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Building Your Photography Business for under $3,000

Lesson 12 of 41

Whats Involved in the Shoots for Your Products?


Building Your Photography Business for under $3,000

Lesson 12 of 41

Whats Involved in the Shoots for Your Products?


Lesson Info

Whats Involved in the Shoots for Your Products?

Part two of your products is the production and what it takes to make your product. And so a single image is, there's a lot that goes into creating a single image. And so I'm going to show you a couple of different video clips of what's involved for us to create a single image because this is really important in not only the products that you choose but the price that you charge for things. So this first video that I'm going to show you is creating a series of images that we created for a commercial client. It's with athletes that were competing to be on the national freestyle team for the U.S. We were on the banks of the Colorado River in the middle of the day to create this low key image. And so let me just give you a feel for what was involved in this particular shoot and the products that were produced from it. (motivational music) So we're here photographing against the Colorado River, I've basically set up a studio, the whitewater's happening right here, there's people doing tr...

icks on this giant wave and we're creating beautiful light. Chimera the RingMAXX here, I've also got a pancake lantern, we're shooting on a black backdrop, and creating some really dramatic portraits of these athletes, right as they come out of the river between practice sessions. Alright, so that particular product, we were creating for a commercial setting. And so those images were used in magazines, they were used by different companies, and so I knew that the final product from that was going to be a digital file, alright. So as I was thinking about what to offer these companies, what I was really selling them was my time. My daily rate of shooting these images, and that's often how commercial photographers bill things, and so I knew that the digital files were a piece of that. I built that in as the final product, so the ultimate product that I was selling was my daily rate. The time that it took to create these images. So I knew that we had special photographic requirements, we were shooting on a river bank, and so we didn't have power, we had to have battery powered strobes, we had to have, the athletes had to be fresh out of the water, which is what dictated exactly where we were shooting. There were lots of logistics involved, we had to get all 50 of these athletes in the same place at one time, so we chose to do that at team trials for the U.S. team. So there was a lot going on as far as logistics for this shoot. And the time shooting was four hours, so it wasn't a huge amount of time, but the post production for all of these images took quite some time to make sure that everything was brilliant and vibrant and that we got the right expression, things like that. And then, I knew that the final project was digital for this particular one. And then the way you put all that into perspective is how are you going to create these things. What is the manifestation of these images. No matter what it is, is it fine art, is it a framed piece that's gonna hang in a gallery, is it a medal, is it a digital file, what's the application and how can you charge appropriately for it. So I'm gonna give you a little bit different scenario, that was intensely logistical, with lots of help. We had assistants there, all kinds of things were going on, we knew we were filming an ad for Chimera, so that added a whole another level on top of it, so there was a lot going on for that particular shoot. You guys may have shoots like that as well. The second thing, what about an engagement image. A portrait, what's involved in something like that. It's a totally different set of circumstances. So now I'm gonna show you a little bit different shooting scenario of what a typical session is like in that arena. (metal ringing) (footsteps) Nice, okay back. Easy, easy. One, two, three, go in slow. Yeah, right there. That's it right there, I love that, you guys, Heather, you're looking this way, Scott, you were kinda this way. Heather just kind of lean in to his shoulder. Yeah, just like that. Faster, faster, lookout, yeah. One, two, three, go. Look past me, look past me, look past me. Yeah, good. Scott stay where you are and Heather take a step off to the left. There you go, lean back into him, and I want you guys just to kind of hold hands in the middle. Yeah, that's great. Nice. All good, hold that for a second, ah that light is gorgeous. (uplifting music) Alright, so, as we think about what's involved in the two different sessions, the first one, lots of equipment. On the side of a river, assistants, high pace, middle of the day, sun, overpowering that sun. And then we come back to a shoot like this. Took a long time to get there, right. Lots of hiking, the clients had to be aware of that. They had to be dressed appropriately. It was a little bit lower pressure in that evening session, you guys notice that it was right before the sun was setting, so that was a really important requirement for that particular session. Okay so again the same thing, what does the session look like. What should your clients expect from that session. What do you need from that session. Do you have the equipment to overpower the noon day sun. Or do you need to shoot at dawn and dusk, so that you have beautiful natural light. How much time will the session take. So the first session took four hours to shoot all of the athletes. The second session took about 45 minutes to shoot a couple. A little bit more relaxed. So do you need to have a permit to shoot on location. So the answer is mostly, yes. Things are getting harder and harder to just go out and shoot wherever you want to. And so if you're shooting a national forest, or BLM or in a city park or any of those things, you're probably going to need a permit to shoot there. Sometimes permits are easy to get, the one for that particular location up in the mountains, I think it was either 50 or 100 dollars a year and we could shoot there as much as we wanted to, we had an ongoing permit there, no big deal. There's another location an hour away that we have to get a permit through four different government agencies to even step foot there and take a camera out of our bag. So it's your responsibility to know what the regulations are and make sure that you are following those regulations. Because it's definitely not professional to have a ranger come up to you and say oh where's your permit and you're like oh, I didn't know I needed a permit. Right, that's not a professional appearance. So be sure that you are aware of that. How long will the session take, how much of your time does it take up, do you have to drive somewhere. Do you have to hike somewhere on top of that. How long will you spend with your client, how long will it take you to pack up. What all is involved in this. Any special logistical considerations like power or access, anything like that. And then the last one is how many images are you going to create. So once you know all of those things that also dictates what your product offerings are.

Class Description

When starting a new business, you will make hundreds of decisions, and many of those can be costly and affect the future of your business. Most photographers have little direction available on how to take these critical first steps to set themselves up for success.

Kathy Holcombe and her husband Peter have built multiple photography businesses over the last 15 years. Kathy will share what they have learned so that you won’t waste time, money and resources trying to find the perfect formula.

You will learn how to:

  • Define your brand
  • Set up social media channels and a business website to support the vision of your brand
  • Develop an effective strategy for marketing to your ideal client
  • Develop a product line and profitable pricing structure
  • Develop a sales strategy to maximize your time and sales average

This class is for anyone who is standing at a crossroads, wanting to start a photography business, but not sure exactly how to go about it. You’ll not only learn how to get you started but also how to turn a profit through your photography in your very first year of business. Skip years of trial and error and invest your precious startup dollars in strategies, tools, and equipment that will immediately start making you money.


Amanda Beck

Kathy was a wonderful instructor. She was engaging and someone who was precise and incredibly helpful. We have a full time photography business and are always looking for new ways of running our business. Her information was insightful and forced us to have conversations about our business that we have haven't had in several years. She is fantastic and someone who has the information needed to help you start or expand your business. Thank you for a wonderful class!!


Thank you Kathy for yet again another very thought provoking class. You are such an inspiration, teaching us the right questions to ask ourselves so we too can be brilliant photographers / entrepreneurs. I was a fulltime RVer for seven years, traversing 44 states and seeing some of the most beautiful places on our planet. It gave me a great opportunity to meet some extraordinary people and to hone my photography skills. Now I have put down roots in Stapleton - Denver, CO and am soon to launch my own Family Lifestyle Photography business. Your course has definitely given me the courage to just charge ahead and go for it!

Jeph DeLorme

Another top notch production from the amazing team at Creative Live! Kathy Holcombe, aka FAMAGOGO did a great job of covering all the basics along with the associated costs involved in starting up a photography business. However, you don't need to be a beginner to get great info from this class, it's packed with ideas and tips that even an experienced pro can put to work and take to the bank literally the next day. I highly recommend this class.