Tots to Teens

Lesson 9 of 35

Limited Editions

 

Tots to Teens

Lesson 9 of 35

Limited Editions

 

Lesson Info

Limited Editions

so we talked earlier I built the foundation of my company was actually children's portraiture baby program was sort of the bread and butter but the limits of editions really came out of that graduate program about that after that follow up now I was very early adapter when it came to this there was a couple of photographers kim anderson uh what is her name oh my gosh lisa jane there are few people who twelve thirteen fourteen fifteen years ago we're doing some really revolutionary stuff this is way pre digital and this was all done bye set design and they were doing like the fairies and the angels in the hand color and I immediately saw that and thought there's money here there's money to be made and so at that time I was emulating that's the nice word for copying I was emulating their work because I knew that there was potential there so we in my community where definitely the first very angels concept and back then these were really really really popular now I still believe there's a...

market for limited editions however ours have evolved their less I think they're less property I think they're mohr emotionally based like before it was castles and fairies and angels and big elaborate sets and I've found that it's just a personal style that we've changed now I'm more likely like this little guy you're going to see him tomorrow we'll tell you the whole story but I'm more likely to design something for a single client with a concept then to build an entire set and have forty five clients come through doing the same set and that comes from years of like the fairies fairies are our number one seller in the limited edition it's and fairies I mean we were making ourselves average on a ferry was like twenty three hundred dollars per session and we when I first started them uh sales average were lower but we would book forty five fairies in a four day period so it was just this really like it was a machine we were getting a man and and very quickly learn sit here sit here sit here get out to the ears of theirs their get out and is that a bad thing I don't think so because you know what when it comes to fairies I could tell you the two most popular poses that will sell every time is a wall portrait it's the child on a mushroom holding a butterfly or a bird or the child next to upon looking at their reflection I could shoot a cz many creative things as I wanted but they would always end up buying those two is the wall portrait so there's balance there I try to be a creative artist but I think that's why I sort of evolved away from these things is there was thie initial excitement of doing it there was the creation of a system where I refine it and then there was the point where I said ok if I see one more fairy I'm probably gonna jump out the window because it did become mechanical and honestly when anything becomes mechanical it's right about them that you need to probably go do something else because you kind of plateau and so for me in my studio I allowed my associate photographers take over some of those things and they put new energy into it and created their own version of what I was doing so when you go into this you can do it assembly line you could do it custom like we do it now but you kind of want to remember that the fun is in the fantasy because even if you've done a thousand fairies in a week for that child walking in the door and for that mom this is fantasy especially for the kids when I watch this used to just blow my mind you know I have this this mirror and I would put rocks around and we put a lot into the sets and tons of shrubbery and animals little secret rabbits and birds and bees and oh yeah kids would walk in the door and just their eyes would be huge and I would just watch them so fascinated and I always have this some joke I would say okay now this is magic water and on ly I could walk on it and you get a child five and under you know I'd walk across this mirror and just you could see see and they're like can I do and I'm like okay hold on I gotta make it hard you know I do this little magical potion kind of thing and make this big deal about ok now you can walk on the water and well I guess when you have a child walking on water you they'll do anything for you now you're like this this a this magical fairy that can you know but it was all if I just brought a child and said ok sit on that mushroom I would have lost you know you would have kids clinging and and afraid to be there so for me it was it was my excuse to be silly tohave fantasies too live vicariously through kids and uh that one got me and that's why I enjoyed it so much is that it was it was really about what you know what they got out of it now with the limited editions you have tohave you have to really think about a few things like what time of the year you're going to do these almost all the limits editions we currently do and probably the last seven years that we did them they were all planned during our slow season because I feel like you know pretty much august september and october that's our busy busy season but may and june were starting to pick up so I don't want to put anything in there that potentially our regular high paying clients could come in so we tend to do our specials january february march april there are a few that we have to do in the summer like the underwater photography and things like that but for the most part we're putting them in our slow times you also have to think about logic I mean the first year I did I want to do little flyers and I got these awesome world war two planes that in a in a hangar and we were gonna go out there you know the first year I did it I was so excited and I had just come up with the idea so I scheduled it for july you know if you have ever been in an airplane hangar it's really hot it's about one hundred ten degrees in an airplane hangar and when you bring a child in there and try to put a bomber jacket on him you're asking for trouble so it only took one event in july for me to realize well you know what that would be great in february where it's cold outside so it's like a get your jacket on it's cold and you get that by and so you'll learn you know some things the hard way on when the best time the props it's really important to make them look realistic this is where when it comes to limited editions we still do shoot them I'm a fanatic about really truly making something look real if a child's gonna buy into it it's gotta be really so fairy wings weren't the strap on kind you know with the rubber or the elastic that showed I mean they were sown in with extra tool to make him soft and fluffy and and that birds had to look like real birds and there were no like cheesy plastic frogs I mean everything if it didn't look real it wasn't going to be in the set on a lot of the props create posing options like they're things like you know mushrooms and tree stumps and boxes and things that would actually give you places to put children when you work with kids you'll learn that you have to have they have to have places to sit if you've got active children you want them up off the floor so they can't escape so a lot of times we were looking at props not just to create realism mohr to create props are posing options teo honestly sort of corral children nothing in the set should draw the attention away from the child so we always look atonality and dynamics to make sure that that their pleasing that these air really old shots like that that very image in the bottom corner that's the best seller there is little children looking into the water it's huge but you can see I mean these were really really old this is song my early work and you can see some of the things came together really nicely some of it's a little hokey and cheesy I think I could probably do a better job of it now but oh my goodness when at the height of my limited editions these were all big money makers I could tell you the most popular ones the ballerina by one of the cheaper ones to put together ballerina is still we still do it because it's still the sales averages aaron the several thousands fairies to this day even though I joke about you know how many times I want to see a fairy they're huge cellars for us they say lt's averages aaron the thousands as well so we will always do fairies for little boys the little fliers with the real airplanes the fireman was huge little rascals was great so this is kind of a collection of probably the football and baseball yeah this is pretty much the best sellers that we have right here and some of them are a simple as a background and curtain and a little too too so I'm going to show you this is actually a current fairy that we did and this was a we were doing like a winter a nighttime fairy and so I'm gonna go through we're gonna cover posing and lighting tomorrow but this is one where I kind of wanted you to see sort of the theory tomorrow we're going to talk about lighting simplicity when I shoot typically I have a mane like it's a kicker and a background light in this case I'm using multiple light so I want to show you this today because we won't be doing a lot of that tomorrow we want to go for simplicity and it's really about the kids not about the sets and propping so we're gonna go ahead and keep this video and we're going to show you a little bit about um the thoughts behind a session or the lighting behind a session hi everybody I'm sandy putsch and today we're gonna talk a little bit about creative lighting and just really having fun as you can see we've built a brand new set uh this is called our winter fairies I've got a great crew here and some great photographers and they love being creative and coming up with new ideas so we created this or I should say they created this put a lot of time into it and really really excited to see what comes out of it now the main focus today is to talk about lighting and light sources and how we can utilize that so we're gonna go ahead and take a look at some of the different lights that we have and tell you a little bit about how we're using them now the first light we're using is actually gonna be considered our main light this light is actually a bear photogenic strobe I'm gonna pull this out of the way we're just using a really big diffuser here so this is just ah diffuser a translucent to future that we would use outside to block light but in this case we're using a bare bulb strobe and this is a six twenty five a photogenic six twenty five bare bulb strobe and we're just going to sort of shoot it through here just to create sort of a soft our goal is to get more of a moonlight field so this is going to give us that um but we don't want this to be a dark set with all the white that we have in the really dark background we want to create little speculator lights throughout so in addition to our main lights we have a few more ah lights way back here if you can see this this is a photogenic ce and this is also a six twenty five and this time we have a grid spot now the grid spot is actually going to control the light and give us a very tight light that's going to shine right in our centre creating a natural vineyard giving us lighter in the center and fading out to the darkness as you can see the background ends and that's okay because it's going to go black and that's exactly what we want to see our next light is actually a separator light this light we can move to separate this subject off of the background we can also use it as an accent light toe light little areas as well this is also a strip light this has a photogenic ce twelve fifty because of my subject is way up front I'm going to need a little bit more light on her I don't have to push it a little bit harder we are using the grid spots though so there's going to be a much more controlled light and we're gonna be able to focus it right where we wanted to go all right now we're gonna sneak through the forest here all right now here we also have a photogenic six twenty five you can see that for the majority of our lights were using a lower power light because we really want to be able to control it this is a photogenic ce and we have one of the photogenic uh it's a fern l type lens what our goal is with this light is to create a little bit of highlight way back in the back maybe spotlighting that snowball that you see back there I'm just creating little pops of light we don't want it to be too much we don't want to wash everything out we kind of wanted to feel like a moonlit night um and that is just a very natural soft snow scene now the final light is being used as really separator like this would be our fill light this is also off strip light of fourteen by forty eight and it also has grid spots so our main light of course was the light we talked about in the beginning with the big diffuser this is just going to fill the shadow on the subject so that we don't have a really dark contrast and that hatchet e type light so we don't really want to overfill just a little bit so to give you an idea of our exposures our main light is five six and our fill lights or a four point five so four five four five four five four five and five six now the lenses that we're using today we're going to be using the cannon five d I'm primarily gonna be shooting could have that other one is well I'm primarily gonna be shooting the seventy two two hundred but I'm also gonna have a little bit of fun today and shoot a few gonna pass that off then you set that one up I'm gonna shoot some images with our lens babies as well we've got the scout and the composer I'm just going to play around and see what we can come up with using these lenses a little different because you have to control the aperture we also have some fun soft focus options as well so we're going to go ahead and get started I think we covered lights and camera let's go ahead and find their subject were just a little bit more look right at it and stretch it out put it way out there like you're gonna hit it it's crazy okay so that I mean that's something that that was actually just done this uh spring because it was really an associate that wanted to do something different and she designed the set and I told her I would invest in it if she put some effort into it and you know what it's really funny because she's learned a lot about how I work because when she did this the first thing we want to do is a model session right because we want to make sure that we have some good images to showcase and that gave us an opportunity to select the clients but she was very smart about it she went through art she went into our software program and first did a report on who has who our biggest spenders were and then she did who our biggest spenders are that had not been to us in the last two to four years so what she did is she refined and said okay these are good spenders they have been here in a while they've got little girls in the right age category and she contact she contacted them we brought those kids in we did their sessions and those were amazing sales I mean these were sales that I was very surprised this was really something I was doing to give her a creative outlet and I photographed a few sessions to make sure that we had some good solid strong work from my end and then she did a few more and all of us across the border in our biggest sell out of that little fairy session right there was I believe just over I want to say just over five thousand dollars for one order but it was something we'd never done nobody had seen it it was I did not expect that I was very surprised but we had two thousand dollar orders three thousand dollar orders one thousand dollar orders and again it was not it was we calculate what we're doing we picked and we chose the right people to model force right out of the gate we did well then we had strong images and we could start to market on that on that side of it so there's always room for these types of events and you just had our types of looks and you'd have to choose what you want to do when it comes to clothing because we have several massive closets full of children's clothing and that represents twenty four years of collecting but we always say start simple and then expand I always give you the size is because a lot of people don't know if you don't have children it's very hard to know what sizes but whenever we do any special these air the sizes that we purchase we do six to nine months which is usually one size uh eighteen to twenty four months which is one size and then a two tea which is to toddler a three t of four a four or a five is fine and then a six and an eight I also recommend whenever possible to get um like a fourteen or a small adult there have been times where you know I might have a little boy out in the field and this boy won't let go of mom so I'm like mom throw these overalls on and I'll just you know I'm not going to use her as a full body but justice a prop you know where she just laid or I have like adult dresses that I'll say mom just throw this all antique dress on and she's just gonna lay on your tummy or lay on your legs so mom blends into the background her face might not show but she's a part of the image without taking it over the other reason I recommend those bigger sizes is we have had limited editions where you know if you have size eight you know I've had or you know maybe a size twelve I've had a twelve year old walk in that was a nadol tsai's that she was a bigger girl and the one thing you never want to do if you're going to do this you want to make sure that you can cover everybody the worst thing in the world you could do is have a child that comes in that potentially is heavier overweight and all of a sudden you've promised them a beautiful fairy session and now they walk in your fair they can't get into your costume I mean a child that's struggling with their weight has already been through many humiliating moments in their life and you don't want to be sorry one more on top of that you know I would rather have an adult size and make sure that I can cover everybody then have a child that I had to turn away because I couldn't do that on the other side we've had plenty of humiliating we used to dio renaissance like little princes and princesses and at a mom walking once with a fourteen year old boy and thank heavens I had an adult prince costume but I don't know how many boys and fourteen want put tights on not many but it was horrible I mean I felt so bad for this kid because mom found us late in life and she's like oh my gosh if I would've known you I would have had them here every year and I just don't want to miss out there they're still so young and I'm like he's fourteen that's not really prince standard but I had an adult dad costume and so this poor kid you know I literally his mom was one of those crazy you know just doting moms and I could tell this kid is dying inside he can't get out of this but he does not want to put on these tights and finally I turned to him I actually turned to the mom and this is a technique I used all the time but it turned the mom she was one of those licking his hair and driving him nuts and he was just dying and he goes in the bathroom and he puts on these types and you know how he's coming in like figure pose you know drano and mom is driving him crazy I finally turned up and I said can you do me a favor I need you to go down the hall and I need you teo grab some bottles of water and so she leaves the room and as soon as she left I turned to him and I said look I'm gonna be honest with you I know you don't want to do this and I know you're very uncomfortable in that outfit and I know your mom's making you so I need you to know right now I give you my word that you will be sitting in every shot you will never be standing you will never be uncomfortable I just need because he was so angry that I knew I was a kid I said I just need you to do me a favor if you will work with me I will get you out of that costume and out of here very quickly and I swear to you if your mom likes your head one more time I will I swear I will kick her out of the room and I just remember him looking at me going really you know like I I connected with him because he went from me being the bad guy to we're a team and your mom is the bad guy and there was nothing I could do I wasn't trying to you know throw his mom under the bus but I knew without a doubt if I didn't get her out of the room and acknowledge the real problem which were the tights that wasn't that this kid was a mean kid or anything but he was not going to cut me a break I mean I knew just from the way he was acting with his mom I never would have got anywhere and when I kicked her out of the room and I just had that conversation with her uh with him we were like but I mean he kept looking at me and smiling like you know like we had this little thing going in mom just you know I was kind of still driving us nuts but at least we were in control so sometimes you have to make very quick decisions just because you want to make sure that you can you know you could see the big picture that's that street smart knowing what's really happening it's not this is a bad kid with you know an annoying mom this is an embarrassed child with an annoying mom in that case so really with thie you know with the clothing to me it's an investment well spent because you're investing in your clients you might buy some outfits and that means your client's not spending one hundred dollars on a dress they can spend one hundred dollars with you and our clients do you know that my clients at this point in my business I used to promote to clients bring one outfit and we have a ton of others now I have clients who literally walking with no clothing while they have clothing on but they walk in with nothing to wear during the session and you know they walk in knowing that we've got it all we've got everything prepared and then we're gonna you know that we're gonna have lots of options now it's taken me years and tomorrow we're going to show you all the fun clothing and all that also stuff out there some of it is in a bigger investment but my first outfits that I made more money on than anything in the world were simple little white dresses and overalls all of which were purchased at consignment stores because I started out very poor nothing was ever given to me and I literally started my first camera I paid fifteen hundred dollars I borrowed a little money for my dad I paid it off and that was my first camera for six years I my reflector was a piece of cardboard with aluminum foil that I taped on it because that's all I could afford but my first investment in clothing where these little dresses I would go through consignment stores and find little slips and little overalls I paid a few dollars for each of them and I made tens of thousands of dollars off of those original outfits I just bought the sizes that I recommended and little by little I started to grow and these I mean this is so classic it to this day I still consult these it's not my favorite with all the two twos and fluffy stuff I have it's not my favorite but I can't tell you how many clients walk in and they'll I'll give him choices and this is the one they'll pick they like simple and classic and you could see it opened up the door for you know fall scenes we could do fishing scenes we could have tea parties and you know for a couple hundred dollars I was pretty much in the game for quite a while uh tomorrow you're going to see one of my favorite cos this design revolution a lot of the really fluffy awesome stuff we're using tomorrow is is from them so keep that in mind limits edition pricing this is something that's completely up to you we have a low price point the reason we have a low price point is I started to let my associate photographers take over this part of my company I wasn't doing them so I didn't need teo command such a high dollar so you can see here we have packages that start as low as one ninety nine and a big package with the twenty four by thirty eight ninety nine that is heavily discounted off of our regular prices so that's something that we just felt like you know this is a more of a volume type thing these sessions are done every thirty minutes when I did them they were full sessions and it was a discount off of our regular prices here it's actually its own pricing structure I've seen everything from people calling these quick takes two people it's funny I know some photographers that this is their low end super cheap and I know some photographers who will do the exact same ferry the exact same look and it's considered a limited edition and it's twice as much as their regular price because they built it and because they put so much into it so it honestly doesn't matter how you want to look at it if you want this to be your high end product that you want to charge a ton of money for it because you only do it once a year and it's the only time you can get your fairies or it's a volume we're going to do forty five fairies make more money on dh do it that way you could do either way so so that's completely up to you it's just a matter of what your taste is now I think we're at a break time and I'm gonna break here because this is perfect I think we're gonna end this show right about on time next we're gonna segway into video fusion I wanted to talk about this a little bit today because I wasn't sure if I was gonna get to it anywhere else and I want to talk about utilizing your camera as a resource to create a new product how can you take yourself to that next level what's out there so I think this is a good break time right let's ask a couple questions do we have any questions in the audience they bloody well the internet definitely questions um a couple questions about where you get things photo twenty five from alberta canada asked how do you create these sets and get these realistic props like the pond in the indoor studio and then sander kent from british columbia asked where do you get the floor drops and the backdrops I know you said you got the clothes at consignment stores is that is that is that where you get almost all originally it was consignment stores now there's so many boutiques I mean the kid's clothing you know I have a client who is an ace shopper and I always threaten her that she's gonna have to shop for me but you know what her kid's coming in the most amazing fluffy frilly cool things and she gets everything on ebay like she's just ebay aholic and all these cute things that somebody spent a hundred dollars on this little fluffy skirt for a two month older for a three month old she'll buy it for ten bucks so ebay is a great resource design revolution of course if you just want to go crazy and get there and just you know if the's items they're at a price point that you know you have to make sure it's in your budget but to me they're so worth it because every one of them has paid for itself ten times over so for me originally it was consignment stores because I didn't have a lot of money then it was you know lower and props and now we I invested in some higher and stuff so as far as the actual props though that we use my first ferry mushroom you know those big cable companies they used those who I don't even know what they're called around the schools yeah the big schools the first mushroom I ever did was a school and I built up fabric are built up fluff so that I had a mushroom top was stapled it all over spray painted it for hours and it was pretty ugly but in pictures with all the fluff and stuff around it was it was it was doable so we built our original bridges eventually there used to be cos that did big props and set designs a lot of those don't exist anymore a lot of them you can find them on photography forums and websites that air they're closing out for sale but almost anything I pretty much everything we use we can make realistic is important so like when we do little fliers we find real airplanes the train that's another one the train museum every community I swear has at least a train car or a train or a train museum so we worked with the local train museum and we said look I'll pay one hundred or two hundred dollars to utilize the park all day because normally entrances five bucks ten bucks and I would say if I paid two hundred dollars to shoot here and I bring clients all day long on and they'll pay an entrance fee you know can I shoot here and they loved it because we were bringing twenty clients a day so now all the sudden we're at the train museum and we've got all these rial trains and just beautiful props so whenever it can use riel planes and real trains and you know real swimming pools that would be my ideal but when it comes to the fantasy stuff most of which you could just buy it at the local craft stores and make it yourself and you also that's where you get the backdrops backdrops their silver and the majority of the backups trebek tractor seeing now are silver lake and we're gonna have a ton of cool once tomorrow and I know they have a really great offer as well but silverlake backgrounds I love they have what they call color smacks and the variety is amazing and they're wrinkle free and so we used the heck out of them that's all definitely my number one resource but there are other companies that produce awesome backgrounds well we have a few from west got a cz well and so you'll see those tomorrow but my original backgrounds I would honestly and truly and this really goes out to the people who are just starting out my father was a painter and he would bring home those big paint canvas is that you cover the floors with and I would I literally would sit out in the summer and paint thes and unfortunately they had seems and things but I didn't have any more money so I would just paint my own campus is my first very background was one that was just one of those campuses that I painted browns and dip textures and then put a lot of greenery in front of it so if you couldn't see all the seams and things and it worked brilliantly and that was you know maybe a thirty forty dollar investment so backgrounds nowadays though I mean color smacks you know an eight by eight background few hundred dollars it's almost hard not to just want to buy it completely done it's a lot of work to hand paint your own background so so yeah there's there's different resource is there this is going back nathan j from north carolina had asked how do you get schools to put um like your material's out to students and parents since most schools have contracts with company for school we don't even pursued I mean when I used to when I started school photography I would go to the schools and I would win those contracts so I would go in and I would percy the contracts and with that there's a lot it's hard because there are a lot of big companies that kind of ruled the roost nowadays but on the other side of it I would go in on a personal level that's the one thing that you can offer that a big corporation can is a true relationship and so where the big companies win is they do kickbacks to the sky fools they get money back on the portrait cells so sometimes it's hard to get in there so after I started battling that I had a few school accounts they were good I was doing there was a lot of work for the money I was getting that's when I switched over to you know why fight a school why not just I offer my services and have clients come to me and not even worked through school and it worked really well so even if I worked out of my home I still did when I worked at home I still did school portrait it's just the clients came to me and one of the questions I always get is well how do you get the kids out of school but you know what I told parents parents if they're if they say something like well that's during my kid's school I say you know what's kind of like a doctor's appointment if you're gonna get amazing images it's probably worth taking him out for thirty forty minutes and it was never an issue we feel every slot with no problem so so question from uh from stephanie uh who's in south carolina did you have a name for what type of session would you call the one that you had with the overalls and the white dress for example of fairy mini session or one what with the overalls a white dress that was called spring special okay and that was photographed in this spring and that was right when the grass came up and everything was green so that was really the children running through the field of wheat kind of a thing and then the same overalls in the fall we had some uh brown dresses and some what's the word I'm looking for linen dresses some like earthy total dresses and little boys were the same overall so in the fall it was the fall special and it was wagons and will barrows and pumpkins and all that stuff so it was really a matter of very very simplistic props for the spring special I mean I have you're going to see a video of my van tomorrow that I used to run around but in spring I had a wagon a swing set that I could hang on any tree I just had rigged this little rope thing I'll show you so wagon a swing set and a little like a wheelbarrow and a tea set and then in the fall it was wilbur did fall wheelbarrow ofall swing and picnics that that was fall colors and that just really simple stuff I mean all of this stuff could be purchased it at goodwill for the most part question from mary from costa rica who says I've noticed on the photos you're showing today most of the kids look under eight years old is there a market for photographing preteens ten to twelve year olds well I don't want to say I never want to say there isn't because somebody will shoot me down and prove me wrong but I don't market to preteens because we've tried that but as I explained before our market bases really we're marketing up to eight years old it's not that we I don't like older kids but they're too busy they're active in sports and frankly the honest truth is and we all know this they kind of I mean you go through that really awkward stage between eight and thirteen it's just weird like your teeth look like this and we love our children but most parents don't want to invest thousands of dollars in you know teeth that are sticking out the wrong way or braces or you know that awkward stage and what we find is they end up coming back right around high school seniors so I've had there was a whole eight ten years ago there was a a photographer that tried to invent an entire like system for the teens almost like a mini graduate and it just it just didn't work because just people aren't they my opinion is they're not going to invest in that and that's okay because there's just always up incoming children so I purposely all the stuff that we did were purposely focusing on those little ones because that's going to be our target market

Class Description

Sandy Puc' returns to creativeLIVE for her Tots to Teens workshop! Sandy covers all aspects of creating a successful photography plan that spans from the young toddler years to the early teens. She shares her creative marketing ideas and practical business sense to attract and keep happy clients, and you'll learn how to create repeat customers—and stable income—by continually bringing clients back to update their child's portraits as they grow.

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