Should I take on this session?

Discussion in 'The Aspiring Professionals Forum' started by Haleighbeth, Dec 14, 2017.

  1. Haleighbeth

    Haleighbeth TPF Noob!

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    I am still somewhat new to photography, I mainly do family, Senior, maternity, and child portraiture. All of my sessions so far have been outdoor sessions. I had a client come to me recently about wanting indoor photos taken in front of their Christmas tree. Not sure if I should take on this job and if I even have the equipment needed to do a session like this. I own a Canon T1i with a kit lens and a 50 mm lens. I don't own a tripod reflectors or flash. Not sure if I could still produce good quality images with the equipment I have?
    I will also add that this home has minimal natural Light.

    (Examples of my previous sessions below)


     

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  2. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    To be honest, posts like this always make me shudder. I really think however that you've answered your own question. You don't have the equipment, nor the skill. A family portrait, indoors, in front of a Christmas tree is NOT the hardest thing in the world, but there is a degree of experience and certain equipment required to execute the task properly. The most important of which would be liability insurance. If you don't have that....
     
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  3. Designer

    Designer Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    The examples you posted seem in very soft focus. At first, I was going to say there's an outside chance that you could get by with a slow shutter to compensate for a lack of light, but given your sample shots, now I don't think so.

    At the very least you're going to have to get your shots in focus, and no doubt you'll need more light, but if you're not ready to spring for a flash and a TTL cable, then I'd say you should decline the offer.
     
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  4. Haleighbeth

    Haleighbeth TPF Noob!

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    Yeah I wasn't too happy with any of theses photos to be honest. every one of my clients always show up late by at least 30 minutes to an hour so I'm shooting/positioning clients extremely fast to get the best shots I can while the little bit of sunlight is left. I've learned with this issue I need to schedule sessions earlier because clients always show up late.
     
  5. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    A few thoughts

    1) As to your opening question the simple short answer is no.

    2) I think that having seen your photography and read your own statement how you are new to things this gives the impression that you're honestly running before you can walk. I would strongly suggest toning down on doing paid work and instead focus on building up your skills.
    You can get some great feedback and critique from the forums coupled with advice on references and books you can read and consult to further your understanding.

    This isn't about making you a master of photography, but about getting you a lot further along than you are now. Half a year to a year of serious practice, study, feedback and more practice will give you a vast boost in what you can achieve. Even with limited gear and having to work with natural light.

    3) Indoor lighting without flash/controlling the light is tricky because most indoor lights are very dark for a camera; our eyes adapt to lighting far more readily. Whilst newer cameras have improved vastly; the lack of lighting control is going to seriously hamper you in what you achieve.

    4) Have a read of the "how to get critique" post in my signature below, have a read of the content and make use of it with posting up some photos of yours for critique in a fresh thread. It should go a long way to helping you improve and advance your understanding and thus improve what you can capture.
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2017
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  6. Haleighbeth

    Haleighbeth TPF Noob!

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    Thank you for the tips and advice, I appreciate it! I'm currently not charging unless I travel(2+ hours last weekend I charged $30 for 1-1 1/2 hour shooting time plus 35 images) the only money I'm currently making is off of tips if people are generous.
    There's definitely a lot to learn. I've been reading the inside out of many books, forums, videos, etc. for months and it's still so much to learn, but worth it.
     
  7. qmr55

    qmr55 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Firstly, I'd suggest purchasing a speed lite and a ttl cable + a tripod at the least. Would set you in a good spot to be able to do these type of shoots.

    Second, I'd be up front with them, if they want you to do it, maybe do it for free and explain ahead of time your skill level and that you're just starting. Let them know that it really is a experimental shoot, and the results may vary. If they are OK with that, then give it a whirl and see what happens. But if they are looking for sometihng more professional and expect solid results, maybe direct them to find someone else.

    Good luck! ^^ some great advise above, btw
     
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  8. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    This, IMO, is a very poor approach. The relationship changes drastically as soon as money is involved. ANY money. If you're going to charge, then charge. @qmr55 provides excellent advice. View these as training exercises, but treat them as if you were being paid. Treat the clients professionally, act and dress professionally... I will say again, and I can't over-state the importance of having liability insurance. Even if you're not charging, I STRONGLY urge you to purchase a policy which covers what you're doing. Think about this scenario: You're doing a family shoot, little Billy, who is five years old, is running around as you set up, trips over your camera bag and gashes his head on a small piece of broken glass in the dirt. Mom and Dad sue... Every year I shell out $750 for my combined business policy, and I've never made a claim, but of all the bills I have, that is the one that will NEVER go unpaid.
     
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  9. Designer

    Designer Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    When I owned a small business (not related to photography) I had a written policy statement that said the clients would be charged a late fee if they were late. I don't know what is written in your contracts, but charging them more money will get them there on time.
     
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  10. vintagesnaps

    vintagesnaps Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    John's shuddering and I'm smacking myself in the forehead!

    Don't do the Christmas lights request. Instead, since you've found out that some people may want something like that (next year), practice with your or friends' and relatives' Christmas trees and start figuring out how to do it.

    You cannot practice on clients, paying or not. You could do some trade; they pose, you exchange their time for a few photos, but stop the freebies. Find ways to get in some practice, you aren't ready to be in business yet from what you describe. Too often something doesn't go well early on and the person never gets into any sort of even part time business with photography, it's over within maybe 2-3 years. Or they've been so underpriced that they realize it's not worth the amount of time for the little money they make and are done with it. You want to set yourself up for success and need to learn how to do that. 'Months' isn't even close to enough time to have put into this to be even an aspiring pro yet.

    Do what John said, treat it like it's a paying job. People are showing up that late because you aren't a pro and they aren't going to bother to be on time for an amateur with a camera. An hour is ridiculous. Some photographers charge for extra time; 10 minutes stuck in traffic, OK, a half hour or more? gets charged for the time. The extra cost'll get them there on time!

    You seem to have good ideas and may be engaging well with people but need to work on improving your skills. I'd say get out with just your camera and practice - you've cut people's feet off, you need to get better at framing. Color or exposure looks off on some but it's hard to tell from a photo posted on here from a phone (quality often seems to get lost in the process). These are pretty decent, far from the worst of what's out there. Keep practicing with your camera and take your time getting into a portrait business because it looks like you could get good at this, there's potential there. Try AMSP – Association of Marketing Service Providers or PPA for info. on contracts, licensing usage, etc.
     
  11. TheLibrarian

    TheLibrarian TPF Noob!

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    All these pros or maybe pros idk don't want anyone doing work but people still get pictures taken at Sears. I knew the girl who worked at the photo studio at Sears.... Her cartoon drawings of fairies were a little artistic and maybe she took photo in HS. I say smoke em if you got em and i'm not in love with any of your pictures. Some seem blue, the one with people on the blanket has a mile of tree above it. I think christmas pics would be fun and if someones going to throw me $50-$100 bucks thats a bonus and I'll take it. I'm not trying to be a pro but I would if I had to. And any middling career makes more than most photographers so it's not like anyones unqualified to take christmas pictures. 18 year olds at Disney walking around with cameras charge you $50 from the company or $20 for a machine timed camera on the log flume, the photo guy at the wedding in jamaica, you don't need to be ansel adams. pro photogropher at the last convention i went to charging ridiculous amounts for headshots for librarians little better than a selfie. I remember acting scams in NYC for $700 photoshoots. My 2nd job in life at 16 was in the darkroom developing wedding albums. Reflectors cost $10.

    If everybody waited for permission to do things where would they be? But then again I ain't nobody and i remember the flak i got for my first post here on how I can fool models into thinking i know what I'm doing.... ah those were the days. good times good times. I hear the insurance thing. I've hung upside down from roofs for $8 hr. I've driven delivery vans with no brakes, flipped over a cart with a ton of ice in it. Broke my wrist on a kicker as a ski instructor (thats 1 week training and no ski experience needed and you're taking 12 8 year olds down a mountain). It's a hard knock life. Must be nice but you do what you gotta do. There's a lot more responsible jobs people do all the time with no experience or knowledge. Flipping burgers you're more likely to kill people if you don't wash your hands than anything you can do in photography. I remember when i lived in china the land of the unfree you can sell a hot dog on the street. here you need a license and 6 forms of insurance or you can't try to provide for yourself. I've always respected the entrepreneurial spirit and down with the man! It's not rocket science. Bounce some flash, make them deers in headlights, diffuse the ocf with a balloon, wiggle an led flashlight behind the camera. Use a lamp, maybe these show how little i know about ocf but i've seen lots of good pictures with weird light sources. I'm going to google pictures with christmas lights right now. i bet it'll blow my mind the crazy things people do. Looking for 5 minutes it can totally be done and it can be awesome. I've seen all kinds of lights used from classics using street lamps in the 1920's with box cameras to neon signs or a normal light in the ceiling of the subway or hallway. there may be things people know when doing wacky stuff like that but hardly anything that you shouldn't try for or try to make money if you can (you're working for tips anyway). lots of art is horrible and makes dumb money. I close my dissention by saying i like Thomas Kinkade and his disnified norman rockwell mass produced paintings, i'll eat a big mac with no shame and get a good deal at walmart if it suits me. I got a pack of glow sticks ready to go and some holli powder. Anytime anywhere.
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2017
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  12. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    A lot of good advice here in the responses...I agree with almost all of the responses...this is an opportunity.
     

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