Photography

Work for me but for free - Part 1

We all love to get things for free, right? Such a great feeling! And with Juliette, we hope (in a close future) we will have enough income to be able to accept no-budget projects, but in the meantime we do need to make a living out of photography.

Photography services can look pricey, especially when you are not aware of the amount of work and expenses involved in taking a simple picture. While we love when our clients don’t try to lower our rates, we can also understand when they do. Let us explain:

 
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Photography gear is our biggest investment.

Camera, lenses and studio lights all together can cost the same price as a car:

Cameras = $3000 to $5000
Lense= $600 to $2000
External flash= $600 to $1000
Studio lights= $2000

This is just an average, you can find even more expensive material such as Hasselblad cameras who can be around $15000 (oh the ultimate goal!). You can also add more money for all of the other little accessories such as hard drives, memory cards, filters, tripods, extra batteries…

On top of this, you need to include the repair cost. I fixed my camera and two lenses 6 months ago and the total cost was over $1500.

Don't forget the computer stuff.

Computers are a very important investment for photographers. Except the photoshoot itself, everything happens digitally nowadays: editing, pictures delivery, payment and even customer service. Unfortunately you cannot be a professional photographer without a computer anymore. In order to provide a wonderful and artistic work, we have to invest in great equipment. Since Juliette and I travel a lot (Hello from Rome & Paris!), we needed to invest in a light laptop and each of us paid around $1300.

Let’s not forget about internet. It's a must in our industry and it needs to be fast, so boom, more $$$!

We have to get around.

As photographers, we love to shoot in different places so we need an easy way to travel. When we do not have to carry a lot of equipment and we are not going far, we use public transportation, otherwise we drive. It is more expenses to add on our side: cost of the car, gas, repairs, insurance + the time we spend on the road.

Where we shoot also needs $$$.

As you may already know, a part of our boudoir experience is to shoot in beautiful lofts in Toronto and GTA and we do not rend those places for free. The cost for those type of location can be expensive for us: $100/200 per hour. The price to pay to offer the variety and the quality we do.

Let's not forget...

There is a very simple fact that applies to any person who work for her/himself: if you don’t work you are not paid! Which means, we can’t afford to be sick or take a day off for example. We both work every single day because every little actions we make leads to find new customers and develop our businesses (did you know we do weddings too?), especially since we opened less than a year ago. This hard work also has a cost we need to cover in our pricing.

We are sparing you the taxes and insurance involved in this whole bill too, but yep, there are here too.

 
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This is only the material side of our investment, see you in January for the creative one. Yes our awesomeness has a price too (big smiley face).

With Love.

 
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PROFESSIONAL LIFE 101 | 6 tips to create an amazing collaboration

Have you ever tried to organize a party, a dinner and people rsvp'd last minute or even not at all ? You pour your heart and soul into the planning but can’t organize it because you don’t know how many people are coming? This is just one of the many examples of massive frustration. But we have a solution for you.

 
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First of all I want to thanks those fantastic people who have worked with us and helped to achieve amazing partnerships. Thank you guys for your hard work and professionalism, You ROCK.

Sadly, this professionalism is actually quite hard to find. And it stops you from A: creating that awesome project you have in mind and B: having a solid team of people to do it.

Let's review the most common issues:

  • People disappear from the face of the Earth (while updating their instagram feed)

  • People reschedule all the time. (while sharing that awesome cat video on facebook)

  • People cancel last minute. Like when you're already there. (With a snap like "HANGING OUT WITH BAE LOL")

Conclusion: everything ends up sucking. Hard core.

I feel like some people don’t understand the challenge behind a “simple collaboration”. They don’t take it seriously or maybe they don’t even care and don't get me started on the unpaid side of things we deal with sometimes.

Whether you are one of these people or not, we have put together a list of advice you can apply to your daily life, here, take it, it's free and you will make friends.

HERE ARE 5 TIPS TO CREATE AWESOME COLLABORATIONS :

• it all started with... a great communication

Let's face it, being honest all day everyday is not in the human nature and can even be hurtful if you don’t use the good words. 

Don't worry though, for professional collaborations, it is actually not that hard. If you want your project to work, you need to know not only your expectations but also your team's. Honesty and communication from the very beginning will build the game plan. And if you have a solid game plan, you are very likely to get outstanding results.

Pro tip: Since we don’t know intimately the people we are gonna work with, it gives us a chance to stay objective and put our ego aside, yay!

• Don’t be afraid to say “NO” if you can’t do a project.

Apparently in this case, your team members gets a higher chance to get abducted by aliens before (or even in the middle sometimes) of the project you're working on. Joke aside, it's okay to be busy. If you already know you can't make it, just say no. Promise no one will hate you, we might actually respect you more and thus we will still share cookies with you.

 
When we work on a collaboration.

When we work on a collaboration.

 

• AN EXCELLENT ORGANIZATION is a must

If communication is the pillar in a project, organization is the white picket fence around it. The two basic skills are the following:

 1) Plan your trip in advance: Check how long it takes to go to the location, find if there are constructions on subway lines or roads, leave earlier than what GOOGLE or the GPS says. If you drive, be careful with rush hour time.

2) Come ready: Make a list (I have never been a big fan of lists but I found them very helpful, especially when I have a lot on my mind) and make sure you have everything you need before leaving.

• BE PROFESSIONAL (DUH). Even when no money is involved.

I care a lot about this point. I was telling you earlier that it’s hard to find people acting professionnal for unpaid projects. As photographers, we have worked for free a lot and we still do sometimes.  People have the feeling that if they don’t make money for their services when they do a project, there is no need to put effort on it. Wrong !!! If you chose to get on board for a collab for whatever reason, honor it. "Not Paid" doesn’t mean "Not Serious".

• BE INVOLVED. It's more fun and we ain't your mama.

Just because you didn’t start this collaboration doesn't mean you can’t be fully into it. Bring your ideas with you, new suggestions are always welcome.

Another good way to have fun in a project which is not yours, is to take initiatives. Talk to people, create contacts, ask if you can help with anything. When it’s your turn, don’t hesitate to give direction, you know what you have to do, you know your craft.

• LAST MINUTE CANCELLATION will result in a bloody nose.

Ahhh the famous last minute cancellation, a tricky subject! Life is full of surprises and sometimes, we have to deal with a change of plans. If for whatever reason you can'tmake it anymore (and it is actually a legit reason, not a "I didn't wake up this morning y'all"), don't forget other people are counting on you (looking straight at that hairstylist that didn't show up for our latest styled shoot.)

Here is what to do: either contact the project planner to advise him/her on your cancellation as soon as you know. It helps to deal with the damage control that follows.

Second, if unfortunately you have no other alternative than not showing up the day of the project, be a grown-up and find someone to replace you.

Now, you should be ready to fly from the nest, keep your pretty nose, and make new friends to create some new awesome projects. You're welcome.