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Old Jul 11, 2003, 12:40 AM   #11
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Hi Eric,

Thank you for your insight and kind words, I'll listen to all the advice I can get. Details are everything

After reading the discussion link you posted regarding wedding photography I completely agree with you and the others. Having top-end kit is very beneficial, not only to have confidence in your equipment but, more importantly produce fantastic memories for the client - basically something superior rather than a 'consumer class' camera.

For now my wedding photography services will more than likely be few and far between - more along the lines of the 'affordable' weddings . Thats ok though. It will get my name out there and also give me practical experience. If portrait and commercial type work bring success by themselves thats fine too. Still, it won't be easy and it will take time. I'm full-time in IT so atleast the money is coming in. Its just not the type of work I want to be in beyond the next 2-3 years.

Everyone here is so helpful, I really do appreciate all the help and encouragement, Thanks again!
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Old Jul 11, 2003, 10:27 AM   #12
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Watch for local charity or Church evevts to take place, offer your services for free. It gives you experience, exposure and advertising at a minimal cost other than time and a few prints. No one will have any expectations so you can envolve yourself to the degree that you choose. Keep track of your time and expenses, its deductable, helps offset those other real expenses. Good luck my friend, remember that you are living out the dream that the rest of us lacked the courage to try. If you are going to do weddings limit it to the ring shots and rehersal dinner, no one ever shoots those and you have more time for set up than at the actual event. Best of fortune to you.
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Old Jul 11, 2003, 4:36 PM   #13
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I agree completely. That is the type of thing that koruvs will need to do. Build word of mouth, and business will follow.


Some consumer class cameras can produce really good pictures that would work in wedding photography. Not only is it durability, its also one of flexibility. It might not have the zoom reach you need, or the flexibility with a flash, or take a picture in a low enough light, or be quiet enough as to not disturb the ceremony. I’m glad you get this ‘cause I know some people whose weddings are not remembers as they should be because of really bad pictures.

I wanted to comment on something else that I read once. It was from the owner of a successful, small photo shop. (When I say "small" I mean 10-15 employees, but all are busy all the time.)

It was in a discussion about digital photography and its effect on their businesses. Digital photography is more work on his part (he didn’t develop his own pictures, he flew them across the state for developing) but that it also had hidden benefits. It brought him closer to his customers. After a first round of editing, he would post the pictures on their secure web site, then call the customer. They would discuss the pictures together while they viewed them. He would learn what they wanted, like and didn’t like and that would guide his second round of editing. Then he would get the printer and client on the phone and confirm what got printed (this also protected him if the prints came out badly. The printer could no longer blame his picture behind his back!) It brought everyone together, got them to know each other… and produced more repeat business.

It sounds like you were doing some of this with your laptop, but this is the type of… trick (I guess) that will make the customer happy and come back for more. The real trick is figuring out these tricks to improve customer satisfaction (some times without them even knowing exactly how), improve your likely hood to produce what they want, and get them to come back.

Good luck and I hope it works! Either way, keep coming back here, we appreciate your knowledge.

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Old Jul 13, 2003, 12:43 AM   #14
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I am not a professional photographer, however, I have been VERY successful in other bussiness ventures. Let me try to offer some advice. First, no-one has the right formula and many people succeed when others predict failure.

My Advice:

1. How good are you at photography; are you experienced? You need to accurately answer this question. In other words, do you have a portfolio and know that you can reasonably replicate the results. If you have taken 2000-3000 pictures and your portfolio consists of 20 nice pictures, I would assume that you would dissapoint potential customers because they will expect the same quality as your portfolio. If your portfolio is lacking, get more experience - quickly from what it sounds like.

2. Even if your portfolio is more than adequate, you need to get jobs. I am going to reveal a secret that works in many startup bussiness ventures. Are you trying to negotiate BEFORE the wedding? In other words they have budgeted for YOU, specifically. Thats alot of pressure, even for an experienced photographer. I recommend that you get invited to weddings as an uppaid photographer. They have no risk in inviting you and you wont have the PRESSURE applied to perform. If you are any good, your talent will start developing. Also, you will end up with some very nice shots that the friends and family want. If you have a knack to capture more than the standard moments (the Bride and Groom kissing, for example), you will have captured what they want. I find it hard to believe that they wouldn't end up paying a fair price for nice photos that you happened to have taken. If you become outstanding, word-of-mouth will give you more advertising than you could want. I have a friend that does many forms of photography and he is invited to be at weddings VERY often. He has yet to "pre-negotiate" a fixed rate for attending the wedding. He photos always speak for themselves. They are vivid, capture the "exciting" moments with unbelievable repetition, etc. I would never "pre-arrange" a paid photographer. Don't confuse a "pre-negotiated" rate for pictures they select. You might charge $20 per photo, lets say - that is ok to prearrange. If they select none- they don't loose. If they select many - you both win. A good photographer will always come out just fine.

3. Stop spending money UP-FRONT. Besides a business card and maybe self-creating some copies of a portfolio, you won't need any more for that type of bussiness. You will need a phone number, but your home phone should work just fine. You DO NOT need a dark room. In fact, I think, the great advantage to using digital cameras is the ability to correct photos with relatively inexpensive software, such as Photoshop.
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Old Jul 13, 2003, 7:22 AM   #15
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I really can't say anything, as I'm an amateur photography lover, but I really learned something by reading these messages. Thanks

best regards
Pedro Rodrigues
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Old Jul 13, 2003, 8:49 AM   #16
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I was in the same boat, starting up. First I mostly shoot Animals Horse shows , Cattle shows very limited clientel and mostly weekend events " good for me because I still work full time" When I decided to "Go for it" The first thing I did was upgrade my equiptment I was lucky to be able to not to have to go to the bank and get a loan for my equiptment I saved a long time for it. but still a large investment. Then I started practicing all sorts of different shot techniques and the such. Then when I became very proficiant with all equiptment (Camera, lighting, flash, every thing) I Printed up some business cards and started showing up at shows Introduced myself (with confidence) to the show manager and asked permission to set up and shoot. all asked first what it was going to cost them I said " Nothing" I will only charge the people who get the photos. (The legistics of that is a whole other story) . After doing this at a few shows and displaying my work and getting a few orders, Word of mouth spread and now I have the show managers calling me to see if I can be there and yes now it cost them If they call me and request my sevices, I found that the intermediate shows where no photographers go is my place to be some of these contestants never make it to the "Big One" but they still want a photo and it spends the same, All the monys I make go right back to the business so I can keep upgrading. My work speaks for itself so word of mouth is all I need, I may have gotten lucky but I will take it. It still all boils down to a good product at a reasonable price . Good Luck and I wish you well
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