About to book my first paid shoot

Discussion in 'The Aspiring Professionals Forum' started by Rancor12, Oct 10, 2018.

  1. Rancor12

    Rancor12 TPF Noob!

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    Hey Everyone,

    I hope this is the right spot for this. I used to have an account on these forums and frequent daily, but stopped for some reason years ago, so I'm a little out of practice on using this place as a tool/guide.

    Anywho, I'm about to book my first paid shoot with a friend of my sisters. A young woman with a husband and 3 children from the Central MA area, looking for some autumn family shots. I've seen previous photos she's had taken and I'm fairly comfortable that I can meet or exceed their quality. However I've never charged for my work, and have never worked with children. I've taken couples photos, senior student photos, engagement, wedding, travel, architecture, and sure I've snapped a few of my young nieces and nephews and stuff at family gatherings, but I've never had to direct or pose young children (between 6 and 10 I believe). I've been taking a look at a lot of "professional family fall photos" online, and I've got a good feel for the norms (not that I wan't to be normal, but just getting a read on the waters), just nervous about this double first time experience.

    So I guess my question is two fold:

    First, what are some good guidelines for pricing? How heavily should I factor in that she is my first paying client? What about that she is a family friend?

    Second, are there any serious dos and don'ts for family photos? What about working with young children?

    Thanks in advance for any input.


     
  2. Jeff15

    Jeff15 TPF junkie!

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    Hello and welcome,, Good luck with your first job.........
     
  3. DGMPhotography

    DGMPhotography Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    As for pricing:

    Price = cost of business (time, gear, etc) + desired profit margin.

    As far as your profit margin goes, you will have to do research on the market in your area. Find out what your equally skilled peers are charging, and go from there. Decide if you want to undercut them and be the "value" option, or decide if you want to charge more and be the "premium" offer.

    As for doing family photos, I haven't done a ton of them, but what I've learned is that children have short attention spans. Put that shutter on continuous and just snap away. You'll be lucky to get a few of the kids looking at the camera. If you can be entertaining and keep their attention, that will help. Some people use toys and stuff for that.

    Good luck.
     
  4. Braineack

    Braineack Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    children shoots are the worst.
     
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  5. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Children can definitely be a challenge, but in general, most parents understand that. Do your best and be patient. Chances are, if everything else goes well, they will forgive minor problems with the children. That said, I've found one of the ways to have the greatest success with children is don't treat them like children. Learn their names (assuming they're not infants) and talk to them the same way you do their parents, explaining what you want them to do, and why it's important they do it. Even more so with children than adults, don't hide behind your camera! When you're talking to them, lower the camera, and engage them directly.
     
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  6. JustJazzie

    JustJazzie Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Kids are hard, but it sounds like you are working with older kids- so that is a huge plus. One good trick I have picked up is to tell them "well, take a silly picture first, and then I want a nice smile!" It puts them in a good mood and I tend to get more cooperation from them.

    For individuals of the kids, I like to ask them to close their eyes for a minuet, and then ask them something like "Who's your favorite movie character" "what do you love about them?" For girls, Its often "who's your favorite Disney princess?!" "Ohh I want you imagine that you are wearing Belles big yellow dress right now, can you imagine that and then when I count to three open your eyes?" They almost ALWAYS have a genuine smile on their face instead of the silly faces kids often have during photos.

    Good luck!
     
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