Well, Vancouver sure had a nice dry summer, but now the precipitation is rollin’ in. Fortunately for me, this creates dramatic skies, sunrises & sunsets. Check out last night’s sunset…
Well, that’s it. I’ve completed the last two sessions that involve human subjects for some time now. I’ll be doing mostly cityscape in my spare time for the duration of the fall/winter. Check out some images from my last couple sessions…
I went for a much needed photo-walk in Coal Harbor the other night with a friend and finally had the time to sit down and complete a quick edit. Hope you like…
I received an odd message from my friend Catherine, aka White Cedar, the other night. She was seemingly testing her ability to message me which struck me as a bit ‘off’… let alone the fact that her profile icon was grayed-out and I wasn’t able to reply to her. I just spoke to her and she forwarded me this Fstoppers article explaining what happened to her!!
In about 3 months, the bald eagles will follow the Chum Salmon-run in Brackendale, Harrison and other locations in BC (which I’m not aware of). Anyone planning to capture these guys on-sensor will find the following tips useful…
– Get there and be setup before sunrise (you’ll need the element of surprise; these guys aren’t stupid)
– Use the available dead salmon to place a strategic snack for your bald subject (I know that ‘baiting’ is frowned upon by naturalists, but I use the natural available environment to justify it)
– Don’t even think about coming with anything less than a 2.8 piece of glass unless you plan on sticking to well-lit, sunny areas and are okay with shooting in one direction all day (even then…).
– Telephotos and/or teleconverters will give you the edge
– Consider digiscoping if you can’t afford glass with focal lengths you need: http://www.digiscopediary.co.uk/
– Make use of a blind (I was considering buying one of these at one point, but ended up making a DIY with a PVC conduit frame and stitching cammo-netting together to drape over the adjustable-height PVC cube I’d made: http://www.ameristep.com/blinds/index.html )
The breakdown of my average $400 headshot session
As much as I truly enjoy headshot photography, this is a solid argument as to why I simply cannot sustain or justify this as my primary source of income…
– 2 hours of transportation, setup & tear-down
– The cost of studio rentals (or in my case the studio lease… you’re LUCKY to get a poorly equipped studio for about $30/hour – most charge much much more. For argument’s sake, let’s say you have all you need and rent out a low-end studio for $30/hour at 3 hours total (you’ll be doing hair and makeup onsite so that incurs studio time)… we’ll round it off to $100 after tax.
– The cost of an MUAH (included in my price) – usually about $100-$125
– 2-3 hours of shooting (depending on the ability of the subject to take direction and produce images they are happy with).
– 6 fully edited full resolution deliverables which can very easily be about 3-4 hours of advanced photoshop work
Yes I realize there are many things you can do to cut corners, save a bit here and there and people’s workflow differs, but this is a pretty standard setup for a “professional” headshot session. Doing it in your basement or garage doesn’t count 😉
So in summary you’ve got a $400 headshot product/service, aside from all the usual equipment requirements you have to spend $225 + transportation. Now you’re left with about $150-$175 from your initial $400 price tag and you still have to put in about 8 hours to make everything happen! Even when I graduated to $500 sessions, this just still isn’t a money maker at that level unless you’re booked solid =(
That’s it kids… I’m officially no longer for hire! I will no longer book by the hour and I will never again cater to the level of the industry that I have been for the past 2 years.
I’ve taken the financial burden off of my photography and will be focusing on the passion for my ‘art’. I will be conducting more highly conceptualized, photoshop-intensive and collaborative projects that will depict the caliber of the $1,500 creative projects that I will resume with outside of my 3-$5,000 weddings when I do return on a for-hire basis. Right now, I just feel the need to get back to doing what I love as opposed to having my creative direction dictated to me by the average aspiring model off the street (let alone all the limitations that are imposed by the lack of resources associated with a 2-$300 session)
I’ve got a new job to settle into and a couple more Microsoft exams to write before I come back to plan my exciting new TF creatives. When I do return I’ll be looking for creative talents that are interested and committed to taking things to the next level with me. It’s time for me to distinguish myself from the field I’ve been playing on. With the financial stress gone, I can be an artist again. I can chalk the past two years all up to experience and I’m at least grateful that I possess the ability (and now the insight) to pursue the more profitable areas of this industry. For now, I just want to fall in love with my photography again. I need to. Thank you so much to everyone who’s ever supported, encouraged or inspired me and extra special thanks to the haters and two-faced shit-talkers – I owe you all everything – without all of you none of this would have ever come to fruition! ❤
There’s still more to come from me in the way of photos however. I’ve got a couple of editorials that are about to be published and once they’re printed I’ll be able to release more footage from those creatives. I’m sure I’ll be going through old footage and releasing new edits as well, so stay tuned… I’m not disappearing!