds to me like you go through alot of steps......I am using Apple Aperture with Photoshop as my external editor......It does raw conversion automatically, and i can do basic adjustments within Aperture, if I need something more I just open with external editor and edit in PS.........Aperture has really cut down my time in the edit area......I can usually edit an entire shoot just in Aperture........so I am no longer in and out of programs like you are.........
     

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