Upload & Sell: On
| p.1 #9 · Product photographers advice needed |
JB, we’ve all been there with a new opportunity for growth but a lack of full experience in the “next step” and I would hope photographers entering a new niche would be comfortable acknowledging the simple truths (as Mario has). That said…
Reply Option 1 (take your pick)
The caveat with the 'test' method mentioned is, if I am a paying client why would I test with a photographer who by the nature of a test is not confident he/she can do the job? So I go ahead and do a test, I'm not happy with the job so now I have to pay again to have those reshot, nope not me, I'd find someone who can do it right the first time.
Please reread Mario’s initial post. The neighbor knows this is test work. So far, he appears to be happy with the results. Cool. Next prudent phase of the project is set for discussion.
There is no question this is a big time commitment, that is why you want to be crystal clear as to how much time it will take to complete the job. Sure you are going to have to do some background work to know the variables…
Umm, yes, background work. In the scheme of a 4,000 product shoot in a genre I’m not entirely experienced in, doing a hundred or so shots to get the lay of the land would be useful to me. You call it “background work”, I call it “test”. I love it when we agree.
As for being “crystal clear” on the time it will take to complete the job… you’re kidding, right?
C’mon JB. Between product positioning, shooting and post we could easily be talking about 1000 to 2000 hours of work – not to mention the coordination and documentation of all the product across the production line. At this point there is absolutely nothing crystal clear about this project.
And while I’m rambling, ganging the products and slicing up in post will actually take longer. It’s the positioning of the product, the light and the camera angle that take the time. Clicking another shutter release is comparatively quick. Worse, at the macro level, far easier to arrange one product at a time than try to place several in the same focus plane and angle.
Reply Option 2
Thanks for your input. I appreciate your perspective and if this were a typical job I might agree with you. But my impression is that Mario isn’t out there marketing himself as a product or catalog shooter – this opportunity for him (and his neighbor) appears to have just come about via his neighbor’s awareness that he’s a photographer (I know I’m just guessing). And it seems Mario is being completely transparent with his neighbor about what he’s experienced with and what less so – certainly a good thing particularly considering the scope of the project.
I don’t at all think the approach we’re discussing says anything about a lack of confidence on Mario’s part. I think of it more as “I know I can do this – but it’s a big project and I can’t give you a precise quote or timeline until we go through a few rounds of this. To achieve the best results, I may have to invest in a bit more gear, and so on. Let’s get this all nailed down before we commit to the entire scope. I want to make sure you’re entirely satisfied with the results – and the value” etc, etc, etc.
I’m not trying to put words in his mouth, just trying to assist with my best guess at the likely scenario.
In any case, this strikes me as a pretty interesting chance to broaden his skills and experience (and enjoy some income) but the potential commitment is tremendous – this could easily be a year-long project. Given that, color me wimp but I’d… 1) want to better understand what I was getting into, 2) have an exit strategy that both parties were comfortable with and certainly not least, 3) protect my relationship with my neighbor.
Personally, I think Mario can pull it off no sweat (well, lots of sweat, actually). With appropriate equipment, this isn’t a difficult job. But even once he’s got things lined out it’s A LOT of production.
I hope it goes well and that he shares some shots with us.
Just my five cents.
(It used to be two cents but given the nice comments from gilead, BluesWest and Mario, I’ve raised my rates.)