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DPChallenge Forums >> Tips, Tricks, and Q&A >> First paid job!
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11/21/2006 04:12:11 PM · #1
Hello there,
Need to do my first "real" job soon. I need to take some portraits of 5 lawyers (for their website), and since i'm young and new, I could new some tips or ideas.
I'm gonna shoot at their office.

So does anyone have some good lawyer tips for me? : )

- Oscar
11/21/2006 04:18:22 PM · #2
Lawyer tips? Yes, avoid them at all costs. and Beware of any legal release they have you sign ;-) Oh, you mean photo tips. No, can't help much there. Still new to the game myself.

Message edited by author 2006-11-21 16:19:30.
11/21/2006 04:21:43 PM · #3
You should have them do some creative poses, like reaching into someone's pocket and stealing their wallet, or standing up behind a client who's bent over the desk...
;-)
11/21/2006 04:22:59 PM · #4
don't make any shark jokes...

they don't like it when you make fun of their relatives...
11/21/2006 04:23:41 PM · #5
Originally posted by Strikeslip:

You should have them do some creative poses, like reaching into someone's pocket and stealing their wallet, or standing up behind a client who's bent over the desk...
;-)


Or action photo of one chasing the ambulance going down the street? ;)

Never fear, someone will actually post here soon that can help you. In the meantime, I guess we just keep bumping this thread up with our posts. :)
11/21/2006 04:27:39 PM · #6
...or one handing a neck brace to a client...
11/21/2006 04:28:04 PM · #7
The devil visited a lawyer's office and made him an offer. "I can arrange some things for you, " the devil said. "I'll increase your income five-fold. Your partners will love you; your clients will respect you; you'll have four months of vacation each year and live to be a hundred. All I require in return is that your wife's soul, your children's souls, and their children's souls rot in hell for eternity."

The lawyer thought for a moment. "What's the catch?" he asked.

... haha :D
11/22/2006 10:07:40 AM · #8
Oscar,

I will soon be shooting my first group portraits as well. One of the things I am considering is how to get everyone in focus while still having the bg sufficiently blurred. I am planning to use a lens/focal-length/distance that will give me about a foot of dof while still using a relatively wide ap. DWTERRY directed me to the DOFMASTER site - it will let you enter your camera (for the crop factor), a focal length, and f-stop and a distance - and it will tell you the resulting dof and the near-far distances of sharpness. Using that information, then, I can determine that my 350d fitted with the 50mm lens using an ap of 2.8 at a distance of 10 feet from the subjects will give me 1.29 ft. of dof. I can get .9 ft. of dof and get closer to the subjects (5 ft) by stopping down the lens to f8 which in turn means that they need to be further from a BG or in front of a BG that is in focus.

Message edited by author 2006-11-22 10:08:17.
11/22/2006 10:32:22 AM · #9
Originally posted by oscarmeyer:

I'm gonna shoot at their office.


I suggest using something that means they will stay shot once you nick them :-))

Try and find out the context of the web-site so you can match the colour scheme e.t.c. Do they want it against white background or outside with green in the background e.t.c.
11/22/2006 10:42:53 AM · #10
Yeah okay. Thanks for the answers! : D
11/22/2006 12:27:05 PM · #11
Hi Oscar;

It does appear that not a lot of people have many answers for you. Or at least the type you were looking for. The lawyers, or most corporate types for that fact, tend to lean towards very conservative visions. Usually, the artistic fashionable artsy type of photography, although they may like it, is not something these folks are going to put on their web sites or printed material. They probably want to show of their flashy office(s) and how professional they look. If you don't have much, or any experience, in more conservative portraiture, try to stick to soft general lighting, around boardroom tables, desks, a nicely designed reception area. If at all possible, try to get them NOT to wear black suits. If you try to get tricky or too complicated with your lighting, it may all backfire on you if you don't know what you are doing. Excellent portraiture is not an accident. It may look easy as an end result, but you may be surprised how much can go into the process to achieve superior results. If you think this is something you are going to pursue further, then maybe taking a partime course, or weekend workshop with a pro might be in order. There is just too much to cover to properly answer your question to the fullest on a forum like this.

Cheers
Don
11/22/2006 12:53:25 PM · #12
Perhaps ask them if they have any rival firm's brochures that they like. Then offer them a similar style. As Sykes says, they probably have a fairly clear idea about what they want.
11/22/2006 01:11:46 PM · #13
I'm the director of marketing for a large law firm in the Northeast U.S. I deal with this on an almost everyday basis. Sykes bring up a lot of good points. Worry most about lighting and I would just snap away trying to get them with a sincere smile and/or a serious look. (they tend to be a bit stiff in front of the camera.Each type of law requires a different approach. I won't share my secrets here on this public thread, but feel free to PM me for more advice if needed.

Message edited by author 2006-11-22 13:12:32.
11/22/2006 01:20:12 PM · #14
i just photographed 6 attorneys for an upcoming magazine article; you can see them here.

as these were for a specific publication, i had a fair amount of leeway in defining the images. at almost every firm, i was dealing with a marketing director who helped me scout out shot locations. i will be going back to some of these firms to do formal headshots/portraits. i'll also be going back to a couple of them to do more some more creative portraiture of other firm members.

you need to know what the end result they are expecting. are they looking for standard headshots, or a lot of images that have wide application. you need to know if you are looking to set up a single type of shot, or are you going to be bouncing from room to room.

the main thing is to be prepared before the first attorney gets in front of you. get yourself completely set up, and have your settings dialed in. you, and they, do not want to waste any time.

you probably could have picked a different group to get your feet wet with in terms of having your first paid job...good luck!
11/22/2006 01:34:22 PM · #15
Great job Skip! Those portraits look great.
11/22/2006 02:00:46 PM · #16
Originally posted by skiprow:

i just photographed 6 attorneys for an upcoming magazine article; you can see them here.


i wanna see too but the site's not coming up.

skip...did you forget to pay your bill again? :P
11/22/2006 02:04:08 PM · #17
whoop. there it goes. silly smugmug.
11/22/2006 02:13:38 PM · #18
Originally posted by skiprow:

i just photographed 6 attorneys for an upcoming magazine article; you can see them here.

as these were for a specific publication, i had a fair amount of leeway in defining the images. at almost every firm, i was dealing with a marketing director who helped me scout out shot locations. i will be going back to some of these firms to do formal headshots/portraits. i'll also be going back to a couple of them to do more some more creative portraiture of other firm members.

you need to know what the end result they are expecting. are they looking for standard headshots, or a lot of images that have wide application. you need to know if you are looking to set up a single type of shot, or are you going to be bouncing from room to room.

the main thing is to be prepared before the first attorney gets in front of you. get yourself completely set up, and have your settings dialed in. you, and they, do not want to waste any time.

you probably could have picked a different group to get your feet wet with in terms of having your first paid job...good luck!


Nice job Skip.

That's good advice too.

Understand exactly what they are looking for and have your setup dialed in before the subject arrives. It would help to get a willing subject/victim and do a dry run, shooting them with the same setup in a similar location. That way, you can have the subject come in, spend a few moments getting them relaxed and giveing them a bit of direction, then get the shots, BANG! BANG! BANG!, then on to the next subject

Above all, you want to avoid fumbling around with your gear in front of them. They'll see that for exactly what it is, you wasting their time and it'll make you look unprofessional.
11/22/2006 02:35:17 PM · #19
Oscar;

One more thing that is of a very fundamental nature in dealing with people.

It does not matter if you are the best in the world with lighting and you own the most expensive equipment. If you cannot handle the subject well (eg. make them feel calm, relaxed, responsive, and not bored or terrified) it will most definitely show in the final product. You have to evoke an interactive response from your subject and you will probably capture the real person without it looking really posed and stiff. In turn, the subject will walk away having had a good experience with you and hopefully more business in the future. You have to remember, (equipment and all that techno stuff aside), you are phtographing another human, not a side of beef!

Cheers
Don
11/22/2006 08:41:44 PM · #20
Originally posted by skiprow:

i just photographed 6 attorneys for an upcoming magazine article; you can see them here.

as these were for a specific publication, i had a fair amount of leeway in defining the images. at almost every firm, i was dealing with a marketing director who helped me scout out shot locations. i will be going back to some of these firms to do formal headshots/portraits. i'll also be going back to a couple of them to do more some more creative portraiture of other firm members.

you need to know what the end result they are expecting. are they looking for standard headshots, or a lot of images that have wide application. you need to know if you are looking to set up a single type of shot, or are you going to be bouncing from room to room.

the main thing is to be prepared before the first attorney gets in front of you. get yourself completely set up, and have your settings dialed in. you, and they, do not want to waste any time.

you probably could have picked a different group to get your feet wet with in terms of having your first paid job...good luck!


What he said.... This is the type of person we'd hire and this is the approach we'd expect. Alot of attorneys are real enough and nice when not in court.
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