What am I doing wrong, or advice needed


TPF Noob!
Jun 19, 2013
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United Kingdom
Hi to all forum members,

Want to ask for an advice.

Learning photography as amateur somewhere around 2 years. Think that step by step
getting better. :)

And regarding
to this I want to do more complex and interesting pictures, and now offers a free shooting to families and couples. Have created temporary web-site with the offer :


and few pics here
500px / Vitto Titto / Photos - so it is my level for now.

Thinking to ask to pay only for travel expenses (so my husband could think little bit better about my expensive hobby))). But not sure yet..

And the problem is it is quite hard to find people for shooting. I have noticed that people prefer to pay some money, but stay in their zone of comfort..

So the key question I have is how to find people who can to pay for travel expenses, or at least are willing to try their best for the better pictures)) Maybe to do a little bit more than usual for nice pics and travel
to a nice place.

All sites like starnow
disappointed me a lot , just taking money for nothing.. besides there are mainly single models, while I want to try working with families, children and couples.

What do you think of the website and about situation? Theoretically, would you agree for shooting in such conditions? Maybe I say something wrong? Or the problem is just a visibility of my ad? And where can I try to look for models.

Thank you.
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EASY answer... Model Mayhem. In the US at least.

I have a J.O.B. Don't need the money from photography, and find that charging people even gas money leads them to think that I "owe them" and they will expect me to not sleep for two days to produce and post their pictures.

So I pick out the models I want and send them a PM suggesting some specific concept I'd like to shoot with them on a TFP basis.

Then I shoot it, and give them a CD/DVD and a handful of images that I post process for my own portfolio.

That's how you get people to shoot for free while you're learning. Give them free pictures for their portfolio.
"Photography is our passion, great photo-stories is the way to satisfy our hungry perfectionism in art, so we are always ready to go an extra mile for them."

Ick. "Passion". Anyways...

With all your talk of 'free' and your English-as-a-second-language, it comes off as a bit of a scam. For instance, nobody says 'photo stories'. If you were such wonderful and amazing photographers as you describe, you wouldn't be trolling for free 'clients'. So people think something is up.
Surprisingly (in a good way) your photography is much better than I would have expected. What needs a LOT of work is your website. I don't see with this quality of work why you should be giving it away. Spend the money to get a professional to come in and do up your website with proper English, and a modern, attractive layout (or try bartering services). Once that's done, spend some money on advertising on business basics (consults with solicitors, accountants, etc) and advertising. I agree that Model Mayhem is a great resource for models when you want to experiment or try out ideas. Remember that people often don't value what they don't pay for.
Remember that people often don't value what they don't pay for.

While that's true in general, I found Model Mayhem models to be an almost universal exception to that rule. They almost always understood the "working together to make something we each want/need".

But this was a while ago... dunno if the culture has changed in the last few years.
Remember that people often don't value what they don't pay for.

While that's true in general, I found Model Mayhem models to be an almost universal exception to that rule. They almost always understood the "working together to make something we each want/need".

But this was a while ago... dunno if the culture has changed in the last few years.
Just to clarify, what I was referring to with the "People don't value what they don't pay for" comment was the public in general. MM, as NYC indicated generally is just the opposite. I find many of the models, even the inexperienced ones, very dedicated and willing to work hard. Of course there can be a high flake-factor, but, it never hurts to try.
Speaking for myself, I think your website is o.k., just that paying your travel expenses may scare them off. You should offer one option of them coming to you.
Just wondering why your web address is prettyprint.co.uk ... but when you go there it is called "V&R Photography" with no reference to "Prettyprint"? That may make people more wary also.
Hi guys,

Firstly, thank you very much for the replies, I appreciate your attention a lot.

To Nycphotography : thank you for the advice. I'm wondering how did I miss it? Have found few similar, but they wanted money for listings and option to send messages. I even paid few times but without any good result. Will try to complete profile and try my luck there)) :D

To Orljustin : em... as I understood it was bad idea to call photography "passion" :guilty: :oops: ? You are correct about 2nd language, I moved to the UK 2 years ago. I knew something from English grammar before changing country, but major part of my knowledge's has British origin :blushing:.

And well yes.. You hit the bull's-eye here.. I fill it is a huge problem for me, I'm shying to talk, shying my accent and mistakes, afraid to say something wrong..

Trying to do everything via e-mail first to gain some trust). Huh, when you trying to do something with your sincere and best intentions, few wrong words + Ukrainian accent = :er: :confused: "Psst! She's not British" )))

And this is absolutely normal reaction, I understand that))) People are hesitating, as they do not know me, what to expect from me as from foreigner .. so on.. But the problem still remain. I hope when I will do everything better (including photography) people will be not so strict to me..
But who knows, maybe this is just a sweet delusion, as I have genuine desire to get a place in new society. My previous client, who paid for the wedding photography were very happy with the result (I was doing 3 wedding shooting in the past)... Another reason for the text on my page was that I wanted to clarify that I'm ready to work for free, to go some miles extra for a nice result..

Apologies for such a long "story"))) Btw, maybe "story-in-photos" sounds better?

To Designer : thank you very much! I want to try find someone who will agree at least to come to a nice place (not just the park round the corner, as usually happens to me))

To AceCo55 : another pretty big point, thank you. The reason of this is that I'm working on new web-site, new name, new logo... want everything to be perfect and know that it will take quite long time. Do not want to stop learning, as photography are pretty big passion for now (ups, is that is wrong expression again?))..

To Tirediron : Thank you very much for warm words, they are very important to me. You are 100% correct about the web-site. I want to prepare new one, but it will take a long term to launch it. From the beginning I wanted to find cowriter to help me with all the texts, but later I realized that it can't be every new article after every new photo-shoot (I want to make photos and write short stories about it, have to improve my English a lot).
And I have already faced the problem of not-valuing my work)). That is common for all the countries I think...
But maybe I'm just not so lucky , because I have received lots more troubles with girls who wanted a portfolio, rather than few families with children. After few times we were waiting for the model in the agreed place for few hours, and no one came, we decided that models should pay the travel expenses (like a guaranty that they will come at least).

However, all people are different, I want to try again with
model mayhem for sure...
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I'm afraid that the scene has changed in the last few years - as far as the effectiveness of a website to attract new clients. Don't get me wrong. A website is very useful as a place where people can be sent to to look at your work and contact you. But the facts are, that not many photographers are getting the email requests that they once did from people running across ones website. No need to go hog wild on a website either money or time wise. You have a really nice Wordpress website and do good work from what you display there. In my opinion as well, paying for directory listings is pretty well a waste of money. Save that extra money and time and put it into something more useful.

Every photographer and website says the exact same things that you are stating on your site - as far as their style, ambitions and what they offer etc. I find your site confusing because of the text on it. I personally would just get rid of it and focus on the images with a small amount of relevant text related to the subjects. No person coming across your site is going to spend the time reading that or even really care. Sorry - but that is the reality. As for SEO benefits, Google is changing the game where all kinds of text has less significance. Don't believe me, just do a search on the subject.

Really the best place to start doing what you want to do is with friends, family and acquaintances. Just ask or let them know. Just don't expect them to purchase anything just because they like what you are giving them for free. It doesn't seem to work that way from my experience. If none of them are getting married or need family pictures taken (most will go for that one) - why not ask that they spread the word around to help you out. The biggest thing with all of this is - - - don't be surprised if even friends and family have several other friends and family who are also offering the same thing. Almost everyone is wanting to get into shooting weddings and families and kids and are willing to do it for nothing or a very small fee. So free or charging just for travel, aren't really a selling feature anymore.

Another possibility that has worked for some - is coming up a project that you can promote locally in your community, that appeals to people who want to get involved in social or charity happenings. It won't make you money necessarily (which it appears isn't a number one priority anyway), but it is good for building a portfolio of images and gets your name out to those involved and who they talk to in the community. If you are lucky, you might even end up with free editorial advertising in a local newspaper or other media.

Model Mayhem may be of some value to wanna be models and photographers looking for someone to shoot for sample shots - - - but really wouldn't asking someone locally make so much more sense. Even if it is people that you notice on the streets, grocery store or post office. If you can hook one, the word of mouth talk about it will be around your town and relevant to the area where you can feasibly get future clients from, right? No real need to search elsewhere or incur extra travel costs just for the sake of having someone to photograph.

OH - AND DON'T FORGET FACEBOOK AND PINTEREST - - - that is where the connections are being made these days it appears! Far more useful for most people, than Google search.

All the best.
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