I am at a place where I want to be in business to take portraits and maybe weddings. Just a beginning — but trying to find my way–I have the clients who want my services, I have the equipment–enough of it that is–I have enough know how to produce quality portraits. What I don’t have is a price and a system to keep track of sales etc. The business side of the equation. I also do not have a mentor or a group to sound things off of or to get advice from. I have not yet used a professional printer to print my images–so I have some steps to take to make this all happen. I think my first step will be to join a group of some sort for advice and support and to learn from. Pictage and SmugMug have both been suggested and having checked out both of these wonderful services, I am not ready to use them. They handle your images for you once you have taken them, allowing the client to view them and purchase prints. They have other benefits as well. Check them out just to see what they are about.
I have joined Professional Wedding and Studio Photographers International as an emerging photographer. I can have my images critiqued by some of the best photographers in the country.
I struggle with pricing–sound familiar??? I have checked out Easy As Pie served up warm by Alicia and Sandy Puc University –I like them both and am currently enrolled in Certify with Sandy–a group of photographers working to earn certification through testing and submitting a portfolio to the PPA. The education I am getting from studying for the certification is amazing and Sandy Puc is a person who gives so much of herself and her knowledge helps with the education. I am also a member of Photography School House, which is free to join and the opportunities to learn and grow with Kerry Allan is amazing. He is so gracious to moderate free webinars of all kinds including the Certify with Sandy webinars. I am also a member of ClickinMoms–you don’t have to be a mom to join- there is a fee but it is so worth it. They provide classes geared to be a professional (for a fee) Those “mom’s ” from a common area meet up occasionally just to shoot or talk. I have looked at and be members of other groups and forums–but want to keep it to a minimum to have time to participate.
Now the next big step after pricing is a website. I have no clue how to set up one. I there are ways to learn and the organizations I am a member of can help me with that.
Marketing is huge and that is something I have to think about if I am to be successful and get new clients.
The biggest ingredient I have learned to be a successful professional is to
WORK HARD–and I mean WORK HARD. Those photographers I most admire–are very hard-working and then will tell you what one thing do you need to know to be successful–WORk HARD. Makes the difference between the long-lasting business or a person with an expensive hobby.
I have had a hiccup in my photography life lately–my daughter is 34 weeks pregnant and has been put on bed rest. I am blessed to be able to take care of her and her little one until the birth day arrives. We hope it will be a few more weeks–
Now on with the 365 project:
14/365 My first attempt with smoke–I used incense as it is just scented smoke–while blowing out a candle will not give your continuous smoke. I shot is against black and in with ghetto lights shining on the smoke. How did it get this luscious pink? I took it into Photoshop and used as adjustment that replaces the color from black to white then I used the color adjustment and chose this color for the smoke. Really quite fun and I love the pink smoke. Going to do it again.
15/365 We bought this balloon which looked quite cute deflated. It is one of those balloons that a child can bat by holding onto the curly tail. I blew the balloon up and it turned into something rather scary–the stem is stuffed into the mouth of the elephant.
17/365 I grew this cactus from seed. It is about 15 years old. My son brought the seed to me from a trip with his then girlfriend and her family to Mexico. She is now his wife. I was rather desperate for a spot of color so I just picked up the fallen leaf from my poinsettia and stuck it to the cactus. Trying to stay with a single theme for a week can get pretty boring.
18/365 I love to read the Word of God every morning in the quietness before anyone else gets up–around 5 am. I was reading one morning and remember that what Jesus said was written in red. I found the smallest sentence I could and photographed it. I put a texture on the print then removed it from the red letters to “pop” them from the page. My spot of color for the day.
19/365 The theme for the weekly assignment is “color spot”. I thought what better spots of color than m&m’s. I was just about to photograph a macro shot of three of them when I saw a hand sneaking into my shot–I love that little hand–little kids can make the best shots for you.
20/365–My attempt at playing with oil and water–I colored the water blue but the oil did not pop out like I imagined it would. I mixed some oil with yellow and a bit of red and dripped it into the blue water–the color began to infuse into the blue water and the whole attempt became a total flop. A colorful one–still…..
21/365–By now I have been taking care of my daughter and her toddler for several days–a week maybe and it is getting hard to find the color spots and I am getting so tired. One of his toys was laying on his play table–which is black-but not at clean at it appears above. I snapped the image the took it into Photoshop and ran replace color in the adjustments and that took care of the dirty table.
22/365 I did a portrait session for friends. They were so much fun to work with and loved to explore my stable for new and different images. This is shot from outside the backside of the stable through it to the door to the tack room. I had them stand just outside where the light hit them the best. I used a 70-200mm f/2.8 lens. This is what I love to do the most–creative portraits. I will post more of this portrait session later.23/365 Food is the theme of the 365 project while cups are the theme of the Monday’s Weekly Photo Challenge. So I used the image for both. This is a wooden tankard used for ale–I used it for ice water–but it has to be kept wet all the time or it will leak. I imagine if kept wet long enough the wood swells permanently and it won’t leak any more. I put a textured vignette around it.
24/365 New theme—food–this is hamburger gravy and beans. It was the favorite of school children who bought lunch in the olden days. I think it will be just about my last food image—I am not really fond of shooting plates of food. Individual pieces -yes but I will never by a food photographer—I don’t think.
25/365 I could not bear to do another food shot–I had a maternity session with my daughter –quick before the baby came and it was so fun and my daughter was such a great sport and had her own ideas about what she wanted. We tried to make her belly as big as possible as right now the baby is about 4-5 lbs and is head down in the birth canal–which makes the tummy smaller. She was thrilled when I got a couple “big belly” shots. I will post more of this session later as well.26/365 Finally I am up to date. I sprayed the coke bottle with Pam. I read somewhere that spraying glasses and bottles with Pam gave them the frosty cold look. I used a black back ground. In Photoshop I added a layer which I filled with a light grey. I reduced the opacity of the layer until it barely appeared–to give it a frosty or smoky appearance. I then added a mask and with a paint brush uncovered some of the gray in to give it a more smokey appearance. I learned alot and can see I need more practice on the smokey part.
Today I am tired and have yet to do my daily image. I have two portrait sessions to edit and get out and lots of things to study –so I can be a professional portrait and wedding photographer. Thanks for stopping by.