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Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Bulk Up Your Book

Producing personal photos on a budget

Final Cost

Bulk Up Your Book The two shoots cost $1,763, a considerable expense, for sure, but the result was seven images with which I'm pleased. If you're looking to create stylized shoots, this initial investment is essential. Doing it right and spending the money ensures that your shoot runs smoothly. Keeping people happy with food and having enough assistance and the right equipment generates a more relaxed atmosphere in which to create your images. Whether you're a working professional or an emerging photographer, setting up a shoot like this not only is great for adding images to your book, but it's also an ideal way to learn the production side of the business or keep well-tuned for your next job.

Your portfolio is more than your calling card. It's a tool for showing prospective clients your sense of style, your abilities with a camera and the broad variety of your work. If you don't have the images to support those qualities and abilities, no amount of telling someone you can do it will convince them. Most emerging professionals struggle to build a broad-based portfolio of images, but even on a tight budget, it's possible to create a book that will show what you can do. The key is to spend money where it makes the most impact and use the almighty barter system to get the right people, the right stylists, the right wardrobe and the right locations.

Where The Cash Went
Here's a breakdown of how the money was spent for the two shoots. All in all, the result was seven usable images to add to my portfolio. Do the math, and you'll see that $1,763 was a bargain.

Characters In Living Room Shoot
• 5 Models/Actors $0
• Hair/Makeup $0
• Assistant $250
• Location (bottle of Grey Goose vodka) $35
• Props $17
• Clothing/Accessories $258
• Rental Equipment $267
• Food/Drink $40
• Film/Processing (shot digitally) $0
• Prints/Scans For Talent $20
Total $887

Welding Shop Shoot
• 3 Models $0
• Hair/Makeup $0
• Assistant $250
• Location $200
• Props (cigars, etc.) $15
• Clothing $110
• Rental Equipment $111
• Food/Drink $40
• Film/Processing (two rolls of 220, one roll of 120) $116
• Polaroid $24
• Prints/Scans For Talent $20
Total $876



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