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Author Topic: A day shooting Micro  (Read 6087 times)

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AVAVA

« on: November 24, 2008, 19:36 »
0
 Hi All,

 Here is something that you might get a laugh out of. First is a link to a day of micro shooting in our studio captured on a 1ds mark 3 every 5 seconds per frame. You can thank my 1st assistant Ben for the creation and musical choice.

http://www.andersenross.com/timelapse.mov

 The second is another short film on some of the days results from that same day of shooting. The theme that day was school, more or less.

http://www.andersenross.com/studio48m.mov

Hope it's worth a laugh.

Best,
AVAVA
« Last Edit: November 24, 2008, 19:48 by AVAVA »


lisafx

« Reply #1 on: November 24, 2008, 20:13 »
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Absolutely amazing, Jonathan!  Really enjoyed watching the time lapse.   You have a very clever setup, and I must admit I envy the space you have.

And the resulting photos are just stunning.  Guess those of us with school images are forewarned our sales are in jeopardy! 

Thanks so much for posting such an educational video.  And tell Ben the music was perfect :D

charlesknox

  • www.charlesknoxphoto.com
« Reply #2 on: November 24, 2008, 20:30 »
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Jonathan your a king!! Can i have your studio!?!?! haha!

Wow seriously amazing work, thanks a lot for showing us those videos you and your team must have a lot of fun working in your studio!! one day i hope to be half as good as that!

 

AVAVA

« Reply #3 on: November 24, 2008, 20:31 »
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 Hi Lisa,

 Don't let my crazy group do anything but make you laugh. Your work is beautiful and buyers need all kinds of styles. Thanks for the support. It was fun to make although I think the first one runs a bit long. I am glad you enjoyed them.

Best,
AVAVA

« Reply #4 on: November 24, 2008, 20:45 »
+1
Glad you had fun, but this looks like a good example of how to spend too much money doing a shoot for micro.

Nice results though.  Where's the window in the background?  Is that in the upper right corner out of frame of the timelapse?

« Reply #5 on: November 24, 2008, 20:57 »
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Thanks Jon,
 Great video.. Really enjoyed watching it..

« Reply #6 on: November 24, 2008, 21:19 »
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Thanks very much. Yes fun, but I actually got a lot out of it too.

discussion elsewhere about $ per image (I think the pdn article which you also discussed) it was talked about $10 per image on micro / $50 per image on macro. do you mind if I ask what you worked on for this shoot (5 staff + models, seems to be over the $10?)

Regards
Phil
« Last Edit: November 25, 2008, 04:20 by clearviewstock »

AVAVA

« Reply #7 on: November 24, 2008, 21:33 »
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Hi All,

 We built two windows that are backlight by strobes. We have our per image costs down to $23 dollars a shot, that includes out sourcing our key wording. I have spoken with several big producers that are not interested for one reason or another so know one should think there are 1000 people like me ready to flood Micro. I just like to test markets and see what they have to offer. It is R&D and you cannot expect your annual return to be based off the returns from your R&D, breaking even is my basic goal in R&D. If things pay off super, but I think if you can see the numbers working then it is something to invest in safely.
 For me I am looking at almost 4x the return on each dollar invested in Micro so far ( Not a great deal of data yet since the larger uploads are new but they all support our sales expectancies and actually have surpassed our first months expectancies )
. We are aware of the spike in the first month of uploads and have calculated that spike into our sales and even with the spike we are ahead of what our original data shows ( with the exception of Istock which is going backwards ).
  It really comes down to how many images you can produce that the market needs to make the returns you need to see. % is one thing but we are still talking about maybe a max of $100 profit per image. I can produce 1,200 Micro images a month mixed between Studio and Location. If you do the math the numbers are still pretty good. Not as good as Macro was but still looking at a seven figure annual income.
 With all that said I am always trying to see what tomorrow brings and as of Jan.1st I will be shutting the studio down and shooting stricktly location which is what I love to do the most. RM is my focus for 09' and I am ready to shoot just what I love. This will also free me up a lot more for this educational blog stuff, I love it.
 We will keep a close eye on Micro with the 3200 images we place in our second stage of testing. If Micro studio show a good return by this time next year you never know we might re-open a studio but with the economy the way it is shaping up I suggest everyone to assess their spending to return ratio and find the best place for your work over the coming year and how to keep cost down.
 You are right, it might be that the big producers can't compete in Micro. I have been doing tests that show me a $100 dollar return per image in the first year but this was done on a small group of images ( it is tough to know what an image will make after that first year as our data is only a year old ). I don't think we will start to know what we can see for returns until some time passes. When I say $23 dollars that includes every penny of overhead from the studio lease the furniture purchase the upkeep of equipment right down to the toilet paper, insurance and all the talent, every penny to produce a shoot ( staff included ).
 I honestly don't know what the next year will bring but I am in a very lucky place. Maybe go back to school and learn motion.  I will continue my R&D approach until I close the doors, Besides for me it is fun to relearn every decade or so.

Best,
AVAVA
« Last Edit: November 24, 2008, 21:38 by AVAVA »

« Reply #8 on: November 24, 2008, 22:18 »
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Absolutely amazing, Jonathan!  Really enjoyed watching the time lapse.   You have a very clever setup, and I must admit I envy the space you have.

And the resulting photos are just stunning.  Guess those of us with school images are forewarned our sales are in jeopardy! 

Thanks so much for posting such an educational video.  And tell Ben the music was perfect :D


Ditto Lisa, ditto!

« Reply #9 on: November 24, 2008, 22:43 »
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Fantastic portfolio on the main site

« Reply #10 on: November 24, 2008, 22:47 »
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WOW:)
Love the photos from the shoot. The lighting in beautiful.
Timelapse was fun to watch - looks like very efficient use of studio time, too.

AVAVA

« Reply #11 on: November 24, 2008, 23:29 »
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WOW! I just got back from my sons basketball practice and you guy's have made me feel great! I wasn't expecting that. Thanks for all the super comments. If we do some more on location I will definitely post them.

Thanks again,
AVAVA

jsnover

« Reply #12 on: November 25, 2008, 00:28 »
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Worth more than a laugh :)

Thanks for posting the time lapse view of the shoot - it was interesting to watch people and equipment being moved around as you organized various shots.

« Reply #13 on: November 25, 2008, 02:52 »
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Thanks for posting that! The results are really great! Nice work!

« Reply #14 on: November 25, 2008, 03:23 »
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Great work!

« Reply #15 on: November 25, 2008, 03:50 »
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that was fun watching, thanks for sharing :)

« Reply #16 on: November 25, 2008, 04:59 »
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Amazing results and quite funny to watch   :)


PaulieWalnuts

  • On the Wrong Side of the Business
« Reply #17 on: November 25, 2008, 06:24 »
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Everything was very nicely done! Images turned out great.

grp_photo

« Reply #18 on: November 25, 2008, 07:59 »
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The School-photos doesn't look like a studio-setup at all so very well done!
I have the Profoto 7-foot too but never use it in a way like you though i have two diffusor-screens for it i can't remember when i use it with diffusor the last time. But i do different stuff (beauty, portrait and more cutting edge) with it, and i use it more as the only lightsource inside or outdoors in combination with natural light.

AVAVA

« Reply #19 on: November 25, 2008, 11:25 »
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Hi GRP,

 Thanks for the support. I love my 7' Profoto. I use it straight I use it with both the different diffusers, I run Norman lights through it as well as Profoto. It is very versitile on the type of light it can create. In studio I usually use it as a big fill and we use the heavy diffuser for it like in the video. On location we might use it as a main wrap without the scrims.
 Sunlight is the one it falls short on, for that we use a combination of two strobed Fernels. One is 15" and the other is 10" If we put those outside of a house on a 20' stand about 15' apart it looks just like daylight streaming through the windows. You need that up here i Seattle. :)

 Best,
AVAVA

« Reply #20 on: November 25, 2008, 14:50 »
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WOW, Jonathan, thank you for sharing It's like being a fly on your wall.

 I remember your shooting list (the "chumly" time) and wondered how you manage to shot 150 images on 8 hours shooting day - now I can literaly see.

 The images are great.

 I still have some questions: How many shoot (on average) do  you shoot per selected image? And, what is your work flow? I suppose you edit - choose the right images, and you say you outsource them for key wording, but do you do all the PS editing by yourself? Do you assign them to an assistant? Why not out sourcing the PS work as well (if you don't)? How much time do you sped on PS editing if you do it?

Hope it's not too much asking.

Thanks
Noam

AVAVA

« Reply #21 on: November 25, 2008, 15:57 »
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WOW, Jonathan, thank you for sharing It's like being a fly on your wall.

 I remember your shooting list (the "chumly" time) and wondered how you manage to shot 150 images on 8 hours shooting day - now I can literaly see.

 The images are great.

 I still have some questions: How many shoot (on average) do  you shoot per selected image? And, what is your work flow? I suppose you edit - choose the right images, and you say you outsource them for key wording, but do you do all the PS editing by yourself? Do you assign them to an assistant? Why not out sourcing the PS work as well (if you don't)? How much time do you sped on PS editing if you do it?

Hope it's not too much asking.

Thanks
Noam

Hi Noam,

 No problem, all good questions and thanks for the support. I will try to start at the top and work down. I shoot about 2500 images in a studio day sometimes more depending on cast ( kids are the toughest as a group so usually more shots on kids days ). From that 2500 we are working off of a written shot list that is choreographed to work with the least models on set at a time ( nobody standing around ), the lighting, the sets we are using to flow in the easiest and most cost affective way. There is also the talent that you are writing for and what they as individuals are best suited for.

 As simple as one of my shot lists look the time to write them to make them flow the quickest and the cheapest is the real challenge for me and what takes the longest time. To look at my shot list the ideas I write are only to refresh my visual memory of what I have conceived for the shot in advance, to read them would bore you to tears. Several times in a day we steer off the list if there is something spontaneous taking place. The trick to a good shot list is to choreograph it so the crew know what lights to use what sets we are working what the wardrobe will be what model or models we are working on at any given time and what those models are realistically capable of delivering believably. So much goes into a well choreographed shot list but I believe it allows the photographer to focus on his relationship with his / her models and the lighting rather than what do I shoot next. We over write our shot lists so we can have room for failure and drop a shot when it's not working. At the moment our studio day's are returning 150-175 shots a day. Just to add one of the the most important factors of a good lifestyle photographer lies in their ability to communicate well with their talent, you must be a good director.

 In the beginning I used to do all my editing and post production myself. Now I do a post edit of my work and set the crop and basic exposure and color for my color tech. The reason I do not out source is because of the volume I am producing. It only makes sense if the cost of having someone in-house offsets the overhead. The best thing about the in-house person I use ( and he is a master ) is I have direct contact with him daily and the tough back end of uploading and all the messy stuff he gets right where I would probably screw it all up. I learned a long time ago a person can only wear so many hats and still be able to run without losing some of them. I am a good photographer but still yet my strongest attribute is making people feel good about themselves. That's it for me end of story. The rest of the work I hire out to people that do a way better job than I could ever. We are a strong team.

 I spend about 5 hours from a studio shoot editing and cropping for my color tech. Not always my favorite part of the job. I have 200 gigs of images in front of me that will take the next three days. UGH! I am writing blogs to avoid the work. ;)

 Remember it started for us just like a lot of you. My wife and I out shooting our neighbors kids and handing out prints in trade. It is all an evolution and can be a really rewarding journey. Especially when you get to do it with the one you love ( super shmooopy ).  ;D

P.S. If anyone would like one of my shot lists for any reason just PM me and I'll send one your way.

Best,
Jonathan
« Last Edit: November 26, 2008, 01:39 by AVAVA »

« Reply #22 on: November 30, 2008, 08:15 »
0
Hi All,

 Here is something that you might get a laugh out of. First is a link to a day of micro shooting in our studio captured on a 1ds mark 3 every 5 seconds per frame. You can thank my 1st assistant Ben for the creation and musical choice.

Best,
AVAVA

Hi Avava. Thanks a lot for sharing.
Although it will catch many by surprise it is just history repeating itself.
It is the end of the thousand of coach manufacturers, saddlers, hostler, blacksmiths, etc,  and the beginning of the car industry.

Your industrial approach is here to stay. I am not using industrial in a disparaging way, on the contrary. A Mercedes car is an industrial product and nobody will say that is therefore of low quality. Indeed such a quality for such a price can only be made with an industrial  approach.

The approach will also benefit society as whole due to better productivity, although some of the victims may not agree.

However the approach has somehow  the seed of its own destruction in the sense that with such a productivity there is clearly room only for so many producers. So I foresee bad times for the small fry.

When i started in micro time ago I gave some thought to this problem and tried to figure what were the fields that could be hard or impossible to industrialize. I figured that landscapes could be one since you can hardly make 150 decent shots without repeating yourself too much for geographic constraints. Later however I met a guy who makes just that for a living using an airplane!

So, after seeing your post I have a question for you: what are the fields you think is too hard to industrialize ?
Ill look carefully at them  ;)

« Reply #23 on: November 30, 2008, 11:00 »
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Thanks so much for sharing, and for taking the time to explain!

AVAVA

« Reply #24 on: November 30, 2008, 11:41 »
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Hi Username,

 It all started for me shooting catalog work 20 years ago. We had to develop a sense of an assembly line to make the most out of the clients production. It was there I started and it kind of just trickled over to stock as I started shooting it. To be honest I don't even know if this Micro thing I am doing will work or not. More of an experiment but there is always hope.
 The images are still accepted by an agency and after a while they will tire of a certain style so I can't just keep doing the same thing, I already have done so on many shots for Micro and they will compete with each other. Fortunately with 4 million images out there the competition with myself is far less. That is another reason I try to keep the similars down on all my edits, Micro has far more similars than my other collections but still I try to keep them down.
 As far as work that is made for cranking it out. I was a table top shooter for my first 10 years and I think a well organized person with good lighting skills could do well there ( Martha Stewart style would be my first test if I was going to do it ). Light, simple, clean and airy.
 The thing I like about shooting people is that in 7 years most all the shots will have to be replaced because of social change so you will always have a need to keep producing. A good landscape can sell forever but that means there are a great deal of images to compete with, landscape artists are still competing with Ansel Adams and he's been dead for a while. Not that you can't make a good living shooting landscapes just that the shelf life is much longer making the competition tougher.
 Our RR orRM is still approached from the pre production side very much the same but at a slower paced, when the work begins my head is in a more creative mode and I am looking for that special moment or light that takes time to craft. It is kind of like the auto industry. Micro is Volkswagen and RM is Mercedes one uses better equipment and is far superior but they all need to follow a production flow and there is a market for both.
 Thanks for the post it is always good to start the day with a bit of typing. Thank you for the compliments and keep shooting and improving that pre production work flow.

Best,
AVAVA


 

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