What Is Next for Me?
These last few months I have gathered a lot of information, watched a lot of videos, and practiced a lot in not only taking photos but learned how post processing can enhance or even ruin your photo. I've also started my steps into taking my hobby into more of a business, but not fully at this time. I don't want photography to turn into a job, but who also doesn't want to make money?
How did I get started? I first got started when asked by a friend to take pictures of their family for holiday cards. I did some research on how this type of photography is done on the business side, and also decided what if I wanted to venture farther then doing this as a favor. So to make things clear with them; I said I will do about an hour worth of shots, I'll choose which ones I like, edit them, allow you to recommend any changes you would like, and I will give you large resolution 8x10 and 4x6 images you can do with what you want. I decided not to do any legal documents as I wasn't going to use their photos in any way. However, they did send me a holiday card which I just so happened put up at work and people saw it. A few people asked about it, as I normally don't have pictures up in my work space. I was able to get into that I took these photos for them, and allowed them to do anything they wanted with them.
I found out this is hardly ever done, and thought it was actually a cool idea to go forward until I decided on which type of business model I wanted to go through. So I continued to do this, but changed a few requirements. I offered an hour session, and started to charge for the photos once my weekends started to get eaten up for this. I charged 10 dollars a photo, 3 photo minimum. Here, I took the photos I liked loaded them to google drive and allow them to see the pictures. I told them the pictures they would get would be much better and be edited to what my photos normally look like (my style of photos). The ones they chose I did my photo processing and showed them again. They decided if they still wanted them after editing, I didn't offer changes in these photos. Normally at the end of a hour shoot, I had about 30 images that were ok, about 12 that were great and normally had 1 or 2 photos that were perfect. Once they decided on the images, I gave them pre-cropped 8x10 and 4x6 of the photos so they could take them any where and have them printed without needed to wonder how to crop the photo to make it look good on those types of prints. So far, this has been working pretty well.
This lead me into getting bigger into photo processing and working on a workflow, so my photos have a constant look to them that would be my style. This ensures they know what their photos should/could look like without actually seeing them when they choose which pictures they like. Lightroom 4 has been an amazing tool for this, and I continue to learn more functions in it each week. I've made presets that I'm able to just click on and create a common starting points with how my pictures should look, and then I am able to fine tune them. I was able to kick out a total of 33 pictures (counting both 8x10 and 4x6 crops) in less than an hour.
So whats my style? Mine tend to be vivid colored, high contrast, and sharp edges. The other are those that make the picture look like a pastel painting.