August 28, 2014, 03:22:58 AM

Author Topic: Where did you starting professionally?  (Read 1835 times)

KKCFamilyman

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Where did you starting professionally?
« on: June 02, 2013, 03:51:25 PM »
I have been getting more and more people asking for pictures and copies of pictures from events I attend. Where did you start or do you have advice on where I can get a gallery going and be able to charge for photos, upload and give a password so the client could access them? I was looking at Smugmug or Zenfolio. Is there anything else I should do? I do not want to go overboard but I cannot keep taking free pictures for people then having to use skydrive to send them the pictures or give them discs. Also do I need to copyright my pictures? Just curious how to get my feet wet.
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mbonocore

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Re: Where did you starting professionally?
« Reply #1 on: June 04, 2013, 03:04:55 AM »
Hi KKC!

I actually work at SmugMug, so I can be a good resource to help answer this. When I shoot weddings or events, I simply create a gallery on my SmugMug site, and export all the edited photos to the gallery with the Lightroom plugin. I apply a pricelist depending on whether it is wedding or a normal event...wedding prints are at a higher markup then my normal event prints. I make the photos with a small maximum display size, and enable right click protection so the viewer doesn't have the ability to save the photo. Then, if they want a print, or a digital download, they then nativate to the "Buy" button, and I am in business.

For weddings, I use the "Event" feature, which allows me to create a custom event page for the bride and groom, with a slideshow featuring the best photos, as well as galleries that are split between "Ceremony", "Formal Portraits", etc. Even though prints are available for sale, my contract gives the bride and groom all of the digital negatives, so I simply generate a link to download all of the photos, which I then forward onto the bride and groom. This is great, and allows me to not be roped into burning individual DVDs.

I hope this helps understand a little about how I go about shooting and selling my event and wedding photos, but please feel free to shoot me any other questions that you may have.

Michael
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KKCFamilyman

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Re: Where did you starting professionally?
« Reply #2 on: June 04, 2013, 07:55:59 AM »
Hi KKC!

I actually work at SmugMug, so I can be a good resource to help answer this. When I shoot weddings or events, I simply create a gallery on my SmugMug site, and export all the edited photos to the gallery with the Lightroom plugin. I apply a pricelist depending on whether it is wedding or a normal event...wedding prints are at a higher markup then my normal event prints. I make the photos with a small maximum display size, and enable right click protection so the viewer doesn't have the ability to save the photo. Then, if they want a print, or a digital download, they then nativate to the "Buy" button, and I am in business.

For weddings, I use the "Event" feature, which allows me to create a custom event page for the bride and groom, with a slideshow featuring the best photos, as well as galleries that are split between "Ceremony", "Formal Portraits", etc. Even though prints are available for sale, my contract gives the bride and groom all of the digital negatives, so I simply generate a link to download all of the photos, which I then forward onto the bride and groom. This is great, and allows me to not be roped into burning individual DVDs.

I hope this helps understand a little about how I go about shooting and selling my event and wedding photos, but please feel free to shoot me any other questions that you may have.

Michael

how do you charge for your services say a family portrait at their home?
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smithy

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Re: Where did you starting professionally?
« Reply #3 on: June 04, 2013, 09:11:00 AM »
I started doing family portraits recently, and the way I figure out the pricing is the same as pretty much any business does:  work out how much money you'd like to earn per hour, then determine how many photos you will hand over after the shoot.  Calculate how many hours you'll spend in post-processing+the shoot itself, then multiply by the hourly $ amount you want to earn.  The final amount is what you'll charge the customer.  The key point is to not be too greedy - if it's what you'll be paying your mortgage/rent/food with, then it needs to be able to sustain you.  If it's a side business, then you can probably afford to charge less.  A note: if you don't charge enough, people may assume you're no good.  If you charge too much, then they may look elsewhere.  Of course there are exceptions to this rule.

Most 'fun' family shoots result in anywhere between 3 and 20 good photos that a family would be prepared to pay for.  Some photographers simply offer (for example) a 5 photo package for a fixed price.  Many *only* provide prints, and refuse to give out digital copies.  These tend to be the more expensive photographers.  Another popular pricing format is to charge a 'sitting fee' that includes 1 or 2 photos as part of the price, and then the customer can purchase additional photos individually.

The prices for my region are no doubt different from yours, so I'm not giving specific prices here.
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Re: Where did you starting professionally?
« Reply #4 on: June 04, 2013, 09:19:54 AM »
Most photographers are reluctant to discuss pricing in venues such as this, but it's easy to collect competitive pricing information via the web these days.

Do a search on photographers in your local area, and check their websites. Many will include a page with pricing on their sites.
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cayenne

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Re: Where did you starting professionally?
« Reply #5 on: June 04, 2013, 09:21:26 AM »
Hi KKC!

I actually work at SmugMug, so I can be a good resource to help answer this. When I shoot weddings or events, I simply create a gallery on my SmugMug site, and export all the edited photos to the gallery with the Lightroom plugin. I apply a pricelist depending on whether it is wedding or a normal event...wedding prints are at a higher markup then my normal event prints. I make the photos with a small maximum display size, and enable right click protection so the viewer doesn't have the ability to save the photo. Then, if they want a print, or a digital download, they then nativate to the "Buy" button, and I am in business.

For weddings, I use the "Event" feature, which allows me to create a custom event page for the bride and groom, with a slideshow featuring the best photos, as well as galleries that are split between "Ceremony", "Formal Portraits", etc. Even though prints are available for sale, my contract gives the bride and groom all of the digital negatives, so I simply generate a link to download all of the photos, which I then forward onto the bride and groom. This is great, and allows me to not be roped into burning individual DVDs.

I hope this helps understand a little about how I go about shooting and selling my event and wedding photos, but please feel free to shoot me any other questions that you may have.

Michael

Just curious, do you exclusively use online postings to sell your images?

I've been watching a lot of Creative Live webinars, with wedding shooters...and portrait people, that went through business plans, and these people have built up million dollar a year businesses, and they say that the way they make more money, is to sell wall hanging images and image books, and the way they do that, is having the customer come IN to your studio (many started in their homes doing this), and showing images there for them to pick out, and sample wall hangings, books...etc.  They actually do a lot of 'package' selling, and often the images on a disk, are only available as part of the upper level packages. Many of them say they do not give the RAW footage away either, some only give high resolution jpg that have been processed, etc.<P>
Anyway, has been interesting watching the CL workshops, and much of it makes a LOT of sense, running this type of thing as a true business. I was amazed to hear that many of the well to do ones...often outsource the actual photoshop processing of most images to a service, and only work on 3-5 really prime images for selling (the wall art stuff).
Anyway, just curious about your thoughts on this...do you actually give the RAW images, or only ones you've post processed first...etc
How do you feel your pricing is for your area?  What level are your customers would you guess...in how much $$ do your couples average spending total on a wedding event?

Thanks in advance, I'm trying to research about how I'd break into photography professionally.

Thanks,

cayenne

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Re: Where did you starting professionally?
« Reply #6 on: June 04, 2013, 10:03:13 AM »
.
To answer the copyright question, in a word, yes.

Here's the B&H video on copyright. It's the best information I know currently around, and it well tell you what you actually have to do to copyright your images.

130603-142438.wmv

Like most things dealing with law, it's sort of boring and one guy is a bit obnoxious, but the info is good.

And the smugmug guy is right on. I use it to share images (though I don't sell anything). But if you're going to be serious, I'd suggest you think about how you want people looking at images you do. If you Internet-share them, and they're looking at them on a 3-inch phone screen, is that really doing your work justice? Is it giving them a credible view of your images?

When possible I get people in here to look at things on my 25" monitor. Then I know they're getting a good look at the image -- AND seeing it the way I do. Obviously, you can't always do this, but always try to present in the best light.
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Re: Where did you starting professionally?
« Reply #7 on: June 04, 2013, 10:24:40 AM »
 I'm not a professional,  but I'm in a similar boat.  I  give free  full  size photos to friends  so they can do what they want,  but I give people who ask a 10%  image that is at best only good for posting on Facebook.   I've been recently putting a small copy rite mall at the corner.   also, I  have been photographing for my daughter's school yearbook  partly because I do enjoy it and partly because it will be free  publicity.

 I'm only marginally comfortable selling things at the moment,  but I guess I will get over that soon enough.
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Re: Where did you starting professionally?
« Reply #8 on: June 04, 2013, 10:56:51 AM »
I started selling prints on my viewbook. It works simple and its elegant in its ordering system thru fotomoto.

mbonocore

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Re: Where did you starting professionally?
« Reply #9 on: June 04, 2013, 05:55:02 PM »
do you actually give the RAW images, or only ones you've post processed first...etc
How do you feel your pricing is for your area?  What level are your customers would you guess...in how much $$ do your couples average spending total on a wedding event?

Thanks in advance, I'm trying to research about how I'd break into photography professionally.

Thanks,

cayenne

Nope, I never ever give RAW or unedited JPG images. Sometimes, I will shoot in RAW+JPEG, and upload the Straight out of camera JPGs to the client in a "Proofing" gallery on my SmugMug site. I let them know these are unedited, and that I would like them to pick their favorite 20. They do so, and then I edit the RAW files for those 20 photos to upload to the final gallery. But uploading the SOOC JPGs looks alot better in the proofing gallery then the flat RAW files would, but obviously the final edited photos usually don't look like those SOOC JPGs. Doing this saves me alot of time. I don't have to be the one going through 200 images picking out the best ones. Also, I usually over deliver...So out of 200 I would probably edit and deliver 75. Putting a hard limit of 20 and making them pick the 20 saves me hours.

I have no problem saying how much I charge. I charge on a strictly hourly basis. for time on site...kind of like Smithy describes. I figure for an hour worth of photos, I will spend another hour on editing and delivering the 20 images the client selects. That's roughly 2 hours of my time, So I will bill the client at $200 per hour of shooting...which equals out to $100 per hour of actual time worked.

For weddings, I usually charge about $400-$500 per hour on site. For weddings though, I am not delivering proofing galleries...I simply hire some photographers I know to do the selecting and editing.

Hope this helps, and please feel free to ask if you have any more questions.

And my SmugMug website is http://www.mb-photography-sf.com/ in case anyone wants to check out my work.

You can also find me on FB at https://www.facebook.com/mbonocore and Google+ https://plus.google.com/106719979779567208605/posts

Happy to be a part of this great community!

Michael
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