One of the things I am finding in the photography business, is that there are many people who are “price-orientated.” They only want the cheapest they can get, without having to spend much.
Unfortunately, when it comes to portraits, and specifically senior portraits, there ought to more value placed on what you’re getting. The question one has to ask themself is, “Are my kids’ senior portraits worth nothing to me, so that I am unwilling to invest in them?” Senior portraits ought to be worth a lot to parents. They represent the last bit of their childhood. After graduation, they’re all grown up. Is the memory that parents want of their kid’s childhood to be some slightly out-of-focus snapshot taken in the back yard? Or do parents want a piece of art, a collection of images that will be for the next several years displayed prominently in their living room? Are not kids worth an investment, especially concerning the memories of their last year in high school?
In my senior year, many years ago, I was faced with that same choice. I, being the “good” kid, the one concerned about my parents’ finances, went with the cheapest “photographer” I could find. To this day, I don’t even remember his name. The thing I do remember is that the experience flat out sucked! He had no clue what he was doing, didn’t know how to pose me, or what shots to take. He had me decide everything! And then, when I received my pictures, they sucked even worse! I am not one to live with regrets, but I have one, it is that I choose the cheapest route, instead of investing in something that should have been worth much much more!
To this day I do not have one of my senior pictures. My parents were even greatly disappointed in the experience and results! They made a decision that for my 2 younger brothers, they were not going to skimp on their senior pictures.
With that experience in mind, I offer much more than senior pictures. I want to create memories that will last a lifetime for you and your family! I want to give you an experience like nothing else! I want you to be not just excited, but thrilled beyond measure with the experience of “getting” your senior pictures done. I want to make some art that will be displayed in your home prominently for years to come. So that every time you look at it, you will fondly remember your child’s youth; something that will be much more than just nostalgic for you!
I work very hard to research shooting locations, styles, and every thing that goes into making the session personal and extraordinary. I offer unique images that you will not get anywhere else. Think of how excited your senior will be when his/her images are vastly different than all the rest of their classmates! Most every kid wants to be famous. I try to make them feel that way with the experience they will get from me!
The experience you will get with me is personalized. It is not a one-size-fits-all deal. I will listen to you and to your wants and needs. I will help you to see that your child’s senior pictures are much more than just some snapshots in the back yard. I will take the time to create something for you and your family that will be a worthy investment into your high school senior. After all, isn’t your senior worth it?
And that is what I’ve been doing for the past few months. Thinking…and thinking…and…well you get the picture.
I have made no qualms about it before. I am a pastor, husband, and father. Not necessarily in that order. I came to Sheridan over 4 years ago to pastor a church. But I’ve learned, sometimes we have to expand beyond what we are. I love photography; there is no doubt about that. It runs a close second to pastoring the church.
So I spent this past summer contemplating whether I wanted to pursue photography in any way. Do I want it to be a second job? A second career? Or not mess with it at all? I did nothing in regards to it at all this summer. No new blog posts. No Facebook updates. No portrait sessions. Nothing.
I’ve come to the conclusion despite all that, that I do want to pursue photography. Why not? The Apostle Paul was a tent maker. He did what he could to meet his needs. God provides us opportunities to have jobs and earn money. Why can’t I be both a pastor and a photographer?
It is after much prayer and…thinking…that I have decided to pursue photography with all that I can. It will be exhausting. I will not take away from pastoring in any way. I will just have to do both to the best of my ability. I believe with God’s help, I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me!
First things first, I am looking for a motivated high school student who still needs his/her senior pictures done to be my representative at their school. You will earn free things and money for referring other students to me for their senior pictures. You will get a free mini-session to get some pictures for your referral cards. You will then have a full session at a later date of your choice to get any pictures you want done. This can be earned free with just 3 referrals! It all depends on you as to how much you earn! You will receive 50 referral cards to pass out to your friends. If they bring that card to me and get their senior pictures done, that counts for you and earns you money!
It won’t be too hard; your pictures should sell themselves. Call or email me for more info if you are, or know someone who is, interested! Don’t wait, time is running out!
I’m finally getting around to updating this a bit, with some not-so-new images. These are from Annie‘s session last September. But since I started this blog late last year, these were never shown here. Annie is a very sweet cheerful gal! She is a member of FCCLA (Family Career Community Leaders of America) and is the captain of the cheerleading squad.
We had a good time on her shoot, using several different locations in this beautiful valley in which we live. The scenic backgrounds here are gorgeous! We were very blessed to have a beautiful sunset as well. I hope you enjoy these images!
SENIOR REPRESENTATIVES NEEDED!!!
What is a senior representative?
You will simply represent me at your school. You will help me market Panther Photography to your peers and getting them to book me for their senior pictures!
What am I looking for in a senior representative?
I am looking for seniors who are fun, outgoing, involved, adventurous, creative…you need to be up for anything! I need seniors willing to try out new poses, new locations, and bring their individual style and flair to a photo shoot! I want seniors who are willing to be supermodels for a day and have fun! I need seniors who are willing to go out of their way to promote my business and be excited about their pictures!
What do you get out of it?
Well…..sort of. You have to earn the rewards as payment for a job well done. Basically, the more kids that book with me, the more goodies you get.
How does it work?
You need to apply to be a senior representative. Once you are chosen we get together in April or May for your portrait session. That session is all about you and what you want to accomplish with your senior pictures. Creativity is a must! At this time you will be responsible for a $75 session fee which is earned back with three referrals and will be applied to your print order. Why a fee? Well, history has taught me that kids need a little incentive to get out there and get the referrals. And, well, if you don’t, I still need to be compensated for my time. Being a senior representative is much like a job. You do your job, I pay you.
After your session we will work together to choose the best to put in your 4×6 brag book. Then, you get your brag book and a set of personalized referral cards to hand out to your peers. You need to show them the pictures in your book and convince them to book their senior portraits with me.
You will also be required to have one of your senior images as your Facebook or MySpace avatar until December of your senior year. One FREE unwatermarked image will be given to you to use.
You will be asked to not represent another studio during your time as a senior representative for Panther Photography. You will also be expected to not seek additional senior portraits at another studio. Basically, Panther Photography will be the only supplier of your senior pictures.
I also will help you to keep up with any promotions I am running and expect you to inform your peers any way you can to take advantage of them.
I also use your images on my marketing materials, Facebook, and website.
We will do your session when it’s convenient for you. When you’re ready to order, we will meet to see the proofs of your session and place your order. I’ll total up the referrals and you can choose your gifts at the end of your senior year.
That’s it! Easy, right?
So, how about those freebies?
Well…..each referral earns you $25 print credit OR 16 wallets. Remember, at 3 paid referrals you earn a FREE Budget Portrait Package! Or, you can choose a gift if you’re not interested in print credit!
And the gifts….well…they will be awesome!
I’m offering tons of stuff, including gift cards to some really cool places! I’ll have more details and more choices on this later. Some other possibilities may include tanning and massage packages, electronics, and more! I’ll let you pick where you want to get your gift card so you can pick your favorite store.
- 1 referral: You get to keep your brag book!
- 2 referrals: FREE 2nd Facebook Image
- 3 referrals: FREE Budget Package or $25 cash/Visa gift card!
- 4 referrals: FREE DVD movie of all senior images!
- 5 referrals: $35 cash/Visa gift card!
- 6 referrals: FREE Mill Creek Package or $50 cash/Visa gift card!
- 7 referrals: FREE 25 Graduation Announcement Cards
- 8 referrals: $75 cash/Visa gift card!
- 9 referrals: FREE 50 Graduation Announcement Cards
- 10 referrals: $100 cash/Visa gift card!
- $50 cash/Visa gift card for each referral after 10!
- 15 referrals: Free iPad 16GB WIFI or iPod Touch 16 GB!
Get your class to book me for prom and get credit for 2 referrals!
Refer a model to me from a non-covered school and get credit for 2 more referrals.
* This program is used with permission from rfp Studio (http://rfpstudio.com/information/). Referrals are other seniors you send to me who order their senior portraits through me. They must not only take their pics with me, but have place a paid-in-full order. Just handing out your cards do not constitute a referral.
MCP Actions is a great resource to get some very awesome actions for Photoshop! MCP is run by Jodi Friedman. If you want to improve your photos and processing workflow, MCP Actions is the place to go!
I’ve downloaded a number of their actions and have found them to be absolutely wonderful! There are two that I use all the time: her Facebook actions and her High Definition Sharpening. Other actions I have and use are: Touch of Light, Touch of Darkness, and the one I just downloaded, Mini-Fusion.
You can download the Mini-Fusion action from MCP now for free! It is a small preview of their upcoming Fusion action set that is due to be released in March. Here is a little bit about Mini-Fusion from the MCP blog:
“With just one click, you can inject new life into your photos and enjoy stunning color conversions. Optional tints and exposure fix layers let you customize your images to get the look you want. Download this action in one of two ways: from the MCP Facebook Page (“Exclusive” button under the profile image) or from our website.”
If you use Photoshop and want some valuable resources to help improve your post processing, then MCP Actions is the way to go!
This is the revised version of my earlier shot, but now with some changes I wanted to implement. At least in this one, she is in her game jersey. In retrospect, I wish I had composed it a little differently.
Key Light: 1x YN560 in a 40″ SK umbrella softbox, at 1/2 power, with a 1/4 CTO gel, camera left, about 5-6 feet away, and raised about 2 feet above Daijha
Hair Light: 1x YN460 at 1/16 power, bare, on a light stand behind Daijha
Background Light: 1x YN560, bare, on a light stand, at full power, zoomed to 105mm, with a snoot, and gelled with an indigo gel
All flashes triggered by Cactus V5 triggers.
Camera: Canon 1D Mark II
Lens: Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8
Shutter Speed: 1/250
Focal Length: 51mm
Daijha let me “experiment” with some ideas I have for senior portraits.
This is pretty close to what I had conceived in my mind, but there are some things I would try differently. That is the way to learn! I wanted her in her game jersey, but the room the uniforms are in was locked. We’ll do that for next time.
It comes close to what I have envisioned. I will have to use a snoot to concentrate the flash on the Panther logo a little better.
I used two flashes for this, both Yongnuo YN560’s, triggered with my new Cactus V5’s.
There was one camera left, on Daijha, at 1/8th power, gelled with a 1/4 CTO gel.
Second flash was about 30 feet behind Daijha pointed at the Panther mural at 1/4 power zoomed to 105mm, gelled with an indigo gel.
This was taken with my Canon 1D Mark II and Tamron 28-75 f/2.8 lens. Camera settings were:
1/250, f/2.8, ISO 50, Focal length 55mm
Lance wanted some shots with his dog, Lucky.
Lighting on this one was all natural.
I used 4 layers in post processing. I’ve been experimenting with some post processing techniques to find “my” style.
I wanted to use natural light since the sun was shining with some clouds. I am becoming more and more convince that I prefer off-camera flash.
I’m playing with a new program called PhotoTools 2.5. This program makes some post processing techniques a lot easier. It is a Photoshop CS 5 plugin and works in sync with Photoshop. It has over 200 different processes to experiment with.
I also added a scratch layer in Photoshop. I am trying to improve my processing and also find “my” style.
Lighting was with one of my Vivitar 283 flashes on a light stand. The wind was blowing a bit to hard for me to use my shoot-through umbrella, so it’s bare, throwing some hard light on Lance. I think this kind of lighting better suits Lance. Flash was on camera left.