One person to do Senior Portraits for ENTIRE SCHOOL! HELP!

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by wildmaven, Aug 3, 2007.

  1. wildmaven

    wildmaven TPF Noob!

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    I live in a small town and there are no photographers in the area. The seniors at our local high school have to drive 1 1/2 hours one way to get their photos taken. The high school has approached me to do the Senior Portraits. I am a nature photographer, though I have done one wedding. The money would be nice, but the thought of doing 100 senior pictures by myself, with only the weekend to do it in, sounds impossible (I have a full time job). Plus, I would need to purchase lighting and background equipment. I do have retail space in which to do the indoor photography, and a nice nature area behind it, I'm just wondering about the logistics of this monster!

    Any help, advice, cookies, strong shoulders would be appreciated.

    Marian
     
  2. Jim Gratiot

    Jim Gratiot TPF Noob!

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    This might be a case of biting off WAY more than you can chew. 100 in a weekend just isn't realistic, if you want to have any quality at all.
     
  3. JIP

    JIP No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Man what luck!!! you should be happy to be the only game in town and take advantage of this great opportunity to start hopefully a good relationship with these people as future clients you know weddings, family portraits and, baby shots good luck hope you do well.
     
  4. AprilRamone

    AprilRamone TPF Noob!

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    Why do you have to do them all in one weekend? Can't you spread them out over the next month or so? For me, one senior session takes about 1.5-2 hours of time. (Just to shoot, add about 5 hours or so for post processing....but I'm a little slow at that).
     
  5. OttawaPhotog

    OttawaPhotog TPF Noob!

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    Where are you located??? Maybe someone can give you a hand !!!
     
  6. Jon, The Elder

    Jon, The Elder TPF Noob!

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    Marian........your profile and your post, do not give any details regarding conditions and camera gear.

    If you are doing just basic 'head shots' for the yearbook kind of thing, you can probably pull it off.

    A bit rough but....get a dry marker slate, write the name in LARGE letters, do a 'mug shot' ala arrest photo. Then pose them and shoot.
    If you make it fun, you might get some interesting expressions.

    A simple folding chair in front of a neutral background. Glasses are tough, head tilts and angles have to be tried to get least amount of reflections.

    Somehow, get a volunteer or a $50.00 a day assistant to do the line up, prep work so you are free to concentrate on your work.

    Allow for 'no-shows' and late arrivals and the general un-expected things that can pop up.

    Shoot RAW for protection against minor exposure problems.

    The real trick is to be professional in your approach and actions. Even if you are unsure, make sure you LOOK like you are in charge.
     
  7. astrostu

    astrostu Guest

    Better to tell them it's not realistic than to go ahead with it and fail. Really, if you work 10 hrs a day (about how long the sun's up), that's 20 hrs in a weekend. That's 12 minutes per person to take the shots. And then several 10s of hours in post-processing.

    I agree with the "why do you need to do it in one weekend?" question. My HS had ~150 students in my graduating class, and we were given 3 months over which to get the shots taken.

    It's simply not realistic to do 100 students in one weekend by yourself and get any sort of quality results, which will make everyone (including you) mad and frustrated.
     
  8. Trina

    Trina TPF Noob!

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    I think the OP meant they can only do it on the weekends because of a full time job.

    If you think you can do it. Hire some help to do all the prep work.
     
  9. wildmaven

    wildmaven TPF Noob!

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    Ha ha, exactly!! Sorry if it was confusing. Yes, I only have weekends to do it in, because of the full time job. :)

    I currently have on order a "hair light", a couple of umbrellas, and an additional light, as well as a green screen background (but after reading the thread about those, I'm wondering if that was wise). This would be for next year's batch of seniors, so I have time to plan and get things under control. All your ideas and help sure are appreciated. :)

    I have a Minolta/Konica digital SLR with 2 lenses (I'm at work right now and can't verify the mm).

    As I said in my original post, I did do one wedding (with only a night's notice because my brother's fiance's friend turned out to be their only photographer and she brought a 3 megapixel point and shoot) and the family loved it. Here's one of them:
    [​IMG]
    (I cropped out the fence when I printed the photos)

    I also have an Epson 4800 printer.

    Any other suggestions/ideas?
     
  10. photogincollege

    photogincollege TPF Noob!

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    I'd say take the job if you dont have to many other time constraints other then weekends only. I think a lot of people will appreciate weekends only because they work on weekdays. If you have a year to plan i'd say get 1 or 2 more lights if you can.
     

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