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Author Topic: Finally did a few paying jobs now what?  (Read 4393 times)

KKCFamilyman

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Finally did a few paying jobs now what?
« on: September 03, 2013, 09:02:33 AM »
I got a chance to shoot a bday party, baby portrait, corp event. And wondering where do I go from here.
Started a site (work in progress) but just not sure where to invest next for props advertising etc. any suggestions would be helpful

Www.allophotography.com

Could have used props for the baby. Could have used a macro for the baby but want to spend my money wisely. Gear is in my sig.
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Finally did a few paying jobs now what?
« on: September 03, 2013, 09:02:33 AM »

rpt

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Re: Finally did a few paying jobs now what?
« Reply #1 on: September 03, 2013, 09:26:33 AM »
I got a chance to shoot a bday party, baby portrait, corp event. And wondering where do I go from here.
Started a site (work in progress) but just not sure where to invest next for props advertising etc. any suggestions would be helpful

Www.allophotography.com

Could have used props for the baby. Could have used a macro for the baby but want to spend my money wisely. Gear is in my sig.

I liked your pictures but macro for the baby? Very confused! Could you explain?

frumrk

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Re: Finally did a few paying jobs now what?
« Reply #2 on: September 03, 2013, 09:36:12 AM »
I guess the bigger question is... where do you want to go from here?

Are you looking to do this full time... or are you just looking for part time business?

If you want to get into photography as a business... you will soon find that "Photography" is only a small part of the business.  You need to get some training on SEO and Advertising as well as many other aspects of the business. If you want to continually get new clients...then Advertising is a very big part of the business.  Also.... if you are looking to go full-time/part time, what type of photography are you trying to focus on. You should display that prominently on your header page on the web.  Probably start a blog, create a Facebook page, twitter...etc.  All that ... maybe not necessary but most people are doing it... and it is definitely beneficial for someone starting out.

I won't comment on the web page as you said it is a work in progress... but I will say that I wouldn't show all of your photo's in one place. On your header page you should have no more than 3 to 5 of your absolute best photo's (maybe only one depending on your design).

I've been working on creating a photography business for over 6 months now... and I still have a lot to do.  I am planning on specializing in Weddings/Portraits... and I've finally booked my first paid wedding.

Not trying to dissuade you... and I am sure that there are plenty on here that will give you advice... but just sayin.... you got a lot of work to do... :-)

Good Luck!

adebrophy

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Re: Finally did a few paying jobs now what?
« Reply #3 on: September 03, 2013, 10:00:49 AM »
As commented above, your next investment is in your business plan - particularly as you have some awesome kit! Work out your target customers. Will you sell to families, or to businesses? Are there routes to clients like PR or marketing firms that need regular access to photography? Understand how much you need to earn to make this a worthwhile plan, and work out how many days you'll need to earn that at the rates the market can bear (do some competitor research to get a sense of rates). Be realistic about how many days you'll be able to sell. Factor in equipment costs per year and other things like insurances and marketing costs. In other words, start making lists and spreadsheets. Boring advice, sorry!  ???
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KKCFamilyman

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Re: Finally did a few paying jobs now what?
« Reply #4 on: September 03, 2013, 10:03:20 AM »
I guess the bigger question is... where do you want to go from here?

Are you looking to do this full time... or are you just looking for part time business?

If you want to get into photography as a business... you will soon find that "Photography" is only a small part of the business.  You need to get some training on SEO and Advertising as well as many other aspects of the business. If you want to continually get new clients...then Advertising is a very big part of the business.  Also.... if you are looking to go full-time/part time, what type of photography are you trying to focus on. You should display that prominently on your header page on the web.  Probably start a blog, create a Facebook page, twitter...etc.  All that ... maybe not necessary but most people are doing it... and it is definitely beneficial for someone starting out.

I won't comment on the web page as you said it is a work in progress... but I will say that I wouldn't show all of your photo's in one place. On your header page you should have no more than 3 to 5 of your absolute best photo's (maybe only one depending on your design).

I've been working on creating a photography business for over 6 months now... and I still have a lot to do.  I am planning on specializing in Weddings/Portraits... and I've finally booked my first paid wedding.

Not trying to dissuade you... and I am sure that there are plenty on here that will give you advice... but just sayin.... you got a lot of work to do... :-)

Good Luck!

Thanks
Part time. Just taking it as the jobs come and trying to tweak the site and other social networks in the upcoming months. I just needed to get something going since people are starting to ask and pay. I wanted to deliver the pics with a protected link and make money on the prints. Got sick of burning discs and i feel it will separate me from those photographers. Specialty would be portraits/events (bday parties, corporate) would love to do weddings eventually but want more experience in client expectations and guaging their wants before I take on a wedding. Care too much.
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leGreve

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Re: Finally did a few paying jobs now what?
« Reply #5 on: September 03, 2013, 10:17:11 AM »
Next thing you have to do.... well... you have to do a lot of things.... but a good one is:

Learn to "kill your darlings"...

I know you wrote it's a work in progress, but frankly that doesn't justify putting everything and doubles up of the same situation.
Sort your stuff out, exclude the baddest photos (bad lighting, bad crop, uninteresting photos etc), don't show the same image twice. Like the girl on the swing... it's basically the same shot seconds apart. Or that bloody shot with the kid in front of the red blob... Ugh!
And the duck...? get rid of that!

And please remember, just because a "client" likes what you brought them, does not mean you should then immidiately put up that photo on your website. Clients have notoriously bad taste... there's a big huge gulf between "a good photo" and "a photo worthy of using for advertising for myself".

Another thing... take some paid photographic courses. With all due respect, I think you'd land a whole lot more paying customers by upping your skills A LOT than you are throwing money at gear or props.
Photos get made by the mind holding the camera, it almost doesn't matter what the hands of the mind are holding...
« Last Edit: September 03, 2013, 10:20:40 AM by leGreve »
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paul13walnut5

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Re: Finally did a few paying jobs now what?
« Reply #6 on: September 03, 2013, 10:20:19 AM »
Some nice little touches in the portraiture, getting down to the kids eye level etc.  Great.

I'm really sorry to say, but not much else to write home about.

My first advice would be to join a club, take a class, you've got some nice kit, but IMHO you aren't getting anywhere near the best out of it.  There are lots of folk out there who have spent a lot of money on a camera and thereby became a professional photographer.  Don't be that guy.

I say this with the best of intentions. 

For example:

On your homepage (the first thing folk see when looking to book you) you have a family reel, three or four shots of the same pose.

A shot along the path in the park with your shadow cast in the foreground.

Consistent under exposure.  Plenty of colour in the clothes and scenes, why aren't they popping?

Kids in sillouhette in the shade.  This betrays a complete lack of rudimentary camera craft.  Seriously.

The duck.  No eyes.  Anybody could take this shot on their compact or iphone, why would somebody pay you?  If it's a living thing then classically you really want to have the eyes in, in focus, and with a catch light.

The last shot of (your son?) on the swing bench, it's underexposed and full of motion blur.  We all take shots like this.  But we probably don't share them, not as evidence of our work at least, which we want you to pay for.

I know this is bad form.  I know that on flickr and forums we are supposed to play nice...  well I am playing nice.  The best advice you will receive based on what you've presented is, go and enjoy your photography.  Learn the camera.  Learn the operations.  Learn the flash.  Learn composition.  You've asked the question, and this is the most tactful answer I can come up with.  You aren't ready.  Yet.

Post more as you go along.  Ask for honest feedback.  Accept some.  Reject others (as you are free to reject this)

Sorry I can't be more positive.
« Last Edit: September 03, 2013, 10:22:09 AM by paul13walnut5 »

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Re: Finally did a few paying jobs now what?
« Reply #6 on: September 03, 2013, 10:20:19 AM »

takesome1

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Re: Finally did a few paying jobs now what?
« Reply #7 on: September 03, 2013, 10:57:50 AM »
I would suggest not putting up works in progress sites.

Get rid of the underexposed, poorly framed, OOF pictures and only show the best of your best.

Some people can be brutal. Do not take it that way, everyone on this forum has taken underexposed, poorly framed and OOF pictures. If they say they haven't they lie.

The art is knowing which to show.

Jay Khaos

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Re: Finally did a few paying jobs now what?
« Reply #8 on: September 03, 2013, 11:02:25 AM »
I say this with the best of intentions. 

...

I agree 100% with this.  It kind of does look like scrolling through an unfiltered iphone camera roll... BUT the thing is... it doesn't have to... 

Out of this entire I set, I would keep maybe 5 for display (even less once you have more to add).  If this is your portfolio that you plan to get new work from and show strangers—treat it like a portfolio or resume, where less is more.

For example, one nicely composed/edited shot of your daughter smiling looks better than when the same shot is included in a set with 10 others that are similar but where she isnt paying attention, composition is off, exposure isnt as good, etc.  Because then instead of looking like a nice composition, it looks like a lucky shot—and more importantly, it makes it look like the photographer can't interpret that it's a nice shot.  It also looks like "okay, you're showing me everything you've done", and that is never impressive, even if there are some good ones thrown in.  Limiting the front page to a few different styles of shooting, all from different sets, leaves something up to imagination which is a good thing.

I will say, I love the minimal/responsive web template you went with.  Your gear looks like it is very capable.  I'd spend a little more time getting your brand up to par.
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7enderbender

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Re: Finally did a few paying jobs now what?
« Reply #9 on: September 03, 2013, 11:29:38 AM »
I got a chance to shoot a bday party, baby portrait, corp event. And wondering where do I go from here.
Started a site (work in progress) but just not sure where to invest next for props advertising etc. any suggestions would be helpful

Www.allophotography.com

Could have used props for the baby. Could have used a macro for the baby but want to spend my money wisely. Gear is in my sig.



I was in the same situation a while ago. So for the calendar year 2013 I went ahead and got myself a business license/tax ID (state and fed), hooked up with a local chamber of commerce to have my business plan reviewed (for free), set up my zenfolio site accordingly (maybe not the pretties/most artistic way of having a site, but very time efficient to get results and an included shopping cart with lots of control) and had a bunch of business cards printed (cheapo vista print option).

Things turned out to be too busy really otherwise to follow through with some of my original plans so the only thing I've done since is do some shoots for charity. But things will change again and that way I have everything available to add a bit more of a side business that way.

One thing I learned along the way is that some towns/cities might want to charge you business/property taxes based on the value of your gear/business. You might want to check that.

The other thing is that having insurance (especially liability not so much the gear) can be very important for some kind of work. I haven't done that yet because it's very expensive here in MA. But the minute you shoot events, weddings and such I guess it's important in case anyone sues you for tripping over your camera bag or whatever.
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KKCFamilyman

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Re: Finally did a few paying jobs now what?
« Reply #10 on: September 03, 2013, 11:32:12 AM »
The site homepage was put back to the original and should be simpler. I will further tweak it tonight. Please remember I have only been working on it for 6 days periodically. I also think people should comment truthfully but put your money were your mouth is and show a link to your well put together site if you want to truly put your point across.
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And-Rew

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Re: Finally did a few paying jobs now what?
« Reply #11 on: September 03, 2013, 11:32:17 AM »
OK, my 2 penneth worth...

Your web site - all pictures and no info. As much as photography is about pictures, it is all about you as well. YOU are the BRAND that is being advertised and the service being offered. As much as I like the pictures, and the locked galleries to indicate previous commissioned work - you definitely need that bit of reading material.

As you say, a work in progress - so leave the web site there.

Where to go next:

Kit wise - i see you only have the one body - for me a second body is essential. You are being hired to guarantee the delivery of pictures - and if that one body breaks, then your rep takes a hit. You can get a way with losing a lens by use of another, although not as suitable as that which was lost. Lighting i also something to have redundancy, so one flash isn't enough - and nor is ISO 25600.

The Macro lens is nice - i used mine for portraits - loved the bokeh you could get with it - but do you already have redundancy in the focal range area? What will the lense give you that you haven't already got? You'd be surprised how many butterfly pics are taken with long lenses - saves you getting close and disturbing them - even if butterfly pics do make a good 'stocking' filler  ;)

Photography as a living: as said in another comment - you have to work out where you want to go with your photography as a revenue stream. With that you need to get a business plan, and even marketing plan sorted out to help you decide if what you fancy is achievable.

I can take pictures, and have had all the kit a pro could want - but i just couldn't handle the pressure of 'the event' and delivery, my wife said i set standards that were just too high - who knows, it's done. My photography has now been stripped back to basics and basic kit. I'm adjusting my web presence as well to suit.

I hope you sort out your aims re- photography and wish you all the best, look forward to seeing you on the front cover of a tog mag.

And-Rew

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Re: Finally did a few paying jobs now what?
« Reply #12 on: September 03, 2013, 11:39:13 AM »
as requested, the only web presence i have at the moment:

http://500px.com/andrew-brown

it includes some old stuff and some new stuff. Hence i didn't comment on your ability to build a site or what it looks like, just the content. Your site- after all - must be a reflection of you, of your individuality, that is there to show case you and your work - to encourage people to use you over the next tog in the yellow pages or web search engine results.

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Re: Finally did a few paying jobs now what?
« Reply #12 on: September 03, 2013, 11:39:13 AM »

paul13walnut5

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Re: Finally did a few paying jobs now what?
« Reply #13 on: September 03, 2013, 11:47:55 AM »
The site homepage was put back to the original and should be simpler. I will further tweak it tonight. Please remember I have only been working on it for 6 days periodically. I also think people should comment truthfully but put your money were your mouth is and show a link to your well put together site if you want to truly put your point across.

1. I wasn't the one asking for an opinion

2. I don't charge people for my photography, have no ambition to, and have no pretensions that my photography is good enough to charge for.

3. I wasn't really criticising the web design so much... (I don't have a website, so 1-0 there)

4. I've posted examples of my video work in the video thread, some of which I did for fun, most of which was paid for as part of my day job as a full-time video cameraman / editor, please feel free to have a look and critique away.  I've long since cashed the cheques and spent the money.

5. If you want some proof that I can work the basics of a camera, control light a little bit, and compose a shot within reason then sure, I'll put my money where my mouth is and post some stills when I get to my home machine later.

The other thing you'll need for professional work is a thick skin.  A paying client would have tore you a new @rsehole if you presented some of the stuff you've posted.  And some will do that even when the work meets their brief and meets a professional technical competency.
It takes lots of things to go pro (from my experience in video that is) and a good camera is the least of it.
« Last Edit: September 03, 2013, 11:50:14 AM by paul13walnut5 »

Jay Khaos

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Re: Finally did a few paying jobs now what?
« Reply #14 on: September 03, 2013, 12:10:19 PM »
The site homepage was put back to the original and should be simpler. I will further tweak it tonight. Please remember I have only been working on it for 6 days periodically. I also think people should comment truthfully but put your money were your mouth is and show a link to your well put together site if you want to truly put your point across.

The whole idea of needing to see an example to be sold on the point.... ironically kind of strengthens the argument of only showing your best work.  A client comes at you wanting the same piece of mind.

If I were to show you a collection of the websites I've put together, you would expect me to ONLY show you the kind of work I claim to support.  I may have done a lot of work that was client-directed and that I am not proud of, and I would not show you those in my portfolio because that would discredit my arguement—just as showing anything less than your best weakens your position as a photographer :)

Like Paul said, a client will tear you a new one, and the difference will be that the feedback won't really be constructive.
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Re: Finally did a few paying jobs now what?
« Reply #14 on: September 03, 2013, 12:10:19 PM »