Today was the first day I did a “so called” quickie two look shoot.  I wish I could say it was a quickie but it wasn’t and probably never will be.  I priced it as a quickie but didn’t shoot it as a quickie…I guess I’m just not a quickie kind of girl.

I just don’t know how to shoot quick.  I’ve stripped my comp card price down to the bare bones.  Cut out what I can to clients who aren’t signed to an agency.  Instead of potentially spending a full day shooting an unqualified client I can spend a couple of so called hours.

The local agencies want a contact sheet and proof cd.  They will not go to a web gallery to choose images, they want to view a contact sheet so they can compare images.  I can’t blame them I don’t like going to a web gallery either.

I shoot a 1 gig card per look and edit this down to 20 keepers.  Snail mail a proof cd the images are 400×600 pixels with a proof watermark on them.  I make a 12″x18″ contact sheet file, 5 across and 4 down.  This is a great size because it can be cut up and laid out as the back of a comp card and it’s pretty close to an actual card. They make an appointment with a booker and the booker chooses the files they want retouched.  The client emails the file numbers and I snail mail a final CD.  Lots of post work, but it’s want the agencies want and I have  no say so, you do what they want, not what’s easy for you.

For my new two look price I’m providing studio shoots only (no location) a web gallery and emailing the final images with a printing release. Done deal.

So today was my first two look shoot.  Tammy Pore did the makeup and the first thing I realized was that I didn’t tell the client to come hair ready.  My complete comp card pricing includes hair.  My new two look shoot  only includes makeup, so that was the first hiccup, no big deal, Tammy had it covered.

But what is a big deal are bad, unkempt, improperly shaped eyebrows.  Tammy just can’t let a bad eyebrow slip by, and I can’t blame her.  How do I state to the client that she has to do her own hair and mention their eyebrows (they usually don’t know they have bad eyebrows).  Tammy spends a lot of extra time and knows she will not be tipped for it but does it anyway.  Clients rarely tip at photo shoots, but I feel if she puts in a lot of extra work shaping them they should.

So I might be saving myself a bit of post work time but my shooting time is still the same, slow.  I make up a lot on the spot and I struggle quite a bit getting what I want.  Once I figure it out I shoot lightening speed but I’m really slow in the starting gate.

I have always passed on shoots when/if I find out the model doesn’t qualify, as in I’m 5’4″ weigh 160 pounds and One Source Talent said I could be a commercial model…pass.

My new price is based on anyone who wants to add to their book, submit to agencies or just have a fun day of modeling.  I’ve got my head shots down pretty well but still need work on my full body, not as enjoyable or quick.

Catalogs are a great way to see how photo shoots are done.  The sets are relatively shallow and simple.  So I’ll have to refresh my train of thought…stay tuned.

2 comments category: Comp cards,Makeup artist,Modeling Agencies,Photographing models

1 Mary DuPrie June 29, 2010 at 9:24 am


I’ll never shoot for Vogue, and I don’t plan on moving. The reality is I live in Detroit, just trying to get by…


2 Aurora Vanderbosch June 29, 2010 at 8:21 am

Another great, informative, post, Mary!

I’d only gotten a few sentences into it, when I was already mentally formulating questions…but before I finished them in my head, you were answering them.

The internet is full of wonderful tutorials and how-to’s, but so much of it is on a very high “polished,” almost “idealized” level–there’s not enough of the day to day, nitty-gritty stuff–which is more the reality than the ideal, and in many ways, more useful than the ideal.

I can’t tell you enough what a terrific reality check it is, hearing the more mundane, day-to-day “working it out” part of the business.

Thanks, as always, for sharing! 🙂


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