Sunday, June 10, 2007

Photography Tip- Total Breakdown

Here's a photography tip to help professional photographers get more out of each group they shoot! This very simple technique can help you sell more pictures and substantially increase your income.

By Brandon Baumgarten

Recently, I had an appointment for a photography shoot with a wonderful family. We made plans to meet at the lake for their yearly family photo shoot. As usual I got there well before the family was scheduled to arrive so I could set up the equipment and be ready to go. The family of five and one pair of grandparents pulled up in a black Hummer. I introduced myself and as we were walking to the lake, Mrs Weber said to me I love pictures, my husband let's me buy whatever I want. Do you sell photo gifts? I got a little spring in my step and answered, "yes we have a variety of cool things like photo mugs and puzzles you can see our full selection when you order." Then she said she wanted a close-up portrait with Lake Tahoe behind her for her blog. I said, "just go with the flow!" Now I'm thinking to myself, it's time for a Total Breakdown!

  • I started with a photo shoot of the entire group of seven. We did a few different poses and I shot a ton of photos. Then, I broke it down!
  • I had the grandparents step out of the picture and photographed just the family of five. We had fun shooting poses for the family portrait and did some creative and traditional portrait photos. Then I broke it down again!
  • I had Mr and Mrs Weber step over with the grandparents out of the picture, who by the way were throughly enjoying the entertainment, but the best was yet to come, the kids were next! They were great fun, so I got wild and crazy shots with them. We did a ton of cool shots. What now? Break it down!
  • I shoot three or four quick shots of each kid. I'll do a standing full length pose. Some mid and close-up shots and something unique and different for each kid. Another breakdown? You bet! I'll keep going till they beg me to stop! Why do you think I sell so many pictures?

  • I had grandma and grandpa step-back into the beautiful outdoor studio overlooking the lake. I shot a wonderful photo of the lovely couple, then breaking it down again, I photographed grandma and grandpa separately.
  • Next, I had Mrs Weber join her mom and dad (grandma and grandpa) for a photo of her together with her parents.
  • Now your thinking what else can you do with this? I had grandma and grandpa exit-stage-left and photographed mom by herself, remember she wanted a head-shot with the lake in it for her blog bio photo?
  • Wow!!! We still don't have a shot of mom and dad together! So I have dad come over and join mom. The couple is easy to work with because now they are in sync with my flow. We capture some gorgeous pictures of them.
  • I wrap up the shoot with some handsome photos of dad by himself.
I could have kept going all day, but the kids are climbing trees in their nice clothes and mom... So I call it a wrap! The key to The Total Breakdown Method is transitioning from one combination of subjects to another quickly and smoothly without interruption. With an attitude of professional confidence go from one pose to the next.

The Don't ask! Do Tell Policy states that you never ask a client if they want a break down! If you display skill and confidence, clients will allow you to do your job and take control. For instance "Mom-n-Dad, please step to the side, I'm going to get some pictures of the kids". And that's what happens. If I had asked Mrs Weber "would you like to get a photo of the kids" she may have said no, after that, I'm in the situation of getting every photo approved and I don't want Mrs Weber to decide on whether or not to get an image, until we are looking at them on the monitor on the sales floor or at our online photo sharing pro gallery!

If you use this photography technique with every group, you should see an increase in image sales. If you haven't been doing any breakdowns, the increase in photography sales could be substantial. By the way, Mr Weber slipped me a very generous, "thank you" after the family photo shoot and said I did a great job! In addition they spent well over $1000 on photos.

Brandon is a professional digital photographer from Lake Tahoe, California. Brandon specializes in on-mountain action and portrait photography during the winter months, photographing skiers and snowboarders on the slopes. Brandon also has a digital photography website which is full of excellent techniques, products and services. Including tips to help you create your own impressive online gallery, with flashy photography templates that are designed for serious photographers.

Article Source: Photography Tips

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