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Archive 2012 · family portraits documentary style
  
 
matt337
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p.1 #1 · family portraits documentary style


I've done an occasional family shoots when my past wedding clients ask me, but birth of my own daughter made me focus on how I'd like my family to be documented. I did a few shoots (links below) and I like them, but I wanted to get some feedback from some photographers and enthusiasts on whether it can be a viable part of my business, since it seems that most people only seem to want more traditional posed shots to hang on their walls.

http://mattkim.com/portraits/fan2012/
http://mattkim.com/portraits/quigley2012/
http://mattkim.com/portraits/ly2012/

thx.
Matt



Jul 26, 2012 at 09:21 PM
Steady Hand
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p.1 #2 · family portraits documentary style


Howdy Matt,

First...my standard intro to anyone "new" to me on this forum...
My comments or suggestions below are not a criticism of you, your model, your talent or skill. I offer them in a friendly tone of voice and with the sole intent to help you with a second POV and set of eyes. If you read sincere questions and simple suggestions as "criticism" of you, then you will miss how I am trying to help you.

Of course this may be your own "style" or your own "vision" and I suppose we can assume that the images look just like they do because that is exactly how you like them. That is OK too. It just shows that there are differences of "opinion" on what looks good. IF these are exactly what you want and like, then by all means continue making your images look like that and have fun doing it. As I always say: "Follow your own muse."
_______________________

The following comment comes with some careful consideration and not given lightly.

I enjoyed seeing these photos, and think they are among the best I have seen posted here on FM in this genre (what some call "FPJ").

Lots of nice expressions and moments captured. Many appear authentic to the people and their relationships.

Nicely exposed and colorful images too.

Well done!

___________

As for your question on whether it is a viable part of a business?

I think that really depends on YOU and how you market (sell, price, promote) yourself.

IF I were a parent, I would hire you (one of my highest compliments).

Assuming I could afford any price, would I want to pay it?

But, the real question should be: Can you be profitable IF you spend so much time making so many photos etc.

Only YOU can determine if your time is rewarded (paid) adequately for your effort and time and creativity.

I hope these comments help and encourage you.




Jul 26, 2012 at 09:36 PM
zalmyb
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p.1 #3 · family portraits documentary style


There are people that value this sort of thing, though it's not the norm. I'm in a similar boat as this is something I believe strongly in, yet do not have the clientele (yet).

It boils down to two things. Finding the clients, and/or educating people as to why they should want such a thing (and be willing to pay for it).

Good luck!

As to the actual photos, if you'd post the best from each session (not the links) it will be much easier to comment.



Jul 26, 2012 at 09:44 PM
qwyjibo
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p.1 #4 · family portraits documentary style


I was about to type in that you should contact Chuck and Zalmy about the feasibility of something like this, but Zalmy already beat me to it.

I think it's very valuable, but the amount of time required to do it well (and be compensated fairly) really shrinks the client base.

+1 on getting better critique if you post in the thread.

Best,
Dave



Jul 26, 2012 at 10:00 PM
benee
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p.1 #5 · family portraits documentary style


I like the third set posted the best. Its hard to offer much crit with some many sets listed, and none posted in the thread, but I look forward to seeing more from you!


Jul 27, 2012 at 07:16 PM
brown_dog
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p.1 #6 · family portraits documentary style


Dig your pictures and I like the idea...
But these are not "hang on your wall" type of pictures.
You need to sell this more as an event (similar to a wedding, b-day party, etc) and price accordingly...and maybe create a book to go along with it.



Jul 27, 2012 at 08:59 PM
mcddeb
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p.1 #7 · family portraits documentary style


What might help you is to think about shooting with the end product in mind. If you are wanting to sell them a wall grouping, create a story of that grouping. Maybe have one large portrait of the family as a whole, then break out with smaller portraits that hang with it of the individual family members.

Or shoot it as an album, I think you were going towards that especially well with the family with the big dog. BTW love the shot with the dog 'singing' while the boy is playing the violin.

While having many in natural mode, it might work to have one a little more posed or classically posed with the natural ones as well. sorta of here's one of us behaving and this is how we really are. Just a fun take.



Jul 29, 2012 at 04:49 AM
 



qwyjibo
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p.1 #8 · family portraits documentary style


brown_dog wrote:
Dig your pictures and I like the idea...
But these are not "hang on your wall" type of pictures.
You need to sell this more as an event (similar to a wedding, b-day party, etc) and price accordingly...and maybe create a book to go along with it.


I agree that these are geared towards an album, but I disagree that there aren't wall hangers in these sets. I'm much more likely to hang photos like these than posed portraiture.

To the OP, you've done at least 3 of these, I'd like to hear your thoughts on pricing/viability.



Jul 29, 2012 at 11:49 PM
honorerdieu
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p.1 #9 · family portraits documentary style


matt337 wrote:
I've done an occasional family shoots when my past wedding clients ask me, but birth of my own daughter made me focus on how I'd like my family to be documented. I did a few shoots (links below) and I like them, but I wanted to get some feedback from some photographers and enthusiasts on whether it can be a viable part of my business, since it seems that most people only seem to want more traditional posed shots to hang on their walls.

http://mattkim.com/portraits/fan2012/
http://mattkim.com/portraits/quigley2012/
http://mattkim.com/portraits/ly2012/

thx.
Matt


Yep, I have been offered to be hired to shoot family documentary, even for a few hours a day. Recently, I shot a 50th anniversary for a couple using the photo journalistic approach because they specifically wanted candid shots as opposed to posing for the camera.

There are people out there who want an honest representation of who they are... and they rely on the photographer to interpret that through their vision. I think you know your market area better than anyone (including me) who will advise you on here. If there's a demand for it... go for it. Only you'll find out if it will be a viable part of your business.

I think the demand depends on how different and unique your style is in the midst of many other photographers in your market area.



Jul 30, 2012 at 06:36 PM
DavidWEGS
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p.1 #10 · family portraits documentary style


Some nice work on composition and timing here. As a part of your business, you may be able to do this if you have clients who want some series styled pictures. There's a reason the posed stuff sells, and it outsells this style something like 50:1. If you can find the 1, you have a business idea that can work.

You probably need to refine the shoot to short series that can be framed/hung in groups and that feel right together (natural).

Overall, I like the idea.



Aug 02, 2012 at 01:49 PM
Sharona
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p.1 #11 · family portraits documentary style


I'm not an expert and you've gotten good advice here on the business perspective. I just wanted to say that I think these sets are most excellent. Timing, processing is just great, and very consistent. I wasn't going to click the links, but after clicking the first one, I had to see the rest. Very, very, nice, and if it were my family I would be quite pleased.


Aug 02, 2012 at 03:43 PM
M Lucca
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p.1 #12 · family portraits documentary style


It's a nice set. But I don't see any difference compositionally from the many many Facebook photos of everyday candids taken with a phone camera by mommy or daddy. Some are Instagrammed too.

Usually to do a good documentary style shoot you'd have to spend quite a long time. The time spent can rival a wedding. Can you charge the typical wedding rate for family photos?



Aug 02, 2012 at 06:01 PM
AdenMendez
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p.1 #13 · family portraits documentary style


Sharona wrote:
I'm not an expert and you've gotten good advice here on the business perspective. I just wanted to say that I think these sets are most excellent. Timing, processing is just great, and very consistent. I wasn't going to click the links, but after clicking the first one, I had to see the rest. Very, very, nice, and if it were my family I would be quite pleased.


I came in here to pretty much make this exact same post. I'm glad I clicked on that first set. I think these are great! Also, maybe it's the way you're able to present yourself and maybe it's your location. But I think it's a fantastic job on being able to connect and become "invisible" to these people during the sessions. When I try things like this even within my own house, there is always that realization to my subjects that a camera is on them.



Aug 03, 2012 at 01:13 AM
neighbourboy
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p.1 #14 · family portraits documentary style


I really like these. If I were to get into this full time, and could find clients for this, this is the sort of thing I'd love to do.

Like many others have said, I loved your processing and timing. Very nice.

--David



Aug 03, 2012 at 01:31 AM





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