Want to break into "pro" market - need advice on gear change from NEX-7 and marketing

Started Nov 4, 2012 | Discussions thread
dkloi
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Re: Want to break into "pro" market - need advice on gear change from NEX-7 and marketing
In reply to arie, Nov 5, 2012

arie wrote:

I think my idea for photo services would be a low pressure approach where I can shoot people in a natural setting with less posing for the camera. I'd rather shadow a client and just hover around taking lots of photos of them at various angles. Does that make sense?

It makes sense if that's what the client wants and are willing to pay for those kind of shots. Might be an interesting USP compared to other portrait photographers working in your area but ultimately it's whether you can sell the idea to the client. I always wanted to do a project like one Diane Arbus did of the Matthaei family :-).

Speaking on the subject, is it pretty much required to use the flash when taking shots? I suspect that pros use it to ensure that someone's face will be eliminated properly. My thought is that a flash really detracts from the atmosphere and flavor of a portrait, so I avoid using a flash unless it's completely necessary.

Depends on the shoot. Depends on whether you are able to achieve the lighting you need. Flash gives a degree of flexibility which may be required when shooting to a schedule or a set location. You can't always expect a client to wait for just the right lighting conditions, sometimes you'll have to bring along your own light to make a shot work.



Flash in daylight. A77+16-50mm. Octobox on the left, fill flash on right.

Other times I like natural window light for a soft effect,

Window light with reflector. Minolta AF9000+85mm/1.4

There are many ways of making portraits, best to be flexible to suit your clients' needs.

So, to be clear about this, the reason the photographer keeps the rights to the photos is so they can sell the photos to the client over and over again? Personally, I would never hire a photographer where that was the rule, but that's me. My wife commented that if I didn't hold the duplication rights, then I would be unable to legally sell prints or high-res photos of a photo shoot to the client's friends (for example). I'm not sure where the law comes down about this.

There are two issues here. Copyright law, and what you choose to do with your copyright. Disclaimer: I'm not a lawyer so take anything I say with caution. If you're not shooting "work for hire" or an employee who's job description includes taking photos, then you automatically hold the copyright to the photos you take (I'm sure there are some exceptions which could be brought up but this is the conventional case). A client pays you to take photos, and unless there are clear indications that copyright is to be transferred to them (e.g. in the terms of the agreement), you still hold the copyright. In the agreement with the client, it should spell out what both parties expect from each other. It is entirely up to you and the client to work that out, this could include a transfer of copyright but often does not.

Personally, I license my images for the specific uses that my client needs and wants. If all they want are shots for Facebook, then I charge them less than if they want to use it on a corporate website or an ad campaign. If they want a huge print, then I charge them extra for the time and effort required to prepare the file compared to small prints or web-sized photos. This is spelled out in the agreement. This can always be renegotiated to take care of circumstances not originally considered.

It's up to you whether you want to work with this Rights Managed approach or some other business model. I think it gives me flexibility to meet the needs of a client, they can pay for just the usage they need rather than buy out all the rights which in most cases is not necessary for what they want to do with the image and costs them extra. It also protects my own interests should I an unanticipated usage crops up. Some photographers aren't so concerned with what clients do with their work and are happy to give over the raw files straight from the camera. There is of course scope for a middle ground.

You may want to think of yourself as providing a photographic service. You are marketing your expertise, experience, advice, and ability to provide the results your client needs. You don't want your clients viewing you as just another retailer selling a commodity.

Cheers,
Daniel.

 dkloi's gear list:dkloi's gear list
Konica Minolta Maxxum 7D Sony Alpha DSLR-A580 Sony Alpha NEX-7 Sony SLT-A77 Sony DT 16-105mm F3.5-5.6 +19 more
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