What is your typical process for working with a new customer?
Exploring my client's needs is a must and after that everything else will usually go well.
What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?
I started out working with a pro for a short period of time and I learned some basics. After he retired,I'm a self-taught photographer. Watch-and-learn is my style and I've watched many professional training videos and I applied the techniques and knowledge for my photography. It's a trial and error but I found my style. I also worked as a second wedding photographer a few times in the past so I know what's like to be a wedding photographer. But I wasn't allowed to use the photos I took for my portfolio, that's why you don't see them in my profile. When I get an opportunity I'd like to be a wedding photographer.
Do you have a standard pricing system for your service? If so, please share the details here.
My standard pricing for a solo portraiture starts at $150. For a family portrait shoot is $200+ because they not only want a family portrait but also an individual portraiture. My pricing includes my time to get to the location, shooting time, image processing time and prints if my client prefers. But if a client commands a premium package, my price goes up accordingly but I set my price fair to both my client and to myself.
How did you get started doing this type of work?
On one Thanksgiving day many years ago, I took usual holiday pictures with my P&S camera but I thought they looked like snap shots and I really wanted to get some professional-looking photos that my family and friends would cherish for years. That motivation got myself into this photography and I'm still hungry for learning and improving myself.
What types of customers have you worked with?
My clients range from soccer moms to little kids to business men to models...you name it.
Describe a recent project you are fond of. How long did it take?
My most recent work was a little girl's photo shoot. Her parents had a problem with her smile. She just can not smile naturally no matter what they instructed her to do. I like to talk to little kids and I thought that asking her some questions and letting her talk would make her relaxed and feel comfortable being with me and being in front of the camera. And it worked. After a while, she wasn't shy anymore and gave me the look I and her parents wanted. I finished the whole shoot in about 1 and 1/2 hours.
What advice would you give a customer looking to hire a provider in your area of work?
I would say that you should look at his/her past works and get a feel about what you'd expect from that photographer. Their first quote response is also important. Does it sound professional? Is he/she fair about the price? Do they respond to your question? After a few questions and answers you'll get your impression about the photographer. You should eliminate any worry about the photographer and the photo shoot so that you'll feel comfortable about doing the photo shoot with the photographer.
What questions should customers think through before talking to professionals about their project?
You have to know your needs well. Tell your photographer how you want to be photographed, tell him/her how you vision yourself in a photo. This way, you can give your photographer an idea or vision on how he/she should prepare for your photo shoot.