Usually, when someone contacts you about possibly doing a photo shoot with their kids, you run through the typical steps of going over the time, place, and price just like any other photography gig. But this one started with a conversation about how the client knew that my mother-in-law had baby goats and would love to incorporate one or two of these animals into the photos. Although I haven’t been accepting photography jobs for long, I am the type of person that enjoys a creative challenge. I am also the type of person who enjoys pushing other people to be open to creative challenges. I’d like to go over a few simple tips that helped me run this challenging paid gig good smoothly.
First, timing is everything…even more of it. This is not one of those “I’ll creatively make it work, rain or shine” gigs. I made arrangments with the client to set a date, and that we would watch the weather closer to that date in case we needed to reschedule. I also recommend downloading any app that will tell you the golden hour of the day and allow yourself more time for setup than your typical job. There are several on the market that for a reasonable price will let you even pick a day on the calendar and see when the golden hour will be in advance. I needed to obtain the goat and transport it to the local then meet the client to set up and shoot in a reasonable time so that we didn’t stress out the animal…and ourselves.
Secondly, this job needed backup support. Fortunately, my wife is great with animals and was a big help getting the goat in place and then backing off quickly as I focused on the camera work. For a creative job like this, I wouldn’t be afraid to pay out little of your profit to any helping hand if you don’t have anyone who is willing to do help for free. Yes, you are losing a little cash, but hopefully, you will get some amazing photographs that you can share and show off for new potential clients.
Lastly, don’t get carried away with the gimmick. We spent a lot of time playing around with the goat, and I had to remind myself that we needed to move around and take some standard shots. After a quick scan of the property, we found a nice wood fence to give the client some variety in the package that I was creating for them.
I conclusion, when you are taking on a challenging photography gig, be sure to plan ahead, don’t be stingy or ashamed to hire some help, and be sure to break away from the one idea to offer some shots that you are comfortable with.
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