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07-20-2011, 08:16 PM   #1
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How Do You Advertise Your Skills?

Hello Everyone,

Right now, I'm somewhat frustrated . The problem is that I'm starting to attempt to pursue some paid work via word of mouth. I have my business cards printed out from Moo (have gone through a few batches already) and have handed them out to people who stated they would be interested in maybe getting some work done by me. My strengths, I feel, would be portraits and event photography (non-weddings, due to a lack of experience). I frequently am finding myself shooting candids and portraits when I can, when I don't have my macro lens, with life-size adapter, in use.

I have received a lot of positive comments from friends and co-workers on Facebook, including some from friends who are semi-pro photographers. One in particular is interested in shooting with me if we can work something out, particulary a wedding, where I can be a second shooter. Due to not wanting to attract a lot of random people to my FB, I have included my Flickr account info on the business card too, which I've noticed has drummed up some attention to my work, but no one has come through.

I don't know what to do, as I don't know when the right time to put an ad up on Craiglist to try to get some people to try me out for free, as I'm trying to get my portfolio as strong as possible. I know that starting out, I won't make too much, but I'm not looking to go pro, just have some extra income come in by doing something that I love to do. I am in charge of taking pictures of my law firm's company BBQ this weekend, so I'm hoping to use that as a huge chance to advertise my goods.

I know that I have quite some good gear for portraits, notably my 50mm range lenses and my Sigma 90mm macro. What future suggestions, lens-wise, would you recommend me to possibly pursue? I have thought of the FA31, for environmental and street shots, the DA70, FA77, and Rikonon 85 f/1.4 for all of my portraiture needs. I do know I need to work on getting some lighting gear, such as flashes and triggers, to assist me with my goals, but the lenses are just a future thought. You can see the gear I'm hauling in my signature.

If you are in the San Francisco area and would like to possibly meet up and possibly take me on as a second shooter, please let me know, as I'm dying to get my feet wet with some new experiences that will allow me to grow more as a photographer.

Thanks,

Brian

07-20-2011, 08:37 PM   #2
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07-20-2011, 08:42 PM   #3
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Hi Brian, I had a look at your flickr and I can't see any portrait work? The best way to get more is to post work that you have already done. I do portraiture and family photos, although at this stage I do it for free. I post my work on my facebook page and I get more work from that as more people see my photos and contact me to get their own. To give you an idea of some of my work you can see some of it here Flickr: myss_terious' Photostream Another place to get people to practise your portraiture on is modelmayhem. I've been approached by a few models who like my work and want to work on a TFCD basis. When I feel I can give a consistent quality amount of photographs per session and I have enough experience in helping pose people, then I'll think about charging. Hope that helps
07-20-2011, 08:44 PM   #4
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Original Poster
Adam, if you look at my Flickr page, do you think I have some shots that I can use to help advertise my work if I do make a profile for myself? I would love to do that if I feel as though I have a strong enough portfolio to build from, especially since my normal, everyday styles of shooting are macro, nature, and street, which I think do help to compliment my portrait and event work.

07-20-2011, 08:54 PM   #5
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Hi Nicole,

I've done a few portraits of my girlfriend and some baby shots, but nothing really like what you've done. This is the type of stuff I want to get into, but don't know how to approach peoples' expectations, even if I offer up some free shoots. I love using the environment around me, since I don't have any studio gear, so I can catch people in the places that fit their personalities the most. How much work did you do prior to you creating a MM account? I have no problem with doing time-for-cd work at all, as I know that I'd be offering up some really nice shots of whoever I'm shooting. I'd like to know more about your story.
07-20-2011, 09:06 PM   #6
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i think i have to agree with nicole, there just arent enough portrait shots on your flickr to show off your skills in that particular kind of shooting. While other styles are nice to have, portraiture and event photography, from my experience at least, is centered on getting shots of people. If you're going to advertise yourself as an event and portrait photographer by using flickr, then you better have some event and portrait photos up on there. If a client were to go check your flickr now, i doubt they'd hire you since they wouldn't know what your portraits and event photos look like.
07-20-2011, 09:06 PM   #7
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To be honest, I shot a friends daughter and she's done some modelling work so that really helped. I also use my children to practise on, but that has a very finite time limit lol. Using someone who has had some experience in modelling is great, because half your work is in posing people. Kids I find hard to pose, so I generally let them do their own thing. I've had my Kx (first dSLR) for almost a year now, have done a short course and loads and loads of reading. Also you could possibly look around for some inexpensive portrait workshops in your area. They usually provide models and you will learn a lot. It should also give you some more photos for your portfolio

I don't have a studio either, I just use a clothes hanging rack and some black polar fleece that I bought cheaply for the background, a cheap umbrella stand and $60 flash triggers When you're learning I don't think it needs to be top of the line gear, until you work out where you want to go with photography.

Actually my smugmug account would give you a broader view of the kind of work I have done. Nicole Wells' Photos | SmugMug
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