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Thread started 02 Jan 2013 (Wednesday) 19:48
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Sorry, another 'How much should I charge' but this is a little more specific.

 
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Jan 07, 2013 12:32 |  #106

Thomas Campbell wrote in post #15456395 (external link)
I am fairly cheap as a commercial photographer - but my day rate is still around $2k.

Commercial world and consumer portraits are two entirely different things, just as editorial and weddings are two entirely different things from those.

There you go...in my world, a 2K day rate would be an unsustainable model. And I agree that the commercial/consumer portraits, etc. worlds are all different. Point is, and what they have in common, is that they're all big worlds with many different workable business models in them.


My answer for most photography questions: "it depends...'

  
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Caffrey123
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Jan 07, 2013 14:19 |  #107

HiepBuiPhotography wrote in post #15456001 (external link)
Since you asked for some some critique on your work/website, I'm going to mention a few things I noticed. Of course, it's hard to give a detailed critique on all your pictures so it's going to be very general.

1) A good portion (+1/3) of your photos are soft/out of focus. I'm big on this. If I notice a picture that doesn't have the right focus, it's totally throws me off. Although most non-photographers can't tell, it doesn't give us an excuse to have out of focus photos. If you want to know which specific ones on your site, let me know. There's a bunch under "Little Rascals".

2) A lot of your photos are composed with the subject right in the center. You might want to try to improve on your compositions and be more daring.

3) I think you should add a picture of yourself in "About".

I think you do good work overall. Just some improvements here and there.

I've been following the thread and the topic of equipment has been brought up several times. I don't think it's very wise or practical to have 1 camera and 1 lens that your business relies on. You had mentioned that there's a local shop and you have a warranty and all, but to only have a 50mm and one camera (crop sensor I'm assuming) would totally limit the looks of your pictures. And as others have mentioned, if either your lens or body goes funny on you, that's just more cost on your part that can be avoided if you just invested in a back-up.

Just my two cents. Take it for what it's worth.

Thank you for your reply.

1)I am currently working on my focusing issue and think the soft focus may be because I often shoot at low f-stops 2.0 or below. With my 50mm f/1.8, I seemed to get away with keeping the low f-stop when the subject moved further into the background (working with kids, I am learning that my settings need to change at lightning speed to get the killer shots. Sometimes, I am too slow and snap a shot I fall in love with but it's a little soft focused because the child moved a little too fast.) But with my 50mm 1.4, I don't seem to have as much leeway. I did a little research and it seems common that it can be less sharp than the 1.8 with moving objects (children) at below 2. In my recent sessions, the problem has bee occurring less when keeping it at f/2.8 and only going to 2 or below for beauty shots and close ups. When looking at the soft focus images, do you think that the low f-stop is the problem or is there something else I should be looking at? They don't seem noisy, just soft.

2) Thank you for this. I often don't put my more quirky or unique shots in my portfolio (sounds kind of ridiculous when typing that out now). I love them but often find that negative space etc can put some parents off. However, as you said, I guess centered shots can too. This is a favourite shot of mine - http://www.facebook.co​m …1357588945&type​=3&theater (external link) - I know it is still centered at the bottom but I love the negative space at the top. I'm not sure why I try to keep it 'safe' sometimes but thank you for the kick up the butt I needed.

3) http://www.facebook.co​m …1357589145&type​=3&theater (external link) - I don't have any professional pictures of myself. Do you think it would be fun to have a snapshot taken of me during a shoot like this?
Or a silly picture of me taken by my husband during an Easter mini-session day I was hosting.
http://www.facebook.co​m …1357589783&type​=3&theater (external link)

I don't want to come across as unprofessional but at the same time, I am a child photographer, so being silly is a plus! :) ...Maybe....




  
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HiepBuiPhotography
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Jan 07, 2013 14:49 |  #108

Caffrey123 wrote in post #15457241 (external link)
Thank you for your reply.

1)I am currently working on my focusing issue and think the soft focus may be because I often shoot at low f-stops 2.0 or below. With my 50mm f/1.8, I seemed to get away with keeping the low f-stop when the subject moved further into the background (working with kids, I am learning that my settings need to change at lightning speed to get the killer shots. Sometimes, I am too slow and snap a shot I fall in love with but it's a little soft focused because the child moved a little too fast.) But with my 50mm 1.4, I don't seem to have as much leeway. I did a little research and it seems common that it can be less sharp than the 1.8 with moving objects (children) at below 2. In my recent sessions, the problem has bee occurring less when keeping it at f/2.8 and only going to 2 or below for beauty shots and close ups. When looking at the soft focus images, do you think that the low f-stop is the problem or is there something else I should be looking at? They don't seem noisy, just soft.

2) Thank you for this. I often don't put my more quirky or unique shots in my portfolio (sounds kind of ridiculous when typing that out now). I love them but often find that negative space etc can put some parents off. However, as you said, I guess centered shots can too. This is a favourite shot of mine - http://www.facebook.co​m …1357588945&type​=3&theater (external link) - I know it is still centered at the bottom but I love the negative space at the top. I'm not sure why I try to keep it 'safe' sometimes but thank you for the kick up the butt I needed.

3) http://www.facebook.co​m …1357589145&type​=3&theater (external link) - I don't have any professional pictures of myself. Do you think it would be fun to have a snapshot taken of me during a shoot like this?
Or a silly picture of me taken by my husband during an Easter mini-session day I was hosting.
http://www.facebook.co​m …1357589783&type​=3&theater (external link)

I don't want to come across as unprofessional but at the same time, I am a child photographer, so being silly is a plus! :) ...Maybe....

1) I think the issue for the softness of your pictures is due to a couple of things. One, the 50mm (1.8 and 1.4) are known to have poor focusing abilities. They tend to focus REALLY slow. Couple that with shots between f/1.8-2.8 and a kid running around and you're bound to have shots that are off focus. Of course, as you close down your aperture, you'll have more depth of field and will have more play in the focus, since even if you miss the focus, it may still be acceptable. Also, the body you're shooting it with will also affect your focusing. For your still shots, I think it's a technique/user error thing. You should be able to get sharp, in focus shots. Are you letting the camera choose your focus for you or are you focusing and recomposing?

3) I think that picture from your Easter mini-session works perfectly fine. Like you said, you're a child photographer. If I was looking for a child photographer for my kid (even though I don't have one), I'd prefer someone who's goofy and giddy over someone who's more serious. But that's just me. Well, whatever picture you decide, I think it's good to have at least one so that when you go to meet clients, they already know what you look like.

Hope this helps.


Hiep Bui Photography | Harrisburg Wedding Photographer (external link)

  
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Thomas ­ Campbell
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Jan 07, 2013 14:50 |  #109

Foodguy wrote in post #15456788 (external link)
There you go...in my world, a 2K day rate would be an unsustainable model. And I agree that the commercial/consumer portraits, etc. worlds are all different. Point is, and what they have in common, is that they're all big worlds with many different workable business models in them.

Really? $2k/day not including assistants, stylists, studio, processing, equipment rentals is unsustainable in food photography? I need to learn to shoot food as well as I eat it.

:shock:

I knew food photography was really difficult, but didn't guess it was that much different than your average commercial portraits/architecture photography.


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Jan 07, 2013 15:05 |  #110

HiepBuiPhotography wrote in post #15457411 (external link)
1) I think the issue for the softness of your pictures is due to a couple of things. One, the 50mm (1.8 and 1.4) are known to have poor focusing abilities. They tend to focus REALLY slow. Couple that with shots between f/1.8-2.8 and a kid running around and you're bound to have shots that are off focus. Of course, as you close down your aperture, you'll have more depth of field and will have more play in the focus, since even if you miss the focus, it may still be acceptable. Also, the body you're shooting it with will also affect your focusing. For your still shots, I think it's a technique/user error thing. You should be able to get sharp, in focus shots. Are you letting the camera choose your focus for you or are you focusing and recomposing?

3) I think that picture from your Easter mini-session works perfectly fine. Like you said, you're a child photographer. If I was looking for a child photographer for my kid (even though I don't have one), I'd prefer someone who's goofy and giddy over someone who's more serious. But that's just me. Well, whatever picture you decide, I think it's good to have at least one so that when you go to meet clients, they already know what you look like.

Hope this helps.

I shoot with a 7D. I use auto-focus with center selection the majority of the time but about 90% of the time I am focusing and recomposing (only a couple of times I have noticed it refocussing afterwards so that doesn't seem to be the problem). Is there a different setting you would suggest, like 'AI Servo' which has more tracking sensitivity? Should I be shooting children more like a wildlife photographer shoots birds? I honestly think I may need to look into this...haha.

I definitely agree that my soft focus shots are user error. It is not such an issue that my clients are getting albums full of soft focus, but I would rather not even have one (regardless of how beautiful the shot is). I have a lot to learn about my equipment and the technical side of photography, your comments are much appreciated.

I think I will go with your suggestion and add a silly picture of myself!




  
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Jan 07, 2013 15:16 |  #111

For anyone else interested; I found a great blog post on auto-focus modes when shooting kids.

http://www.elizabethha​lford.com …y-focus-points-on-the-7d/ (external link)




  
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Jan 07, 2013 15:24 |  #112

Caffrey123 wrote in post #15457499 (external link)
I shoot with a 7D. I use auto-focus with center selection the majority of the time but about 90% of the time I am focusing and recomposing (only a couple of times I have noticed it refocussing afterwards so that doesn't seem to be the problem). Is there a different setting you would suggest, like 'AI Servo' which has more tracking sensitivity? Should I be shooting children more like a wildlife photographer shoots birds? I honestly think I may need to look into this...haha.

I definitely agree that my soft focus shots are user error. It is not such an issue that my clients are getting albums full of soft focus, but I would rather not even have one (regardless of how beautiful the shot is). I have a lot to learn about my equipment and the technical side of photography, your comments are much appreciated.

I think I will go with your suggestion and add a silly picture of myself!

I think if the kid's running around, you should use AI Servo. If it's a still, then go for the One Shot. I'd rather trust the 7D's tracking focus then trying to focus with One Shot and taking a picture really fast cause usually, once you achieve focus, it's too late. But then, it also depends on how far you are from the subject. If you're going for a wide shot, you should still be able to use the One Shot since the depth of field should be much larger and more forgiving.

Yea, it just takes practice and practice. Keep shooting and have fun! :D


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Jan 07, 2013 15:30 |  #113

I would delete anything soft right away. I really loved the expressions in one and it printed nice as a 4x6, but of course, that was the one they wanted to blow up 20x30 and it looked TERRIBLE.

If you give them the soft ones, they may want to blow them up and then print out these giant soft images. Learned that one the hard way. They came back to that same pic like 3 times. Really embarrassing.

So not sharp is gone.


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Jan 07, 2013 15:31 |  #114

HiepBuiPhotography wrote in post #15457627 (external link)
I think if the kid's running around, you should use AI Servo. If it's a still, then go for the One Shot. I'd rather trust the 7D's tracking focus then trying to focus with One Shot and taking a picture really fast cause usually, once you achieve focus, it's too late. But then, it also depends on how far you are from the subject. If you're going for a wide shot, you should still be able to use the One Shot since the depth of field should be much larger and more forgiving.

Yea, it just takes practice and practice. Keep shooting and have fun! :D

For what it is worth, I use Servo for everything unless I need a focus assist beam, when I switch to one shot.


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Jan 07, 2013 15:48 |  #115

Thomas Campbell wrote in post #15457665 (external link)
I would delete anything soft right away. I really loved the expressions in one and it printed nice as a 4x6, but of course, that was the one they wanted to blow up 20x30 and it looked TERRIBLE.

If you give them the soft ones, they may want to blow them up and then print out these giant soft images. Learned that one the hard way. They came back to that same pic like 3 times. Really embarrassing.

So not sharp is gone.

I learnt this the hard way too (very recently actually). I just couldn't bring myself to delete such gorgeous moments and I can't exactly say "Have this gorgeous shot but don't blow it up to anything larger than a 5x7" - That would be embarrassing. But it's even more embarrassing when a client chooses the one soft focus shot out of about 30 shots and wanted to blow it up to 16x20 so I offered a short reshoot for free to get that pose she fell in loved with. Worked out well in the end but it also taught me not to show them something unless the final product is perfect (It's really hard at times and once in a while I sneak one in if it's a good friend that I feel comfortable explaining it to). Another similar issue with families I have found to avoid is getting too excited by a cute shot in the session and saying "look at this gorgeous little face" and then the shot actually doesn't make the cut and then the mother is dead set on receiving that one shot. It's hard not to but I know it could easily turn ugly. I probably do this once in every ten shoots but I always kick myself afterwards in case it's not as great blown up. There is so much to learn working with parents and different behaviors of children...or should I say behaviors of parents too?! Haha




  
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Jan 07, 2013 16:01 |  #116

Thomas Campbell wrote in post #15457672 (external link)
For what it is worth, I use Servo for everything unless I need a focus assist beam, when I switch to one shot.

Do you use back button focusing or the main shutter?


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Jan 07, 2013 16:10 |  #117

HiepBuiPhotography wrote in post #15457799 (external link)
Do you use back button focusing or the main shutter?

Back button. If you have to recompose, it makes it much more complicated with shutter button. I really don't know how people can shoot with shutter button focus at all.


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Jan 07, 2013 16:16 |  #118

Thomas Campbell wrote in post #15457841 (external link)
Back button. If you have to recompose, it makes it much more complicated with shutter button. I really don't know how people can shoot with shutter button focus at all.

That's what I figured you used. What's wrong with shutter button focus? ??? :D


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Jan 07, 2013 16:21 |  #119

Thomas Campbell wrote in post #15457419 (external link)
Really? $2k/day not including assistants, stylists, studio, processing, equipment rentals is unsustainable in food photography? I need to learn to shoot food as well as I eat it.

:shock:

I knew food photography was really difficult, but didn't guess it was that much different than your average commercial portraits/architecture photography.

Really. At least in my particular circumstances re: overhead and expenses.

I wouldn't necessarily describe food photography as being 'difficult' but like most forms of photography it all depends where your comfort level is. Doing it well is delivering precisely what the client is looking for, with lots of pre-production and planning, working from very tight layouts(most of my work is packaging and advertising). And in my case, 'the client' is an art director/account exec/marketing manager/product manager, etc., etc. and often, all at the same time. My comfort level is based on 30 years of experience and knowing ahead of time how to get where I need to go. In that regard, it's not unlike other types of photography.

I'd prefer to photograph a hamburger over doing a portrait any day of the week. I'd most likely do a great job with the hamburger enjoying every moment of it. (doesn't hurt that I've shot a thousand of them...)The portrait on the other hand would probably end up being 'just ok' and I'd loathe every second of doing it as it would be completely out of my comfort zone. :lol:


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Jan 07, 2013 16:28 |  #120

Foodguy wrote in post #15457881 (external link)
Really. At least in my particular circumstances re: overhead and expenses.

I wouldn't necessarily describe food photography as being 'difficult' but like most forms of photography it all depends where your comfort level is. Doing it well is delivering precisely what the client is looking for, with lots of pre-production and planning, working from very tight layouts(most of my work is packaging and advertising). And in my case, 'the client' is an art director/account exec/marketing manager/product manager, etc., etc. and often, all at the same time. My comfort level is based on 30 years of experience and knowing ahead of time how to get where I need to go. In that regard, it's not unlike other types of photography.

I'd prefer to photograph a hamburger over doing a portrait any day of the week. I'd most likely do a great job with the hamburger enjoying every moment of it. (doesn't hurt that I've shot a thousand of them...)The portrait on the other hand would probably end up being 'just ok' and I'd loathe every second of doing it as it would be completely out of my comfort zone. :lol:

Food photography interests me a lot! Although, eating probably interests me more. Do you get to eat the hamburger afterwards? Haha




  
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