Costings of The Shoot

As part of the Module i have to do a detailed costing so here goes.

Models 

As they where all volunteers this didn’t actually cost me anything

However a little research showed that the going rate is approx £50 per hr  for children of the age that i was shooting , personally i think this is extortionate

Locations 

As all the locations i used where public areas i didn’t have any costs involved.

Again after looking at some places location fees can vary from a small donation to £400 per day depending on the location.

Outfits

As the customer was providing the knitted wear again there was no cost involved . This would usually be the case if you where working for some one to advertise their goods.

Camera Equipment 

Portable Studio Shoot

1 light for the backdrops                                            £35

1 light for the backdrops                                           £35

1 x Polar White Backdrop                                          £50

1 x Heavy Duty Backdrop Support Bar                   £37.78

2 x Studio Sandbag                                                    £15

Total                        £172.78

Outdoor Shoot

1 x GN58YN-560 Flash Unit                                    £50

2 x Flash Unit Softboxes                                            £70

1 x Flash Trigger Units                                              £15

Total                       £135

Over All Total       £307.78

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Photographers Interested in my Questionnaire

Out of all the Emails i sent out i had several saying they were too busy ( at least they replied wishing me luck ) , four said they would love to help out and the rest never replied .

I was expecting a poor reply rate but thought that because i had sent out so many i would get more back that this .

Alisa Murray who is very big in the US said she would love to http://alisamurray.com/ i thought im off to a good start here .

The above is just some of Alisas work

Unfortunately i never heard from Alisa again even after emailing her several more times which was rather disappointing.

Audrey Would http://www.alwphotography.com/#home-f496bwas another well established US photographer who said she would love to help me out .

Above some of Audreys work

Again i never heard from her again after her initial reply , i contacted her again on several occasions but with no reply , this was starting to look bad , few replies and the ones that had replied weren’t emailing me any more.

Kate Powers  http://www.katepowers.com/ another US photographer actually came through on her promise and completed very nicely the Questionnaire .

Above are some of Kate Powers Images

Dear Kate

Thank you very much for your quick reply and offer of help , please see below a questionnaire that I have created . if it isn’t too much trouble could I send you a few of my images for critique in a few days time.

Thanks again for your help

Gary Conway

Questions to Famous Children’s Photographers

1. Was it a conscious decision to go into children’s photography?

Honestly, my children’s photography is not the main focus of my business. It’s a segment of the industry that I sort of fell into because of the nature and style of my work. I do enjoy photographing kids, but it wasn’t what I set out to pursue.
2. What if any previous experience did you have that would help you photograph children?

I think flexibility and patience are the most important things in shooting kids. Adapting to moods and staying agile (creatively). I feel like the best kids work happens when kids are being themselves and we’re not forcing them into specific ideas that aren’t working.
3. Do you feel that a qualification or affiliation with any photography body has benefited your career, if so who and why?

No. Nothing.
4. Did you originally strike out to create unusual images or did your work develop that way?

I wouldn’t really call my images unusual?
5. Who are your main influences and why?
6. As the photography industry is becoming over saturated, what if any ways do you counteract the competition?

I think the most important thing is to just keep shooting and evolving…continuing to grow creatively. I don’t try to follow trends or keep up with competition…I think art directors know when images aren’t genuine so I try to stay true to what I feel looks beautiful.
7. Your Genre of photography seems to be predominately female, do you think being a female is an advantage and if so why?

Hmmm. Curious who you’re looking at. There are quite a few successful male kids photographers.
8. In your opinion are males likely to struggle is this particular market and why this may be the case?

Not at all. As long as they have the personality skills to work around kids there’s no reason there should be an gender specific restrictions..
9. Is there a particular age group that you prefer to work with and if so which one and why?

Not really, they all have their particular nuances..:)
10. What is your stance on touching up of images?

We retouch everything we use. But we don’t do major compositing. Mostly work on color and skin tones. I think it’s important to present high quality imagery when presenting work.
10.1. Do you remove small blemishes and skin imperfections as a matter of course

Usually.
10.2. If a child has a small scar that is quite noticeable, would you approach this matter with the parents and if so how, or would you leave it in the image even if you may think it spoils the image.

No reason to leave a scar in if you feel that it spoils the image. Also no reason to approach a parent about such a thing. When casting a project, those types of things can be spotted and there’s no need to book a kid with an imperfection that you feel ruins the image

11. What keeps you motivated and inspired to create new ideas and pieces of work.

Constantly evolving creatively, the excitement of making images I love…I love how much my work has changed over the course of this last decade and I love the process.
12. Do you advances in technology and photography I.e. 360 photography, immersive interactive VR photography will have any impact on your market?

No.
13. Does any particular modern advancement in photographic technology interest you?

I love that most of us are now incorporating video into our stills projects. It’s exciting to start thinking in moving narrative and learning all of the new technology.
14. Would you ever refuse or have you refused to do a photo shoot on moral or ethical grounds?

Nothing of that nature has ever come up in my career.

15. Through experience gained have you any advice you could or would like to pass on to me

The best advice ever given to me was to make the imagery that comes out of you naturally. Dn’t try to conform to a particular style because you think it will be more lucrative. Stay calm, be confident and have a good time, no one wants to work with a grumpy photographer and at the end of the day, we have the best jobs in the world…:)

 

Good luck! Let me know if there’s anything else you need!

Above is the completed Questionnaire by Kate unfortunately when i asked if she would critique some of my images i never heard from her again .

Yvonne Cannon http://www.yvonnelorraine.com/a UK photographer was also very helpful by completing the questionnaire .

Unfortunately Yvonnes site doesn’t allow copying of her images so i can not show you her best work above are some of hers i found on a Google search .

Questions to Famous Children’s Photographers

 

1.      Was it a conscious decision to go into children’s photography?

Yes

2.      What if any previous experience did you have that would help you photograph children?

Three children of my own

3.      Do you feel that a qualification or affiliation with any photography body has benefited your career, if so who and why?

Yes the MPA and the BIPP have given me the training and qualifications I need to personally be able to go out and charge a decent fee for my services – I wouldn’t hire a cowboy myself so I don’t sell the services of a cowboy :o)

4.      Did you originally strike out to create unusual images or did your work develop that way?

My work has developed

5.       Who are your main influences and why?

Lisa Visser, just an amazing photographer and Anne Geddes since I was a child

6.      As the photography industry is becoming over saturated, what if any ways do you counteract the competition?

People book me on recommendation, they return because they like me as a person, I don’t worry about competition

7.      Your Genre of photography seems to be predominately female, do you think being a female is an advantage and if so why?

Absolutely, you have to feel comfotable infront of the camera, I can think of nothing worse than stripping off in front of a strange male and then trying to pose in a relaxed way..

8.      In your opinion are males likely to struggle is this particular market and why this may be the case?

I know many men that are doing very well in this market; I guess it is down to personal preference of the “sitter”

9.      Is there a particular age group that you prefer to work with and if so which one and why?

Newborns, I just find the whole session satisfying from meeting the family through processing the images.

10.  What is your stance on touching up of images?

I currently do too much!

 

10.1. Do you remove small blemishes and skin imperfections as a matter of course?

Yes

10.2. If a child has a small scar that is quite noticeable, would you approach this matter with the parents and if so how, or would you leave it in the image even if you may think it spoils the image.

I ask at the time of photographing

11.  What keeps you motivated and inspired to create new ideas and pieces of work.

My driven personality and desire for perfection and recognition

12.  Do you advances in technology and photography I.e. 360 photography, immersive interactive VR photography will have any impact on your market?

No

13.  Does any particular modern advancement in photographic technology interest you?

Not massively

14.  Would you ever refuse or have you refused to do a photo shoot on moral or ethical grounds?

Yes

15.  Through experience gained have you any advice you could or would like to pass on to me

Don’t worry about what the studio around the corner is doing, do what you like and what you enjoy.

again unfortunately even though she said she would and after lots of further emails to her she didn’t do the critiques , i can only presume it was too close to Christmas for her .

Stephanie Rausser http://www.stephanierausser.com another  US photographer who is more a life style photographer but her work does include a lot of children’s images.

Above are some of Stephanie’s images

Hi Stephanie

Thanks very much for the completion of the questionnaire , your answers are helpful and enlightening .Could I impose on you one more time and ask if you would critique a few of my images .

Thanks very much again for your time .

Gary Conway

On 05/12/2011 23:20, Stephanie Rausser wrote:

sorry for the delay. see answers below.

Questions to Famous Children’s Photographers

 

1.      Was it a conscious decision to go into children’s photography?

no, it just happened organically.

2.      What if any previous experience did you have that would help you photograph children?

I have two kids of my own and I would say that is the biggest thing that has helped me with respect to taking interesting kid photos. I got to see firsthand into the body and mind of a child.

3.      Do you feel that a qualification or affiliation with any photography body has benefited your career, if so who and why?

no, school of hard knocks really and a sincere sincere desire to make it big. or as big as I have.

4.      Did you originally strike out to create unusual images or did your work develop that way?

it developed that way. it was a slow process but i would say the sense of whimsy and humor was in there at the very start it was just enhanced as I took more and more photos.

5.       Who are your main influences and why?

elliot erwitt, peggy sirota, Tim Walker

6.      As the photography industry is becoming over saturated, what if any ways do you counteract the competition?

nose to the grindstone and try to not get engaged with who is doing what even though that is impossible to a certain extent. it is always best to just take another photo for yourself.

7.      Your Genre of photography seems to be predominately female, do you think being a female is an advantage and if so why?

maybe, we women seem to have a 6th sense, an intuitive nature so it is very likely that is a great help.

8.      In your opinion are males likely to struggle is this particular market and why this may be the case?

maybe because they are missing that 6th sense. it is interesting, i never thought about it that way but I am presently hard pressed to come up with a male lifestyle photographer that pulls off whimsy well. I am now wanting to do what I do in my photography with men. i have been having a lot of whimsical ideas for men instead of woman. as you can see from my site most of my work revolves around women.

9.      Is there a particular age group that you prefer to work with and if so which one and why?

I like all of them, it is great to have a change of pace. I could not shoot kids all of the time as I could probably go crazy. teenagers are the one age group I shoot the least. They are often the most fun too.

10.  What is your stance on touching up of images?

10.1.                    Do you remove small blemishes and skin imperfections as a matter of course

always

10.2.                    If a child has a small scar that is quite noticeable, would you approach this matter with the parents and if so how, or would you leave it in the image even if you may think it spoils the image.

I always retouch. i have an excellent retoucher in my office and to be in the game at my level you have to retouch or you are not in the game at the needed level.

11.  What keeps you motivated and inspired to create new ideas and pieces of work.

pinterest. good dreams. getting away and slowing down to be able to think. endorphins from a good hour of exercise. watching music videos and movies. slowing down enough in a fast world to be able to see what is happening. airports are a great place for that.

12.  Do you advances in technology and photography I.e. 360 photography, immersive interactive VR photography will have any impact on your market?

I dont even know what that is. I am a very untechnical photographer and spend little time on all of that. I have someone in my office who feeds me the information I need and nothing more as I think it clutters the mind.

13.  Does any particular modern advancement in photographic technology interest you?

the thing that came out that allows you to grab any part of the frame and have that in focus. have you seen that? it is awesome!

14.  Would you ever refuse or have you refused to do a photo shoot on moral or ethical grounds?

i will not shoot cigarette commercials. i have turned two down in the 20 years i have been a photographer. I find it a vile habit and I would be a complete hypocrite if I took on a job that sold cigarettes. i hope you don’t smoke! you are from england though – that could be a lofty hope! : )

15.  Through experience gained have you any advice you could or would like to pass on to me

just keep taking pictures. when you are sad take them. when you are happy take them. the best remedy is to just keep taking photos. the feeling you get after taking a bunch of photos is like nothing else. utter enjoyment. you need to have this feeling to be able to stick it out in this business. do you get that feeling after doing a shoot you set up???

Above is the answers from Stephanie for my Questionnaire she was also good enough to critique all be it very shortly on the below images.

They are very cute portraits. Need to find a post look that is yours and apply to all images. Skin needs to be warmed up a bit.These are not lifestyle images but I am sure you are aware of that.Sorry for the delay getting back to you.

All in all some good answers to my questionnaire , just a shame i couldn’t get more feed back on my work. I suspect the impending Christmas period which may have been a busy period for the photographers i contacted, may have been the reason i didnt get many replies.

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Professional Children’s Photographers

As part of this module i looked at various photographers that shot children’s portraits or fashion. What i did find is that the ones that shoot for the big companies like Next and Topshop seem to remain unnamed for some reason .This made my research more difficult as i would see some great images but struggle and mainly fail to find out who did the shoots.

I started to look a different way instead of looking at images i like and trying to find the photographers , i found photographers that concentrated on children’s photography and looked to see if i liked their work .This was a more time consuming process but eventually paid off.

I didn’t limit myself to just UK photographers i looked at the whole of the world as it seemed that the ones at the top of the business where American or Australian.

I had to contact some professional Photographers and try and interview them or get them to complete a questionnaire .From previous experience i knew i could be difficult to get replies and especially with the build up to the Christmas Holiday , with this in mind i decided to contact a lot of photographers. I didn’t just pick any i actually looked at their images and picked them if i liked them or thought they were good. Here is the list of the photographers that i contacted.

 

Anne Geddes

US

customersupport@annegeddes.com

Audrey Woulard

US

audrey@alwphotography.com

Stephanie Rausser

US

stephanie@stephanierausser.com

Kate Powers

US

kate@katepowers.com

Jill Greenbergs

US

info@manipulator.com

Loretta Lux

US

info@lorettalux.de

Alisa Murray

US

http://alisamurray.com/contact/?success=true

Tina Wilson

US

http://tinawilsonphotoblog.com/contact.html

Heather Mosher

US

contact@heathermosher.com

Jodie Otte

US

jodieotte@verizon.net

Carrie

US

info@emaphotography.com

Julie Boggio

UK

smile@juliaboggiostudios.com

Jay Armstrong

UK

info@jayarmstrongphotography.co.uk

Lucy Badham

UK

http://www.lucybadham.co.uk/default.asp

Helen Bartlett

UK

info@helenbartlett.co.uk

Clifford Beckett

UK

Production@Designerimages.co.uk

Carrie

UK

http://www.photographybycarrie.co.uk/

Angela

UK

contactme@imagesbyangela.co.uk

Denis Brady

UK

info@denisbrady.com

Karl

Bratby

UK

http://www.ilifephotography.co.uk/main.php#pages/Contact

JC Brown

Uk

enquires@jcbrownphotography.com

Yvonne Lorraine

UK

ylcannon@yahoo.co.uk

I sent an email first politely asking if they could help me with a Questionnaire i had made . Here is a copy of the text i put in the email .

Dear Julie

I am currently studying photography at Kirklees College , in the UK. As one of our modules we have to investigate an aspect of photography that we do not usually practice in order to broaden our knowledge of the various types of photography available to us .We have to contact established photographers to ask them questions and possibly get them to critique any work we may have done in that particular field of photography . Instead of asking local photographers I thought I would try and contact  famous and well established photographers to get their input and feed back.

I can appreciate that you are a very busy person and will be inundated by requests such as this but wondered would you be available to answer a short Questionnaire of no more than twenty questions .

Yours hopefully

Gary Conway

i had already got the Questionnaire ready to go if they replied stating yes , they would help .All i had to do was sit back and wait for the emails saying yes.

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Leaflets for Laineys Hand Made Crafts

I had said that i would be using some of the studio style shoots for leaflets . I asked my mother what she wanted on the leaflets and in what format she wanted them .

We eventually settled on a A5 double sided leaflet using both the studio and outdoor shoots . One of each on either side , this would give four leaflets all together which would break up any repetitiveness and we thought was a nice touch .

The above images are the front side of the leaflets

The above are the backs of the leaflets .

The front and backs can be mixed up in any combination .

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Drum Roll the Winners are

I said originally that i would be doing 6 shots , the intention was that they all would be outdoor shots. Unfortunately i could only find 4 outdoor shots that i was happy with .

The above images are the final images for print.

I decided that i would see how many of the indoor shots were good and suitable for possible advertising purposes , i selected 4 images that i thought were of a good enough standard and displayed the items well but also left space for possible writing .

I finished the images making sure they were sharpened where needed and sent them off for printing at http://www.dscolourlabs.co.uk/ , upon there return they were mounted on foam mounting board and submitted .

 

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Didn’t make the Cut

I wanted to see if i had enough images for the 6 shots that i had said i would do . If i hadn’t i would have to try and get another model , hope for good weather and pray i could get in done on time, so i was hoping that i did have 6 images .

I like this shot i think its cute but he looks like he has been held up ( which indeed he was as he was too young to sit up on his own ) the background is a bit too dark and i don’t have any other children of that age to go with this shot so i think the balance of the children would be wrong .

Again i like this shot but its too dark which is not the look i was wanting to go for and again he doesn’t look natural or comfortable and i hadn’t got any more kids of that age .

Great pose and setting but the colour combination of hat/scarf and jacket doesnt work . This is a problem i had with some of the shots , the parents didn’t have warm clothing that had a neutral colour.If it was a shoot for a children’s clothing manufacturer i may have had more selection of clothing .

Again contrasting colours of the children’s outfits that just overpowered the items of knitwear.

Again colours too over powering and a reluctant model created a blurry shot .

clothes and reluctant model don’t make a good combination .

valuable lessons where learnt from this , next time plan ahead what knitted items are going to be worn by the children and make sure that more neutral clothing is worn.It was too cold at this time of year for them to be taking their coats off .

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Third Outdoor Shoot

As i had shot mainly all girls in my previous shoots , i had hoped for a boy to shoot .Luckily one of my friends that had connected me on Facebook after my posting for had a young lad of 4 who wanted to do it .

I thought i would try Peoples Park again as i hadn’t used it to its full potential. I woke the morning of the shoot and the sky was clear and a yellow orb hung high in the sky . For the first time in weeks it looked like a good day for a shoot . I picked Thane and his dad up at about 10 and made our way to the Park . Thane is a big lad for his age and quite advanced , so i was hoping that would be able to get him to stay still and take directions . I didn’t want to push things, i had found out the hard way by now that kids can have a very short attention span .

I walked on ahead to the band stand and set up my lights quickly to minimise the amount of time Thane would be standing around .I had some ideas in my head of how i wanted the two shoots to go , the first at the band stand the second at one of the bridges .The surface of the band stand was wood and wet so it was very slippy , I nearly slipped twice. Straight away Thane started pulling some very strange poses , after the previous shoots i had learnt to just go with the flow as most times the kid’s would pull a great pose and be natural doing it .

Getting the light right whilst Thane throws some poses .

Starting to get there just need a bit of work on the face .

Thane still settling down

The band stand shoot didn’t work as well as i had hoped but i thought i may have got some good shots.So i decided that before Thane lost interest we would try and get another shoot in at the bridges .

As soon as i got to the bridges the sun was going to be behind Thane and behind the trees , which was giving a nice light behind him .I hadn’t put the lighting down so it was just a case of putting it in place and getting the reading balanced and away we go .

I don’t know why but straight away the shots started working , which was good because i hadn’t realised but Thane could see the swings from where he was and wanted to and wanted to go play on them .I managed to get him to pose for about 20 mins before it was obvious i wasn’t going to get anything out of him . His dad said he would make him do some more shoots if i wanted , but i knew that if we did that i wouldn’t get anything worth while so i said we had done for the day .

Still need work on the facial poses

Just the body poses to work on now

This is one of the shots that i knew would make it through to the final selection

I had thought of taking some shots of Thane playing on the swings but the park was full so i didn’t want to get in any boys way as people can be very funny with people and cameras around their kids.So we just let him play then i took them home .

I was a bit worried as i didn’t think i had enough shots and was running out of time , but was going to have a look at all the shots and see what i had and take it from there.

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