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Thread: Family Portrait photographer wanted + advice [melb]

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    Member shakes's Avatar
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    Family Portrait photographer wanted + advice [melb]

    I'm unsure of the correct spot to put this so I'm sorry if it shouldn't belong here.

    As a xmas gift to the grandparents this year we are planning on getting a family portraight + some individual ones as well and looking for some recomendations of where to go. Or even the best way to find someone, looking for a more natural shoot as opposed to the super soft shopping centre sorts.

    Quite happy to spend up to ~$1k for the shoot a couple of prints and hopefully the disc with the hi-res shots on it. But am also very unsure of prices and practices as we have never looked into this kind of thing before. Am I even in the ballpark price wise? do the pro's give out their shots on disc as part of the shoots at all?

    Any other advice on the subject that people think is relevant would be great too.

    Cheers

    Simon

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    As a member of AP, you have probably seen the varied discussions at times about the number of photographers out there and the quality of the results. Finding a good, experienced professional photographer who knows what they are doing and are not some 'facebook based wanna-be' is hard work. I think you are doing the right thing by asking. Ask on AP, ask work colleagues, friends who have gotten married in recent times etc. These are the people who can direct you to someone local, who they may have used, and are happy with the results.

    Visit the AIPP website and do a search for a member photographer in your area.

    Once you have a list of potentials. Call them and arrange a meeting. Meet ALL of them before making a decision on which one you will use. Consider the quality of their work, their price (some may be way outside your budget), their professionalism. Do not tell them your budget (cause if they were going to charge $600.00, and you say your budget is $1k, some will then tell you a price to match your budget, while rubbing their hands with glee behind their back). I am not saying all photographers do this, but somepeople do (in all industries). Ask them how many years they have been a professional photographer for, ask them what gear they use (a 450D and a 18-55 f3.5-5.6 - kit lens - suggests a newbie to professional photography). Ask them if they will give you the photos on a disc (as this is one of your requirements). Do they have a website? Are they a member of the AIPP, what membership level? Ask them about enlargements, framing, canvas prints, etc. Are they endearing? Would you want this person spending time with you and your family, sometimes a person's personality is not compatible.

    All your questions will give you a feel for the photographer, their skills, and thus their ability to meet the standard you want in an end result. Treat the whole process like you are the employer looking to hire the best person to work for you.

    Do not sign on the dotted line at that first meeting. Go away and once you have had meetings with all of your prospective 'employees', then sit down and talk about them and make a decision. You want someone who fits in with your budget, but who is also going to provide a high quality result.
    "It is one thing to make a picture of what a person looks like, it is another thing to make a portrait of who they are" - Paul Caponigro

    Constructive Critique of my photographs is always appreciated
    Nikon, etc!

    RICK
    My Photography

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    Its certainly going to require some window shopping first.

    Ricks offered some good advice. So I'll try not to repeat whats been said.

    I would definitely seek a full time, professionally accredited photographer - a member of a professional association is a strong recommendation - a member of AIPP
    www.aipp.com.au - find a photographer
    http://www.aipp.com.au/imis15/AIPP/W.../FindAPro.aspx
    or
    www.acmp.com.au
    acmp.com.au/find-a-photographer

    Different photographers have different approaches. Some are happy to include digital files, some simply prefer to show and sell you finished prints. If its something where you are looking for a finished product as opposed to a large quantity of images that while they may all be available to you on a disc, you may never really get to use them again.

    So I would definitely go and meet a few people to see who would fit your requirements, and who you would personally feel comfortable and confident dealing with.

    This is a request for a professional product, so I'd reccommend dealing with a professional photographer - and by that I mean someone that approaches meeting with you in a professional manner.

    I personally know of a number of quality professional portraits photographers who are based in Melbourne, and I would be happy to recommend a few in a personal message to you. Just remember that many portrait photohgraphers have a business model that relies on a fairly low cost session on the (clearly predefined pricing basis) assumption that they will sell a number of prints to you. So while the initial cost may be low to begin with, (thats a typical loss leader commercial approach, that you will even see in food supermarkets), the price is not costs effective to the photographer until they upsell you some prints. And when they have done their job well and produced some fabulous and emotive shots that you will treasure and value, the temptation to exceed your budget is likely to occur.

    For the information of many, and without getting into too deep into a discussion on the business of photography, many inexperienced or wannabe photographer fail to understand that standard portrait business model. So they will offer a loss leading price and even try to beat an already unsustainable portrait package price, without understanding that it will simply not be economically viable. Resulting in the lack of motivation to produce something that is going to tempt the potential consumer into spending more than they had planned (again the basic principle of consumerism - so dont bother knocking that one, its what most marketing business plans are based on).

    To explain that point simply, a cheap package, where everything is included, may not be a worthwhile investment, as once the package has been bought there is no motivation to exceed the expectations of the consumer.

    Anyway, as I said, as I have a decent knowledge of who is who, I would be happy to suggest a few people for you to look at. And if I'm given the OK I will post those recommendations on the forum. So admin just let me know if that would be ok ?
    William

    www.longshots.com.au

    I am the PhotoWatchDog

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    Thanks for the input. If you have a spare minute a couple of recommendations would be sensational Long shots.

    I cant promise we will take them as it's in the hands of my partner and her sisters. But will definitely take it on board.

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