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  1. #11

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    Most my photographic revenues these days come through Lifestyle shots, People doing stuff happily within the environment my client is representing. I'm told "we need 14 shots at these locations with this geographically dictated type of people" sometimes they send art directers and people associated with the project and require some approval on concepts and props but for the most part I am left on my own especially during the actual execution of the images. I don't mind hearing imput or suggestion from all that are involved. To me it's part of the process. You've got to figure, by the time you shoot you've done 90% percent of the work focused on the objective and someone standing on the outside can see clearly and objectively something that may be a better answer.I can't think of an easier way to get credit for doing a great job! I even expect my assistants to pull me aside when they see something and make sure I hear it. BUT when it's all said and done it's my final word that flies, Yes thats a good idea run with it or no lets stick with the plan. To me these images are cartoons, cartoons are supposed to be funny half of funny is fun which is what it should be for everyone involved including me. My artwork is more srictly controlled by my concept yet I can't think of better way to integrate my subjects into my images than to listen to their interpretation of my concept. This way I know their focused on my image while i'm focusing my camera. It's so much easier!.

  2. #12
    Ray Bidegain's Avatar
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    OK, so here is more of what I was thinking. Like the rest of you my clients know what I am up to and don't really come and ask me to take color portraits on canvas, or strap on chicken wings. I only do 50 or so commissions a year so I am not in a high volume studio chasing kids around with my camera. I think Ralph Gibson said it best when he said "I am not interested in selling cat s**t to dogs."

    What I am talking about has to do with me finding my groove, that part of my work that flows with out my thinking about it getting it the way. I sometimes have a hard time finding that groove when I am doing a commission. I find myself doing a sort standard iinterpitationt hat I know will work and will be beautiful but lacks that feeling or voice i see in my best work. I see portrait photography as a collaboration between the sitter and myself so I accept thier roll in the making of it, I don't have issues about the control of the photography part.

    I do sometimes have issues when it comes to choosing which image to print and the size and presentation of it. I have to accept that it is thier money and they should have a say in the final piece. I have though about doing what one of you suggested about making my choice and making it he only one available for 5000.00. Sounds great but I think they want to continue the collaboration and my clients pockets are not that deep. When it comes to pricing I have always tought that all the print sizes should be the same price, but that is a hard one to sell as well.

    The gallery thing is like most of you. I have a need to interact with people as they experience my work. When my work goes home with someone to thier house, thier friends and family see it but I don't get the emotional hit because I am not there. I also find that the portrait shows I see in most galleries are celebrity portraits, which do not interest me. I want to know that my portraits transend the beyond people who know who are in them.

    Ray Bidegain

  3. #13
    blansky's Avatar
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    Hi Ray:

    It sounds like you are like the rest of us that are going through phases and questioning the way we work and do business.

    By the way I lived in Portland for a year and while there I worked at Pro Photo. I talk to Doug once in a while.

    When I had my studio in Canada I got tired of the corner I painted myself into photographically and sold it after 10 years. I was in a rut and needed to re-evaluate. I have done that a few times in the 29 years I've been doing this.

    I have also contemplated, like I mentioned before, the concept of no proofs, but here is your portrait, take it or leave it. I 've also contemplated the idea of a 4x5 framed in a miniature method costing the same as a 20x24. I've contemplated why we price by the square inch. Why not price by the image. The more I like it the more it costs.

    I have already instituted that all pricing includes the frame, usually of my choice. I have been working on a concept of miniatures, contact printed 4x5 one and only for X number of dollars.

    I just think that we all go through these phases when we re-examine our business and sometimes make changes and sometimes we don't. When I am in a rut sometimes I take a workshop and that helps, sometimes I just get drunk. Whatever.

    As for the gallery thing, I just have never been bitten by the bug to need that kind of headache or adoration from gallery prowlers. I like the complements as much as the next person but it doesn't make me want to search it out. I display my pictures in beauty salons, fat farms, dentist offices vet clinics and a couple of other places. That is gallery enough for me.

    Anyway nice to see your participation in the site,



    Michael McBlane

  4. #14
    Ed Sukach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blansky
    I just think that we all go through these phases when we re-examine our business and sometimes make changes and sometimes we don't. When I am in a rut sometimes I take a workshop and that helps, sometimes I just get drunk. Whatever.
    You too, huh!!!
    Carpe erratum!!

    Ed Sukach, FFP.

  5. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by jnanian
    if someone hires me to shoot something, they tell me what they want, and i do it ...
    the people i photograph are just plain folks that don't have that kind of money.

  6. #16
    blansky's Avatar
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    Jnanian:

    When I wrote the $5000. per print I was stating an ideal scenario, perhaps being flippant.

    None of us usually have clients like that but it was meant to state that we should perhaps be more in charge of our business and have creative ideas in marketing and not just stick with the ideas that have been used for years. The public doesn't know much about any of this and if they want our work, they will generally be willing to pay what we ask, within reason.

    As for the collaboration with the client on conceptionalizing the image, I think we all do that before the sitting to a certain extent.

    Also as Cheryl stated we generally do fairly standard fare initially and then branch off into more creative ideas. This also gives us, and the person being photographed time to warm up to each other and get used to each others rhythm.

    Michael

  7. #17

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    michael:


    we all have our tricks to warm people up

  8. #18
    Ray Bidegain's Avatar
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    When I wrote the $5000. per print I was stating an ideal scenario, perhaps being flippant.

    Michael:

    Thats a relief.

    Ray

  9. #19
    Jeremy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blansky
    Jnanian:

    When I wrote the $5000. per print I was stating an ideal scenario, perhaps being flippant.
    That's good to know. I very much enjoy the work done both by yourself and Cheryl and was contemplating contacting one of you concerning some portrait work a couple of years off. I saw the $5000/print comment and I began thinking of ways to make it work with a self-timer or radio slave

    Just FYI, portrait of me and my fiance.
    Let's see what I've got in the magic trash can for Mateo!

    blog
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