Volunteering

Discussion in 'The Professional Gallery' started by mortallis288, Feb 12, 2007.

  1. mortallis288

    mortallis288 TPF Noob!

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    im going to a new photo store tommorw to go volunteer to help them with weddings and ect on weekends and some nights, but i have another job that im committed to. but my real question is, how should i present my self? should i offer to work for free to get my foot in the door? it is a wedding and portiat place. Thanks!
     
  2. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    I suppose that every business probably does it their own way. I would want to see a portfolio of images, and an understanding of the technical fundamentals of photography. I would much rather pay someone with more skills, than get someone with less skills to work for free.

    By fundamentals I mean they should have at least a basic understanding of the following:
    aperture
    shutter speed
    ISO
    stop (what does the term mean, and how does it relate to almost everything else on this list)
    light meters
    middle gray
    the inverse square rule
    dynamic range
    flash photography
    minimum shutter speed for safe hand holding
    effects of focal length on a scene/composition
     
  3. mortallis288

    mortallis288 TPF Noob!

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    should i take in a portfolio tommorw? or wait until they ask me? i mean i have some portait shots but nothing wonderful (well i think they are decent but im biast cause its my gf and my mom) and what about teh hours? i mean i could work all day on saturdays and sundays but during the week i get off at 530
     
  4. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    I think you need to strike when your foot is in the door, and make the best first impression you can. If they don't have time to look at a portfolio, drop off a CD with photos.

    Most weddings, and many portrait sessions are on weekends, so your weekday job shouldn't be an issue.
     
  5. mortallis288

    mortallis288 TPF Noob!

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    ah, is there anyway to help my chances? would dressing nice over do it? any advice? i have never really "prosituted" my self before
     
  6. craig

    craig TPF Noob!

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    I trust you are only kidding when you say "prostituted". That is a very heavy word. Photography can be a tough racket. You should be able to present your work and look presentable. Free is asking a bit much, but we have all done it. Key is to make sure it does not last too long. Keep in mind that being a production assistant is thankless. More often then not you will gain loads of experience. That is why we do not call it prostitution. More like the beginning of your photographic journey.
     
  7. mortallis288

    mortallis288 TPF Noob!

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    ya im kidding when i say that, its just a word that when i say it means im going to offer my services to them (which suck) (no pun intended) but i am looking for experiance with the wedding world. Thanks!
     
  8. elsaspet

    elsaspet TPF Noob!

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    Normally, the first time I use an assistant, I offer to pay for gas only. I want to see if our personalities mix.
    After that point, I normally pay 250-400 bucks per job. The only deal is, this is for a non shooting position. Sometimes, I'll let them shoot, but most time no.
    On the other hand, I started out working Trading for Prints (not prints really but website use) and therefor, I was not paid.
    However, this usage gave me a business startup which was invaluable.
    So basically, there is value in both roads.
     
  9. LaFoto

    LaFoto Just Corinna in real life Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Well, I found out a new photographer had opened up shop in the neighbouring town, and on Friday I decided to walk into his shop and ask if he could help me clean my sensor, since there is no one else around in the near nor far who could show me how to do it. And he said, his business partner had a cleaning kit and would be back on Tuesday, and could I come back?

    And after I had left his shop again on Friday, I thought by myself, hey, why don't I ask him if I can be his assistent on occasions, just so I can learn some more. Not that I am even planning to get into the business, but I would really like to broaden my horizon.

    So today, when I went back - and had to learn his business partner no longer has his cleaning kit - I just asked: "Could I volunteer on occasion? For free, just so I can learn some more, about light and all?" He looked a tad startled at first but said, "Well, hm, yes, studio photography is not on right now, that part of the business only really catches up again before Christmas, but if you want to you can come along to a wedding or so, should I be asked to shoot one again in the area."

    I left my address - and so far that's it.
    Now for me this is ok. I don't really need to work as a portrait or wedding photographer, so I could just go and ask. We'll see what'll come out of this. If he should ever call me and ask me along, it would be after that first session or so that I would ask if maybe I can act as second photographer or so, but not before.

    But I took the first step and asked ... now I shall just wait and see.
     
  10. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    If you wanted me to take you seriously as an applicant for assistant, you'd definately need to be dressed nice. That's part of any customer service type job, and definately a requirement for shooting weddings.

    I usually get several emails, phone calls, and face to face inquiries about being my assistant every month. Right now I use a couple of pro photographer friends who don't do weddings and portraits as my assistants. If I needed to hire someone else I could choose from several dozen skilled amateur photographers without even running an ad. I am going to pick the person who impresses me the most. You need to make the best first impression you can.
     
  11. Christie Photo

    Christie Photo No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    CINDY!!! Shhhhhhh!

    I've been doing only $100. I don't want Brandon (Clark Kent) to feel unappreciated. I bet I don't spend as much time as you. I figure 6-7 hours total.
     
  12. mortallis288

    mortallis288 TPF Noob!

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    i went to talk to him today, he isn't opening his doors up until this thrusday so he really doesn't have any business at this point and time. but he took my name and number down and said once he gets a little more busy that he will call me. Do you think sending a follow up email is a bad idea? just telling him thank you for talking to me today
     

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