First Stranger Shoot

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Jeffininer's picture
Joined: 11/07/07
Posts: 1796
First Stranger Shoot

So it seems everyone is apologizing for being MIA, add another one to the list. I've been busy with family, funerals, planning my DD's 2nd birthday, and planning a week long business/family vaca trip to Miami. Haven't had much time to get out my camera other than just a few snaps here and there. Heck, I missed every single opportunity to take pictures at my DD's 2nd birthday. I think I got 4 or 5 of her eating cake Sad

Any who, I've got my first stranger shoot coming up. I took photos for my sister and one of her workout buddies saw them and wants some pictures of her, her DH, and their 2 dogs. I'm seriously nervous and hope I don't make a fool of myself.

I don't feel like I'm at a level of having anyone pay me money and I REALLY just want the practice/experiance. But, I don't want her to expect printed photos and they be on my dime. I just don't know what is a 'fair' price to charge at this stage in the game (if at all). I asked her if she's expecting anything more than digital images on a CD, but I don't know the answer yet.

I know the decision is mine, but should I give her full res images on a CD or low res? Should I give her full printing rights to my photos? Should I give watermarked images? I just would love any advice as it pertains to the 'business' side of things. I don't want to put myself out there and then be known as the person that will take nice pictures for free and never get anywhere, ya know?

Also, since I'm not officialy PBing or starting a business, should I have them sign a model release? What if I do want to use their photos to promote myself (if any are even good enough!), would I need a release then?

Sorry for the 50 questions, I'm just lost on this kind of thing. This is a whole different world from just taking pictures of my cute daughter.

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

If it were me.... I would not charge. I would give watermarked images with a copyright release and allow her to print them. If she wants you to print them then I would simply charge her cost to print.

As far as using the pics to promote yourself.. Never hurts to get something signed just in case.

Joined: 10/26/01
Posts: 3409

If you don't feel you're ready to charge, then don't. Be sure to let them know upfront though that it's just because you are still skill building. I would go ahead and have some kind of a contract and/or model release. You might very well want to use the pics some day and it's easier to get permission up front then have to go back later.

When I've done this kind of shoot, I've only given a CD of low-res photos and then if they want prints, I charge them the cost of the prints (+ shipping, of course).

HTH.

I know you're gonna do GREAT and I can't wait to see what you come back with!

Best,
GiGi

coolmama72's picture
Joined: 10/20/01
Posts: 8185

Jennifer, I was in your place up until recently. What I did was upload the images to mpix (and I've since learned that it's VERY IMPORTANT to sharpen for print before uploading - my last free shoot produced softer images at print time when they weren't soft at all) and send the link to the "client". And I create web sized watermarked images, zipped them together, and emailed using YouSendIt so that they can share the pictures on facebook or email.

Jeffininer's picture
Joined: 11/07/07
Posts: 1796

Thanks ya'll. I didn't know how some people felt about charging. I've read some pretty negative things from other photographers about doing 'free' sessions. I just wanted to make sure I wasn't doing something wrong.

GiGi, I let her know that I was just starting out and not to expect amazing...or even awesome Wink Also that I've never tried to photograph dogs, so that will be new territory for me. I'll have to see what I can find in the way of a model release.

Gwen, I've had to print my photo class pictures and noticed I've needed to sharpen way more than I thought. Though I'm not sending them any where nice, it's still good to know. I'll have to check out mpix and also the YouSendIt. Both sound like great places to start!

sweetalienchick's picture
Joined: 10/25/05
Posts: 2106

i could have written this post myself! i have the exact same questions. glad you asked them. Smile I don't have any sort of a model release form or anything. I'll just be asking them in person and hope that's good enough for now. They are both on my facebook anyway. And I don't have a printer here! So it will just be word of mouth. I am also struggling trying to figure out how to let them print their photos. I think I'll look up mpix as well. Hope they turn out ok! I am also nervous as heck! I am shooting my friend on Sunday. I am not very good with poses either but I think I can come up with something decent Blum 3 I Hope! I was directing my brother when I was practicing on him. It was so easy! Hope it goes just as well with my friend.

AmberBella's picture
Joined: 02/15/07
Posts: 1831

When you're doing what's called "skill building" you don't charge. When you do what's called "Portfolio Building" you charge reduced rates. When you open your business...you charge full prices!

When I was skill building I put the images up on MPIX and let people buy their own. I also gave a disk of watermarked images for web posting. Worked great for me. Definitely get a contract though so that you are covered to use these in a portfolio if you decided.

Word of caution...don't give away ANY images that you wouldn't want to put in a portfolio. It's just a waste of your time to retouch images that aren't going to further your business...or if you're not going into business.....your skill level. The skill building session is for YOU! The client gets free pictures...and if it's only 10 free pictures...then it's only 10 free pictures. Don't kill yourself when you're not charging. I would absolutely not...never...ever process more than 20 images for free.

This also keeps people from just getting free pictures for ever....they don't get to direct the session or make any of the choices. You have to think of it this way...in a skill building session, the models are working for you and they are getting paid in pictures. They are truly acting as a model, and as such should be shooting at the time of day you want, wearing what you want, doing what you want.

sweetalienchick's picture
Joined: 10/25/05
Posts: 2106

Amber that is very helpful info! Thanks! Smile

Joined: 03/18/06
Posts: 391

I second MPix for being able to print their own pictures. That's what I used when I was skill building and it worked GREAT!

Jeffininer's picture
Joined: 11/07/07
Posts: 1796

Good luck with your shoot, Loida! I'm sure you will do just fine. Can't wait to see your shares!

Thank you so very much, Amber for taking taking the time to write that all down. You gave a lot of great information! I feel a lot better about where I stand.

Inked_Mama's picture
Joined: 05/11/07
Posts: 77

How long did you guys "skill build" before you started PBing? And how do u set up mpix for them to print there own?

coolmama72's picture
Joined: 10/20/01
Posts: 8185

"Inked_Mama" wrote:

How long did you guys "skill build" before you started PBing? And how do u set up mpix for them to print there own?

you just create an album and then share it with the checkbox clicked that allows them to place an order. it's easy!

as far as skill building, I did it for about 18 months before I started charging for anything.