The idea for my second project came from my kitchen calendar from last year. The images were taken my Tony Howell. He is one of England’s finest landscape photographers. A professional photographer with over 30 years experience, he is based in Somerset, near Bristol. His style is instantly recognisable - simple, uncluttered compositions and an overall sense of peace and stillness borne out of his deep love of the natural world. I just loved the simplicity of some of the images and wanted to create a similar set of my own.
Just using natural light and my new macro lens I wanted to capture the beauty of some of our favourite flowers. Most of the shots I took used a shallow depth of field to draw your eye into the centre of the flower emphasising the detail they have. There has been minimal editing with these shots other than slight cropping.
For our presentation image at college we chose one final image from our projects and mounted it onto white form board using spray adhesive. Cutting off the surplus board from around the print. The prints were arranged (after much discussion) on the college walls for an exhibition in a way we felt as a group they looked best together, as we had all chosen quite different topics. The images were mounted with double sided sticky pads with our name and group level at the bottom. In looking around at the other course level groups I noticed that one group had put all of their projects onto a disc to be played on to a projector into a blank frame already mounted on the wall quite a quirky idea.
Producing final images
I have chosen to present my final set of images in a small slide show/video format put together simply on my pc however I could have used an external image processor such as Pal Laboratory who were established in 1983 as a Photographic Laboratory for the Professionals and are specialists offering photo processing services and film developing services based in Birmingham, Midlands, UK. They have developed over the years to cater for the enthusiast, amateur, student’s and anyone who appreciates a personal and professional approach to their photographic needs. These more personal companies will also mount work to completion for you, saving you time and hassle of mounting at home using cutters, spray mount and guillotines, all extra accessories to account for in your budgeting, and needing the extra space for in a ventilated room. Of course this type of company are aiming at the more professional end of the photography market should you just need quick cheap prints there are many external processing companies which do just as good a job if not as personal. If you are not too tied with specific finishes and types of paper etc then you can use companies such as Photobox, Bonusprint, Snapfish you can even use your local high street Tesco or Boots printing services! There is an endless list of companies you can use. You have to choose the one that suits your budget, the quality you are looking for and of course customer satisfaction with the finished product being offered.
Of course any of the ideas mentioned require running your own business and with that all the documentation that goes with it i.e., legal paperwork with lots of form filling, personal insurance policies, model release forms, bookkeeping, keeping receipts, delivery notes and invoices. You can pay solicitors and accountants for many of these to ease the load but all of these items need to be taken into consideration when producing your pricing structure for jobs or selling your work so as not to be left short changed. You also need to be well organised in your work schedule for as well as taking pictures and cataloguing them, you will have time spent editing and producing them, searching and advertising for your next job and all the necessary paperwork that goes with each job, for each client. It will also be down to you to quality check your pictures for each individual client brief and adapt or be prepared to reprint also using up valuable resources should things not be quite right in the first place. This could be down to a misunderstanding initially with regards to your clients needs or they may have even changed their mind about what they want. This all comes down to you to work effectively with your clients, communication is an absolute must to ensure you achieve what it is your client is paying you for and that they are happy with the finished product. Be prepared to co-operate when things do not go quite right and put things right as soon as possible leaving your client happy to return to you again.
Selling your work to a stock photography agency is another self initiated idea. If you enjoy taking photos of all sorts of things from picturesque beaches to autumn leaves, to creative arty shots or just everyday ordinary things, they are images that are not photographed for a specific client or use, but are catalogued for review and selection by someone who may have a use for the image you have taken.
The images are filed with an agency some of the better well known agencies are Getty, Alamy or Corbis who negotiate licensing fees on the photographer’s behalf in exchange for a percentage, or in some cases owns the images outright. This is increasingly done online, especially with the newer micro-stock models like Shutterstock and iStockphoto. An important feature of web-based stock photography collections is that the images have been embedded with meta-data (tagged), therefore making the images searchable by using keywords.
Pricing is determined by size of audience or readership, how long the image is to be used for and in which country or region where the images will be used and whether royalties are due to the image creator or owner.
With Rights Managed stock photography an individual licensing agreement is negotiated for each use. Royalty-free stock photography offers a photo buyer the ability to use an image in an unlimited number of ways for a single license fee. The client may, however, request “exclusive" rights, preventing other customers from using the same image for a specified length of time or in the same industry. Such sales can command many thousands of pounds, both because they tend to be high-exposure and because the agency is gambling that the image would not have made more money had it remained in circulation. However, with royalty free licensing there is no option for getting exclusive usage rights.
Professional stock photographers generally place their images with one or more stock agencies on a contractual basis, with a defined commission basis and for a specified contract term. Some photographers fund their own photo shoots, or develop imagery in cooperation with an agency, while others submit photographs originally produced as part of magazine or commercial assignments.
Other self initiated ideas could include attending high school proms, black tie events, school/nursery photo sessions or maybe pet sessions at a local pet store or dog training class. These are quite effective ways of making a bit of money for a quick turnaround. You would need to be organised in a short space of time and generally have a printer to hand and present your images to the client by the end of the function/meeting.
A good option is to shoot tethered, this is becoming increasingly popular. The images are not written onto your memory card they go straight from the camera onto a laptop via a cable, making them easy to view full size on the screen. The images can be viewed quickly to check for shadow or lighting issues or which poses work well or not as the case may be and can be adjusted accordingly. The customer has the option to choose immediately which photos they prefer there and then for an agreed price and in most cases are then available to take home with them at the end of the evening. This saves on wastage of photo paper, ink and time printing off unwanted pictures.
I also found this example to hire a Canon EOS-1D Mark III, to buy it would cost around £3,200 for the body only. It features;
Daily Hire: £70.00
Weekend Hire: £130.00
Weekly Hire: £270.00
Two Week Hire:£370.00
Monthly Hire: £470.00
Delivery and Collection: £15.00
Self Initiated ideas: can include photographing your interests, such as a hobby, sporting event, nature, wildlife and then sell the pictures on to a magazine that specialises in that subject. If photographing sporting events is your thing, most sporting events are public occasions where you can happily snap away being reasonably close to the action and try to sell any quality shots on to either a local newspaper, the club magazine or let people know at the event that you have shots available to buy. However with some sporting events it is not always possible to get that close so a long lens would be necessary which can be costly if you are just starting out. An ideal way to try special lenses and other equipment is to lease them. The cost of the lease can be budgeted into what you would expect to receive in payment for your shots. I had a look through the internet and found this example cost of hiring a long lens.
This lens is ideal for sports and wildlife photography.
Daily Hire: £72.00
Weekly Hire: £108.00
Delivery and Collection: £15.00
To buy it would cost around £4,500.00!
Photography Studio Hire Rates
Week Days and Weekends
This is ideal if you do not have the space to set up your own studio and have limited use of equipment. The cost is pretty much known from the offset and all you have to do is cost in your time to the client. However if a model is required cost can run up for hair and make-up stylists. Also should props and costumes be needed for the set things can become costly and time consuming to organise. Try to keep things as simple as possible.
Photography Studio Hire Facilities
All you have to bring is a camera and tripod. And you get all the following without any extra cost.