1.) Are my prices negotiable?

I am open to working with you! I came across a blog once, while looking for information on how to price photographers and their services… Before I even had an idea of where to start with my own prices (as a photographer). This is what I found:

The cost of a bottle of water is typically about $1 and its value to you is a dollar because that is what it is worth to you to quench your thirst. If you are walking through the desert, you may be willing to pay a lot more for that bottle of water because its value is now much higher than the cost. How does this relate to photography? Spending a few extra dollars for a photographer who takes an outstanding photo and gets you the acting role of a lifetime is worth more to you than the measly cost of the gig. You should purchase photography services (and anything else you buy) based on value not price. That thinking can change your life, I assure you.” — By Brian (Author of “Photographer for hire: Why a professional photographer does it better than your boyfriend)

Below are a few articles that [I feel] have great information and truth behind what goes into the work… when you’re looking to hire a photographer:

Photographer for hire: Why a professional photographer does it better than your boyfriend.

Why is Wedding Photography SO expensive??

The Photography Business and the American Dream

Zach Arias: Photography Q&A (Here’s where photography is like prostitution…)

2.) Where do I prefer to shoot?

Most of the photo sessions booked with me take place outdoors, and on location. However, my equipment does accommodate indoor venues and event settings. Please contact me for details or special inquires.

3.) What to know when shooting outdoors.

Please understand there are specific times of the day when shooting outside is better than others. Try and be flexible when scheduling your appointment. For example, if you are planning to schedule a session around noon when the sun will be directly over your head, the silhouettes will look much harsher than if the shoot was scheduled earlier or later in the day when the light is softer and less direct. It can be extremely difficult to photoshop dark shadows caused by a light source that is directly overhead, therefore the quality of the image may not have the desired outcome.

4.) What equipment do you use?

I currently use a Nikon DSLR, with a spare as back up, along with various lenses, lighting equipment and techniques.

5.) Where do you buy your gear?

The local Calumet store and various websites (Amazon for smaller parts, batteries, etc.).

6.) Do you shoot RAW or JPEG, and how do you process the images?

I shoot in RAW (also known as NEF) and then I process the RAW images using Adobe Photoshop Elements. I am able to convert an image to any file extension from there. If you have a specific formatting request, please let me BEFORE the session has started.

7.) Do you have any advice for someone just getting into photography?

Shoot as much as you can, and everything you can. Shoot because you love it. Don’t be afraid to try something… even if it doesn’t work out. It all results in learning experience, no matter if that experience was a success or a failure. Really learn how to use every feature of your camera, to the point of where you don’t have to think twice about it. AND BACK UP YOUR WORK! Trust me, from my own personal experience… It’s not a happy time when you lose years of your hard work!

I can’t tell you what type or model of camera is best for you, but I can tell you what has worked for me. My first professional grade camera was a Nikon D40x, which was great when you’re just starting out and on a very small budget. Five or so years later when my funds were a little more readily available and I was ready to take the next step in excelling my quality of work output, I upgraded to a Nikon D7000. Plus, in terms of electronic gadgets, it is just plain lovely to have something bigger and better than before!

Use websites like Amazon, Etsy or eBay to your advantage, but please DO your research and read ALL reviews across different brands before purchasing anything (otherwise, it will be a great disappointment and hassle to return if what you receive is not quiiiiiite as the seller advertised… Been there!). I always buy off-brand back up batteries for my DSLRs. They’re handy and reliable back ups (compared to paying full price) for that moment you need them in planning ahead. There is really no need to buy components with top brand names, when all you need to be on the lookout for is that the chemistry, voltage and capacity meet your camera model’s specific needs.

The same logic can be applied to your tripods, battery grips, chargers, remotes, camera straps and camera bags for that matter. And feel free to get creative with it too! I once purchased parts to solder together a foot pedal trigger (using a custom made reverse polarity guitar pedal from Etsy, and the necessary camera remote cables for parts from Amazon) for a photobooth that I honestly didn’t want to have to dedicate 100% of my time to for a routine event — Okay, so, I bought the parts and had someone else figure out the mechanics… But, you get the point: Creativity pays off.

Lastly, check out the articles that I included at the top of this page under the first question. They are LOADED with so much more information and perspective on the topic!


Copyright © 2002-2019 by Melissa Oglesby, all rights reserved.