The Value of Your Work


Tabletop Product Photography


Lesson Info

The Value of Your Work

if you charge by the hour you die by the hour if you charge money by the hour you penalty you penalise yourself for becoming good at it right you also have nothing to share your reference to the other guy what if the other guy's not as fast as you are but he makes a better picture well you're real fast and you make not as good a picture but someday you make a better picture he's still making more money than you because you're charging by the hour photography's thought a by the hour thing folks it's not um and you have to get to the point where in your photography you are not thinking of it as a commodity has something that is you know build by the hour by the piece here's an interesting question for you why do we charge more money for an eight by ten than a five by seven because you have to work with the crop way can but isn't it silly I just photographed little jimmy for mrs jones the photograph of little jimmy is what's important all we're doing is we're charging for real estate righ...

t paper always so eight by ten is worth more than a three by five I understand you're saying that you know it's not the picture little jimmy's where sixty dollars you know the difference between a three by five and a four by five buck because we're going to get more money for the eight by ten well that's great problem is we're getting less money for the three by five I don't want to lower the price of the eight by ten and raise the prices by five wise little jimmy a three by five not as valuable as little jimmy at eight by ten we're crazy but you know what it's not gonna change I can stand up here and preach it it's not going to change because it's just part of the world but it makes no sense to me as a commercial photographer I've never had to deal with it picture is what it is how big it won't um I don't care how big you run it you know we're talking about taking until rights and licensing and stuff like that but in reality I don't care how big you run it run it whatever you want the picture is what you bought in the consumer side of things we bought into some sort of real estate thing white by ten inches is a bigger print so it's worth more now the picture will jimmy is worth something this is where we get back to when you're starting out as a photographer and you start thinking that you're going to charge less because you're starting out we don't charge less when we're starting out make some deals but you understand that being competitive is twenty percent off taking eighty percent off this is dumb right you are worth what the photograph is worth photographs worth something we did a picture of pearls on this table what's it worth I don't know for us it was worth a learning experience if this was a set of pearls for tiffany's and it was going to go into it ad for vogue and they could sell six thousand more sets of pearls at one point two million well that's pretty nice picture does the picture care if you've been in business for a month for twenty years does the picture care does vote run a little thing underneath it old by the way this picture was taken by a photographer who's kind of new at the business and therefore will give you a deal on the on the uh you know since the guy took and he's only been in business for two months we're gonna knock eighty percent off the price of these pearls course not right course not so we have to be able to be fast and what we do I understand the value of what we do and understand what profit is just a lot of a lot of people talk about creating a profit and margin thing where you know what your cost of doing business c o d b calculators ok and I think they're really important but where I think it falls apart is when someone says well I live at home so I don't have to charge is much money then the guy who has a studio well let's think about that for a second back to the pearls shot for the big department store because the big department store care whether you shot it in a studio or at home no does the person looking at the pearls care if you shot it's a studio or at home no is it going to sell twelve percent mohr pearls or not that's the bottom line that's the on ly criteria but we just introduced into our pricing plan some sort of criteria that didn't matter at the end well I shooted at home so I can charge less no you shoot it at home so you can make more shots still worth what the shots work you just get to make more because you shot it at home don't start cheating yourselves as photographers by saying well my my cost of doing business is so much less that I can charge so much less well someday you're gonna move into a studio and that guy that you've been shooting the diamond necklaces for a thousand dollars for now you want to thousand dollars for it and he's going to say you doubled your rate how many of us would be happy if we went to the dentist or the doctors or the safe way or something you walk in and go you doubled your rate way got a better office now related not for may anymore I won't walk across the street and pay the same price to somebody who's always charged that price that's always been their way of doing business any think it doesn't happen you're kidding you really kidding ah a couple of things that will happen to you in product photography is that she'll get some power somebody who's going to want you to come shoot something for them oh I hear you shooting product photography I have a company we make gaskets could you come and shoot that for your book gaskets for my portfolio I'm going to go with the no you want me to shoot gaskets that's gonna be boring I'm gonna have nothing to show for it except the cheque you give me I hear you shooting products were getting a new ferrari in july come over to the shop and shoot it from there I could use those pictures yeah I have questions so if you're shooting gaskets for a start up company and individual sti charge the same for that shot then if it's for boeing how do you know what to charge depends is it dependent on the size of the company or sometimes it is what's the value of the image to the end user it's why you get more money it's like when you sit down and talk about rights what's the value to the end user if someone's coming to us and we're gonna use this picture on a tech ship and we put two thousand tech sheets and send them to all our supplier so they know howto you know we've got this new led thing coming out okay that's one thing in two thousand to those pliers let's say the same manufacturer says okay we've got this led thing and we're gonna put it in wired magazine and business two point oh blah blah blah kisses a consumer product and it's going to reach out reach out to fourteen million people with this ad campaign well the first folks printed up two thousand fliers so they're cash out of pockets fifteen hundred dollars in house designer fifteen hundred dollars a print right that's got a value to it the second client's placing it in all these different magazines his cash outlay maybe two million dollars in met in magazine place why would you get the same amount of money for that image right that image is worth maur if they're using it for more it's worth more some people will have a cow if that goes well that's not fair well sure it isthe what's not fair is that lamborghinis costs more than I can afford that's not fair just this much that's not fair there's a lot of things in life that aren't fair but they are affair that's just the way it is if you're gonna make more money from me why is a football player worth ten million dollars here really think about it because there's also guys to play football for seventy five thousand dollars here right every team practically every team you got somebody down the seventy five hundred thousand dollars a year player they don't they're not on they're not going to feel very much they may be a special teams guy that's you know just so you know what I've got but you also have some super strong that nine million dollars why because people will pay to come see him play football they make more money from him he gets more money from them were in photography and commercial photography the value of the image is what's what it's going to be used for and how long it's going to be used I don't hassle writes with a lot of you know this will be another internet a buzzer here I don't hassle writes with a lot of my clients I have some mom and pop clients who come to me all the time for little shots of this I've never even discussed rights with him why because I know they're never gonna use them for anything and if I walked into the guy's office and he had an eight by ten on his wall I go cool no problem I'm not going to sue them like what happened with client that I got from another photographer who actually sued his client of ten years because there was an eight by ten on the wall that he had a not authorized wow you know that just does not not gonna happen but at agencies design firms pr firms they know the game right oh and by the way this is ah this's right from my attorney I do a shot for mr jones down at the mechanics place and I give it to him without a contract I've taken the photograph the rights belong to me automatically right you know that you take it copyrights yours unless it's work for hire the copyright is yours so then two months later the mechanic you go in there and he's made some calendars out of it and you see him your chances of winning a really slim because that's not how the mechanic does business that was your responsibility to tell the mechanic about how he has only certain rights it's not his modus operandi but an ad agency tries that with you you can win because they know better so the mechanic that used your picture you khun sue him you probably won't win you're gonna have to go after damages what damages were we're occurred I just I bristle sometimes when I see the internet forms although my kid's school took one of my pictures and used it on there and there monthly bulletin on the next guy on the next guy ask jesus so um hole right try it you know go and find an attorney who's willing to take on that case not a chance what do you do you go down to the school you know what I would do going on the school say hey do you like the picture we should see more can you put my name in the back I'm a consumer shooter I want to shoot weddings and families and stuff and you lie I will come down and do a shot for you every month if you can send this out to thirty two hundred people with my name on it you betcha or you could actually by the ad space in there for one thousand fifty dollars per issue okay I'll trade it out we had a uh we had a client that was building a online proofing tool for wedding for tyrus so that the the brides and the bridesmaids and the all the people that came up to the proofing could actually build their own little book slide the pictures around save it as a little pdf right and every page had the tiger's name and phone number and web site on it and we had the tarr would say oh I don't want anybody else making my book and passing my pictures around I was like wow I would love for somebody else to pay for my promotional book I would just absolutely love it they can't take that it's a pdf they can't take stuff off there making little books and handing out little books to their friends who are what going to get married in the whole bit it's got you what have you lost you lost nothing no one's gonna buy those book from it's not possible but you've gained tremendous word of mouth from it did I did I talk about my little idea about taking every job and I do that I did that in class or was it at dinner yes remain christians book way didn't talk about you said we didn't I said let's talk about reading christian in his book on the plate on the plane fare here playing here he had a little talk about a consultancy group a little thing about it and he was saying that when they started they decided they would take every job that came in the door for a year I believe this but I believe this is a story every job that came in the door for year money didn't matter they'd take the job and they became quite successful they're second year very successful their third year and I thought whom within reason hey we need you to fly around the world and do you know twenty eight shots for you and we got sixteen dollars and forty three cents in the budget we probably pull seventeen of floyd gets back from lunch no that's stupid but within reason let's say you know they were gonna pay you a couple hundred bucks to go and do this little shot for the magazine okay I'll make a mad now take it take the job stay busy put a time frame on it you'll do it for six months you'll do it for four months he'll do it for year take every job that comes your way that's within reason I'm not asking you to be stupid about it take the job build the book filled the credibility build the e buzz build the fact that you're a shooter what and think about what you're gonna learn as you're taking these jobs it's like being paid to go to school maybe they're only paying you two fifty a shot for some editorial shots for a magazine sucks take the job do it but you know what kind of job you give him back what kind of job you give him back keith thousand dollars shot job back best job you can get you want these guys to go man that set a precedent then that your inexpensive doesn't matter it doesn't matter because you're not you're just you're going to move up and away I would say I would guarantee you that those two fifty eight shot jobs are going to end up being for fifty job dog shots as your work gets up there and the key is now the key is like he said you give him a thousand dollars shot job you give them the best work you can get and you will start getting more clients you will then become more expensive to your lower in client sell either be able to afford you are go back to using the guy who did crap but what if you got a boring job and you turn it into something really cool you know what I don't want to ever hear of photographers say ever ever is there not paying me enough to fill in the blank I never want to hear anyone say that you know why they're wrong when they say that because you said you'd do the job they said we have two hundred fifty dollars for the job and you said okay and in their mind they're going to get a best photograph they can from you if in your mind they're going to get a crap because they're only paying two fifty you should not be in this business this is the wrong business for you take the two fifty you agreed to do a two hundred fifty dollars job the silent part is for the best photograph I possibly can deliver doesn't mean you take that that she spent three fifty four scissor lift to go up high knowing it's not in the budget but for what you're doing you do the best job you can do and I reminded me chris's thing reminded me when I was first starting out essentially did that I can't I read on the internet people all I've never shot for free and I always think really I'm personally I'd rather you shoot for free or full rate you know what I don't want you to do is to shoot for crap rate but sometimes the crap rate is all they're going to pay it's not like the magazines come to you we have two hundred fifty dollars a shot you know and then they go for you really we're going to pocket the other nine hundred dollars because you're a sap they have a budget that's it they got that money take the job do the job do the best job you can with it and you'll watch your business grow much faster than sitting around and telling me that you're worth two thousand dollars a day when you've done six jobs in your entire life you learn more from doing jobs that don't pay enough from jobs with all the budget in the world you'll learn more from jobs that go south then jobs that land on the target every single time you'll learn mohr from your screw ups then your winnings for then your successes you learn mohr there and that is really really powerful stuff okay so how many people think I'm going nuts wait raised sure I was raising my firm too give the internet voice people think I'm not not at all actually they really like what you're saying and they think you're spot on but a lot of people do have questions you know like how do they find out what they're starting prices and their you know a little bit likes worried about how they can get into the business and then in a year like justify jumping their prices up and one hundred percent here's what I will say I will bet you and I may be wrong and they may have to get to a point where they just fine I will bet you by the time they get to the end of the year that they're doing jobs for higher prices that's what I would bet um a friend of my nick and nick knows I mean uses because I've used this before in front of my nick uh lives in a small town in central valley they started up a magazine there some guys got to go start up a magazine we're talking guys who work full time coming down to the place in the evening on bust in there bust until nine o'clock at night to start this magazine well they saw nix work and they asked him to do the covers and they paid two hundred dollars so he called me said you know it's not worth two hundred dollars what should I do I said take the job they have two hundred dollars for you or for the next guy it's not a matter of well I'm taking food out of somebody else's hand no it's not they got two hundred dollars it's the cover of a new magazine take the job he took the job shot three covers for him got a big editorial gig from back east for a trucking magazine believe it was irene remember it was a trucking magazine they needed a cover shot for them they paid nine hundred dollars okay now nick's got another job working for a state senator they're paying a thousand dollars this is all within six four months so that's what I'm saying now he could have turned down that job for two hundred dollars that's ok they would find somebody else to shoot it for two hundred dollars we can all sit in this room and go that's not enough they don't have anymore so you're either going to give them something great take take on and take that and run with it or sit back and say well I didn't spend I didn't make the two hundred dollars and they've got somebody else in that really crappy job well good for you great martyr martyr thing there right they're not even using him anymore because now he is a little bit out of their market he put his foot down on a certain little problem that was happening and they moved on to somebody else and that's fine because he's moved on to other people as well so his money has been replaced with those two hundred dollars jobs a friend of mine in phoenix well I had a publishing house as a client and they paid two hundred fifty dollars per shot and the first month he worked for him had two shots one was in glendale and one was in scottsdale and he was like the thing wass the magazine this was a publishing house there's four magazines publishing house you know they were like thrilled with his work second month he got sixty five pictures to do at two hundred fifty dollars a shot could even do a mall had passed on a few and from that point on he had between twenty and thirty shots a month from this magazine and their time frame was whenever you get to him they're only paying you two fifty so it's not like well we were paying you two fifty so here's the schedule you've got to do this and this and is no that's a little more than that I do a lot of charity work I love charity work and I will always do charity work anything that has to do with you know battered kids or battered wives or something I'm there I'm gonna be a part of it um but I have a rule artistically for it I'll do it for you but if you're gonna have somebody looking over me on my shoulder telling me what to do that just sounds like a job to make you want me to do it my way that's fine you have to trust of course I'm not going to do something inappropriate you know something stupid whatever you have to trust me on that but it's my way or the highway on that because if I'm doing it for free and doing it for a charity I have strong beliefs and what that ad should look like talking design every what it should look like you want me to do something that I know in my heart of hearts not gonna work then what am I doing I don't have a tear shed from me I haven't helped your charity because you're silly and it is gonna work not happening and I've never had but one charity ever say enough they were all fine you know and we always collaborated and got there their wishes into it and everything but moment you have somebody's standing over your shoulder telling you what to do it's not your picture anymore it's somebody else's and now you're just a hired gun yes you know I've been doing this project on take photos of churches and I'm thinking about just running up some prints and sending them out to the church with letter and just saying put my name on there if you're gonna hang him in the church kind of the same thing right my name is up there well your butt your priests of you presupposing that they're not worth anything to begin with no I expect them to be worse something that's what I'm saying but if you give them away at the beginning you never had the opportunity to find out if somebody I would pay for them okay let's let me talk about a way to work to do good by doing good uh what if you worked with your local uh church or synagogue or your local cancer hospital or something and your photographer you have some real talents and you said let's work something out where you can make some money okay uh this is this this idea was from a diver chicago moments and mentioned his name only because I want to make sure that if I don't get it exactly right that he doesn't call me up to say that's you missed it by five dollars but the deal wass you come over to his studio fairly famous photograph photographer and he would do a black and white portrait for you a signed portrait eight by ten signed portrait black and white of your family it was one hundred dollars ninety five dollars went to the cancer society five dollars went the print on the card costs and he opened up his studio every saturday got a lot of people in their ninety five dollars and gave him the eight by ten and see the family they got my ten they're happy the charity is happy and the photographer was happy to help the charity and then the family would say what can I get some five by sevens of this fly yes you can if you certainly can step right over there and they'll help you with that and everything every pretty much every person that went through was one hundred dollars to the charity and about seven hundred fifty dollars to him now everybody's happy charlie got their money there were some families went through got the eight by ten said thank you and walked out and you know what that's fine that's all you're doing it for but if somebody wants some five by sevens that's just great true story told to me by a photographer from up in uh uh lake tahoe this is a very big time portrait photographer no weddings portrait's he lives in lake tahoe ended up having studios and some of the casinos what he would do is he'd walk around with a left with a business card and on the business card he'd have his name and everything and he would see somebody in a town that's lori wow how's bill and the kids all that's great you guys haven't been there to the studio get some pictures taken laurie listen once you come down anytime next week we're opening the evens come on down I'll do a free family photograph for you giving eleven by fourteen gets in the car family comes down I mean shooting getting portray this guy's pretty expensive eleven by fourteen his price point for eleven five by fourteen two hundred twenty dollars is going to give you a free eleven by fourteen two hundred dollar print why is he going to give you an eleven by fourteen y laurie because it's too big nobody wants to mumbai from team but you're taking it isthe can I get some eight by tens and some wallets why yes you can step right in there and joanie will help you out and so every free session that he gave away an eleven by fourteen value of two hundred ninety dollars two hundred twenty dollars real value of three dollars you know his cost three dollars would end up mi five six seven hundred dollars print order everybody wins even the people who didn't buy the print he still got two meet them and take the photograph give him a print they'll be back everybody wins how do you do that in the commercial realm you ever have somebody call you I ride trains have been a designer for years there was somebody call you and say well you know we've never worked together irene but this cool job's come up and we'd really like to have you do what you're you're our first choice on dh the only problem is we don't have much money into this one but but we'll make it up on the second one should have that you know what happens right day no second one and you weren't their first choice but trust me so I always say tell you what amy full boat on this one and I'll give you a great deal on the second one I've had two people take me up most people don't because they'll just move on to the next guy who next first the next first guy that they thought that they thought of but I did have two people say well okay we could do that and they did and I did I'm honored it but I got the thing but there's all kinds of things but how do we do this in the commercial world how do we take what we do in the commercial world and think about pushing it out other people for one thing like I said do every job that comes in for a while to you build your book and your yourself but what about value add how do you value add two photographers photography what's the value add value at is something that you add to the to the photography that you do to what you're doing that doesn't really have much of a cost but it has a high value u know mentioning mentioning a product on creative live costs creative life nothing I can stand here and say what about such and such it was not a cost value there at all right what happens to their website it's down it crashes that's a value add waken say well listen if you sponsor this uh over here will mention your name six times during this that's a value that sweetens the pot when I did weddings I sweeten the pot by saying I will give you for every thirty five hundred dollar wedding you sign up for probably only one actually but if you sign up for this three hundred thirty five hundred dollars did I say three hundred dollars thirty five thank you because I'm so whoa guys don't wear wedding I'll give you five hundred dollars free print credit for any print absolutely here's my print prices right they're worst case scenarios sixty dollars out of pocket worst case scenario they got the canvas rap and the two eleven by fourteen whatever worst case cost me sixty bucks would you spend sixty bucks to book thirty five hundred dollars in their minds what did they get they got five hundred dollars off for credit because it's printed out that's the thing they're not saying to themselves I guarantee that saying well that's only sixty dollars value no it's not that's the price of it doesn't cost me much at all in the commercial world how do we do that what we can say tell you what you know we wouldn't work when we're working together I'm gonna send you some block ready images well I'm gonna blawg your you know I've got a pretty popular blah guts let's block about your your new product or work with me and we're you know do this product shot here these the's er pearls that's pretty cool I've been working on motion let me do this let me show you what a neat sideswipe might be we're just kind of slide the camera around on these pearls that's pretty cool here take the take the mlb files you know that's pretty cool cost you nothing but a little bit of time because you little file take it to sweeten the pot you make it work if you make them remember you questions from anyone here yes actually a question from our very own steel in upstairs bacon done you say take every job and others say shoot and show on lee what you're wanting to shoot as a professional photographer useful office philosophies seem contradictory not only reconcile every job that shoot that that's in your bets in your bailey wick no no no that hey we're doing we need somebody to do some aerial shots hanging out of a trap he's in no you're not a food shooter you not taking food shots if your people shooter you take every job that fits your thing absolutely communication you doesn't mean you do you know what if you're not a wedding shooter you're not taking weddings doing the jobs that you do then I won't be scuba diving and taking shark photos no neither will I let stay on the land I try to stay on the ground at all possible I didn't I didn't shoot helicopters from another helicopter one time and they uh client calls me up says we're gonna shoot helicopters across over the grand canyon and you're gonna be in one helicopter and we're gonna shoot people the other helicopter and I said well probably not gonna be me thanks for the offer and then he said how much the client was willing to pay and I'm thinking one time over the side if I told my wife that turned out a job that paid that much money she would have probably thrown me off the cannon so I took the job so we're up there in flagstaff and we're walking over to the helicopters and here's this great big giant helicopter and I thought best fine I could do that we walked right by that sucker to this little bitty black thing and they had the seat turn sideways so I could sit with my feet on the rail looking out at the world I thought that was special way flew right at tree level and flew out over the grand canyon and my stomach went down about nine thousand feet right so all I did was shoot I was fine with the camera to my face is like breathing fast camera to my face and I made the shots until the day I um got on the radio and said watch this hey just did this sort of dive thing down and spun up underneath the other helicopter said shoot and I'm like shooting shooting shooting I'm thinking all that was the last time I did that hey watch this famous last words right what's me pull a rabbit out of my way you got what do you think from you guys is it does it start to make sense do you feel like you're starting to get a handle on the mysterious world of getting started you can't get started today like you could get started last decade for the decade before none of the people in this room are really assistant age folks if timers no more in the twenties and stuff so you don't have that ability to go out and be assistant as easily as it wass in my town there's far fewer assistant jobs than there used to be part of it is we don't darkroom anymore most of my assistant's job was processing film making negatives and stuff shooting was and still is shooting is probably twenty percent of your weak the other eighty percent was his other stuff we don't do it so those assistant ships aren't there you're gonna have to find another way one way created lives shows another way youtube channels we just get on there and absorb that stuff and try it you have to find another way to see behind the curtain so we were talking about the curtain where the guy puts up the shot so I put the light here and I put the light there I made the picture yeah anything from the inter webs of course tsc tempest asked on so how do you get out there and initially and start finding clients so that you can take every we watching tomorrow that's watching tomorrow last segment tomorrow we're going to get a little uh we're going to get in close and personal with how you find the people who can pay you for jobs and it's not mysterious it's tight painstaking is time consuming but it's not mysterious very easy as long as you have a plan on my right I read yeah charles knows I have this thing stuck in my head of all you know just a confidence thing when I get my sergei you know I'm gonna go in there I'm gonna be nervous is how and you think that somehow when I get a gig a big gig and I'm going to go shoot it that I'm not nervous is how is that what we're starting with no we determined that you were crazy earlier that stills you never get over it when when all that happens is the the you have to become a master of what if and be prepared for every contingency and the last thing is all you can do is prepare prepare like do you have to camera body's pretty have three you have a backup for your backup do you go out the door with one pro photo would you take two if you only need one take two or do you take four because you might actually need more than one you thought you needed one and then you get there and they say oh you know we change the venue we're going to be over here it's how to prepare for the worst case scenario because generally it's going to be some version of that everything we do is a challenge everything we do in this business is oh here's my pearls and I want him shot on black but I don't want any any white are any dark reflecting son of the pearls hole thank you very much um here's my necklace that we shot yesterday he's my necklace uh well we can hang out and get a good shot no I wanted laying down okay we saw what happened we could we do it sure in twenty minutes now and so we start to solve problems so it's contingency but I am just a nervous on a big shoot as the very first time a guy said hey I'll pay you five hundred dollars for fun my very first photograph paid five hundred bucks why a back thirty something thirty five plus years ago and I thought I want to do this for a leg this is more money I was making a week you know and it took me a week to do the job self no idea what I was doing shooting black glasses what else on the interwebs donald this has just been awesome and amazing to be here thank you for sharing so much knowledge I want everybody to sixteen photography is a great business it's a great time to be in photography I think our expectations or lower um we're not getting into tired be thinking that someday we're gonna be shooting a million dollars a year I think there's a great deal of satisfaction some people are happy making one hundred thousand dollars a year in an office job uh and I'm here to tell you that making a hundred thousand dollars a commercial photographer is probably a very doable thing I'm not gonna say the same make six hundred thousand dollars is a doable things it is for some people make a hundred thousand dollars is a doable thing that there was work out there people sell it's you know like I said last week we heard it was dead this here this week it's like digital tyrant stupid uh sorry there's a tremendous amount of things out there find new channels if you shoot still life get into living we were talking finer if you love shooting still life start thinking about shooting some still like that's more in a finer thing what would somebody like to put on their wall probably not a picture of the little switch unit that we did earlier but definitely maybe dead flowers or flowers or something yes what your thoughts I'm doing trying to get into like the weekend craft fairs are fares um doors windows porches old barns cell nudes do not portrait ce do not cars do not for some reason people are attracted by doors windows old barns that type of thing landscapes beautiful landscapes and seashore shots they sell pictures off of you know girls in high heels and caution tape they don't sound nobody wants to buy what people are calling the wall but I mean is it worthwhile oh some people make a lot of money doing it some people make a lot of money doing it ah la I know uh very nicely built her website and she's in santa barbara she has one photograph that you know those little siri's they have in the santa barbara pierre you can read him and pedal around and had little flowers all she has a picture of a surrey on the beach and gorgeous little shot sir he took it with a four megapixel camera she makes forty thousand year princess from that thing no carbs posters oh yeah one shot is she's selling on that here she's on everywhere on a website she goes down to the art fair on state twice a year they have the art fair and she just she sells out she makes portrait posters and she sells out um so yeah it can be done

Class Description

Don Giannatti returns for a special workshop on tabletop product photography. Don starts with an introduction to tabletop lighting - tools, scrims, DIY gear - and how to organize your shoot around a tabletop to bring everyone up to speed. Then Don will teach you the basic concepts of Tabletop Product Photography. Finally Don will ramp up to more advanced topics adding extras such as kicker lights, snoots, and grids that can bring your work up a notch.



THere are some courses in CL i think of as not covering a to z but covering -z to z. THis is one of those courses. The value proposition is over the top. The instricutor: Don Giannatti is so experienced he's a relaxed in his knowledge and practiced in cutting to the chase to provide answers to really good questions about set ups for product photos (vs. art/ still-life). The topics: complete workflow from first principles in order to understand what we're trying to achieve with table top work, Don Giannatti makes it clear that we're using light deliberately to give shape to an object. Example insight: using a white card (or black) reflector is not the same as using a silver/gold reflector. The latter create a new light source; the former shape the light that's there. Can imagine the arguments but the demo brings the points home. Or how about NOT using umbrellas for product shots. Or for "drop and pop" product shots, how to do that without umbrellas and tents "that's 50 dollars a shot right there" says Giannatti. Example tool demo: one of the joys of this course is that such an expert does most of the class using readily makable tools like scrims from shower curtains and baking paper. The specialist tools like a modifier on a flash is well within the range of an aspiring commerial table top photographer. And Meaningful Demos LIGHTING/composition what are some of the most challenging and compelling things to shoot when building a portfolio/photographic experience? Can you shoot shiny stuff - like bottles and jewlery. PHOTOSHOP making photoshop unpretencious and accessible, Giannatti presents examples of how to fix bits of a shot, as well as - and this one is worth the price of admission - how to put together a composite of a guitar product shot if you only have one limited sized light to light the whole thing. We also see where highlights can be added - and how. Some basic knowledge of Photoshop layering, masking and brushes would be good to have, but one can work back from seeing it applied into those basic skills. BUSINESS We start with light giving shape to objects as a demonstrable principle, move into how to use light structurally for bringing out something fantastic about that product - that as Giannatti points out - puts bread on someone's table, so respect. From these demos we go from light and camera to post to produce the finished image. Now what? or how have a product that needs shooting? That's the business of product photography. In these excellent sections on Business, Giannatti details the heuristics of hard graft to get gigs: where to look for contacts, frequency of approach, engaging with social media (you don't have to, he says, but effectively, it's gonna cost ya). "Doing just these few things you're already way ahead of your competition." I can believe it: they are many of them tedious, but can also well believe they are what pay off. COURSE BONUSES JUST FOR SIGNING UP - for those who subscribed to a live broadcast, all the slides were provided in advance (you can see this offer on class materials) Now that's classy. What other CL courses have done that: given something to participants who just show an interest to sign up? (It's that gift thing kevin kubota talks about in his workshop on photography business - makes one want to work with that person: pay them for the value they create, eh?) TRUST/VALUE Instructor Personality Throughout each part what's delightful is just the EXPERIENCE of this instructor. He's put together a thoughtful course from light to lighting to parts to gear to post to business. There's immediate trust: plainly this man has made a living from what he's talking about, and has addressed almost any immaginable scenario. There's a great demo towards the end of the course of working with students to take shots. The value to folks watching is to see how he helps us all think about how to problem solve (the mantra for the course) to find the shot - to use light card after lightcard to wrap the light to bring out the countours of the material. Even when he says "that's just not working" - there's not a sense of the people shooting having failed - but an opportunity to think about what's been learned - to keep working the problem. There's a whole lot of HOW in that interaction that is highly valuable. Thanks to the participants in the workshop to be so willing too to do that work. This is the kind of course you leave feeling like ok, i can do this - or at least i have the tools and some knowhow now about them to start to work these problems, to start to create value in these kinds of shots. I am already just from being here a better photographer now. Related CL Course: This course feels like a terrific complement to Andrew Scrivani's Food Photography. And no wonder: both take place in small areas and use light in similar ways. A contrast is that in editorial food photography - scrivani's domain - there's a focus on skills to work with what's there; in table top/product, one can enhane - knowing how to do that effectively/believably is where the skills - learning to see that - come in for this kind of work in partiular . If tabletop/product photography is a space you wish to explore, or you just want to be able to practice working with light in the small, and see how to bring you will be delighted with this -z to z deep dive introduction.