Finding Unqiue Locations Reduces The Need For More Studio Space!

As our industry changes, we need to look for ways to reduce our expenses while providing our clients with the best in professional photography.  Unique Locations allow you the ability to provide client with unique portraits while not adding to your expenses.  We have a larger studio, with thousands of dollars worth of props, sets and backgrounds that have been accumulated over the years.  We even have a Dodge Viper and Harley Fatboy for our clients to be photographed with, however these props were bought in a different time, when the economy and profession supported such investments.  Today, photographers want to operate as lean as possible.  Once upon a time, it was the dream of most photographers to build their own studio building, now that dream has become a nightmare with no ability to size down or cut expenses.  Download a FREE VIDEO SAMPLE OF THE DVD

Interesting backgrounds are all over the city in which you live, you just have to find them.  Always look for locations as close to your home or office as possible to reduce the amount of travel and the amount you must charge the client for travel.  In addition to finding garden and park locations, look for urban or street scenes, upscale or historic building and shopping areas.  Buildings with interesting interiors can also provide clients with unique portraits they are willing to pay more for.  Always ask for permission before using any area that you don’t pay rent on.  There is nothing worse than security asking you to leave in the middle of a session.

Newer photographers need to not only look for interesting locations, but the quality of light at those locations.  So many young photographers select cool scenes, develop great poses, but then fail to ensure the most fundamental of all aspects of photography, the lighting.  At locations, other than gardens or park scenes, controlling depth of field is vitally important.  Typically, I use a telephoto lens (70-200mm 2.8) wide open to insure background softness or I use a wide-angle (18 to 24mm on digital camera with full frame sensor) to insure enough detail in the background, depending on the type of background the location provides me.


~ by jeffsmithbooks on November 21, 2011.

One Response to “Finding Unqiue Locations Reduces The Need For More Studio Space!”

  1. Another great post! I’ve been hoping you would talk about something relating to today’s changing market. Every studio shot on my website was taken in an 11×13 ft room with an 8 ft. ceiling… why, because it’s in my home and keeps my overhead low enough to hope to compete. The room is laid out to easily swap in and out lightweight foamcore hand made backdrops and sets and some low-cost Ikea chairs. I even have a white cushion bench for quick assembly and tear down over two fiber glass saw horses. I just wish I could find that amazing railing you use. I go wireless too (pocket wizards) and use all the digital tools available to me (most of them automated) to give me hopefully the same quality results. Power cables are laid out for quick access anywhere in the room. A very fast computer is imperative today for the raw editing which is necessary for a fast workflow. I don’t want to be spending time in Photoshop doing what I can do with metadata imaging, which continues to advance. Hiring retouchers while trying to start out anew today just simply isn’t affordable. True, I can’t do the same volume, no way, and I don’t have those very expensive casual sets that I envy you for so much, but I know I have what I need to achieve the same quality results with regard to lighting, composition, posing, and style. And I can offer my clients both studio and outdoor shots. And thanks to you, I know I can get there in time. My outdoors is a photographer’s haven so no problem there. It remains to be seen how receptive my clients will be to the lower cost more trendy sets. In these new times, my hope is I will not have any real competition in my area for the higher-end casual sets due to the overhead. I think it really boils down to one thing today….. survival and keeping the passion alive. I guess that’s two things :). Keep the great books and DVD’s coming. I know photographers need them more now than ever. Thanks for all you do. Your work continues to inspire.

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