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After The Shoot

Lesson 7 from: Real Estate and Architectural Photography

Mike Kelley

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Lesson Info

7. After The Shoot

Lesson Info

After The Shoot

So, after the shoot... My mother instilled this one in me. Every new client gets handwritten thank you cards and gifts at holidays. Again, it's the era of social media and the path of least resistance. When was the last time you got a thank you note from someone you work with? Anyone? Never, right? Very rarely. Edible arrangements. People love it. Handwritten thank you notes go so far. I get calls back like, "Oh my god, I can't believe you sent me a thank you card for this job!" It's usually an email and it takes 30 seconds and it doesn't matter at all. And I think it's really cool. All you get in the mail is bills and printed out stuff and impersonal things and it really helps when your clients know that you have their best interest at heart and you really did enjoy working with them. When they pay you thousands of dollars, it'll take you three minutes, like, "Thank you so much, it was great to work with you. "I hope the photos serve you well". And don't bring business into it, just s...

ay, "I had a great time and I hope the photos help "and I look forward to working with you again." Keep it short, keep it simple. It takes you three minutes, put a stamp on it, drop it in the mail, boom, done. And they'll never forget it. I guarantee you'll be the first photographer to ever send them a thank you note. So, LT Lilly 16 you talked a little about some of your pricing stategies. Are you charging a day/creative fee and then licensing per shot for restaurants and hotels? Or is it only architects that get that standard pricing structure. I try to do it for everyone, but sometimes it just completely, okay... You gotta read the client. If an ad agency comes to you, or an agent has been negotiating the job for you. I don't know if this particular person is at the point where they have that going on, but sometimes the concept of licensing is just completely lost on people. Like I said, keep it simple. Would you rather, you know, go back and forth for two weeks about licensing, or would you rather send them a solid number, get the job, and shoot it? You know? The whole time you're talking about licensing, they're becoming less and less interested, in my experience. So, if it's, like, a mom and pop restaurant and they need photos. Look, don't bog 'em down with licensing. Just send 'em a number. Obviously, if they wanna go ahead and... I guess it all depends on the size of the company you're working for. If you know they're gonna use it in magazines, if you know it's gonna be featured in a... Here we go. We know it's gonna be featured somewhere and it has a lot of advertising potential, then we'll license it. If not, I try to get the job, you know? Getting the job is number one. Like I said, I'm not gonna confuse them and bore them with semantics and licensing when a week ago I could've had a job locked up and shot. So, use your judgement and kinda look at what business they are. Like, I'll get an ad agency that comes to me and in the email they say, "We need outdoor billboard use, "we need magazine, "we need this." Some people say, "We need unlimited licensing." I'm like, back it up. But we can figure something out. And then some people, they don't know what they want. They want a photographer, they want pictures, they're not gonna go for you when they're emailing twenty people, they're not gonna stop with you and say, "We need to hire this guy with the confusing terms "and conditions and the confusing licensing thing." Just use your best judgement on that one. But, I don't think, again, people might be in the audience cursing me, I don't think there's anything wrong with taking a job for a flat rate, getting it done. You know, obviously charge more if the use is gonna be all over the place. So, try to build it into your fee up front, 'cause you're gonna be losing it on the licensing later. But, the photos aren't gonna be used for 30 years, you know? So, be realistic. Fantastic. Alright, invoice promptly. Get it done, wrapped up. I usually go home and send the invoice that night. They will appreciate it. It's again, just best business practice. And when you wrap it up, talk on the phone, resolve any outstanding needs or retouching. Ask if you met everything they wanted to have done and anything else you can do for them. Sometimes, I'll call 'em up and like, "Yeah, I wanted to book you for two weeks from now "on this job." You know, just be open with them and thank them, obviously. And see if there's anything else you can do for them while you have them engaged in the process. Hopefully everything went well. And that is basically how I would end up, you know, on a successful job. That's what would happen. I'd thank them, send a note. Follow up with them. Do they need anything? Any retouching? Is there anything else I can do for you? Any other projects? 'Cause sometimes designers have stuff booked out six months in advance. If I can get on their books now, makes my life easier.

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Ratings and Reviews

a Creativelive Student

Mike Kelley is fabulous, so many aspects of his work would make for great classes! I hope Creative Live brings Mike back for many more classes. He's a great communicator with lots of info presented in his class with understandable instructions. . . not that you'll leave the class being able to recreate his amazing images! Although he is very generous in the knowledge he shares on his great techniques. Only issue was not being able to hear/view most of the class as the "live feed" kept cutting out, which was so frustrating. So, I'm purchasing the video. Hope to see Mike in more courses! Excellent!

Victor Zubakin

Firstly this course should be renamed to just Architectural Photography. There's very little information here about shooting real estate photography. Mike Kelley is more of a fine art architecture photographer and the techniques he shows are not really relevant for real estate photography. Kelley's well-known for his blue hour shots and with these he often sets his camera up for a few hours and documents the changing light to later blend into one image. His work is very Photoshop intensive and each photo could require a few hours post-processing in PS. Real estate photography generally requires a complete house to be shot in less than an hour and delivered to the realtor in 24-48hrs. The course is more of interest to those wanting to shoot high-end architecture or interior design projects. Kelley gives some great tips on the business side - how to do marketing, attracting new clientele, how to maintain a healthy relationship with your clients, what to do when things go wrong. Kelley also discusses what gear he uses including the very useful tilt-shift lenses, geared head on his tripod for fine control, shooting tethered, and also some of the lighting he uses. The course features a photoshoot that Kelley did of a historic theatre, and he discusses the techniques he used to capture the images as well as how he processed them in Photoshop. The course was enjoyable & informative, and Mike Kelley is an engaging & fun presenter, with a laid-back style.

a Creativelive Student

Enjoyed this class. Took it to learn more about architectural photography because I know little to nothing about that area of photography. I feel Mike gave a solid introduction in the how-to's of getting into this business, offered some good outside sources, gave good supporting personal stories. Would have liked to lean more about balancing light color and to be referred to some outside sources on learning more about that. Overall, I feel this was a solid intro to architectural photography.

Student Work