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Thread: Family of 13 Portrait Session help!!!

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    Family of 13 Portrait Session help!!!

    Hi everyone
    I need some advice. I have been asked to do a photo shoot for a large family of 13. This includes:

    Family 1 - 2 adults, 2 kids and a dog
    Family 2 - 2 adults, 3 kids, dog & a cat
    Family 3 - 2 adults, 1 child and a dog.

    This is all the one family. They want 1 shot of all of them in one picture and then 3 seperate family shots. The photos are for a gift. Location is yet to be determined but it will be outdoor.

    I have never done anything to this scale before and don't know how to go about with pricing/would you do it all in a day or would you suggest that it was done on seperate days?

    HELP!!

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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    * location isn't as concerning as the day, a nice overcast day will give you smiley faces and no squinting. due to the glare from the sun.
    * Do they want a formal posed shot, with parents seated and kids standing around them dressed in their Sunday Best, and dogs 'sitting' or do they want informal with kids on the ground, interacting with the dogs, etc? You need to know more before we can advise on ideas for shot set-ups.
    * How old are the kids? You may find if you have toddlers etc, that like to run off, get grumpy, tired and more, that doing them as separate shoots might give better results, cause grumpy, bored kids means stressed parents. Maybe do them on the same day but arrange different times. First lot 10.00am, second lot 10.45..etc with group shot at hte end, and prioritise the order based on each family unit dynamic, to ensure the enthusiasm doesn't wane as the shoot progresses.

    I think price wise, you need to work out how long this is going to take you, given the above, and then cost it based on your time, amongst other things. Before you start to consider a price, you need to know how much time you need for the shoot(s), how far you have to travel to the selected location, how much processing time you need. etc etc.
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    OK this is a nightmare waiting to happen I'm afraid.

    Dogs and Cats - hmmm

    OK you say its all one family but its three - then I doubt its one family. For the record the meaning of family - means as a noun: A group consisting of parents and children living together in a household.

    So if all of the three families live in the same household then I'd agree its one.

    Why am I being pedantic ?

    Well apart from the issue that someone is taking the mickey here, because I think they're asking you to photograph 3 families as one, thinking that you will only charge them for 1 family session.

    But also because I'm wondering how you're going to cope with 3 dogs and one cat , with only 1 of the dogs in theory living with the cat - how do you think that they're all going to get along ? Especially at your studio or at a location they they've never been to ??

    And outdoors - well I know what my past cats have been like in a location that they dont know ! And it aint conducive to being photographed !

    Then the 3 dogs - do they socialise together on a regular basis ? I have a dog who socialises with 2 others on a regular basis, and when they get together they have a ball, with big play time going on all of the time. Either you'll be dealing with that or you'll be dealing with a fight between two of the dogs and the cat. Hence my view of nightmare.

    Then you have the people to contend with !

    I wont even go down the cost path.
    Last edited by Longshots; 26-07-2011 at 10:08am.
    William

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    Member jasevk's Avatar
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    I have to agree with William, i smell a rat. No matter how they explain it, it's 3 different shoots here. I'd reply asking whether they'd prefer all charges on one invoice or if it were easier to quote/invoice each individual family
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    William, I agree with everything you said. Everything you all have suspected, hubby & I have as well. Having 2 border collies myself ( both trained ) , I know what disaster can ( and more likely ) will happen especially if they are untrained and socialised.

    I have told the lady who is organising this that if I do agree to do this, I will be charging each "family" seperately and I will do them on seperate days.

    The invoices/quote will be for each individual family.

    Thank you so much everyone for your advice. You have helped me so much. Thankyou!!!!

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    You might like to consider, if you have access to a studio with white background, that you could shoot all of this separately as you've said, and then if you have the lighting planned from the begining - to paste all of the groups together to form one landscape panoramic style family shot. I've done something similar over the years, when faced with similar issues.

    Slightly off topic, but I remember agreeing to shoot a litter of 9 puppies (10 weeks old), and mother - which we did on film over 10 years ago. I assumed small, but they were a large breed (Bouvier des Flandres) which of course I'd never heard of. Well each puppy was about 10-14 kilos, and much bigger than I'd assumed. It took a very patient 2 & 1/2 hours of chasing them around the studio to get them to stay together. Very exhausting, and something that taught me to do better research when asked about shooting some puppies !

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    Sorry this advise looks like it has come too late and you may have already made the decision as to how to deal with this client but here is my opinion...

    I would suggest a family picnic at a park or something. Try and get the large family shot done straight away, (look for elevation and even light, shoot full length so they are more likely to order larger prints ) Then take each smaller family group one at a time for a 20-30 minute family session around the park, create an irresistible family portrait for them and some of the kids/pets individually, all the while the other families are having a relaxing time together until its their turn.

    Sounds like a good earner to me. 3 different orders from the same shoot all done at the same time at the same place. Awesome! Definitely hard work but if I had a request like this and they were a well qualified lead, this would turn into a massive print order.

    12 adults + pets in one good shot = 30x45" canvas = $$$$ (+ individual families wall portraits + solo prints of the kids/pets) Then your talking big $$$$$

    The only issue for me is the 'as a gift' part. This can be a bit of a red flag because if the individual smaller families aren't interested in purchasing images then you potential sales might suffer.

    I suppose it depends on your business model as for how to charge. I charge a small amount for any family shoot ($100 studio or $300 on location) and back myself to make images they will want to buy. Like I said before, having 3 ordering appointments form the same shoot - I see no problem with that.

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    All one family... it's tricky to determine. as peoples interpretations of this might be different.

    What if, I want to organise me and my two brothers for a shoot for my mum? We all have kids now, so a photo of my mum's kids and grandkids would be her 'family' not families? (Not sure I'd include dogs & cats. LOL)

    That said, for such a large group it would be difficult to charge. I have seen some photographers charge a standard amount for a family shoot... but an additional $XX.XX per person after (for example) 6 family members.
    Or invoicing each of the three groups as you have done.

    Good luck! LOL
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    I can only comment from a client's perspective. A few years ago we had some family shots done by a professional studio - 19 people in 5 family groups. We are scattered across a few hundred km so we met centrally and did the family picnic thing like farquar mentioned. If the studio had requested shoots over separate days they would have lost the business. Photog came in the morning and shot various group combos - from memory it only took around an hour or so.

    Quote Originally Posted by farquar View Post
    ...back myself to make images they will want to buy.
    There are lots of 'cross-family' opportunities here: all the kids together; related adults together; related adults plus partners; women together; men together; etc; etc. Many families often don't get the chance to get shots of all the extended family together. (In the case of my family shoot, all together we probably spent over $2K in orders).

    Of course the animals are a bit of a 'wildcard'. However If I was in business I think I'd be trying to work with prospective clients to try to get a mutually satisfactory outcome rather than pre-emtively imposing conditions that might turn out to be 'road blocks' to getting the business.

    I hope it works out well for you...



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    Looks like you are in for some fun.
    Last edited by campdog; 15-08-2011 at 2:22pm.
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    So what was the end result?

    Thanks,

    David

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