Don's Pages

Saturday, 22 December 2012

Getting Photography Commissions

Successful Sharing = Advertising = Commissions...

It's amazing how things take off. I've been posting my pictures on Facebook for years and all of a sudden people are beginning to mention that they really like the quality of my work with comments like;
  • "Your photos are amazing" 
  • "You should take it up professionally" 
  • "You've got another career after..." 
  • "WOW These look really professional!"
  • "I just love your amazing photos"
etc etc etc...

Here are some of the shots they really liked; 

Now some people have begun asking;

  • "Can you do a photo-shoot for me?"
  • "I know you can do a great set of pics of MY kids too!"
  • "I'd love you to come and take some shots of my grandchildren?"
  • "Do you do 'first day at school' pics?"
  • "I'd really like you to take some pictures of our family?"
  • "Do you do couple shoots?"
  • "How much do you charge for a photo-shoot?"

To cut a long story short: An old friend (not age wise) asked if I could come on a certain date in Dec 2012 to take some shots of her grand-kids  I thought about it for ages (10 mins) and then wrote back; "I'd love to"... Next the 'fear' crept in... and questions in my head; "Will I be able to deliver the goods? will she like my work? Will I get her grand-kids be in focus? Will the kids like me and co-operate? 

As the day got closer, needing inspiration, I trawled the web for kid photo-shoot advice etc. Found a great source of advise, help and comfort in the form of  Annabel Williams  I really love her approach to portraiture and people... and I had all my questions answered, fears allayed and some brilliant ideas in my head. Now all I needed to do was transpose those into actual photos...

Nearere the day in question, I wrote again to my friend telling her what to expect from the day's shoot and how to prepare the kids. e.g. Clothing, Time, Expectations, Fun, Food, Drinks and attitude and possible places to shoot depending upon the weather...

The day before I had to make sure all my kit was ready (see kit list below).

One thing that was still a horror to me; She wanted a Photo-Shoot in December in England at the Coast on the Beach...... Ahhhhhh! If the weather didn't play ball I could look like a real 'plonker'.

How did the Grandchildren Photo-Shoot go?

I was praising God in Heaven, because most of my fears were ill-founded. We had a great day with fantastic sunshine and warmth for a Saturday in December at the beach. To be completely honest I was totally shocked by how lovely the weather was because we'd had a whole week of rain and wind and cold in London. We took two of our own grandchildren with us for them to play with and after some refreshments and a much needed toilet visit after our journey from London to Barton on Sea in Hampshire, also we arrived later than expected due to traffic. They were not upset about that, because apart from Facebook we hadn't seen each other in ages. 

Scooters at the ready we headed for the beach which was only a short walk away from my friends house. 

Here's a little video I've put together for my friend to share with her family and friends too;

Photos from the day: (Click Here)

I took about 360 shots in about 2 1/2 hours at the Beach. Some of the best ones were as we walked along rather than the posed shots. (Click Photo to take you to the pics from the day).

After the walk along the cliff common at Barton on Sea, we then arrived at Granny's Beach Hut, ahh the kids were excited, but the locks had all rusted up and it took ages to get inside. Once inside, it was like a minature house. Our friend Julie had done a great job of making and hut into a home (but that's another story). Posing in Granny's hut was a real treat, next it was water fights at the tap and then down onto the rocks and beach itself.

How were the kids? 

Two boys ages 5 and 8, not the most cooperative when trying to get them to pose, lots of play breaks and even then they didn't want to do certain things. However, at the end of the day we were friends and still laughing joking and making fun and getting some lovely shots.

It's always good to have some idea of what they like to do and I asked if they had scooters, thankfully they just loved playing on them. The older boy collected stones and had a lovely set of polished stones he's been treasuring, so we used them for a few shots. Getting the kids involved in the shoot is key to success. Remember to try and think what it was like for you as a child and play along with them too (that's not very difficult for me as I'm a big kid at heart anyway). The younger boy liked hats so many of the shots he's wearing one that was bought specially for the day. They both had boots and trendy gear that are a craze for youngsters at the moment.

Try and think what they'll be happiest doing and go with the flow. The key is to have some real fun yourself too and they'll just join in with you.

In my kit bag:

It's really strange but I always take more than I ever use, just in case. However, I'm learning to limit myself and just use what I've got.

Cameras: Nikon D700 with D40x back-up and Canon S90.
God forbid that your main camera should pack up or get broken, but I learned from a wedding photographer, on her first ever shoot who dropped her very expensive old camera and it shattered. So do take a back up with you. Remember it's not the camera it's the photographer that matters. Even if all you have is an iPhone, I'd use that.

Lenses: Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 VR11.
Nikon 50mm f/1.4.
Nikon 28-300mm. (My favourite all rounder).
Nikon 16-35mm wide angled lens.
Sigma 105mm f/2.8 macro.

Lens filters: Polariser.


Spare Batteries, Spare Memory Cards, Lens Cloths, Torch, Water-Proof Trousers, Hat and Gloves if it's cold, a flask of something warm. Energy bars...

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