Volunteer Photographer

Discussion in 'Photographic Discussions' started by Emerana, Jun 13, 2008.

  1. Emerana

    Emerana TPF Noob!

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    I have been thinking of ways to get more practice photographing people. I love shooting my friends and their kids, but it can get a little monotonous...cute babies, beautiful mommies...ya know. So I was thinking of calling local nursing homes and seeing about setting up shoots there. I was thinking I would do a few sessions, depending on interest. Offer a free 5x7 to each volunteer. Of course I wouldn't be aiming to sell the photos and would only request wavers for using for my portfolio...do you need wavers for that?

    I am a little nervous about approaching people about this. Has anyone done this or can think of some issues I need to consider (and perhaps plan for)?
     
  2. Lyncca

    Lyncca TPF Noob!

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    You don't need a waiver for your portfolio, That's great of you to branch out and offer a service that a lot of elderly may not be able to afford.

    So far I have only done friends and aquaintences, but I am starting to get contacted by referals from those people so I am kinda nervous about shooting someone I don't know!

    I just ordered more stuff for lighting in my home studio, so that makes me feel better about it all. Right now I just feel under-equiped, but people know going in that I am in portfolio and equipment building stage, so they get a good deal and I get experience.

    I have stayed determined on not doing life-event shoots such as weddings (been asked to do three). I would absolutely die if something went wrong...
     
  3. Lyncca

    Lyncca TPF Noob!

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    By the way, you may want to look at retirement homes too. Those will be more active seniors and they may be more interested than someone in a nursing home.
     
  4. Emerana

    Emerana TPF Noob!

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    You are braver then I am. I had actually said flat out that I wouldn't shoot people I didnt know. I think in general, I would feel like I needed to be paid to shoot complete strangers, you know? And I am just not ready to charge...all that business tax stuff and running a business is way out of my league right now. Maybe its something I would do when the kids are both in school full time.

    I am with ya about weddings. I have never even been to a formal wedding, I wouldnt even know what was happening and when.
     
  5. THORHAMMER

    THORHAMMER TPF Noob!

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    heres how you branch out and dont get humilliated in the process.

    immediate family, those who sleep under your roof. indoors, and then outdoors pictures with them. Then friends, especially couples, who doesnt want free pictures that are romantic ? Use the same models a hundred times, who cares, your learning.

    Shoot someone a few times during the week and then shoot once or twice on the weekends. have your camera with you when you go out just to hang out with family.

    After shooting a few hundred outings and with differnt lighing and different times during the day youll be pretty competent !

    then youll have the confidence to do some pro stuff at cost or for trade.

    After 5-10 of those youll start charging something decent. then the rest is up to you... Try to use the el cheapo ones for people who dont have the money to pay a pro anyways, that way they have no recourse if you screw it up, youll be less stressed etc...

    just a broad plan...

    although there is nothing like the rush of walking into your first wedding cold turkey after just practicing with family and without an asistant, I wouldnt recomend it...

    I loved that rush, but it could really screw you up if you pop...
     
  6. Emerana

    Emerana TPF Noob!

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    I think I am more just wanting to learn for learning sake. Go fig.

    My huge, giant, prolly wont happen dream is to work for charity orgs in 3rd world countries taking photos for them.
     
  7. clee27

    clee27 TPF Noob!

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    Same here I want more practice!!! But I just moved to a new city and I have limited transportation .... I want to craigslist it...to find more people but I'm worried i'll run into some ... "weird" people =*(

    Goodluck on finding people! I'm in the same boat you are!!! I'm scared of approaching new people if it's not by word of mouth =*(
     
  8. John_Olexa

    John_Olexa No longer a newbie, moving up!

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  9. craig

    craig TPF Noob!

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    John has an excellent link. And of course Thorhammer is always on point. I have to say if you want to shoot nursing homes and the like you had better do your homework and fully understand what is going on. I have shot a number of editorial assignments for hospitals, nursing homes and assisted living facilities. The work is tough to say the least. These people are generally very old and of course need a lot of assistance. Plus they are not psyched on having their photo taken. If you are not familiar with the whole story you will end up with poop. Take some time and understand the shoot before documenting it. Kind of like photographing the homeless. Takes a lot of knowledge and respect before you can get any credible shots out of it. If you are looking to shoot some volunteer work check out Habitat for Humanities.

    Love & Bass
     
  10. Emerana

    Emerana TPF Noob!

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    I actually used to work in a nursing home, thats why I thought of it. But I might get my toes wet with a retirement home. Still, contacting and selling myself (and proving them I am not selling anything) seems a little daunting to me.
     
  11. craig

    craig TPF Noob!

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    Perfect. I trust you will get some great photos. Contacting and selling is very daunting. You will get better at it and feel more comfortable as you gain more experience.

    Love & Bass
     
  12. kellylindseyphotography

    kellylindseyphotography TPF Noob!

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    I just put up this message for a bulletin on myspace:

    "Need Models"
    Need some volunteers for models for portfolio building. right now I need some models under the age of 5.



    If anyone wants their kids pictures taken (for free!) please contact me so we can set something up. And my website is getting better daily.. you should check it out www.freewebs.com/kellylindseyphotography

    I'm usually available tuedays or Thursdays for shooting.

    Thank you!!!
     

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