help needed....

Discussion in 'Casual Photo Conversations' started by kellen|1, Feb 5, 2007.

  1. I am thinking of trying to print up a portfolio and market myself as a sort of
    "different" (less skilled but more arty!) photographer to take pictures of
    people's children, casual events, homes, pets, maybe a wedding...etc. I think
    there might be a market fro that sort of thing around here because there is a
    lot of wealthy people that want something "different".

    I realize that I will have to have portraits in my portfolio, are there any pics
    in my portfolio that you think I should include, or should I start from scratch?

    Also, what does a professional portfolio look like, a book more or less?
    what size are good-is it best to have pics of all one size?

    any help is appriciated...maybe a nice way to phrase "different and arty" for my
    business card? I really appriciate your thoughts!

    Thank you so much,
  2. There is no market for "less skilled but more arty" portrait/event/kids/wedding(!) photographers. Here is a good summary of what makes a salable print.
  3. I second Bueh.
  4. See what other photographers have done by grabbing a lot of books and start reading up on the subject.
  5. Ha Ha, thanks for your original ideas!
  6. I do realize that I can't use that as a tagline (less skilled but arty. I DID at one time have a suxcessful part time gardening business. I am forgetting that none of you on here really know me...that's sort of scary because I feel like you do!

    I will have to consult other business owners that have similar businesses. However, so far I see that I am not up against much competition in the originality department with photog.
  7. Looking at your work I see no reason why you shouldn't be successful. People's buying of portraits is driven by emotion not by minute analysis of your prints. I know of photographers whose work is far from technically competent who seem to do well in business. Show people what you do and let them decide. Do as you feel, believe in your work and have the courage of your convictions.
  8. Hello Kellen. Don't get bogged down by the idea that a photo is a photo, which may vary in quality, but cannot be anything else. If you have a talent for arty things then a photo is only a starting point.

    What else can be done? I've just jotted down a few ideas which spring to mind:- High contrast black and white. Cartoon style prints, based on posterisation. Humerous captions. Special filter effects. Hand tinting. Sun print effects. Duotones. Sabattier effect. Sepia prints. Reversed colours from extreme Curves settings. Andy Warhol style prints (anybody else old enough to remember him). Sketches from photos. There are many others. For inspiration and methods I would advise a look at Melissa Clifton's web site

    For a suitable description of this type of work 'Creative Images' is one idea - but it is just a starting point. I expect you can think of something better with a little time.

    Finally, I am going to have to be brutally honest here. Your portfolio will need to be written with perfect spelling and grammar. It doesn't matter on this forum but you should take care to produce a professional looking document.

    Hope this helps to point you in the right direction. Geoff.
  9. Thanks Geoff, I did need to be reminded about professsional documents. I am sometimes a slacker with spelling and I am sometimes trying to type with my three year old or three month old on my lap! I wasn't trying to be cute with suxessful-it's just how the typo came out, lol.

    I am excited, I will let you know about my progress.

    I do remember Warhol, have you ever seen that movie LaBisquiet?-spelling probably wrong! If you are even a passive fan of his, it's worth watching! Personally, I think Annie Lebowitz is great.

    Any recomendations for a "do it all" digital camera?

  10. That article was good, thank you for sharing it-checked out your portfolio, nice! YOu & I are exactly the same age. I was born in April 1975. :)
  11. You're welcome, Kellen! While I admire your can-do spirit, you need to be absolutely sure that you have the skills it takes for a suxessful photo business. And "arty" won't cut it if you lack the vision, discipline and simply the experience to get professional results EVERY TIME -- no matter how well you slept the night before, if your kids are sick or the light is not as you hoped it to be. Where I live photography is not "librul arts", but a certified (handi)craft -- indeed it is a very conversative trade with lots of (artistic) conventions and guideslines (and I mean this all in a very positive sense). Doing things "differently" because you don't know otherwise will not get you happy customers, at least not for very long. People instinctively know that today's high-end image manipulation and "flashy" digital effects will not make them happy when they look at these photos in 10 or 20 year's time.
    Your photos need to be as perfect and "conservatively" correct as you can manage -- well lit, well exposed and with somewhat pleasing composition and posing. Get just one wedding wrong with your "less skilled but more arty" photography and you can scratch the college education for your children -- if the bride or mother-of-bride decides to sue you. Read a bit in the Wedding/Event forum to get an idea what happened in some real life horror stories.
  12. Bueh, I am truthfully petrified to do a wedding. I can remember even something as silly as flowers turns into a nightmare. I eloped! 'nuff said?

    I would probably never do a large scale event like that. I know about "Bridezilla"s & "Mother of the Bridezilla"s If I even ahad an inkling that something like that would happen, I would make the customer sign some type of release form that would prevent them from sueing me in the even that my pictures were not up to their expectations. I would make it very clear EXACTLY what they were getting in that type of situation. I do understand your points & thanks for the reality check.
  13. Have a look at this:-
  14. Sorry, that link seems to have missed the target, but when you get there click on 'Home' and look at this week's contents. There's a piece about contemporary portraiture.
  15. Thank you very much for the link, I was able to find several good articles there (2 good ones about portraiture) once I joined the site.
    I am off to see your portfolio!

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