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FORUMS Post Processing, Marketing & Presenting Photos The Business of Photography 
Thread started 22 Jul 2010 (Thursday) 17:52
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Would you shoot major celebrities for free?

 
aroundlsu
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Jul 22, 2010 17:52 |  #1

If a small startup magazine asked you to shoot a major A-list male actor for free
in your studio would you? The only requirements from the magazine are it has to be a tight head shot on a solid black background in color. Everything else is in your creative control and you own the photos.

If yes, how would you shoot it? Lens, lighting, and f-stop please. :)


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Jul 22, 2010 17:55 |  #2

I don't shoot for free. Its a bad way to run a business.


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tim
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Jul 22, 2010 18:11 |  #3

If I owned copyright, and the actor signed a model release, plus i'd have a couple of minutes to take photos that I could potentially sell, sure. I'd give the magazine the one image they wanted with rights to use it once.


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Karl ­ Johnston
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Jul 22, 2010 18:48 as a reply to  @ tim's post |  #4
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800 5.6 wide open, speedlight and f24
1/8000th of a second on a tripod.


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aroundlsu
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Jul 22, 2010 18:59 |  #5

Karl Johnston wrote in post #10585819 (external link)
800 5.6 wide open, speedlight and f24
1/8000th of a second on a tripod.

That would be one interesting image but I think you would need one hell of a speedlite!


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Jul 22, 2010 19:00 |  #6

If it was someone I was interested in shooting, absolutely. Is this really happening to you? Or is this hypothetical? Who's the celeb?

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Jul 22, 2010 19:06 |  #7

bnlearle wrote in post #10585880 (external link)
If it was someone I was interested in shooting, absolutely. Is this really happening to you? Or is this hypothetical? Who's the celeb?

Yes was approached today. I have shot celebrities before including Val Kilmer and 50 Cent in just the last few months but was paid to shoot them. I don't particularly mind shooting this one pro Bono. The magazine has had to use paparazzi style photos for the past issues and I am glad they are finally getting one to sit down.

I don't want to give away the celeb yet but yes it is someone I would love to meet.


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Jul 22, 2010 19:08 |  #8

I should have added that portraits aren't my source of income. For example, I wouldn't shoot a celeb's wedding for free -- no way (unless it was a HUGE celeb that I could sell the rights to US weekly for -- but that'd never fly). So I might think about this differently if I was a full time portrait guy...

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Karl ­ Johnston
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Jul 22, 2010 19:10 |  #9
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in seriousness, yes by all means do it. how you do it, well thats up to you...but i recommend devising something unique by studying up on previous photoshoots or images that other creatives have captured of him. do something interesting that defines your style as it is now.


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Jul 22, 2010 19:23 |  #10

Karl Johnston wrote in post #10585946 (external link)
in seriousness, yes by all means do it. how you do it, well thats up to you...but i recommend devising something unique by studying up on previous photoshoots or images that other creatives have captured of him. do something interesting that defines your style as it is now.

Yes I agree 100%. I have already decided how I wish to light it but I am still not decided on 135mm f2.8 or 135mm f11.


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Karl ­ Johnston
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Jul 22, 2010 19:24 |  #11
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a mega pro friend of mine, making well over 200k a year told me to do more free work starting up, and even sparingly when an opportunity that is unique arises - he found it was mostly those moments that made his career, and created the most opportunities in future.


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Jul 22, 2010 19:39 |  #12

aroundlsu wrote in post #10585547 (external link)
If a small startup magazine asked you to shoot a major A-list male actor for free
in your studio would you? The only requirements from the magazine are it has to be a tight head shot on a solid black background in color. Everything else is in your creative control and you own the photos.

If yes, how would you shoot it? Lens, lighting, and f-stop please. :)

This is the sort of question that can't just be answered without knowing what you are trying to achieve. Character portraits can vary dramatically in style depending on the nature of the subject.

I would probably be around f/8 in a studio as that is what I would typically set my lights for, however that can change if I need to reduce or increase DoF for whatever reason. A tight head shot would probably be either 85mm or 135mm, but again, depending on the aspects of the subject I want to build on it could be almost anything. Somebody like Rowan Atkinson might suit a wide angle and go for a shift in perspective to give a caricature look, for example.

Lighting setup: I haven't a clue how this would be setup without knowing what I wanted the result to look like. Could be anything from a single light with a directional modifier to give a harsh contrast and deep shadows on one side of the face, for a guy who plays sinister roles, to multiple lights and a softer approach for a guy who works in RomComs.

To be honest though, if you have to ask how to light it and which lens and settings, should you be charging for such work anyway?

[Edited to add: I started typing my reply before your post a couple above, about having decided how to light it already]




  
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Jul 22, 2010 19:45 |  #13

Depends I guess, but if I was starting up then yeah I would, I'd make sure a credit was made for me though where ever the photos going. If its got a big face on the picture, people will see it.


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Jul 23, 2010 02:04 |  #14

They should at least cover your costs. I guess I'd do it, if I thought the magazine had enough circulation to possibly land me future shoots with people like that.




  
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Jul 23, 2010 08:13 |  #15

aroundlsu wrote in post #10585917 (external link)
I don't particularly mind shooting this one pro Bono.

I would definitely shoot Bono for free!!!! ;)


I was approached to shoot one of the lesser known actors from Goodfellas to coincide for a story on the 20th anniversary. I knew the writer and the concept we came up with was awesome! It would have been a crazy shoot. Full day. 3 cars, Frank Lloyd Wright house, 2 boats, model.

I would definitely have done this for free. Turns out we couldn't make the deadline but we are still doing some headshots and maybe a concept shoot with him.

Celebrities keep people on your web site. I say do it.


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