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  #1  
July 13th, 2006, 08:35 AM
LaLa's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Posts: 11,576
Hey there - just found out this board was here & Im so glad I found it!

I have always loved snapping photos... and wanted to start doing it more professionally. Im 7 mos pg now, but not long before I got pg, I bough two film cameras: a nikon & a canon rebel. Havent bought any extra lenses or flashes, still learning the basics! Originally intended to take a class or two, but no such luck in finding any around here.

Sooooooo.... Im on my own! Since I work on the side as a doula, I started taking pics at births, and now Ive started taking maternity photos. But, Im having to get them developed onto disc so I can photoshop them, and the quality isnt what I was hoping I had some good shots, and then they suck once theyre cropped & such.

Soooooo...

Im thinking about taking a leap and diving head first and buying a canon rebel digital - the really nice one. I choke when I think about the cost, but I can swing it - Ive got my money saved up.

I have a spare room I could turn into a studio, and I have an awesome spacious backyard with woods behind my house and a nice fence & so I could easily do nice outdoor shots out there with a few minor fixups (patch a few spots of grass lol).

Where do I start!?!??! Ive got some pg mammas willing to let me do "trial shots" on them for only the cost of printing the pics & such. I wouldnt dare charge anyone yet lol.

HELP!

Basically - do I NEED any extra lenses, flashes, etc yet? Can I hold off on that? Must have props? Lights? Those umbrella thingys? lol (Yeah, I so sound like a pro). My goal is to eventually do mostly maternity, infants, toddlers & kids.

Lala...
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  #2  
July 13th, 2006, 11:30 AM
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I would start out with natural light only. Sounds like you have a great yard for that, just make sure it is all shaded, or wait for a slightly overcast day. Sun and shadows might make the shots look like snapshots instead of portraits.

I would ask LOTS of people if you can practice on them, or their kids, or whoever. Eventually word gets out and you will have clients!
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  #3  
July 13th, 2006, 12:34 PM
LaLa's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Thanks!

So you think I can stick with the standard lens & flash for now?

Ill also be purchasing photoshop - I have it on my work laptop but I want a copy for home so I can just fiddle with my photos when need be.

Another big question - who do you ladies use for development? Ive heard of a few good websites, just wanting some other recommendations (Ive heard of snapfish, for example, but Im sure theres more).

Thanks!

Lala...
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  #4  
July 13th, 2006, 01:07 PM
.Becky.'s Avatar Super Mommy
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I've used snapfish, but I've heard Fotki is really good and CHEAP! (but you have to pay for a subscription there)
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  #5  
July 13th, 2006, 05:43 PM
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First thing... glad you found us.

What kind of lens do you have for your Canon?

If you're looking to jump in with both feet, I would definately go ahead and splurge on the DRebel...it's been much easier to learn things (for me) with my digi then with my film Rebel.

I've heard a lot of negatives about doing any sessions for free, although I know it's hard to get experience otherwise. The problem with doing a ton of sessions for free is that word will get around that "she'll do your session for free because she's learning" but at some point your going to want to start charging and it will be hard to make that switch.

As for printing...I compared about 20 of the exact same shots side-by-side from Snapfish, Shutterfly and Kodak and Kodak was by FAR the best of the 3. Shutterfly sucked compared to the other 2, Snapfish was better then Shutterfly but still not as good as Kodak.
Now, I've heard MPix is awesome...I plan to try them next! I'll probably use Kodak still for all my day to day stuff, but if I like MPix as much as I think I will I'll use them for some of the really important stuff.
Also remember sometimes, not always, cheap prints mean just that, cheap!
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  #6  
July 14th, 2006, 08:30 AM
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Well, the flash that comes with the rebel makes the pics look snap-shottish, so I would stick with natural light for practicing portraits.

As far as doing sessions for free, I kinda told them not to spread around that it was free. They were all friends and aquantainces, and all willing to help me get started (plus they got portraits!) so I never had a problem with people thinking that I am the "free photographer."

I use MPIX for everything, including my own prints.
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  #7  
July 14th, 2006, 10:00 AM
LaLa's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Thanks, Ill check out MPIX.

All my "guinea pigs" are friends & such, only 1 is an "acquaintance". So Ill keep that in mind about the "free sessions". I have 4 coming up now - one infant portrait thing for a friend, one maternity for an acquaintance, and two toddler age ones (for my SIL & my best friend).

So... Ill make sure to let them know NOT to spread word that Im "free" but rather "reasonable" lol. I can see how it would be easy to get in that trap.

I checked around, and found a lot of the ameteurs-going-pro charge about $100 for sessions, and then just give them the CD & a sheet of proofs (digitally edited) for the cost of the session when starting out. Then - as they get better & get more clients, up the sitting fees, and start putting upcharged packages together. Im still a little ways off from that of course lol.

Now, with natural light - is the best way to just open the blinds or what? The room I plan to use for indoor shots has only one window, and its really finicky - we have a lot of trees. Some of my shots I could do outdoors, but with the infant shots coming up, those will probably need to be indoors I would think?

Oh - and for now, I just have the standard lens, I plan to buy one additional when I get the digital - either at the same time, or shortly thereafter.

Lala...
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  #8  
July 14th, 2006, 10:18 AM
pattyandthemoos's Avatar Administrator
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Quote:
Thanks, Ill check out MPIX.

All my "guinea pigs" are friends & such, only 1 is an "acquaintance". So Ill keep that in mind about the "free sessions". I have 4 coming up now - one infant portrait thing for a friend, one maternity for an acquaintance, and two toddler age ones (for my SIL & my best friend).

So... Ill make sure to let them know NOT to spread word that Im "free" but rather "reasonable" lol. I can see how it would be easy to get in that trap.

I checked around, and found a lot of the ameteurs-going-pro charge about $100 for sessions, and then just give them the CD & a sheet of proofs (digitally edited) for the cost of the session when starting out. Then - as they get better & get more clients, up the sitting fees, and start putting upcharged packages together. Im still a little ways off from that of course lol.

Now, with natural light - is the best way to just open the blinds or what? The room I plan to use for indoor shots has only one window, and its really finicky - we have a lot of trees. Some of my shots I could do outdoors, but with the infant shots coming up, those will probably need to be indoors I would think?

Oh - and for now, I just have the standard lens, I plan to buy one additional when I get the digital - either at the same time, or shortly thereafter.

Lala...[/b]
I don't know that much about photography myself but had some thoughts on the business aspect. Maybe you could do something like this. I will do a session for you for free if you refer three friends? This way you are getting practice but also spreading the word. Just an idea. Like maybe you could do the session and if she likes it tell her that you will let her have it for free (or a reduced cost) if she refers three friens. I don't know. I am just thinking outloud. I guess.
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  #9  
July 14th, 2006, 11:49 AM
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Choose a room that gives you the most window light. I use my dining room, which has 2 windows and a door that I open. Face your subject toward the window and you sit facing the subject. When you get the Rebel, practice on the P setting. I usually have my ISO at 400 for indoor shots.
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  #10  
July 14th, 2006, 01:15 PM
LaLa's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Thanks, I plan to have it set up so that the subjec t would be almost directly across fromthe window. The door is across from the window and goes into the LR which has a lot of natural light. Just depends on the time of day. Guess I need to start paying attention to what times of the day provide the most light!

Ill also keep that in mind about the friends thing - good idea!

Lala...
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