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Picture Perfect Tips for taking better pictures, using photo editing softwares.

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Old 01-10-2009, 04:16
Sarah's Avatar
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Illinois
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Default Using a professional photographer

Hello everyone,
I'm new here and I apologize if it feels like I'm bombarding everyone with questions. I hope there will be a day where I can return the favor, but unfortunately right now we're needing a lot of help/advice. I'm trying really hard to get our business up and running. My most recent thought is that maybe if our product pictures were better we might be able to sell our items.

I contacted a professional photographer who specializes in commercial and kids. He even lives right here in town! I've seen his work and it is absolutely superb. He would be giving us a HUGE break and charging $500 to provide us with a "stunning" (his words) picture that we could use on our cover page of our website, brochures, etc. He will also do a cover shot of one of our tutu bow holders, and take pictures of 20 bow holders on a white background. He also said he would spend time with us to teach us how to take our own product pictures. He would use my daughter's room and my daughter as the model. He felt like her room would be a good location because it has a mural of a tree and flowers.

I'm just wondering if this is a lot of money, if I even need professional pictures (yes, of course I WANT it, but do we NEED it?). Does this seem like too good of a deal to pass up, or maybe we're being snowed. We just can't seem to get off the ground and I hate to sink even more money into this. Any advice is greatly appreciated!
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Old 01-10-2009, 06:06
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Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: utah
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Default Re: Using a professional photographer

I would look around. There are a lot of people that do photography as a side job, but do wonderful work. And there prices are usually very minimal. I have a girl where I live that does photography (as a side thing) and she charges $54.00 for the sitting. You get about 60 pictures she gives you all the proofs and the rights to the pictures. I think her pictures are as good as any professional photographer. So you might want to look and ask around and then look at other peoples prices and portfolios. If this guys photos are way better than anything else you find then you might want to go for it, but it has been my experience that there are a lot of people out there that are not "professional" photographers that do just as good a job and they do it for 1/5th of the price.

P.S. A great way to find photographers and see some of their work is to look at peoples blogs. I notice you are from Illinois. So you can go to google and type in the words "blog photography illinois" and it will bring up tons of photographers in your area.
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Old 01-10-2009, 08:06
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Default Re: Using a professional photographer

Quote:
Originally Posted by maddismommy View Post
I would look around. There are a lot of people that do photography as a side job, but do wonderful work. And there prices are usually very minimal. I have a girl where I live that does photography (as a side thing) and she charges $54.00 for the sitting. You get about 60 pictures she gives you all the proofs and the rights to the pictures. I think her pictures are as good as any professional photographer. So you might want to look and ask around and then look at other peoples prices and portfolios. If this guys photos are way better than anything else you find then you might want to go for it, but it has been my experience that there are a lot of people out there that are not "professional" photographers that do just as good a job and they do it for 1/5th of the price.

P.S. A great way to find photographers and see some of their work is to look at peoples blogs. I notice you are from Illinois. So you can go to google and type in the words "blog photography illinois" and it will bring up tons of photographers in your area.
I know this guy would give us gorgeous pictures. He has many samples of his work on line and it's fantastic. But I think at this point we could do what you said and find someone good AND reasonable. If I only had an unlimited budget! LOL Someday, someday..... Thank you for your help!
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Old 01-11-2009, 12:04
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Location: Ohio
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Default Re: Using a professional photographer

I paid $200 total for all copyrights for the pictures I had online. I'm working on a new project though and I got on craigslist and every single person I responded to got back with me today!

One girl who lives around me is trying to build her business, so her post was that she was offering a referral program and looking for someone to pass out her business cards and then she will give 10% of the referral to the person who handed out her card...

....I don't care about the 10% because I want pictures, so it worked out great as I can send her card out with my bows, plus within a day she already booked 2 girls for me. I have a specific look in mind and so my responses were just asking them if they had any previous clients who would fit the profile and she did.

The other was in Arizona (my parents live there). She will work out perfectly because she is starting a modeling class in April, which will give her the opportunity to keep me in mind with the models she has, but also she is not going out of the way for me. Plus, that gives me time to work on my project so that I can get it put together and see what else I need when she is ready to take pics. We haven't talked about pricing yet though, so I may be sticking my foot in my mouth-lol...but her post was free sessions for the models.

Anyway, point is, check craigslist!

Have you ran any specials or anything to try to pull people in? One thing that sticks out for me (only because I am cheap!) is that I looked at all of the higher priced products first before I saw some bows that I would buy if I was just looking to spend $20 or so I don't know if placement of the pages would do anything for anyone else or not?

And, do you have any editing software? That's where most of my work is. I had to go through and edit the pictures on my site because they weren't as bright as I wanted them to be after the photographer edited them, but I have basically off of the equipment (camera, etc) she had-I just haven't had the time to figure out how to correctly use it

I think the photographer would be a great asset, but before you commit, I would look around and see if you can bargain with anyone else. There are a lot of people wanting to build their portfolio's, etc. that would be more than willing to help.
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Old 01-11-2009, 09:08
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Illinois
Posts: 141
Default Re: Using a professional photographer

Thank you for your advice! I just wrote the photographer an email thanking him for his time, but that we just could not afford it right now. I think I just started to panic that we are not selling much. Hopefully it will pick up in the spring and when we do our next craft fair. We did manage to sell our first tutu bow holder on etsy last night!

Love the idea of craigslist, too! I keep thinking about getting on there, and just need to do it! LOL
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Old 01-22-2009, 11:42
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Default Re: Using a professional photographer

what did you search for on craigslist to find them? Thank you
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Old 02-25-2009, 08:22
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Default Re: Using a professional photographer

I was able to find a photographer that does awesome work, but is just starting out so we are trading out....I will use the pictures she took with her logo at my shows and my site and pass out her cards in exchange for the pictures....works good for both of us. We are supposed to get together in the next couple of weeks so I am super excited......Maybe you could find someone like that where you are....
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Old 02-25-2009, 05:33
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Join Date: May 2008
Location: Wichita, KS
Posts: 143
Default Re: Using a professional photographer

My photgrapher charges 30 a sitting fee to take whatever I want and sometimes we trade she has a daughter and I make her stuff in exchange for the pictures it would not be a wise investment to spend that kinda of money you'll never get it back. to spend 200-500 dollars is ridiculous as a pp said u could buy a DSLR for that money (which My husband and I plan to do next month) most DSLRS take awesome pics in auto mode! and I agree outdoor pics look the most professional you'll never get enough light in an ordinary room and I am shocked that a professional would agree to that anyways! I also think white backgrounds are fine some outfits look best on white liks things with color white backgrounds make them POP and stand out! sometimes things get lost in the colors outside but it really depends on your product.
Most boutique owners don't pay photographers all work is done on trade because as i said before you can't really justify the costs.
Good luck though!
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Old 02-25-2009, 06:20
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Default Re: Using a professional photographer

$20 per picture plus the photographer gets to keep the products is what my lady charges.
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