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FORUMS Post Processing, Marketing & Presenting Photos The Business of Photography 
Thread started 19 Mar 2013 (Tuesday) 12:31
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Commercial Photography seminar/Workshop Questions

 
AlanMura
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Mar 19, 2013 12:31 |  #1

Hey all,

I have been approached by Studio 1906, a high end photog studio in Down town Los Angeles, to provide a seminar on the business of photography. I wanted to gauge your thoughts on what types of questions people are looking to have answered there. I have provided a general format of what my initial thoughts are, but would LOVE for your input on what I should cover.

I am bringing in 1 art buyer/Account Exec for one of Hollywoods top Ad agencies (if not the best one). 1 high-end agency model, 1 high end MUA, and myself to be the speakers. This is not a workshop where I have a bunch of shooters and I coach. This is a business of photography based seminar.

1) Brief introduction to self and team.
2) Are you ready for large clientele?
Seems that people often complain that they are better skilled or, "i can do better" but can they support a shoot for a fortune 500 company? Do they have the resources, the network, the work/overflow capacity?
3) Discuss shoot workflow.
4) Invoicing/billing
5) The importance of networking, face to face and social media.
6) Do you have what it takes? Is your skin thick enough?
7) Personal work, testing, agency approval (process and importance).
8) What are the expectations of your freelance team?
9) A models Perspective.
10) an MUAs perspective
11) An art buyers perspective
12) Q/A to panel.


My last question to you all would be what do you think a fair price for all of the would be? I have seen shooting workshops for as much as $450/6hrs. this would be a 4hr seminar in a DTLA high rise studio. Please also consider that this is LA, one of the most ruthless markets in the country.

Anyway, i really appreciate your time and consideration and HELP! thanks much!

Alan


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breal101
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Mar 19, 2013 12:51 |  #2

You didn't mention the importance of asking the right questions pertaining to licensing. Maybe you plan to cover that but it seems to be something that novices don't do very well.

A fair price for the seminar? $300-$400


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AlanMura
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Mar 19, 2013 13:06 as a reply to  @ breal101's post |  #3

That's a great point. It should be its own section. Thank you for the feedback!


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Foodguy
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Mar 19, 2013 14:23 as a reply to  @ AlanMura's post |  #4

Great idea to have an art buyer (presuming that attendees are interested in pursuing commercial work). That alone could be worth the cost of attending for someone who doesn't understand the advertising agency side of the business.

I'd be less interested in a model and mua's perspective of a job though...but would probably include something to do with estimating/negotiating​/producing a job.

Sounds like fun, best of luck-


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AlanMura
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Mar 19, 2013 17:44 |  #5

Thanks for the comments Foodguy. I wanted to have a model and MUA there to portray from their end (freelancers end) what should be expected from the photographer. For example, I provide every team member with a mood board, call sheet, etc. Its imperative that we are all on the same page since time is of the essence. Thats why I brough on my one of my higher end MUAs and models.


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Foodguy
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Mar 19, 2013 18:25 as a reply to  @ AlanMura's post |  #6

^ gotcha. I work primarily with product, and most of my models are just 'parts'.:lol:

I'm sure it will be an informative time for your group.


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Alveric
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Mar 19, 2013 18:50 |  #7
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How long will the seminar be? Seems to me that you're trying to cover a lot in what might be very limited time.


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AlanMura
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Mar 19, 2013 19:00 |  #8

The above are just ideas of what i would like to cover. As of now I am thinking 4hrs with the last couple hours for some open discussion, drinks and general networking.


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ChunkyDA
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Mar 19, 2013 22:06 |  #9

I am thinking that the students are already photographers wanting to step up their game. For that reason I would tailor any discussion on #3 workflow to simplifying steps, eliminating wasted time, organization and establishing a style.
Have you read Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap... and Others Don't? It might help redirect teaching points 2 and 6 in your list.


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Tom ­ Reichner
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Mar 19, 2013 22:19 |  #10

One question I would have is,
"How can I land big contracts with Fortune 500 companies myself, independent of an agency?"

How can I get the executives at these huge corporations to deal with me as an individual photographer? How can I work for these folks directly, without "just" shooting for an agency?


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Alveric
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Mar 19, 2013 22:31 |  #11
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^^
The million dollar question. I ask myself that every day.


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AlanMura
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Mar 20, 2013 11:42 |  #12

@TomReichner
This is definitely going to be asked over and over again during the Q/A. Its a difficult question to answer, and quite honestly I dont know how to asnwer it. As I freelancer I was approached by SEARS to shoot a commercial spread for print publication. What ended up happening was I was simply a wildcard used to bring down the price of their agencies photographer. Its possible but very rare for a company to hire outside of an agency. Normally what I see is the large companies use ad agencies to obtain their photos. The ad agency then contacts the photographer. So the key is to get in with the ad agencies creative director or art buyer. Which will be covered in my networking segment.

For example, I actually know the bar/lounge that all the creative directors from a huge agency go to for happy hour lol. I coincidentally frequent that spot as well haha. And no I will not share which bar HAH!


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Nightstalker
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Mar 20, 2013 12:24 |  #13

As often comes up on this forum - what about pricing of commercial jobs - is this something that you intend to discuss in the the invoicing/billing section or were you planning on skirting the "what's it worth" question?

Also I'd suggest that whilst "Billing/invoicing" is important or even more importance would be "Getting Paid" and in a similar vein, how about a section covering typical contractual problems and how to avoid them - you are bound to have some horror stories as well as some good news stories to impart.


  
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Foodguy
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Mar 20, 2013 12:40 |  #14

Tom Reichner wrote in post #15734372 (external link)
One question I would have is,
"How can I land big contracts with Fortune 500 companies myself, independent of an agency?"

How can I get the executives at these huge corporations to deal with me as an individual photographer? How can I work for these folks directly, without "just" shooting for an agency?

I'd much prefer to work with an agency any day of the week over direct. To quote my rep "They spend money like drunken sailors..."

No offense to any sailors in the group:lol:


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

  
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breal101
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Mar 20, 2013 16:18 |  #15

AlanMura wrote in post #15736030 (external link)
For example, I actually know the bar/lounge that all the creative directors from a huge agency go to for happy hour lol. I coincidentally frequent that spot as well haha. And no I will not share which bar HAH!


It's funny, I suggested that very thing to someone wanting to know how to get the attention of buyers in a thread here once. I was ridiculed by practically everyone but Foodguy. He knows the score and the lyrics. :lol:

With the pressure cooker environment those guys work in they do bend an elbow now and then.


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