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FORUMS Post Processing, Marketing & Presenting Photos The Business of Photography 
Thread started 05 Mar 2013 (Tuesday) 13:35
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AlanMura
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Mar 05, 2013 23:48 |  #16

Sorry for the typos lol its been a looong day haha.


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maverick75
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Mar 05, 2013 23:59 |  #17

How long have you been at it? I started out the same way basically(couple months ago) and would love to be at your level someday. Wouldn't mind having a pair of Hassies either :D


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memoriesoftomorrow
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Mar 06, 2013 00:12 |  #18

AlanMura wrote in post #15680817 (external link)
I used high quality everything. $1/card business cards on super high quality card stock. Everything I did was to create the idea that I was quality. There werent any images on my cards, just my name contact info and "photographer" ... Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication... I didnt want to look like a photographer to the world, I wanted to look like a person. I made sure that I didnt design my cards, site etc like any other local photographer. quality service, quality images, quality time was the mindset.

This is what I did. This is what I would have done much, much earlier on.

So my advice to you if you are just starting out is to push the social media realm like you would a traditional ad campaign. The fact of the matter is most poeple spend more time on facebook in a day than they do on TV. Figuring out a way to engage people online is the only way i currently advertise. 90% of my freelance work (outside my agency) comes from social media. Heres the kicker about social media and the best advice I can give you: NEVER sell your services to your social media network. This is a way of telling your audience that you are not friends after all you are targets and potential clients. I never make offers or request people to hire me as I truly believe it alienates your fan base, which is actually your pool of potential clients and referral network.

What you will notice this way is you will start to develop 3 types of "fans".

1) The Fan
They see what goes on, occaisionally participate by licking "like".
2) The Super Fan
They click like on almost every post you put up, every picture, etc.
3) The Brand ambassador
They actively promote your business for you by sharing your work and gaining you referrals.

The idea then is to convert fans into superfans, and superfans into brand ambassadors.

QUOTED IMAGE

This all ties into what I was saying in an earlier answer about being THE photographer on your networks mind.

I take a very different approach on both fronts. I stopped having business cards all together about 2-3 years ago and have not regretted it once. I have no printed advertising material at all. It works for me and actually generates quite a bit more WOM. The general reaction tend to be "You must be busy if you don't bother with cards" (which in all fairness is true). For wedding work it works a treat.

As for facebook I rarely engage, it takes time that I would rather spend doing something else. My philosophy is simple. It is a client sneak peek album area. They can go in after a shoot and tag away and treat the albums as if they were there own.

I agree with there being a few different types of liker however a lot can become brand champions without you doing anything other than posting their pictures for them to see and share. Post content that your clients love and they will share that love with everyone they know. The ultimate CONTENT BEING KING starts with the images you post. After all that is what us photographers do isn't it... take pictures that is.


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Tom ­ Reichner
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Mar 06, 2013 05:49 |  #19

AlanMura wrote in post #15679959 (external link)
I shoot for large clients such as Paul mitchell, Nestle, Arbonne, Black and Decker, among other notable commercial and fashion clients.

AlanMura wrote in post #15680069 (external link)
From my experience I have had 3 types of clients:
1) Bands
2) Models / wanna bes
3) Start up business / fashion

Alan,
I am curious to know which of these 3 categories Nestle and Black & Decker fit into? Or any of the commercial clients, for that matter. Those companies certainly aren't "start-up businesses!" I am just not seeing how they fit into any of the 3 categories . . . what am I missing?

Also, you speak extensively of building a business and finding clients thru Facebook. Is that where you have gotten your commercial clients, such as Nestle and Black & Decker? If so, how did your Facebook page lead to sales to those clients?

Also, were you actually shooting for Nestle and Black & Decker, or did you shoot for an advertising agency, who was working for those companies? I mean, did your check actually come from these large companies, or from an agency? I think there is a big difference between shooting for companies like those you mentioned and shooting for an agency. You did say to "ask away", so I'm just trying to learn more detail about how your business works, and who you actually work for / get paid by.


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"They're", "their", and "there" are different words with completely different meanings - please use the correct one.
"Fare" and "fair" are different words with completely different meanings - please use the correct one. The proper expression is "moot point", NOT "mute point".

  
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sarahashleyphotos
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Mar 06, 2013 07:22 as a reply to  @ Tom Reichner's post |  #20

Im curious about your photos that display blown out skys turned yellow. Im wondering why all of these big companies find this appealing? Same with the sun flairs. You would think they would want all of the detail in the photo especially if the ad is for the clothes. If your blowing out the sky your probably blowing out other details. I personally would find those photos to be unacceptable.


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Karl ­ Johnston
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Mar 06, 2013 09:49 as a reply to  @ AlanMura's post |  #21
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Got a photo of the biz card ? I wanna see what q one buck card looks like


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AlanMura
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Mar 06, 2013 12:33 |  #22

@maverick75
4 Years shooting full time, but a lifetime of photography.

@memoriesoftomorrow
I no absolutely nothing about weddings. I have only been to one in my whole life. I steer clear of that entire industry. Your knowledge far exceeds mine on that front.

@Tom Reichner
What you are missing is the initial question. I was asked what I did prior to working with an agent. At this point 90% of my jobs come through either my manager or my agents.

The 10% of work I get outside my agency comes through social media. I end up turning down quite a bit. You all need to keep in mind that right now I only shoot, FASHION, BEAUTY, COMMERCIAL, and EDITORIAL work. Thats it. My agency doesnt book anything outside of those areas. I dont do headshots or portraits or weddings or bands or events etc, even on the side.

Some of my income comes through modeling agencies and portfolio development (a fraction).


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AlanMura
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Mar 06, 2013 12:44 |  #23

@SarahAshley
I think its a matter of perspective and opinion.
1) What you see in my portfolio is shot outside of my agency work. All my commercial work is hosted on my agencies site. The last thing I need is to have every photog and their mom try and submit their portfolio for consideration here lol. So yeah, what you see in my portfolio is strictly, fashion, editorial, and publication work.
2) Its just my opinion, but photo-realism disappeared in the 90's as did butterfly lighting (I am speaking strictly in fashion). What you see now is that if you are looking to get approved by an agency to pull higher quality models for test shoots or editorials, or you are looking for publication in a fashion magazine you need to have a certain mood to your images. Haze, blown out skies, vintage tones, etc are all trends. Take a look at the popularity of instagram and the re-emergence of the polaroid camera. I attend photography group discussions in LA all the time and it amazes me how bitter so many of the photographers are at this fad. But heres my opinion on it. Adapt or go extinct. Be an artists not a technician. Bending the rules is fine if its well received. again, I am speaking only in the world of fashion. You see it all the time in the way clothing is designed. Its cyclical. Retro appeal is here as of now. 10 years from now who knows? but as a player in the game I have to be aware of whats going on and not be afraid of it. I do my best to embrace it.

But keep in mind my product shots dont look like this. Neither do the beauty shots I have, where everything is about perfection. i.e. the below pic. Anyway, i hope this helps clarify and offer perspective. Thanks for the questions everyone! Keep em coming :)

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John
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Mar 06, 2013 13:20 |  #24

sarahashleyphotos wrote in post #15682760 (external link)
Im curious about your photos that display blown out skys turned yellow. Im wondering why all of these big companies find this appealing? Same with the sun flairs. You would think they would want all of the detail in the photo especially if the ad is for the clothes. If your blowing out the sky your probably blowing out other details. I personally would find those photos to be unacceptable.

I ask how Alan shot those and you ask why? :D

Can't speak for any big companies but I personally like how they look. Not exactly sure how to explain it other than to say they have a "un-instagram-like" vintage look to them.

Like what I'm having trouble with right now is learning how to break the "rules" that a lot of us are taught when we first start learning (rule of thirds, catchlight in the eyes, even/soft lighting, etc) into something a little more dramatic.


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John
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Mar 06, 2013 13:27 |  #25

Thanks for the detailed response. Very helpful.

AlanMura wrote in post #15681281 (external link)
1) I open up the aperture and use a 1 or 2 stop ND filter to compensate. This means youll have to jack up the shutter speed but thats never really an issue. I then shoot it under exposed looking only at two things: a) the highlight on the skin and hair (making sure I get a nice rim/hair lighting), and 2 checking to see if the detail is there in their face/clothing etc.

2) Its going to be dark since I shot under exposed so I raise the exposure slightly in post. I do NOT correct it though, just slightly raise it.

3) I apply a series of curves adjustment layers to tweak the coloring of the light, and remove true black from the image. What you will notice is doing this brings back a lot of the detail in the skin and clothes since the harsh shadowing is mow been removed by the curves layer.

I think what I'm having trouble with is when I shoot something like this, it doesn't look good at all on camera and it almost automatically goes into my "throwaway" bin.

Do you know by looking at the back of your camera whether or not this is something you can work with in post before you start processing it?


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Thomas ­ Campbell
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Mar 06, 2013 13:27 |  #26

Who do you use to retouch?


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AlanMura
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Mar 06, 2013 13:52 |  #27

@Alpha
thanks for the kind words. Start out by exposing to the face only. Normally, you would expose to the background (sky) and use fill light to compensate on the face/body. For a shot like this expose to the face... Then begin to stop down until u still see all the detail on the lcd. just be sure to angle the lens so that you dont see any refraction in the subject, thats way to hard to remove in post.

The key element though is the positioning of the sun. It needs to be fairly low in the sky. Youll notice youll have to re-expose every ten mins or so (if not faster) when the sun is this low.

But as I menioned before, just keep messing with it and never delete any images off the camera based on the LCD. The LCD is always wrong since its overly brightened.

@Thomas Campbell
I retouch 90% of my images. For any products I shoot I have a retoucher that works for the agency. For other things I sometimes use a colleague oversees. If the images are going to go to print I always send out for color correction. I'll ask my oversees contact if he is cool with me posting his name on the forums. If he is Ill gladly pass his info on.


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AlanMura
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Mar 06, 2013 13:53 |  #28

@Alpha
The other thing I forgot to mention is it takes practice to figure out exactly how much light to leak in to the lens. Thats another key element.


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Bumgardnern
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Mar 06, 2013 15:36 |  #29

AlanMura wrote in post #15682162 (external link)
@Bumgardnern

Honestly I dont think its worth it (showing that is). I personally think time is better spent networking in other ways. I know an art buyer but she mostly goes through agencies similarly how I prefer getting models through them. Smallers boutique agencies will consider you port so that may be an avenue to look at.

If you can get representation i would do it depending on the terms of your contract. I love the fact that I don't need to bid for work. I just shoot. Cant beat that.

Thanks for the response. I have been talking to a rep in LA who has got me a few jobs recently, but we have not signed any paperwork it's just been an informal thing. She has been great, but I'm still not sold.




  
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John
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Mar 06, 2013 16:30 |  #30

AlanMura wrote in post #15684171 (external link)
@Alpha
The other thing I forgot to mention is it takes practice to figure out exactly how much light to leak in to the lens. Thats another key element.

Yep. Thanks alot. You have given me a great stepping point. :)


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