[BIFFF] Predator

My subjects today are a bit frightening.

Predator cosplay

Predator Alexandre Lartaux

[Client] Pepsi and Beyoncé nail art

Pepsi nail art>

Half may the pop artist Beyoncé was supposed to give 2 shows in Antwerp. For this event, the people of Pepsi launched a short campaign to promote Pepsi and their link to Beyoncé. They asked Rebecca Lal, champion of Belgium in nail art to create a tutorial for painting the swirl of Pepsi on your own nails.

That’s how I ended up in a very unfamiliar place on morning in April, to shoot the illustrative photos for the tutorial. The result is the flyer you see above.

It was a fun assignment to do and definitely a challenge to photograph.

Frustrations of a photographer

Frustrations of a photographer - Véronique

As I already mentioned in my previous post What does a photographer cost? I’m writing a series about the frustrations of a photographer. In this post I’ll be talking about things that annoy me when sending quotes or receiving certain request from clients.

I made a small list with my most common frustrations and I also explain why I think these are frustrating, annoying or even insulting.

Disclaimer: I do not mean to offend anyone, but if you feel offend, accept my apologies in advance.

Can you make a photo report, we’ll give you free tickets

This request is one of the reasons, I started this series of articles

My job as a photographer is to create photos, during an assignment I’m focused on that task and I can’t really be part of whatever else is happening during the party/conference/show/award ceremony. So I’m sorry but tickets aren’t very useful.

Although it can be a really interesting subject for you and others, the subject probably is outside my area of expertise and doesn’t really connect with me.

You’ll get photo credits.

This seems to be the golden ticket for a lot of companies/magazines/newspapers/…, it doens’t matter if the photos will be used in a commercial or non-commercial publication. The logic being that it’s an honor as a photographer to be published. It may very well be that I think it’s an honor to be published, but that doesn’t mean I don’t want to get paid for the work I do/did.

My credo is, if I do something for free it’s my decision. If there is any money involved (entrance, sponsoring, advertising purposes, …), I’m not doing it for free or credit.

Our budget is limited to xxx

This is usually a reply after receiving a quote, meaning: Can’t you do the same work for less money. I’m really sorry but I can’t, have a look at my previous post What does a photographer cost?. However, what I can do for your budget is adjust the quote and reduce the workload.

We’ll need to photos by tomorrow morning xxam.

A question that always follows at the end of an assignment and wasn’t mentioned at the time of the quote. Off course that’s possible, but it does cost more because it does require a lot more effort.

For example delivery by the next morning, means I have to process everything during the night and it does happen quite often I’m working till 3-4am to get everything delivered on time.

This also means, I have to adjust my planning for the next day. If I know before the assignment that I have to process everything the same day, I can take that into account when planning.

Everything is possible, but I would prefer to know about it beforehand.

We would like every photo you took.

This one I do hear less and less, but it still happens. Sending you all photos isn’t possible. A good photo is a process of improving the previous photos. In the end a client only cares about the great photos, that can be published, there is no use to deliver every photo.

This is something every decent photographer will confirm. It only hurts my image as a photographer.

Our payment terms are xx

As a freelancer it’s not easy to have a decent cashflow, if clients decide to pay whenever pleases them, a cashflow is none existing. It can’t be that hard to wire money, can it?

I can continue for a bit, but I think I covered the most important ones.

The next post in this series will be about the remarks a photographer receives

[April fools day] Digital is dead, long live film photography

[UPDATE] This blogpost was an April fools day joke, I will still be doing digital and film.

Vredebox: the start of my film photography

The last 2 weeks were very quiet over here and I’m sorry for that, but I have a really good reason for it, several reasons as a matter a fact. First of all it just have been very busy weeks, with a 4 day trip to the UK, a lot of shoots and other work. However the most important reason is that I have been struggling and debating with myself to make a lot of changes in my photography business.

6 years ago when I started this business, it was a second income and a hobby. That has changed a lot since then, not only the way I look at it, but also my own photographic style, life but also the medium I use for photography. I started out doing everything digital but I felt like something was missing in the way I was working. When I started photographing on film a couple of years ago, I almost immediately knew what had been missing till then.

Since 2009 I have come to master the whole process of film photography, starting with the different types of cameras, developing my own film and even printing in the darkroom on different surfaces. That also brought an important change, I was spending less time at the computer. Spending less time at the computer was one of the arguments to become a full time photographer, because I used to be a front-end webdeveloper.

Because of all the reasons I mentioned above, I have been debating to quit doing digital photography for clients. Don’t get me wrong, this is a huge leap and I did not make this decision overnight. It’s been on my mind for some weeks now and I also have been investigating the whole thing, to make sure it is possible. So now that I have convinced myself that it is possible, I’ll just have to jump in the deep end.

From today on I won’t be doing any digital photography for clients and will only focus on black and white film photography!

What’s the impact of my switch to film photography for you as a client?

All in all, not that much is going to change, a list:

  • I’ll still be shooting events, advertising and portraits like before, the only difference is that everything will be black and white
  • Everything will still be billed on a project basis, I won’t charge per roll of film or hourly.
  • You’ll still get a selection of the images in high res and web, but the originals will be on black and white film
  • My standard post processing time will stay 5 working days, the only difference is that processing on location won’t be possible anymore
  • The biggest change is off course the lack of colour, I will only be shooting black and white.

During the coming weeks, everything here will change accordingly. I wanted to have everything ready to be changed today, but due to the busy past weeks, that didn’t work out.

I’m very excited for the future and hope that all of you will support this change and help me get the word out by sharing this blogpost.

Marathon portrait session in the snow

Portrait session Kristof

I got a request from the people behind UITpas to do a small Project 30303030 in the end of January. They asked if I wanted to shoot 8 portrait sessions with members of UITpas in one day.

So the 26th of January, a particular cold and snowy day in Aalst, I set out to do just that. Here are some of the results.

Click on the photos to enlarge them

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Florida grapefruit at Wasbar

Florida pompelmoes evenement in Wasbar Gent

Monday I was asked to shoot the smoothie workshop of Florida grapefruit in the Wasbar in Ghent.

It felt a bit like summer in the wasbar, with the smoothies made by Bart of Bartenders on the road. One of the perks of being the photographer, you get to taste everything.

Florida pompelmoes evenement in Wasbar Gent Florida pompelmoes evenement in Wasbar Gent Florida pompelmoes evenement in Wasbar Gent Florida pompelmoes evenement in Wasbar Gent Florida pompelmoes evenement in Wasbar Gent Florida pompelmoes evenement in Wasbar Gent Florida pompelmoes evenement in Wasbar Gent Florida pompelmoes evenement in Wasbar Gent Florida pompelmoes evenement in Wasbar Gent

Lunch beat: Party during your lunch

"Event photography: lunch beat with dj vineyard

Yesterday, Sara saw a tweet from @BartVandeVel, who needed a very last minute photographer for event photography during Lunch beat. I quickly responded and that’s how I ended up in Hotel Thon 2 hours later.

Event photography: lunch beat

Lunch beat is a party with a DJ, food and non-alcoholic beverages during 1 hour over lunchtime in a fancy location. About 150-200 people went completely crazy and had loads of fun yesterday. It was great fun to watch and photograph.

Some of my photos also got published in some Belgian newspapers like HLN.be, La Dernière Heure and Le Soir.

Event photography: lunch beat

You can learn more about the concept over at Lunch beat and for the complete set of photos, check the Lunch Beat facebook album

Electric car in Brussels

Electric car of ABB

Once in a while, everything seems to work out, just as you hoped. This was the case when ABB asked me to shoot an event featuring their electric car in the Jubelpark in Brussels.

The Nissan Leaf had just been cleaned, the location was gorgeous and the evening sun was casting a marvelous light on the arc. The only thing I could think of was, putting the car in a good position and start shooting. The only thing that could go wrong, would have been when the law passed by.

A quick edit in Lightroom and you get a result, that not only pleases your client, but also gives you a nice portfolio image. That’s all it takes sometimes.

[PitsLamp shorts] iMinds advertising banner

iMinds advertising photo

In October the independent research facility IBBT changed it’s name to iMinds. They hired me to do some advertising photography for the resulting campaign.

This image was shot on a green key and extracted in Photoshop so it could be used in the design.

Don’t forget you can still book a portrait session with a big signed darkroom portrait print and decide yourself how much it’s worth: More info

I shoot, you decide: the results

Helena

First of all, a happy New Year to all of you.

During last month I launched a little project, some of you might know this, for the others, here is a short sitwrap. I proposed a shoot on black and white film with as a result 2 a5 and 1 a4 print. After seeing the result, the client got to decide what all this is worth to them.

At announcement and during the month of december I got asked to share the results. So here it goes

The project ran from the 24th november till the 24th of december. During this period I received 4 bookings, here are some facts about the clients.

  • 3 knew me before the project
  • 1 found my action through facebook
  • 1 couple, 2 sisters, 1 family and 1 portraitshoot
  • 20 to 30 photos per shoot

The question I heard the most was: “Aren’t you going to cut in your own flesh with this project?” Here are the numbers

  • 2 to 3 times transport, 2h of shoots and at least 2h darkroom work
  • Cost of the material for every shoot: 50 euro
  • Normal price: 200 to 250 euro
  • Average amount payed per shoot: 190 euro
  • Average extra order: 75 euro
  • Average total amount per shoot: 265 euro

As the results show, the perceived value of the shoot is very close to the price I put on the shoot. I’m satisfied with the results and had loads of fun working with these clients.

Due to the success I’ll repeat the I shoot, you decide project again at certain points in time. Every time the package will change a bit. Follow here for more info.