The Nature, Wildlife and Pet Photography Forum - Fine Art Landscape Photography

My First Two Shows, Advice Please

Posted By: Visceral Image

My First Two Shows, Advice Please - 05/04/11 09:13 PM

I have never done a show, much less something like James did for the Westminister. Based on his excellent article and some of the advice here on NWP, I have decided to do two shows. They are one day events, dog shows for the Bully Breeds. I have reserved a double booth for both shows (10x20) based on James recommendation. I plan to have black, white, mottled red and a gray backdrop; a similar light setup to what James showed except my forward light is a 48x36 softbox.

I have so many questions I do not know where to start. How do you get customers; I plan to offer same deal as James, no sitting fee, only pay for prints? Do you do showing of images on-site or do them later via website? How long between shoots, I am thinking maybe 30 minutes or is that not enough time? These are only single day events so would need to keep shoots fairly short. I will have an experience handler to help me. Please offer any advice.
Posted By: Jim Poor

Re: My First Two Shows, Advice Please - 05/05/11 12:11 AM

How to get customers.

Talk to folks. Will the show promote you?

I'm not a fan of the no fee model. I want at least something up front even if it is bundled into a package.

On site proofing can be awesome if you have time to do it, but if things get busy it's a pain. More than an experienced handler, I'd say you need someone to run your proofing/viewing if you do it on site.

Are taking appointments only or walk-ins?

At my fundraisers, I do 4-6 sessions per hour during the busies times. Proofing is done during the slow periods or after the show on the website. I have had good luck selling pre-paid packages with no viewing at all, but this is at shows where the folks have seen me for a few times now.
Posted By: Visceral Image

Re: My First Two Shows, Advice Please - 05/05/11 02:41 AM

Thanks Jim;

The show has agreed that I can put up prints for advertising; it is relatively small shows so no real advertising. No appointments, only walk-ins.

All the dogs will be Bully breeds so that should help a bit with background selections. I have ability to accept credit cards.

I understand the need for someone to handle the proofing but that would also require time from me to edit the images and setup the viewing so they could do the showing of the images. I just have no clue how busy I will be; it is only a one day show so I expect it will be a bit "fast forward"

I can see the need to do appointments if it starts getting busy.

If I break even or make a small amount over expenses, I will be happy. I just returned from Russia so my primary mission is to get my name seen by others and to also get more experience. There is a big difference photographing tigers in Siberia and dogs at a show.

Jim, I am sure you remember your struggle a couple years to get started in this business. I remember well our exchanges on various threads on this forum and other nature related forums.
Posted By: Visceral Image

Re: My First Two Shows, Advice Please - 05/05/11 02:47 AM

Giving this more thought, I can see dividing the day into 1/2 hr blocks. I do the photography for the first 15 minutes, load the images and quick edit, then handler helps the client with selections and order. If they run longer, I can move on to next shoot without use of handler (use owner or other person as handler, if needed). I can see the value of getting the impulse buy; maybe less clients get images photographed but more commit for orders that day. An 8 hr day is 16 slots of 30 minutes each; I would be more than happy with 16 different sessions.
Posted By: Jim Poor

Re: My First Two Shows, Advice Please - 05/05/11 10:59 AM

The person doing your proofing should be someone you trust to do the editing, culling, etc. Otherwise, they really don't save you much time.

Speaking of conversations from a couple years ago, there was one thread where I was lamenting the choice of onsite proofing. Basically, no time to do a proper edit before showing folks images. I've gotten better at it, but still prefer to sell pre-paid packages and let them select the photos later.

The problem with walk-in sessions is that you'll finish one and there will another standing there waiting. If you're like me, you won't want to keep them waiting or have them walk away, so you'll jump right in. It gets crazy sometimes.

15 minutes sounds like plenty of time for proofing until you figure that even with a very fast work flow, you've got:

1-2 minutes to upload (unless you shoot tethered, but that will be tough with dogs)

2 minutes to cull (and that's REALLY fast)

In your 10-ish minutes left, you'll have clients who won't sit down and get to it, or that take a long time to decide what they like.


What kind of shows are we talking about? Is this a conformation thing, a rescue event or something else?

How will the show schedule affect client availability?
Posted By: Visceral Image

Re: My First Two Shows, Advice Please - 05/05/11 11:23 AM

Thanks Jim

Here is a link to one of the shows
http://www.memorialdaybullyexpo.com/

Thanks for your advice, very valuable. No way would I shoot tethered, I move around to much.

Could you tell me a bit more about pre-paid packages? What are these packages, approx. price range, etc.
Posted By: Jim Poor

Re: My First Two Shows, Advice Please - 05/05/11 11:30 AM

These are the packages I offered at BTCA Nats. Clients bought them without viewing proofs. Some came back later to pick, but I was there for a whole week.

Basic Collection (single pose): $80
-Two Gift Prints*

Expanded Collection (two poses): $120
-Four Gift Prints*
-PLUS 10% off additional a la carte prints

Artisan Collection (Multiple poses): $175
-One 11x14 Wall Print
-Four Gift Prints*
-20% off additional a la carte prints
-20% off digital files

Master Collection (Multiple poses) $250
-One 16x20 Wall Print
-Four Gift Prints*
-25% off additional a la carte prints
-50% off high res disc of all images or individual digital files
* Gift prints are standard prints, 8x10 and smaller. Regularly priced $50 each a la carte.
Free web optimized digital file with each image purchased as a print.
Posted By: Visceral Image

Re: My First Two Shows, Advice Please - 05/05/11 11:51 AM

At first glance, I can tell my prices are way to low.

There will be another photographer there (as a vendor); no idea of his/her qualifications as can not find a website or much on the internet about them.

Maybe a good alternate to on-site proofing is to use my 27" iMac to show the images shot at this event; kinda of like a running slide show that has no human interaction. Of course, that would require I quickly edit some images to put in the slideshow.
Posted By: Julie

Re: My First Two Shows, Advice Please - 05/05/11 11:57 AM

OK, my first suggestion is to get a 2nd website dedicated to pets only. When I go on yours, pets are a distant afterthought.

Here is what I did for our National. Much less expensive than my usual prices. I most bought the upper two offerings and then added on

Posted By: Jim Poor

Re: My First Two Shows, Advice Please - 05/05/11 12:07 PM

Originally Posted By: Visceral Image
At first glance, I can tell my prices are way to low.

There will be another photographer there (as a vendor); no idea of his/her qualifications as can not find a website or much on the internet about them.

Maybe a good alternate to on-site proofing is to use my 27" iMac to show the images shot at this event; kinda of like a running slide show that has no human interaction. Of course, that would require I quickly edit some images to put in the slideshow.


Do you have a name? Some of us may know him/her.

I use the slide show on my iMacs to get folks looking. You can start with a few "portfolio" shots and add shots from the current event as time permits.
Posted By: Visceral Image

Re: My First Two Shows, Advice Please - 05/05/11 12:22 PM

Julie

I have a dedicated website for pets, it is visceralimage.com

It is just not part of my signature line here on NWP but it is the site given to pet related customers.
Posted By: Visceral Image

Re: My First Two Shows, Advice Please - 05/05/11 12:24 PM

Originally Posted By: Jim Poor

Do you have a name? Some of us may know him/her.


Alec Billing's Photography
Posted By: Jim Poor

Re: My First Two Shows, Advice Please - 05/05/11 12:27 PM

Originally Posted By: Visceral Image
Originally Posted By: Jim Poor

Do you have a name? Some of us may know him/her.


Alec Billing's Photography

alecbillings. com/
Posted By: Jim Poor

Re: My First Two Shows, Advice Please - 05/05/11 12:31 PM

To me, his work doesn't do much to dissuade the public from the negative image of the bully breeds, but then again, neither does the page of the event, so maybe that's the direction it takes?

I just don't see the combative, militaristic almost war-focused banner as promoting the breed in a positive light.
Posted By: Visceral Image

Re: My First Two Shows, Advice Please - 05/05/11 12:41 PM

I also found his webpage after I posted his name, somehow it did not show yesterday when I was searching for him.

Seems he is also owner of Bully breed so I expect he is well connected and known well by many. I agree, the event seems to be similar to Daytona Bike Week with many negative impressions.

He does not have any studio images so maybe he is not doing on-site shots, other than outside or in the ring. He has a 10x10 booth; I will have a 10x20

Jim; I am sure many of the owners will want the tough mean look for their portraits but some may also want the gentle side of their dog. I will make sure to get both types
Posted By: Julie

Re: My First Two Shows, Advice Please - 05/05/11 01:28 PM

I unlinked the link, as if they are anything like me, they will look at their analytics to see who is linking to them and that is not always a good thing
Posted By: Julie

Re: My First Two Shows, Advice Please - 05/05/11 01:32 PM

Jim, I don't think it looks like he is promoting the breed in a negative manner. They don't have a sweet cuddly goofy look. They are powerful dogs. They should LOOK like powerful dogs. He is catering to the owners, not pet people.

I don't see the banner as being combative and warlike? Is it the fact it is black? APBT are not bichon's. Its kinda like when I have had non whipppet conformation class people pick my whippets tail up in the air trying to make it look like a sporting dog. I had to tell them to stop, it was wrong for the whippet breed.

I am sure some will be looking for sweet portraits and nothing smiles quite like these dogs!!
Posted By: Visceral Image

Re: My First Two Shows, Advice Please - 05/05/11 01:37 PM

I have photographed a few bully breeds in the past; I love them and their personalities. Personally, I am more of a Choc Lab type dog person but these breeds have a unique charm also.
Posted By: Jim Poor

Re: My First Two Shows, Advice Please - 05/05/11 01:49 PM

Originally Posted By: Julie
Jim, I don't think it looks like he is promoting the breed in a negative manner. They don't have a sweet cuddly goofy look. They are powerful dogs. They should LOOK like powerful dogs. He is catering to the owners, not pet people.

I don't see the banner as being combative and warlike? Is it the fact it is black? APBT are not bichon's. Its kinda like when I have had non whipppet conformation class people pick my whippets tail up in the air trying to make it look like a sporting dog. I had to tell them to stop, it was wrong for the whippet breed.

I am sure some will be looking for sweet portraits and nothing smiles quite like these dogs!!


I think it's possible to show power without menace. The event banner is definitely (at least in my eyes) menacing.
Posted By: Visceral Image

Re: My First Two Shows, Advice Please - 05/05/11 01:57 PM

Originally Posted By: Jim Poor
Originally Posted By: Julie
Jim, I don't think it looks like he is promoting the breed in a negative manner. They don't have a sweet cuddly goofy look. They are powerful dogs. They should LOOK like powerful dogs. He is catering to the owners, not pet people.

I don't see the banner as being combative and warlike? Is it the fact it is black? APBT are not bichon's. Its kinda like when I have had non whipppet conformation class people pick my whippets tail up in the air trying to make it look like a sporting dog. I had to tell them to stop, it was wrong for the whippet breed.

I am sure some will be looking for sweet portraits and nothing smiles quite like these dogs!!


I think it's possible to show power without menace. The event banner is definitely (at least in my eyes) menacing.


The poster does have an initial negative look but it is aimed at owners of this breed; I don't find it offensive or negative. Here in Florida, we frequently see posters for Bike Week, the posters in the Harley shops are always "guy in wife beater t-shirt and girl on back with little covering her topsides"-this is also a group with image problems that tries to project a good public image but also privately enjoys the negative image.
Posted By: Julie

Re: My First Two Shows, Advice Please - 05/05/11 02:00 PM

OK, what about the banner is menacing? Is it because the dogs mouths are closed?
Posted By: Jim Poor

Re: My First Two Shows, Advice Please - 05/05/11 02:01 PM

I can definitely see that.

I can't fault them (well, yes, I can) for the image they project, but they certainly aren't doing anything for the anti-BSL movement.

Anywho, that's way off topic other than how you may need to shoot to appeal to their style at the show.

I wonder if you can get a Harley as a prop . . .
Posted By: Visceral Image

Re: My First Two Shows, Advice Please - 05/05/11 02:01 PM

After my daughters were attacked, many years ago; we got a Great Dane/Pit Bull Mix named Clyde, size of Dane with head and body strength of Pit. He was a pussycat (tigers are pussycats too) but in public, we allowed him to look mean and tough. I felt safer when my daughters had this dog then if we had carried an AK-47.
Posted By: Jim Poor

Re: My First Two Shows, Advice Please - 05/05/11 02:03 PM

Originally Posted By: Julie
OK, what about the banner is menacing? Is it because the dogs mouths are closed?


To me, it looks more like a poster for a WWE cage match or a promotion for that awful dog wars game than anything else.

I think it is more the added graphics / effects than the way the dogs are posed.
Posted By: Julie

Re: My First Two Shows, Advice Please - 05/05/11 02:04 PM

I am seriously trying to see what has put you off the images. How would you have shot them to make them ambassadors or the breed and help the anti bsl movement?
Posted By: Visceral Image

Re: My First Two Shows, Advice Please - 05/05/11 02:05 PM

Originally Posted By: Julie
OK, what about the banner is menacing? Is it because the dogs mouths are closed?


Actually, the dogs look very lovable in this banner. Just the black with bold print and the graphics

Here is the other event poster
http://www.pitbullgear.com/category_s/222.htm
Posted By: Jim Poor

Re: My First Two Shows, Advice Please - 05/05/11 02:08 PM

Originally Posted By: Julie
I am seriously trying to see what has put you off the images. How would you have shot them to make them ambassadors or the breed and help the anti bsl movement?


Again, I think it's more the graphics than the actual photos. The smoke, etc. Really says "mean, junkyard dog" to me.
Posted By: Jim Poor

Re: My First Two Shows, Advice Please - 05/05/11 02:09 PM

Originally Posted By: Visceral Image
Originally Posted By: Julie
OK, what about the banner is menacing? Is it because the dogs mouths are closed?


Actually, the dogs look very lovable in this banner. Just the black with bold print and the graphics

Here is the other event poster
http://www.pitbullgear.com/category_s/222.htm


Better, but not much. More WWE style graphics and that choke chain needs to go.
Posted By: Julie

Re: My First Two Shows, Advice Please - 05/05/11 02:11 PM

Smoke? Do you mean his logo that is a swirly b in gray?
Posted By: Jim Poor

Re: My First Two Shows, Advice Please - 05/05/11 02:13 PM

Originally Posted By: Julie
Smoke? Do you mean his logo that is a swirly b in gray?


I'm talking about the show page, not the photographer.
Posted By: Jim Poor

Re: My First Two Shows, Advice Please - 05/05/11 02:16 PM

Meet Lola (who, sadly still has no home 3+ years later)


And this little guy, whose name escapes me [edit: His name, at least at the rescue, was Gus] got a home almost immediately.


I'm not saying all pitties should be photographed with a pink boa (though I've done that), just don't put them in a "junkyard dog" theme.
Posted By: Julie

Re: My First Two Shows, Advice Please - 05/05/11 02:17 PM

No wonder I am confused!!!! hahaha laugh
Posted By: Julie

Re: My First Two Shows, Advice Please - 05/05/11 02:19 PM

Those are cute Jim, but would never work for show work. Just like the stupid big headed long nosed photos of whippets are very cute, but, worthless if you are doing show stuff.
Posted By: Jim Poor

Re: My First Two Shows, Advice Please - 05/05/11 02:21 PM

Oh I know they aren't "breed standard" etc. They are also rescue photos that are a few years old and probably not anything like I would do now in many ways.
Posted By: Visceral Image

Re: My First Two Shows, Advice Please - 05/05/11 02:31 PM

I like Lola; but that blue background. Julie must be shaking with the trauma of her youthful experiences with blue backgrounds
Posted By: Jim Poor

Re: My First Two Shows, Advice Please - 05/05/11 02:33 PM

Lola is an awesome dog, but she's an "only dog" dog.
Posted By: Visceral Image

Re: My First Two Shows, Advice Please - 05/05/11 02:49 PM

That is pretty typical of Bully Breeds; only dog dog
Posted By: Jim Poor

Re: My First Two Shows, Advice Please - 05/05/11 03:14 PM

Originally Posted By: Visceral Image
That is pretty typical of Bully Breeds; only dog dog


That's a myth perpetuated by the media. Not even close to true.
Posted By: Julie

Re: My First Two Shows, Advice Please - 05/05/11 04:42 PM

That blue blackground is ok wink Its really not a myth that pits and many terriers in general(think Kerry Blues and some of the others) are just not that good with other dogs. Its not a negative, it just is what it is. Some pitties are fine and others just really are not.

They were bred to be dog aggressive. Heck, terriers are *scrappy*. Doesn't mean they are bad dogs, just not good with each other.

I had a pit mix and she was very dog aggressive. We had other dogs, but, she had a tendancy to go after them occasionally. I broke up more than one fight. Though, that is just sometimes a dog.
Posted By: Jim Garvie

Re: My First Two Shows, Advice Please - 05/06/11 01:40 PM

It's not a media myth that pit bulls, which were bred specifically to fight other dogs, can be dog-aggressive. That doesn't mean that all of them are or that they can't be fine socially with other dogs but that was the entire purpose of creating that breed. Terriers, in general, can be tough dogs because they were bred to hunt -- and kill -- vermin. Rats, foxes, badgers, etc. If you don't think it takes a really tough dog to hunt badgers, think again smile!

As for how to position these dogs in light of BSL, we have a similar problem with Rotties. Which is why you don't see many shots from me of Rotties doing Schutzhund. Doesn't mean that they don't or that they don't do it well or that it isn't a great sport. But the last thing my neighbors need to see is a Rottweiler hanging off of somebody's arm. So you will see shots like the following primarily because my dogs are bred to live in great homes in great neighborhoods and I want people to be comfortable with that.





Now, does that mean that Sundance would not protect me in a given situation? No. I assure you that Sunny D is completely capable of protecting his family. But he is not aggressive and that's the image I want people to have of this breed. We're heading off to the American Rottweiler Club's National Specialty tomorrow and we'll be traveling with Moxie, a 6-month old puppy and Sundance. When we stop at a motel on Saturday night, the first thing I'll do is take Sundance for a walk around the grounds. Just so folks can see him. Those that want to meet him will find him to be a lovely guy. But mostly, I want people to know he's sleeping in our room smile.

Jim
Posted By: psmith

Re: My First Two Shows, Advice Please - 05/06/11 02:00 PM

@Jim Garvie - I love those photos. You are an ambassador for the breed.
Posted By: psmith

Re: My First Two Shows, Advice Please - 05/06/11 02:02 PM

I know its off the subject, but here is what the kitty thinks of the Steel Jaws poster:

Posted By: Julie

Re: My First Two Shows, Advice Please - 05/06/11 04:59 PM

And whippets are called scared, skinny, shaky dogs.




They get this from the fact their tails stay tucked between their legs


If the tails don't hang like this, their conformation is incorrect. It has very little to do with being scared.

But, its not entirely incorrect. They can be a little more sensitive, they do shake some and they do stand in a way that gives that impression
Posted By: Jim Poor

Re: My First Two Shows, Advice Please - 05/07/11 02:33 AM

Actually, their origin is more tied to bull baiting than dog fighting (again, media hype). The fact of the matter is that they are, as a breed very human-centered, which makes them ideal "fighters" because they will not (ha) turn on the humans who get in the rings. Even so, they are not born with an innate dog-aggression (the breed as a whole). I've seen far more dog aggressive BCs and Goldens than Pits.

Even the dogs whose CURRENT job is to kill strange dogs have to be raised that way, not born that way. I'm speaking of flock guarding dogs who are purposely isolated from any dogs outside of the farm they work so that they are not "socialized" and will attack and kill any intruding dog. Exposing guarding dogs to others and socializing them will ruin them for the work they are supposed to do on a real farm.
Posted By: Julie

Re: My First Two Shows, Advice Please - 05/08/11 08:18 PM

That all is true, but, dogs have been selectively bred for certain traits. No matter how much one would expose whippets to guarding sheep, very few would ever do so. You would have an outlier here and there that might. Same with herding.

I LOVE pitties. I think they are great dogs. One of the easiest breeds to come in for photos. The reality of it is they are more predisposed for dog aggression, to pretend they aren't is just as unfair as believing they are all man killers.

I have lived with one and she was a great dog, raised on a farm(went with me daily to the barn I worked at) around dogs non stop and she was still dog aggressive. She might not eat one, and then, she just might. Add in the fact she was an alpha bitch didn't help much.

I have a house full of very dominant dogs and never have a scuffle. Whippets were bred to be in a pack. YES, you will find some that aren't right in the head and some that can't be with other dogs but it is the rare one.

I have seen way too many bloodlines have the same personality traits, that there is way more nature to dogs than nurture. Same with people. Yes, they way they are exposed and raised makes a difference. The way they are to begin with is the majority of it though
Posted By: Yukonica

Re: My First Two Shows, Advice Please - 05/10/11 05:16 AM

Wow! 140. At the top of the standard plus a little bit.
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