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Approaching a potential subject
Old 10-05-2006, 05:57 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Greetings,

I need some advice. I recently tried asking a young lady to allow me to take some head and shoulder photos. I "crashed and burned" severely. I won't go into details, but I later saw that my approach was not good. I'm not skilled enough to create some of the images I've seen here, but I'd love to practice what I've learned.

How would you all do it? I thought about carrying a card to pass out or even a media device with examples of what I'd like to try. Any advice you can provide would be helpful.

Sincerely,
JW
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Re: Approaching a potential subject
Old 10-05-2006, 06:53 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Try: "Hello, my name is JW. I am a photographer and I would love to take your photo." Give her a card..."Please check out my work and if your interested, call me to set something up." Then unless she has anymore questions...Leave.

So far, 8 out of 10 usually respond. Just keep it short.

Z
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Re: Approaching a potential subject
Old 10-05-2006, 09:13 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cifcap
Greetings,

I need some advice. I recently tried asking a young lady to allow me to take some head and shoulder photos. I "crashed and burned" severely. I won't go into details, but I later saw that my approach was not good. I'm not skilled enough to create some of the images I've seen here, but I'd love to practice what I've learned.

How would you all do it? I thought about carrying a card to pass out or even a media device with examples of what I'd like to try. Any advice you can provide would be helpful.

Sincerely,
JW
I agree... Short and to the point then shut up and walk away. A card is a must. Perhaps a website to direct them to and a phone #. I usually have my portfolio with me in the car and sometimes a 4x6 version of it that is easier to carry around.

You have to remember that if they look good then you probably arent the first to ask them to model for you. You have to be professional and look the part. If you are at home depot and covered in dirt, that is probably not the time to ask. Also, be confident in who you are but also be realistic. If you are a beginner tell them that. Never act desperate. No one likes to deal with a desperate person. If you act like you have models comming to you for work all the time then they are more likely to agree. If you act like no one will work with you then why would this person do it?

Polite, confident and professional... That is the key! Good Luck
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Re: Approaching a potential subject
Old 10-05-2006, 09:44 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Gentlemen,

Thanks a lot for the advice. I can whip up a card fairly easily, but a portfolio (online or printed) is another matter. I do have loads of 4x6 photos that I can put in an album, but these photos are mostly of things other than people. Perhaps I can cut out a few photos of what I'd like to try on a human subject. Again thanks for the advice.

JW
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Re: Approaching a potential subject
Old 10-05-2006, 09:47 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cifcap
Gentlemen,

Thanks a lot for the advice. I can whip up a card fairly easily, but a portfolio (online or printed) is another matter. I do have loads of 4x6 photos that I can put in an album, but these photos are mostly of things other than people. Perhaps I can cut out a few photos of what I'd like to try on a human subject. Again thanks for the advice.

JW
The best place to start is with family and friends. Get them to pose for you and then you have something to show.
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Re: Approaching a potential subject
Old 10-05-2006, 12:12 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Are you serious about improving your photography regarding the photographing of people? If you are, then consider the following:

Find a model either here or at that One place that is experienced and is working for PAY only. Contact them and explain you're a beginner and want to further your knowledge. Again, explain fully in your e-mail that you are starting out, that way they can bow out right away if they aren't interested. If they seem interested, then speak to them on the phone and see if you guys feel comfortable with each other. Tell her your ideas and such. Some models will charge you a bit less if the shots are just for promo purposes or you are a beginner. Having a model that is experienced will help you out a great deal, she'll know how to pose and will help you develop your ideas.

Another possible source would be college drama students. I've worked with lots of college folks that needed shots, but didn't have the money for a full time shooter. This would probably be a TFP/CD type of thing, just be sure both you know what you're getting going into the shoot, both timewise and product wise.

Good luck. This message will self destruct in 10 seconds.

R
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Re: Approaching a potential subject
Old 10-05-2006, 05:50 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cifcap
Greetings,

I need some advice. I recently tried asking a young lady to allow me to take some head and shoulder photos. I "crashed and burned" severely. I won't go into details, but I later saw that my approach was not good. I'm not skilled enough to create some of the images I've seen here, but I'd love to practice what I've learned.

How would you all do it? I thought about carrying a card to pass out or even a media device with examples of what I'd like to try. Any advice you can provide would be helpful.

Sincerely,
JW
JW

If you want to work with amateur models in the San Diego area to learn. Just go to the monthly events in San Diego. We have amateur models attending at our events every month for over 22 years.


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Re: Approaching a potential subject
Old 10-05-2006, 07:33 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I just hand them a card, smile, and tell them why I am approaching them.

As said before, give them a short introduction, and leave it to them to see your work, and call if they are interested.

Works quite well for me.

Cheers!
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Re: Approaching a potential subject
Old 10-05-2006, 07:55 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Take all of the above advie, and add 50 bucks to the deal.

I paid the first couple of models I worked with, and eventually as my skills increased both of those models ended up doind a couple TFP shoots with me.

Be polite, confident, sincere, neat and clean, have as much of an example of your work as you can on hand, and let them know you're looking to hire a model to help you develop your skills.

When all else fails grease the wheels with a little green.
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Re: Approaching a potential subject
Old 10-05-2006, 08:18 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Depends on where you are and where you approach. I've probably handed out 500 business cards in the last 4 years, most of my cards had images representing my quality on them. Not a single response ever, no matter how polite or professional my approach. Back in the '80s, on 2 occasions, I had the police show up at my door to investigate - both potential subjects accused me of solicitation. Only my card and portfolio saved me from a trip to the station. I've stopped cold approaching anyone.

David
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