working girlPosted: May 25, 2011
Working as a photographer isn’t a career path I’ve considered very seriously. To begin with, I don’t think I’m all that. I only use natural light which can be really limiting and I have no more equipment than my D5000 and my 35mm lens (my kit lens doesn’t exist ok). Also, the problem with charging…it’s complicated. It boils down to how much I think I’m worth and how much my time is worth. I know I was underpaid for this assignment, but as it was a favor for a school mate and it was the first time I’ve ever been paid, I don’t really mind much. It’s definitely been a learning experience.
First thing I learned: shooting a at an entirely new location is very daunting. The house we were at was absolutely beautiful, and it had a glorious sea view. However, I had very little time to get used to the lighting and we spent half the time looking for places that would look good on camera. Personally, I prefer to have a little bit of knowledge before-hand just so I feel better prepared. On that note, I need to scout more locations around my city.
Lesson numero dos: keeping the client happy. I have my aesthetic. The client knows what he/she wants. These two don’t always mesh together. I never really do colorful shots and over saturated photos. The de-saturate tool and I are in a committed relationship. The client was a fabric store though, so the fabric had to look it’s best. I’ve actually re-edited the photos on this post to be less sharp and clear. The client got photos that weren’t over-edited, just fixed the color and exposure on some and the white balance on others. I used Aperture for the first time and it was a lot of fun to use. It’s really easy and feels natural. Lightroom has the presets but Aperture has the brush feature to edit only certain parts of the photo and it was mad useful. I need a computer better suited for all this software, I’ll probably end up using both as well as Photoshop. Yes, my editing is a mess.
The client told me straight away they would be doing their own editing of the photos which is also why I didn’t bother to edit too much. Still, it took me hours to get through all the photos and I know I should have charged more for editing time and for giving up the photos to be editing by someone else. Photography Business 101 is requiered, clearly.
Overall, it was a really enjoyable experience, I got to hang out in a lovely place, model was easy to direct, and I got paid. Not to mention the learning curve.
This might be my longest post yet! Hoorah!
all images ©Nathalie Donado for Jorge Arabia Telas