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DPChallenge Forums >> Business of Photography >> showing a portfolio at an open house
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09/03/2015 01:39:35 PM · #1
a makeup artist i know is holding an open house at her studio, I'm covering the event for her and she is letting me have a spot to advertise myself. I've never done this before so im not sure the best way to show off my work to prospective clients in this type of setting.

should i print up some books showing my work? should i have some sort of screen or tablet set up with a slide show? I dont expect to be sitting behind a table but instead walking around and shooting the happenings for most of the afternoon.

its a few weeks away and looking for some good ideas.
09/03/2015 01:46:09 PM · #2
Never done anything like this Mike (and doubt I would) so get that pinch of salt ready.

My first thought would be to work with the makeup artist over the next few weeks to build up 'her' portfolio of before/after shots and use that as your portfolio as well as hers then maybe add a few of your own images in there to show what else you can do?

A couple of monitors/ipads left in a slideshow mode might help as well.
09/03/2015 01:51:44 PM · #3
Good idea! Although I'm thinking just do "after"
because no one wants to see "before" - just a thought.

And when we say "makeup artist" are we talking about costume, halloween, movie, horror, or just beauty?

Originally posted by Ecce_Signum:

Never done anything like this Mike (and doubt I would) so get that pinch of salt ready.

My first thought would be to work with the makeup artist over the next few weeks to build up 'her' portfolio of before/after shots and use that as your portfolio as well as hers then maybe add a few of your own images in there to show what else you can do?

A couple of monitors/ipads left in a slideshow mode might help as well.
09/03/2015 01:57:48 PM · #4
Originally posted by Ecce_Signum:

Never done anything like this Mike (and doubt I would) so get that pinch of salt ready.

My first thought would be to work with the makeup artist over the next few weeks to build up 'her' portfolio of before/after shots and use that as your portfolio as well as hers then maybe add a few of your own images in there to show what else you can do?

A couple of monitors/ipads left in a slideshow mode might help as well.


let me preface, shes a damn good makeup artist with a solid portfolio, she is just opening a makeup studio, hence the open house, so she doesn't need anything from me except someone to take some pics of the festivities. she said that if i wanted to, she would make a space available for me to advertise my services.

so basically this is just a way for me to get my name out more in my local area. most of my clients are word of mouth so actually advertising and networking is a new step for me.

her main clientele is from weddings.

Message edited by author 2015-09-03 13:58:36.
09/03/2015 02:22:56 PM · #5
I'd be a bit hesitant about leaving a tablet around unattended -- I think one of those digital picture frames which let you run a slideshow would be better.

I wouldn't print a book, but making some prints and putting them in a binder or (gasp!) portfolio on a table would be relatively inexpensive, and I think people still like to look at physical images ...

I agree (if you have time), that including some shots of your client's earlier work in addition to a selection of your best work is a good idea.

Have some business cards. I make mine on regular 4x6 prints and cut them out myself (good for small quantities). You can make them a standard 3.5x2 inches 3-up, or make a slightly smaller 3x2 4-up, or even larger 2x4 3-up. I make cards with many of my "better" shots. This method means they have both contact information and a genuine sample in one piece ...

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09/03/2015 02:48:30 PM · #6
For a printed book. I really like this one //www.artisanstate.com/photo-book/little-black-book.html . It's nice and sturdy and not expensive for the type of product. Does smell of plastic when it comes out of the box, just need an hour or two of airing out. Leave it on the table with a nice note inviting people to browse though, business cards and/or some takeaway postcards, and perhaps even a framed print. Good luck!

Message edited by author 2015-09-03 14:49:57.
09/03/2015 03:06:37 PM · #7
I would say "no screens". A screen, especially animated with a slideshow, is going to be a draw away from the real event. People will see and fixate on that motion.

Instead, having a few prints and business cards seems like the way to go. This is not in your face, and thus the attention remains on the main event. But for those interested, they can see some of your work, grab a card, and talk with you later.
09/03/2015 03:49:30 PM · #8
I'm thinking a portfolio / binder, a portrait or two on stands (as large as the space allows) and then a takeaway of sorts. A business card that provides at least 1 image, if not 2 (I used moo.com and have a small image front and full image rear, but you could go full image on each side) with contact info and a link to your website. If you're willing, a 5 x 7 or 8 1/2 x 11 glossy flier with photos and info.
09/03/2015 07:53:57 PM · #9
good stuff, thanks all!
09/04/2015 06:52:47 AM · #10
I would put up a nice book or coofee table style of book with your best images that are somwhow related with the work you are trying to get.

Business cards and/or flyers is another essential publicity that you should have with you. You can also take this oportunity to sell you rwork toguether with the makeup artist. You can speak with her and draw a spacial portrait package specially tailored for the people that will be there in the open day. For exemple a poretrait photo session with you as a photographer and her as the MUA that haev a discount price for both works if booked in the open day. This way you also get the makeup artist to promote your work.
09/04/2015 08:17:04 AM · #11
You could always offer some discounted 15/30/60 minute photo sessions at a special rate for people who were there (with physical business cards printed for the event that you could endorse at the time of the shoot, or just let word of mouth and your business cards spread more and not require endorsement, but simply verification of the card onsite)

I'd recommend setting up a screen on photo loop and maybe a small backdrop area with one or two lights and offer to do a few pictures of people (before/after or just after) that you will provide back to your friend for using on her site, or in print. Then people can download the image from the website or feel good about THEIR picture being used in a make-up studio
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