Thursday, March 4, 2010

Noisy Babies

Well it's March and the studio is very quiet this week, so I rounded up a bunch of babies and decided to update my baby samples and style.  Truth is that it is very hard to compete with Wal-Marts $5 baby packages if you are doing regular baby photography. I seldom do baby photos so I reasoned that it would not hurt sales any to totally change my style to something more unique.

I'm not going into specifics but I wanted to pass this along. Using a soft focus lens on an old Nikon D100 and lighting by only the modelling light of my studio flash I had to bump my iso to 1250. I only did a few shots (50?) I was expecting disastrous results because of the abundance of noise. Everyone says we pros need to shoot with the lowest iso possible to ensure quality.

I was very impressed with the results I got at 1250iso.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

What Mortgage Brokers Taught Me

I recently had the opportunity to photograph five mortgage brokers from the same office. They were updating their cards and websites and needed new photos.

All were photographed individually over a couple of days. It was interesting talking to them, they all liked working together and enjoyed their jobs. 

When I asked about their clients they all had very different answers. One told me most of his clients were single women, another told me their clients were mostly young families, another said young couples etc.

It was interesting, all five mortgage brokers selling the same thing and at the same price in the same office had totally different clients. None of them were competing against each other, no wonder they all got along.

Checking Your Focus

Well that was easy. I was talking to a support tech, questioning the focus of a manual focus lens I was using. She reminded me that everything is auto-focus now and nobody ever checks the diopter adjustment on their viewfinders anymore. 

She gave me a simple way to make sure it was set properly for my eyes. Just look through the camera, make sure the meter is on. Slide the diopter adjustment so that the meter reading in the viewfinder is blurry, then slide it back until it is crystal sharp. Worked great, yup it had been a little off.

And what manual focus lens was I using? Sorry a top secret that only world famous master photographers know about.

Monday, March 1, 2010

How much should my "assistants" pay me?

I got a phone call from another wanna-be professional photographer today. She sounded nice enough and offered to be my "assistant" on weddings for free. She got herself a new camera and now wants to be a professional wedding photographer and I guess she figured if she assisted me on a couple of weddings she would learn the finer points of posing, lighting etc. enough to do weddings herself.
I told her I had an assistant and really didn't need another, and that was that. Let's face it an assistant who doesn't know me, my style, my needs or weddings would be of no use to me.

Meanwhile I had a support tech on hold, when I returned to him I gave a little rant about already having a half million competitors out there and I had no intension of training another. He simply said, why don't you charge her? Well the simplicity of his answer caught me a little off guard and I thought why not?

So the big question is, how much? Yup, am additional income stream. Maybe I could get wanna-be photographers to pay me $250? - $300? to follow me (or you) around on a wedding day.