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Author Topic: High school Prom Photo shoot ideas/advice  (Read 12296 times)

cheeseheadsaint

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High school Prom Photo shoot ideas/advice
« on: April 23, 2012, 12:10:10 AM »
I haven't been on the forum for ages but I'm still active with photography. Next month I'll be doing prom pics for my friends!

I've improved since the homecoming shoot(a former post)... but my pricing hasn't got a chance to and I think it should change for prom. $5 for non friends and free for friends was the rate for homecoming. Here are a couple of my favorite shots:
http://img810.imageshack.us/img810/981/img5054editcr.jpg
http://img41.imageshack.us/img41/4876/img5085editcr.jpg


How much should I be charging? We are high schoolers though. Middle class area. I've also gotten a request for a prom shoot for $5-$10 per person at our rival high school (one girl who came to my homecoming shoot moved and her friends saw her profile pic)

And any tips on group poses? I have ideas for couples but I'm still going to have to look through more on image portfolio sites for group guy/group girl shots to keep things different.

Any other words of wisdom?
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High school Prom Photo shoot ideas/advice
« on: April 23, 2012, 12:10:10 AM »

rafaelsynths

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Re: High school Prom Photo shoot ideas/advice
« Reply #1 on: April 25, 2012, 03:17:41 PM »
I'm also still in high school as a senior.  To be honest you are charging so little, why?

Some crazy girl is charging $100 for a photoshoot.  25 photos and the "rights of the photos" (which sounds really stupid)

Of course people are actually falling for it.

The photos suck, they are underexposed in the brochere she has and she uses a canon 1100D with kit lens.

Seriously?

Rip-Off.

As for you, i would suggest from the quality of the photos , charge about $20 or $25.

cheeseheadsaint

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Re: High school Prom Photo shoot ideas/advice
« Reply #2 on: April 25, 2012, 11:07:33 PM »
Wow.. :o but I use the Canon Rebel XSi/450D(in those homecoming pictures, i used the nifty fifty) so I think it's ok to use an entry level dslr/cheap lens as long as you're able to deliver!

now to see if anyone would still want a photoshoot for $20 after my homecoming shoot being so cheap... heh heh heh

Thank you so much for your input! =D
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RKang

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Re: High school Prom Photo shoot ideas/advice
« Reply #3 on: April 26, 2012, 12:30:40 AM »
I am also in high school and have had lots of experience doing these types of events. I actually charge around $50+ per couple, depending on what they want printed. I sell prints ONLY, just to make sure that if they want more (e.g. wallets) they'll have to pay for it to be printed. I make more money that way. However, for friends, I might throw in the CD, but keep it on the D.L.

RKang

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Re: High school Prom Photo shoot ideas/advice
« Reply #4 on: April 26, 2012, 12:32:14 AM »
To add to the post, I use a 5D Mark III and a 7D with L lenses. I have no trouble with getting the right exposure and all. It's pretty cheap for me to charge $50 since the equipment I use and quality of the work is good. But for your friend who charges $100, I think that's complete B.S.

Drizzt321

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Re: High school Prom Photo shoot ideas/advice
« Reply #5 on: April 26, 2012, 12:44:29 AM »
Wow.. :o but I use the Canon Rebel XSi/450D(in those homecoming pictures, i used the nifty fifty) so I think it's ok to use an entry level dslr/cheap lens as long as you're able to deliver!

now to see if anyone would still want a photoshoot for $20 after my homecoming shoot being so cheap... heh heh heh

Thank you so much for your input! =D

I liked the 2 photos you linked. I'm definitely not in the wedding/couple/prom/high school photo world, but I think it's good work. Good exposure on the subjects, in focus, and nice that the background is slightly underexposed.

I'm agreeing with rafaelsynths, you've proven you can take some really nice photos, time to charge a bit more. $20-$30 is definitely not out of range for most kids going to prom, even if their parents won't help out with it. Seriously, that cost is lost in what most girls spend on dress, hair, makeup, etc. If you do more than 10-20 minutes & deliver more than a couple of photos, I'd think about charging more too. Especially if you have a ton of bookings. Supply and demand! If you're supply of time is filled up by demand, charge a bit more.

In terms of equipment, you're doing just fine. I had the 450D/XSi as my first dSLR, and loved it. Was silly enough to have the nifty-fifty, but not really use it. Now, I've learned to really appreciate primes even though I've upgraded my body =D   If you're going to be doing some group shots with more than 2-4 people, I'd look at renting a wider lens though, since you'll start having to back way up. If you have a local camera shop that can rent, I'd recommend seeing if you can get the 24mmL or 35mmL. Those will give you ~38mm & ~56mm lengths, while the 50mm you have now gives you ~80mm for reference. If they want you to plunk down the full replacement cost on a CC (lots of places want this, ugh), check with your parents, or rent through an online place like LensRentals.com (I've rented from here, you need a CC, maybe you can work it out with your parents?).

Hope some of this is useful, and keep shooting!
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cheeseheadsaint

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Re: High school Prom Photo shoot ideas/advice
« Reply #6 on: April 27, 2012, 01:01:52 AM »
Thank you so much!! I can't wait to start college next and to be able to set my prices high from the beginning so there will be no grumbling. heh heh. I'll definitely consider getting a wide prime and higher pricing will help me get one. I have some friends who aren't willing to pay more than $5 for a photo shoot and business speaking, I think I'll drop them because I do have a decent amount of demand. but then again, they are my friends(although my closest friends are willing to pay $15).. but they shouldn't be taking advantage of me if my work is truly worth more than $5. tough... something I'll mull over about.
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Re: High school Prom Photo shoot ideas/advice
« Reply #6 on: April 27, 2012, 01:01:52 AM »

Drizzt321

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Re: High school Prom Photo shoot ideas/advice
« Reply #7 on: April 28, 2012, 04:32:08 PM »
Thank you so much!! I can't wait to start college next and to be able to set my prices high from the beginning so there will be no grumbling. heh heh. I'll definitely consider getting a wide prime and higher pricing will help me get one. I have some friends who aren't willing to pay more than $5 for a photo shoot and business speaking, I think I'll drop them because I do have a decent amount of demand. but then again, they are my friends(although my closest friends are willing to pay $15).. but they shouldn't be taking advantage of me if my work is truly worth more than $5. tough... something I'll mull over about.

That's certainly the problem with starting with friends for exceptionally low rates (if at all). If you do start having real work & demand, they often will still keep expecting you'll give them shoots for free/low. Still, I think you're going about it the right way.

Another thing to think about is the DoF. When you have a longer lens the DoF tends to look (or actually is) narrower, so if you have a slower shutter speed & wide open (shooting in a dark environment w/out lighting/strobes), you'll get a lot more focus misses. With a wider lens, it tends to have a deeper DoF so that once you have the focus closer or at infinity, the DoF is wide enough to get the vast majority of your subjects in focus, or at least good enough focus.
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cheeseheadsaint

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Re: High school Prom Photo shoot ideas/advice
« Reply #8 on: April 28, 2012, 09:42:04 PM »
How much do y'all charge per print? for like, 4x6, wallets, 5x7, 8x10...etc

Thank you so much for all the advice thus far!! =D  I really appreciate y'all taking the time to respond!

And since sunset times are now at like 7 and prom starts at 7, i I'm worried about harsh lighting. I've dealt with harsh lighting by picking places with trees/shade as I don't have a reflector. Any tips with harsh lighting?
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michi

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Re: High school Prom Photo shoot ideas/advice
« Reply #9 on: April 28, 2012, 11:19:08 PM »
Do you use a brush to highlight the subjects?  It just feels like I see a odd halo around the people in your two sample shots.

cheeseheadsaint

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Re: High school Prom Photo shoot ideas/advice
« Reply #10 on: April 29, 2012, 10:56:22 AM »
No, its a vignette!
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cpsico

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Re: High school Prom Photo shoot ideas/advice
« Reply #11 on: April 29, 2012, 12:04:07 PM »
Thank you so much!! I can't wait to start college next and to be able to set my prices high from the beginning so there will be no grumbling. heh heh. I'll definitely consider getting a wide prime and higher pricing will help me get one. I have some friends who aren't willing to pay more than $5 for a photo shoot and business speaking, I think I'll drop them because I do have a decent amount of demand. but then again, they are my friends(although my closest friends are willing to pay $15).. but they shouldn't be taking advantage of me if my work is truly worth more than $5. tough... something I'll mull over about.
I would say take the 5 dollars for one 4x6, then up sell for bigger prints. You have a nice eye and your 50 mm and your camera are working well for you. When things are fast moving and paid go with what you know well and practice new things on your off time. Buy the things you need before things you envy or want. Good lighting is worth its weight in gold in portrait shots and there are nice lights that reliable and portable called alien bees. I think you have a great eye keep taking the warm fun shots you are taking and people will be willing to pay much more money.
Good luck :)
Ps I have used a 50 mm extensively for a wedding reception for groups of 2 or 3 and it really delivers in terms of sharpness and color, it delivers some of my best candid shot due to the fact it forces you to interact with people. A telephoto is nice but might prove very difficult to work with in tight spaces on your camera, and is very heavy !!
« Last Edit: April 29, 2012, 12:08:44 PM by cpsico »

cheeseheadsaint

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Re: High school Prom Photo shoot ideas/advice
« Reply #12 on: May 07, 2012, 08:38:25 PM »
Thanks for your response!! =D What f/stop do you recommend me using for group shots to make the background beautifully out of focus yet with all the people sharp? It will prolly be 2 rows of 5 people.
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Re: High school Prom Photo shoot ideas/advice
« Reply #12 on: May 07, 2012, 08:38:25 PM »

Drizzt321

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Re: High school Prom Photo shoot ideas/advice
« Reply #13 on: May 07, 2012, 08:46:22 PM »
Thanks for your response!! =D What f/stop do you recommend me using for group shots to make the background beautifully out of focus yet with all the people sharp? It will prolly be 2 rows of 5 people.


You can check out a DoF calculator to give you a general idea. It mostly boils down to how far you are from the subjects, and how far from the subjects to the background. I'd take a random guess at >=f/5.6 would be a good place to start. Grab a couple of your close friends some afternoon/weekend soon and line them up and take some shots at several apertures with the same methodology for getting the focus and see which one you like the best.
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Re: High school Prom Photo shoot ideas/advice
« Reply #13 on: May 07, 2012, 08:46:22 PM »