Senior Photography Tips?

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by Nanogeek815, Jun 4, 2010.

  1. Nanogeek815

    Nanogeek815 TPF Noob!

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    I decided I would like to try to take senior pics next year and was wondering if anybody had any tips for me?
    Also, I was wondering:
    - What to charge
    - What Kind of Lens To get
    - Flash?
    overall anything that you may think is important.

    Thank you,
    John
     
  2. ghache

    ghache TPF Noob!

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    make sure the girls your taking pictures of cover all the skin they can cover.
     
  3. gsgary

    gsgary Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    We don't want anymore racey ones where the dress is above the knee :lol:
     
  4. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I do. Don't. Sorry, not to be rude but if you're asking these sorts of questions I would suggest that you're probably more than a year away from working commercially.

    My suggestions: Start reading. LOTS of reading. Read all you can find on composition, lighting, portraiture etc. Once you've got a good grasp of the basics, grab your mother/father/husband/wife/son/daughter/kid next door and start practicing... LOTS of practicing. When you get to the point where one in five images is a keeper, start talking to local pros and ask if you can second-shoot, gopher them. Once you've been doing that for a while, and have had some good mentorship and critique, you may well be ready to strike out on your own.

    The business of photography is mostly about business and very little about photography.
     
  5. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    Charge $250 for a 1 hour session and your big package should be about $950.

    You need several lenses, but don't mention what brand camera you have so a couple of Nikon, or Canon equivelent, zooms like a 24-70 f/2.8 and a 70-200 f/2.8 plus a couple of prime lenses like a 85 mm f/1.4 and a 50 mm f/1.4. That's about $5000 worth of lenses.

    Flash? You bet! To make pro looking images you'll need a couple of studio strobes, light stands, modifiers and some portable power too.

    Of course you'll need have business liability insurance to register/license your business, collect sales taxes, have good contracts, releases, and accounting procedures in place so that means you need to consult with a qualified attorney, accountant and insurance agent.

    Edit: I forgot to mention having a web site, an account at a good pro print lab, a federal tax ID#, sample products to show clients, a studio, etc.
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2010
  6. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    Gary needs to see some bush.
     
  7. astrostu

    astrostu I shoot for the stars

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    I agree with tirediron. If you're asking those kinds of questions (lens/flash), you are not ready to do senior portraits.

    Oh, and the photographer for me back in 2001 charged $100 for a base package.
     
  8. DanEitreim

    DanEitreim TPF Noob!

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    If you are wanting to do senior portraits - keep in mind that there are literally hundreds of other photographers - in your area - wanting to do the same thing. Plus the school probably has a contract with a photo studio and they tend to get the biggest share of the business.

    Before you spend too much time and effort marketing your services, spend some time trying to figure an answer to the question...Why would the seniors pick me? Once you have a valid answer - THEN start trying to get some business.
     

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