November 23, 2014, 05:18:12 AM

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Messages - jdramirez

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601
I think the simple answer to this is... catalog.  Your last work will warrant a premium for your future work.

Make sure your catalog is stunning and blows away the competition.

602
If he can seek out commercial work, go nuts.  But I got the feel that wasn't the market he was going after.  Market share is important, and once you get a foothold, you needn't continue to discount... but that's fine.

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Go grab market share.  Coupons, promotions, word of mouth, etc.  Get your name out there and have a high quality product and people will come back to you.

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Also... market to groups that frequent these types of services... maternity wards, preschools, etc... make lasting relationships with customers so they don't feel like they are just a meat bag with money. 

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Offer them free Facebook sized prints for upload and sharing.  Feed their ego.... having omg, that is the cutest child ever, LIKE, will do more for your business than a print hanging in their living room.

No, no and no. these are all ways to cement yourself into low prices in a low paying market that competes with low charging, rebel wielding amateurs.

in most markets, its increasingly more difficult to find clients that pay well. you won't find them any faster by offering coupons, discounts and freebies. you will set up the expectation of continued discounts and freebies.

any further advice would greatly depend on what type of photography business you are trying to start up. are you looking to get commercial/advertising type of stuff with 1200.00+ day rates or are you trying to do private/family types of jobs? they are two very different markets and require different approaches.

two things that have helped me get higher rates is staying diversified and maintaining a professional network of photographers in my area. the diversity allows me to survive any lulls in business. i shoot corporate and collegiate events, commercial and advertising, weddings, head shots of all sorts, architecture, and product. if any one of those business streams starts to slow i can usually count on the others to pick me up. because i stay busy i dont feel the pressure to take low paying jobs. networking with other professionals also helps. i still assist and do second shooting for my fellow photographers when i am free. the relationships i have developed by doing this has gotten me my best paying work as when one of those photographers cant take a job they flick it to me.

it takes time and patience to build a sustaining business. you have to know what your bottom dollar is though and have the discipline to say no to a rate that is too low. try not to worry about the low rate amateurs, even though they will keep coming out of the woodwork they never last that long. they literally price themselves out of the business.

private photography unfortunately is really difficult to reach decent wages unless you are doing massive amounts of work and have a support staff you can pay minimum wages. professional clients are harder to find but you will get better wages in the long run and won't run into as many rebel toting, discount waving amateurs. pursue professional businesses, doctors, lawyers, commercial real estate companies, universities etc. they will understand better the difference between a professional and an amateur and will pay better.

get a good website going and only show professional caliber work. do not rely solely on social networking sites like facebook...they aren't professional and real professional clients avoid them like the plague.

603
Also, I don't like the idea of sitting fees... maybe the kid is cranky or sick... or the bride is fat on this day.... So allow for some room for error... charge a shooting fee and if they don't love the images, the fee can be applied on their next visit.... which then gives you relay business.

604
The problem is your sales department, which I imagine is you.  You aren't successfully showing the added value of your services to the customer to make the price difference compelling.

Price is only a marginal factor in sales.  More often than not, people want the best bang for their buck.

Go grab market share.  Coupons, promotions, word of mouth, etc.  Get your name out there and have a high quality product and people will come back to you.

There is a reason most businesses don't make a profit in the first few years... because they are setting themselves up with a solid foundation. 

Also... market to groups that frequent these types of services... maternity wards, preschools, etc... make lasting relationships with customers so they don't feel like they are just a meat bag with money. 

Offer them free Facebook sized prints for upload and sharing.  Feed their ego.... having omg, that is the cutest child ever, LIKE, will do more for your business than a print hanging in their living room.

605
I don't have a story like this, but I'm often surprised at what people like.  Just posting pictures of my kids on Facebook, there will be one or two photos I love but all the likes go to another... and I think, really?

I try to not read minds... but it is surprising at times.

606
Unless I'm shooting in burst at a moving target, I usually don't use ai servo.  I put the camera in one of the first two options and take single shots. 

As for the lenses af motor being too slow, the 135 can be used in a sports capacity and it is not to slow the 85 L and mkii are slow... but not the f1.8.  I haven't used the fifty in a while, but I would say it should be fine shooting dancers.

608
EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: Advice on a upgrade from the Rebel XS
« on: May 11, 2014, 03:18:51 PM »
I have a 5d mkiii and when I had the xs I would spray and pray.

Now that I have the mkiii... I time the action and I depress when it is time to take the shot... then I hold a few extra beats and then look after.

I'd suggest a 6d for improved low light, use the center point, crop in post, and then time and blast... your results should be more than adequate.

While the 7d and 70 will be fine... full frame is the better choice...

609
I have a yongnuo 622c and it sends out the ir beams, but it also doesn't work in ai servo... but it does work in the middle option, whatever that is called... and it is supposed to react to movement.

610
What was your depth of field?  If you are simply aiming at the front of the couple

O|O

You have the person, then the space in between the couple, and then the partner.  Maybe you were shooting at a DOF too shallow and so the partner was out of focus. 

I'd suggest shooting with speedlites and a aperture of maybe f/5.6... of camera of course... I have an article in my to read list upstairs... I'll post that later, but I don't shoot weddings... so it is low on my to read list.

611
Lenses / Re: Before you buy your next prime...
« on: May 09, 2014, 04:48:30 PM »
you know you are too deep into photography when you see a picture of a beautiful woman and your primary thoughts are how did they lighte the subject

612
Lenses / Re: Before you buy your next prime...
« on: May 09, 2014, 03:53:53 PM »
Oh... and... she's HOT.  I'm a pretty lucky husband :)

Some pictures would be nice  ;) and give this thread something interesting after that video of an incredibly boring a*** at the beginning.

I would have asked too, but we are talking about a wife.  Girlfriend sure... but I hold back when b till death do is part is involved.

Having said that.. I think every beautiful woman should have nudes taken... So when they are old and flabby they have proof they were hot.

613
Lenses / Re: Before you buy your next prime...
« on: May 09, 2014, 02:48:01 PM »
I have the 24-70ii and the 70-200ii. I don't really NEED anything wider or longer... where do I go from here???

:-\

Depends on you.  I'm giving the sexy eyes to the 200-400 f4L 1.4x. 

I sold my 100L when I got the 70-200 mkii, but I bought one again because I missed it.


614
Photography Technique / Re: So I really stepped into it....
« on: May 09, 2014, 12:15:13 AM »
Sounds like you are trying to achieve the impossible... get accepted into the "cool kids club" in Junior High.   8)

From what I've read here so far, you should just bow out gracefully and forget they ever existed.  They are legends in their own minds.  You stand to gain very little from that association and they don't appreciate your input anyway.   :)

Whenever I join something like this, I never want to be the smartest guy, in fact I want to be just a few steps above the dumbest guy.  That way I will be able to learn a lot from others.  In your case, you are so far ahead of the others that you'll never learn anything and they obviously don't want to learn from you.  So, no point in staying with that club, eh?

Oh, and thanks for sharing!!  It helps remind us of the pitfalls of some situations like this.   ::)

I think my issue with the group is I was never WOWED by what they shared... so I didn't... I don't way to say respect... because that is wrong... but I didn't defer to them the way they would expect me to.  And I don't really share that many images because they are mostly of my kids or other people's kids (portraiture/action/sports)... so they didn't have any reason to hold me in high regard... So there's that.

I'm going to let the smoke blow over... I'm going to be snarky which is my default mode anyway... and then I'm going to excuse myself... without much fanfare. 

Like you... I really like not being the smartest person in the room... though at times it feels as though I'm looking for my bachelor's while the people talking are working on the 3rd phd... which is fine... but maybe I get lost in the translation to undergrad speak. 

And thanks for listening... it is good to vent.

615
Lenses / Re: Before you buy your next prime...
« on: May 08, 2014, 08:01:43 PM »
Let's reframe the discussion.

It's not the telescope, it's the astronomer.
Absolutely. A good astronomer can take better pictures with an old paper towel roll and a monocle than a newbie with 5-digit $ worth of gear.

I'm always amazed at the stories of Galileo and co... though I'm included to say that the Hubble telescope would significantly help in finding an undiscovered galaxy. V the tasco I buy my daughter.

Your daughter might surprise you (pleasantly) :)

I love her... but I don't think she can find the moon at times... a full moon.  I'm not concerned... she's super pretty.

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