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A \"rookie\" with his first gig...
Old 11-20-2005, 01:42 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Hello Everyone... Long time listener, first time caller...

I am totally self-taught and barely know what I'm doing. I've been shooting for about 2 years now and what I've discovered about myself is that I have a good eye, but have difficulty translating that into an actual image at times. Therefore, I'm still learning the "technical" aspects of photography.

Long story short, I've been invited to be the photographer at a local lifestyle (swing) club for a "photo"-themed night. This would be my first time doing anything like this. So in addition to any general advice or warnings, there are three specifics issues I've been asked to address:

#1 - Because these will be "racy" pictures, how to can people be assured that their pictures won't show up somewhere on the Internet?

#2 - How much space "minimum" will I need to shoot in. I have the AlienBees DigiBee lighting setup (2 B400s) to work with.

#3 - How much should I charge? What types of packages should I offer?

Thanks for assistance anyone provides!

T.
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Re: A \"rookie\" with his first gig...
Old 11-20-2005, 02:05 PM   #2 (permalink)
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#2 is easy. Just drag out your gear and play around until you get the shooting space small enough to get an average male (6'0") in the entire frame from head to toe and you've got it.

#1 is easy too. On your rate sheet put a confidentiality notice. Make them feel like you respect their privacy and while you do own the image you do not have the right to invade their privacy. I am hired to shoot private glamour because women tell their friends about me and my discretion. I've built that leve of trust. In this particular environment the club goers trust the owners/managers. Get them to give you an endorsement.

#3 is easy too. It's called prom rates. Most packages start with a 5x7 and a couple of 3 1/2 x 5's. From there I'll start adding wallets and doubling the # of prints they get but not doubling the price. You've already done all of the work to photograph them. Now, you want to sell them the most you can. Yeah, you might get a much higher markup on that 5x7 and two 3 1/2 x 5 package, but your net is much smaller than it would be if you tossed in an 8x10 or a set of wallets. The 8x10 or eight wallets by themselves cost just as much a the 5x7 and two 3 1/2x5 package. But when you tack it on for cheaper than it would cost if they purchased it seperately, it's easier for them to justify the additional 8x10.

However the same reason that people fear their pictures showing up on the internet will hurt your sales. Those that do get their pictures done won't buy very much. WTF are you gonna do with a buncha wallets of you at a swingers club? Personally, I wouldn't take this gig unless the club was going to guarentee a minimum $ in sales and pays you a retainer which you will refund once you cross that threshold.

Mike
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Re: A \"rookie\" with his first gig...
Old 11-20-2005, 02:31 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Most people will not actually want images in print form as they can be discovered by other members of the household that might not know about their "kink". I always did better selling a CD of web sized images for use on the internet. Swinger, fetish, etc. communicate over the internet and rarely have good images to show potential partners and this will give them that opportunity.
Shoot 20-30 images and resize them for web and burn to a CD. I do this type of gig twice a year and usually my scheduled hours are full. I also offer on site printing for those that are comfortable with their lifestyle so I do a mix of sales. Have a disclaimer that says the images will be deleted at the end of the event and actually delete them all at the end of the night.

Chris
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Re: A \"rookie\" with his first gig...
Old 11-20-2005, 03:03 PM   #4 (permalink)
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[ QUOTE ]

#1 - Because these will be "racy" pictures, how to can people be assured that their pictures won't show up somewhere on the Internet?


[/ QUOTE ]
In this day and age, the only way to absolutely, positively, guarantee that images won't show up on the Internet is to not have them taken. Short of that, they will have to trust that you are ethical and take great pride in your reputation and professional integrity.

Legally, you (or an attorney) should write up a contract that includes a release and specifies the exact terms of the shoot. Indicate in the contract that the resulting images can not be used for publication or public display under any circumstances without explicit, written permission by the parties involved. This means that they can't publicly display them (in print or on the Web) without your permission and vice-versa. A breach of the contract would allow for legal remedy. I would definately recommend speaking to an attorney. Tell him/her in plain english what the issues are and they'll be able to help you draw up an appropriate document.

[ QUOTE ]

#2 - How much space "minimum" will I need to shoot in. I have the AlienBees DigiBee lighting setup (2 B400s) to work with.


[/ QUOTE ]
I don't have enough details to give you specific guidance. If you're just going to be photographing couples dressed in lingerie and the like against a background then you don't need much space, probably 10' wide and 15' long. But if you're going to be using a set and/or props then you'll need more space. More details about what you're being asked to do would be helpful. I think your two AB400s are more than adequate for the task at hand.

[ QUOTE ]

#3 - How much should I charge? What types of packages should I offer?


[/ QUOTE ]
A million dollars. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img] The real answer needs to come from you. How long a shoot is this? How much is your time worth? Who will pay you: the club, the attendees, or both? How much time do you anticipate spending with each subject or couple?

I'll assume that, since you've mentioned packages, that this is somewhat organized. Something like prom-night where you and your date stand in front of a background underneath a trellis garnished with flowers while the photogrpher shoots half a dozen poses. I would probably look at some type of sitting fee + package pricing. The sitting fee (maybe paid by the club) gets you in the door for the evening and assures that it isn't a total waste of your time. Anyone who wants photographs taken could choose from the packages you have to offer.

As far as what packages to offer, check out some local or Internet-based professional photo labs and see what types of packaging they offer. They put together popular package formats that are economically produced. Find out what your costs would be and then determine an appropriate markup.

-Chip
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Dragons be here ...
Old 11-20-2005, 07:36 PM   #5 (permalink)
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#1 - Because these will be "racy" pictures, how to can people be assured that their pictures won't show up somewhere on the Internet?

You probably can't. Best be would be to have some sort of paperwork stating the pix will never be used anyplace, under any circumstances. Still many will not believe you.

#2 - How much space "minimum" will I need to shoot in. I have the AlienBees DigiBee lighting setup (2 B400s) to work with.

As much as you can get, which not be enough. You'll probably do weel to find an unoccupied corner in which to set up. Get there early, claim you spot in an out of the way corner, and set up. Often near the entrance is good. Be sure to tape you light cords and such down to prevent drunken revelers from triping on them, if they do, it'll be your fault regardless of how drunk they are.

#3 - How much should I charge? What types of packages should I offer?

To be honest, if you depend on print sales you'll probably loose money. If it were me, I would require an advance payment, a non refundable retainer or a flat rate from the organizer. They are paying caterers, maybe musicians and who knows who else who are providing services. Why should you be different. Don't depend on print sales to cover your costs, much less make a profit.
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Re: A \"rookie\" with his first gig...
Old 11-28-2005, 12:48 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Thanks for all your quick responses. I will let you guys know how it turns out! [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif[/img]
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Re: A \"rookie\" with his first gig...
Old 11-28-2005, 04:03 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I feel for you, I've done one of these and didn't make any money.
Get a non-refundable fee up front and DO NOT depend on print sales.
Your AB400's will be ok if you get in early and set up. Heck I've used Novatron's before in a 14x18 room.
As for assurance of your patrons, their is none. If you do make prints or CD someone could still scan or upload a picture and blame you. Trust is everything on both ends here. If you don't trust them, I wouldn't do it. Your reputation is at stake in there.

lobofw
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