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Author Topic: I'd like to shoot the "woman in shopping" concept -> how?  (Read 1327 times)

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« on: May 27, 2012, 14:23 »
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Hi there,

I'd like to know, from more experienced microstockers, what is the best way to go about this type of shoot? For the shots that would be isolated on white, I'd use a studio, that's no problem. However, I'd like to go into a mall or a store and shoot there. So, I have a couple od questions.

1) Would I need a property release for shooting in the mall/store?
1.2. What to be the best way to obtain one?

2) What would be the best way the contact the store/mall?
2.2 Is there some kind of a email template for doing things like these?

3) I'd like the shoot to span a lot of activities - such as buying new shoes (I'd need a shoe store), buying groceries (so, a supermarket chain) etc., that's why I thought it would be best to shoot in a mall where all those things are nearby. But who to contact for things like these and how?

I have experience in studio shooting and shooting in nature, but not on private property. I am by no means a big name, just a regular photo enthusiast, so I don't know exactly how to approach these things and some guidance would be appreciated!

Thanks in advance


drugal

    This user is banned.
« Reply #1 on: May 27, 2012, 14:50 »
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1) Would I need a property release for shooting in the mall/store?


Yes. Even if it's a kinda' generic place, they most likely will ask for it (i mean the agency).


1.2. What to be the best way to obtain one?


The best way is to already know the people managing the place, and to be on good terms with them (friends, friends' friend, etc) :) If not, just ask if it's possible, if they resist, you may offer some benefits, like a few photos to be used by them... there probably ins't much else you can offer, but that's a pretty bad deal for you compared to being commissioned for that kind of thing.


2) What would be the best way the contact the store/mall?


Phone, they are likely to trash emails


2.2 Is there some kind of a email template for doing things like these?


Generic formal - polite - casual approach...


3) I'd like the shoot to span a lot of activities - such as buying new shoes (I'd need a shoe store), buying groceries (so, a supermarket chain) etc., that's why I thought it would be best to shoot in a mall where all those things are nearby. But who to contact for things like these and how?
...


That's a different issue, if you go that way each shop will need all of the above. You need to contact the owner of each shop, who will probably contact their brand / retail managers. It's messy.

Lagereek

« Reply #2 on: May 27, 2012, 15:06 »
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Yes indeed, this IS a messy affair. I have photographed similar concept as commissioned work, inside Libertys, Harrods, Selfridges, Fortnum-Mason, etc. Property-release: absoloutely!  never mind if you know the managers or whatever, always a property/model release.
Further more, any people in the background, etc, behind the model your shooting: release is a must, therefore best make sure the background is empty from people.

A good approach is to speak to their press-office ( if they are big enough) if its a smaller boutique type of shoot you can ask for the owner, offer him a few shots for free. Its a good deal because you are not big enough for him to assign you to a specific shoot so you are paying him with pictures.

Dont even think about including any brand-names, etc, unless the owner ask you to shoot something specific, in which case he will use it for some PR, egtc. Still, this is the only way you are going to get your shots.

Also, dont create mayhem while you are there, i.e. no massive studio-light, stands, bouncers, etc. That would interfer with their business.

This is what you have to live with, its a totally differant thing if you were on a commissioned shoot, then you could bring a dozen lights and stands.

best.

« Reply #3 on: May 27, 2012, 15:50 »
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As you can see from the responses, this sort of concept requires a lot of setup and effort.  I am guessing those who have invested the time and money to get this type of shots for micro are not going to spoon feed you the information to make it easy for you to compete with them. ;)

I agree that the best way is to know someone who owns or manages the place you want to shoot.  Either that or be an amazing salesman who can talk total strangers into something they may be disinclined to do. 

Let's face it.  These type of shoots are difficult to get, otherwise everyone would be doing them.  :)

wut

« Reply #4 on: May 27, 2012, 17:49 »
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As you can see from the responses, this sort of concept requires a lot of setup and effort.  I am guessing those who have invested the time and money to get this type of shots for micro are not going to spoon feed you the information to make it easy for you to compete with them. ;)

I agree that the best way is to know someone who owns or manages the place you want to shoot.  Either that or be an amazing salesman who can talk total strangers into something they may be disinclined to do. 

Let's face it.  These type of shoots are difficult to get, otherwise everyone would be doing them.  :)

Exactly, I've done it a few times and it's so much hassle, so many hoops to jump through that when it finally gets approved you just say to yourself never again. I guess it's next to impossible to come to an agreement with a (supermarket) chain. So I in fact have done it only twice that way and at the end it never really payed off, I was even at a loss once, at least 150 down (sales were poor so far), because I had to drive 3 times (2 meetings and for the shoot) to a town that was 30 km away, so I spent a sizable amount of money just for the gas (it's expensive in Europe) and got a parking ticket which cost me another 100. I had it easy a couple of times, shooting in a small store, because it was a friend of a friend situation. From now on I'm going into this type of shoots only via personal acquaintances. Or will go through all that hassle if I think I found a niche that will (possibly) bring me thousands of dollars. Otherwise it's just time and a lot of it, wasted for planning, having dozens of phone calls and detailed emails explaining exactly what do you intend to shoot, how, when (the duration of the shoot as well), what they're going to be used for/which agencies they're going to be sold at etc. Instead of that I'll just do 5 or 6 more or less simple shoots that usually bring me more money anyway.

I think this only pays out in the long run to those who do in on the side of commissioned work, or have a factory, with someone just doing the planning, organizing everything etc. It's hardly a one man job, at least the way you planned it, really, really extensively, big time. I think you've put a lot, too much on your plate for the first time anyway. It's kind of like going to shoot a Champions league game with your first DSLR. Go and shoot some school games first in broad daylight ;)

« Reply #5 on: May 27, 2012, 18:08 »
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Thanks for the input, guys.

I guess I'll just have to think of alternative ways to get a similar shoot done.

« Reply #6 on: May 27, 2012, 19:21 »
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Also, if you are not bringing strobes and stands, be prepared for the nightmare of the available fluorescent lighting. With GOOD available light expect 400+ iso, f/2.8 at 1/60/. And still you may have to push the exposure in PS or LR and hope the noise does not kill it. And then there are color temperature issues.

Good luck

wut

« Reply #7 on: May 27, 2012, 19:32 »
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Also, if you are not bringing strobes and stands, be prepared for the nightmare of the available fluorescent lighting. With GOOD available light expect 400+ iso, f/2.8 at 1/60/. And still you may have to push the exposure in PS or LR and hope the noise does not kill it. And then there are color temperature issues.

Good luck

Wow, where can you get that EV? Inside a fridge? :) (at least in EU there usually are extra lights in fridges) In reality I think it's more like ISO 1600-3200 at f2.8 and 1/60. Not to mention that shutter speed doesn't allow virtually any movement, everything has to be shot static. Strobes are a must. Because agencies give you a hard time if you upload full res ISO 320 5D2 shots, unless there are no dark areas.
« Last Edit: May 27, 2012, 19:34 by wut »

« Reply #8 on: May 27, 2012, 20:09 »
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Really good, detailed info Wut!  I have never tried that type of shoot because of all the obstacles involved. But your description of the hoops you had to jump through makes me certain I don't want to do it without having a personal contact! 

« Reply #9 on: May 27, 2012, 22:13 »
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Also, if you are not bringing strobes and stands, be prepared for the nightmare of the available fluorescent lighting. With GOOD available light expect 400+ iso, f/2.8 at 1/60/. And still you may have to push the exposure in PS or LR and hope the noise does not kill it. And then there are color temperature issues.

Good luck

Wow, where can you get that EV? Inside a fridge? :) (at least in EU there usually are extra lights in fridges) In reality I think it's more like ISO 1600-3200 at f2.8 and 1/60. Not to mention that shutter speed doesn't allow virtually any movement, everything has to be shot static. Strobes are a must. Because agencies give you a hard time if you upload full res ISO 320 5D2 shots, unless there are no dark areas.

Actually yesterday I did an undercover reconnaissance EV mission at the local grocery store and pulled those number from my few "decent" exposures. Those were from shooting the vegetable fridge displays so yeah, kinda in the fridge ;). Your ISO is probably accurate but I was afraid to go there. I submitted some pepper shots to IS so I will see if this will work.

But I walked away fully convinced  that it is pretty much a waste of time and trouble without strobes and permissions and after hours access etc. Sean is the master of these kind of shots. There is only one way to shoot them... the right way. And if you walk into 99% of the stores and ask to take photos you will get, "We don't allow cameras in the store".

Lagereek

« Reply #10 on: May 28, 2012, 00:34 »
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Oh, it can pay off alright!  but with the right outlet, I have interiors from Harrods, Libertys, Fortnum-Mason, inside the Getty-house-collection and they have most certainly paid off!
Thats just it,  I doubt this is anything for micro, this is much more suitable as RM material, just one good sale could pay for all of it.

ShadySue

« Reply #11 on: May 28, 2012, 02:25 »
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Also you need to remember, unless you're shooting for editorial, to remove all branding from the merchandise and hardware and posters and everywhere else in the shop. (Or, I guess, get PRs from them all. Good luck with that.)

drugal

    This user is banned.
« Reply #12 on: May 28, 2012, 03:37 »
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Also, if you are not bringing strobes and stands, be prepared for the nightmare of the available fluorescent lighting. With GOOD available light expect 400+ iso, f/2.8 at 1/60/. And still you may have to push the exposure in PS or LR and hope the noise does not kill it. And then there are color temperature issues.

Good luck

Wow, where can you get that EV? Inside a fridge? :) (at least in EU there usually are extra lights in fridges) In reality I think it's more like ISO 1600-3200 at f2.8 and 1/60. Not to mention that shutter speed doesn't allow virtually any movement, everything has to be shot static. Strobes are a must. Because agencies give you a hard time if you upload full res ISO 320 5D2 shots, unless there are no dark areas.

Nah, malls are well lit, and so are most clothes shops. 400 iso - 2.5-2.8 - 1/80 works well.


 

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