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Trying to Get Portraits

As I have said previously this blog is going to change, and part of that change will be me trying to get a portrait business off the ground.  Not easy, really, it isn’t.

There are so many things to do, but then you can’t do one bit because you are waiting for something else.  Then you find that can’t do that, because something else isn’t ready.  It gets a bit frustrating.

So the thing that everything seems to be depending on is a portfolio.  I need images.  I need more images than what I have now.  To get more images I need to find people, or girls, or boys really, who will let me take photos of them.

Leanne Cole - Melissa 1I have the photos of Melissa, but not much else really.  I can use some of the images of Melissa, but I need to get more.  My daughters aren’t being very co-operative, unfortunately.

Until I get the folio, I can’t do my website, business cards, or any kind of advertising.  I can do some background stuff, but I need to get more.

Leanne Cole - Melissa 2Just for those that wanted to see her smile.  She didn’t do it much, but I did get this one.

So I need to find some people who want to have me take their photo.  I need to find some volunteers.  People who would like to have a fine art image.  I need around 5 people, I know I shouldn’t do this, but I will do it for free, and give the people 5 digital images.  So if anyone out there is willing to let me try photographing them, send me an email.

Here is another image, but I have done the second one in Color Efex and used the fog preset.

Leanne Cole - Melissa 3 Leanne Cole - Melissa 4It did look like the second one originally, but something happened, and I lost the foggy effect, so I put it back.  I like the misty look.

So the business plan is coming along.  I’ve worked out my prices, well most of them.  I have to get some prices for framing, and decide whether or not to do canvas prints.  I will have to work out exactly how I want my website set out, probably much the same as it is right now, though, I might change it at some point.  I also need to get a voucher done to draw people in and get them to let me take their images.  So much to do.

205 Comments
  1. Good luck Leanne. It can be a tough business, but with perseverance, you shall prevail.

    June 4, 2013
    • Thanks Mark, I hope you are right, I know I can do the portraits, I just need to find the clients, that is the hard part.

      June 4, 2013
  2. I hope you get volunteers and good luck.

    June 4, 2013
  3. You will be very successful. You do great work.

    June 4, 2013
    • Oh thank you Matthew that is so nice of you to say.

      June 4, 2013
  4. I wish I could help. My daughter’s would absolutely be great candidates, but we live in Seattle, WA….aren’t you in Australia?

    June 4, 2013
    • That is such a shame, and yes I’m in Australia, a long way a way, I don’t think we could be much further apart.

      June 4, 2013
      • yeah 😦 I wish you well though.

        June 4, 2013
      • Thank you,

        June 4, 2013
  5. nice!

    June 4, 2013
  6. Also wishing you the very best of luck Leanne. Your work is beautiful.

    June 4, 2013
    • Thank you, that is nice of you, fingers crossed.

      June 4, 2013
  7. She’s so lovely!

    June 4, 2013
    • She really is, isn’t she.

      June 4, 2013
      • Oh to be so young again!!

        June 4, 2013
      • I know what you mean.

        June 4, 2013
  8. Hi Leanne, which state of Australia are you in? Best of luck!

    June 4, 2013
    • I’m in Victoria, in Melbourne. Thank you.

      June 4, 2013
      • Ahhh… I’m in Qld and have a large family (lots of teenage and child cousins), but unfortunately Melb is a bit too far to go! 🙂

        June 4, 2013
      • Yes, it is a bit far away, that is a shame. 😦

        June 4, 2013
      • Have you thought of approaching local (youth) dance schools, drama schools, sports clubs, that sort of thing? Even if they only put an ad in their newsletter or notice on their noticeboard, you might get a few takers.

        June 4, 2013
      • That isn’t a bad idea, I might write that one done, might be a good place to send vouchers and stuff as well. Thank you. I like that.

        June 4, 2013
      • No worries! I went to drama school and mum paid a bunch of money for some portraits, based on a flyer (portfolio unseen). They weren’t great and I was a terrible actress, but it was a fun experience 🙂 I’d forgotten all about it until I read your blog!

        June 5, 2013
      • No, I don’t want people to pay me until they see what I can do, or I can show them some images. I don’t think that would be fair, but I do hope the experience will be fun for the people doing it. I have to work out a way of getting the shots I want, with some shots that they would want. Going to be interesting.
        What did you have to do in the images?

        June 5, 2013
  9. Those vicious circles are such a pain! I hope you do manage to get those volunteers – I’d even be tempted myself but alas too far away. I have however mentioned you to a friend…

    June 4, 2013
    • Thank you, I hope so too, time will tell. I’ve been asking lots of my daughters friends. I need to make definite plans. Thank you.

      June 4, 2013
      • Nikolai said he dropped you a mail about it so hopefully he’ll be of some photographic use 😉

        June 5, 2013
      • Yes, he did, thanks, will be interesting photographing a boy, I asked him to tell me about himself, I hope I didn’t scare him off. It is good to get an idea about a person, so I know what I can do.

        June 5, 2013
  10. The best way to crack this is bother your friends to find out when their businesses need head shots & beg them to land you the job. Some places will do it portfolio unseen, seriously. If you can get one business that can promise you up to 100 subjects instantly, but then you’ll need model releases…

    June 4, 2013
    • Great idea, but I don’t really want to do head shots, I might have to do that in the end, but right now I want to try something else. I will keep the idea in mind though, thanks

      June 4, 2013
      • Oh, I totally misread your first line. Just went back and noticed. I thought you said “business headshot,” not “headshot business.” It’s 1am in the USA> 🙂

        I went through the whole thing thinking… these look kind of artistic for business shots! Though there’s an art in that too, I guess.

        Cheers.

        June 4, 2013
      • Why are you still awake, too late for me, well it would be. That is okay, but it is still a nice idea, and maybe if the artistic ones don’t work I can do that. Thanks.

        June 4, 2013
      • You know that line about burning the candle at both ends? Applies. 🙂

        June 4, 2013
      • Yes, I know, I am going to do my fine art portraits, but if they don’t work, who knows. 🙂 That is what I really want to do.

        June 4, 2013
  11. I like the misty look too. Good luck getting your business off the ground.

    June 4, 2013
    • Thank you and thank you, it is going to be fun, I know it is.

      June 4, 2013
  12. Ted Ryan #

    One thing you might like to think about Leanne in terms of portraiture – trying to arrange some when you’re back in the Mallee at your Mum’s. There are some farmers and farming couples probably more to the point, that would like portraits. And given you are interested in non-standard portraiture you might taking pics in places they like – the people in context with maybe a series of shots from them in the landscape to them as the feature with the landscape as general background. Mind you they might like more formal setups in house & garden too. But it might serve as a way of broadening your idea of bringing people to the country to learn how to do photography. You’d be engaging with two sets of people on the one trip which would be stimulating artistically and hopefully a bit less risky financially.

    June 4, 2013
    • I love this idea Ted, brilliant thinking, I just have to work out how to find people who would like portraits. It would be great to do some outside in paddocks and things. I must talk to you more.

      June 4, 2013
  13. Go for it! I trust your venture will be profitable!

    June 4, 2013
  14. Tough racket, I did it for a while. There is no substitute for dogged determination. Keep at it and it will unfold for you as it should. I will echo the sentiments of posts by others. You do good work and good luck.

    June 4, 2013
    • Thank you, I am lucky in that I don’t have to make an absolute fortune, so if it takes awhile that should be okay.

      June 4, 2013
  15. Seems we’re going into the same speciality 🙂 Indeed; not easy. But since I’ve made some portraits it’s easier to get some volunteers and I’ve even got a few assignments. The biggest challenge however is the processing (‘photoshopping’) of the images towards an own signature. Last Saturday (see my Sunday posting) I did a photo shoot with Natasha; a girl from our village. This week I’m going to work on one of the pictures which will be used by one of my clients for a jewelry exhibition in Brasil. If you can distinguish yourself from other portrait photographers in one or another way there is always a market for your work somewhere. Enjoy! And wishing you all the luck!!!

    June 4, 2013
    • Yes, it seems so, I think quite a few people are doing the same, I have suggested we start a club. I have done some, but need to do more. I am actually quite happy with my photoshopping skills and not worried about that. I have spent a lot of time learning how to do some things, so that is one thing I know I don’t have to worry about, but the style thing is something else. That is what I want to do, do something a little different and I think I have worked out how, just need to go after it now. Good luck, and keep checking in, it would be good to encourage one another.

      June 4, 2013
  16. Leanne I will be in your country in a few weeks. I will fly into Sydney but I’m traveling while I’m there. I’ll be around for 2 months. You can take my picture. I would love that. My email is cookie5683@ymail.com contact me and I will come for a visit. Ok

    June 4, 2013
    • Okay I will email you. So you will be coming to Melbourne as well.

      June 4, 2013
      • Yes I have an artist friend who lives north of you. I will travel up and down the coast. (Mary’s beach is a special place for me)Traveling is how I breathe. I’m simple and carry my backpack everywhere I go. It will be great fun!!! Can’t wait to meet you in person.

        June 4, 2013
      • Oh wonderful, now you have another friend to meet. I will email you soon.

        June 4, 2013
  17. Great portrait shots Leanne….hope the new business is a success.

    June 4, 2013
    • Thank you Mark, it is going to be an adventure.

      June 4, 2013
  18. I admire you for trying something new. Good luck and I’m sure it will be a huge success. X

    June 4, 2013
    • Thank you, I am going to put everything into it, so I hope so.

      June 4, 2013
  19. Leanne, this post is so timely. I too, am trying to find “models” to shoot and it is very difficult. It’s like all they see is a potential weirdo with a camera who wants to take their picture. I took some excellent ones a few weeks a go of two friends–most likely under age 20–and I was all ready to use those shots for a portfolio until one of them emailed me 5days later and in a nice way asked me NOT to use the pictures anywhere. I did not have a release form to give them, otherwise, once they signed it, I would have been fine.

    I do like your plan of sending them the photos, perhaps even watermarking them first and then selling the prints to them at a low price, without the watermark, if they like them.

    So right now I am struggling with release forms if I want to take photos of people I meet during my daily travels.

    I don’t know if you have Craigslist in Australia, but I was thinking of putting an ad out for models there and then lightly compensating them for their time, getting the release signed and that would do it. I am sure that many people might go for this if they are actors or just want photos of themselves.

    I also like Ted’s idea above. I think both of us will get rolling on this and things will pick up after you/we find 5-6 models or so, enough for a portfolio. I hope this rather long comment has been beneficial to you.

    Take care…..

    June 4, 2013
    • I have two teenage daughters, and I have been trying to get them and their friends to do this. I just need to organise it more.

      I think giving them some photos is a nice way of saying thanks, and then you don’t have to pay them. That is what I want. Though I am thinking of making it a condition of me taking photos of anyone that I be allowed to use their image for marketing. I will have to get a model release form as well, just to be on the safe side.

      I’ve never heard of Craigslist, what is it.

      There are places on the internet where you can find the release forms.

      I love Ted’s idea, and will definitely be looking into that a lot more. Read ahealthybean’s comment, she had some great ideas as well.

      Thanks and you take care too.

      June 4, 2013
      • This all makes sense. Yes, a release form is sort of a pain, but will cover you legally.

        Here, in the U.S., Craigslist is a gigantic online community where you can post classifieds, sell stuff, look for roommates, buy things, etc. I know I can get people to model for free from there. I think giving them a photo with a really inexpensive frame — or a few prints for their own portfolio is the way to go.

        I think ideally it would be best if you did not use family members, as the whole process would be more objective. Just an idea.

        I will def check that other post you mentioned.

        Thanks for the response and good luck!

        June 4, 2013
      • I want to use my daughters to encourage their friends to model for me. They are going to be my hardest clients, so it is interesting finding a way of photographing them.

        I don’t know any site like that here.

        I agree about the form, it is best to cover for myself.
        Thank you too for the suggestions.

        June 4, 2013
      • No problem. I do think it is brilliant to start with your daughters’ friends. They are somewhat familiar and should make the process easier. I think the tough part would be loosening them up so that they feel relaxed in front of the camera. But I believe you will find a way to do that. I hope this works. Good luck….

        June 5, 2013
      • I am about to find out, I have gone from wondering if I would get any organised to now I have 4 scheduled over the next few days. I am so excited.

        June 5, 2013
      • Well that is a big win for you. Congrats. If you post them here, I look forward to seeing them. Good luck!

        June 5, 2013
      • I plan on doing that, I better print out that model release form. Thank you for all your help, it really has been appreciated.

        June 6, 2013
      • No problem at all–we should all be learning from each other, right?

        June 6, 2013
      • Yes, I totally agree with that, wonderful idea.

        June 6, 2013
  20. Beautiful photographs, I’m sure you will have lots of response

    June 4, 2013
    • Thank you, I have started getting some inquiries, so that is good.

      June 4, 2013
  21. Great good luck to you Leanne! I’ll be an egoist and say I hope you’ll have a little time for landscapes et al! 🙂

    June 4, 2013
    • I am sure I will, I will make time, especially for architecture. Thank you.

      June 4, 2013
      • Great! (she said as she wiped the mist from her brow)

        June 4, 2013
      • LOL 🙂

        June 4, 2013
  22. I’d volunteer myself but a. I live in Britain and b. the cost in shattered lenses wouldn’t be worth it.

    June 4, 2013
    • LOL, that is great Brian, I can’t stop laughing now.

      June 4, 2013
  23. I’d love to help but live in UK. But good luck

    June 4, 2013
    • Yes, it is a bit far away, thanks anyway.

      June 4, 2013
  24. best of luck leanne, i know it can be frustrating, trying to get things up and running, with all the roadblocks along the way, but it will all be worth it once it is all in place. i n the meantime blog about the challenges and you may feel better about the process ) beth

    June 4, 2013
    • Thank you, I think you are right, road blocks everywhere, but will keep going. Work is coming in, but no where near enough. Thanks Beth

      June 4, 2013
  25. Good luck Leanne. I’m sure this will all be great for you. I’ll be following with interest.

    June 4, 2013
    • Thanks Carol, it is really exciting.

      June 4, 2013
  26. Not too sure of websites to suggest as we are not in the same country, but there are websites which have models on them who will work for free in exchange for shots. I’m on a Facebook page where there are models and photographers in my local area who do things like this all the time – just something to think about! 🙂 good luck

    June 4, 2013
    • I haven’t heard of anything like that, I wonder if there is something like that here. Thanks for the idea.

      June 4, 2013
  27. good luck:)

    June 4, 2013
  28. Admire your ideas and will to get there…I would imagine that once people are aware of this opportunity – you will have your choice of models. Posting in coffee shops or universities could work…you get a portfolio and the models get some fantastic shots. Best of luck.

    June 4, 2013
    • I was apprehensive about talking about the struggles of setting this up, but I have been getting some wonderful ideas, including yours, so thank you so much.

      June 4, 2013
  29. I’d be interested in knowing the steps you take along the way to get your business up and running!

    June 4, 2013
    • It seems like a good thing to do, and people give some wonderful suggestions and advice, it has been great so far.

      June 4, 2013
  30. Finding those elusive clients….always the hard part….once you get going though word of mouth will start to kick in, and those are the best ones. They arrive loving you already because their friend loved what you did 🙂

    June 4, 2013
    • Yes, that is what I am hoping for, just need to stick at it and keep going. Thank you.

      June 4, 2013
  31. This is the never ending Catch 22 of photography, you need to show work to get work. Keep moving forward and before you know it everything will be in place.

    June 4, 2013
    • I am starting to see that, hopefully, I can find those first few people and that will encourage others to try me, Time will tell. Thanks

      June 4, 2013
  32. Good to see momentum building up. Word of mouth works well so once you get critical mass I hope it snowballs. The challenge will be to explain “why me” rather than any other portrait photographer. Maybe you could do pet portraits too. 😀

    June 4, 2013
    • It is going to be interesting, I know if I can get the portfolio shots done, then things will go for there. I am looking forward to it, I have an idea why people want me and hopefully that will be good. Time will tell, thanks Andrew.

      June 4, 2013
  33. captureyouphotography #

    When I started my portrait business back in 2006 I Iet all my friends know and they let their friends know I was in need of models. So basically what ever age bracket your targeting put out a model call for that and you will have more than enough. You end up giving some free pics on a CD for them to model for you and they sign a agreement so that you can use those images on your website or blog.

    June 4, 2013
    • I have been doing something similar, I have organised a few people, but I need to organise some times, that should be my next thing. I like what you said about giving them some free CD’s and signing the release, Thank you, it is good to hear that I am on a good path.

      June 4, 2013
  34. Wow, a brave step. I wish you good luck! I understand you are searching people in Melbourne?

    June 4, 2013
    • Thank you, I think it is going to be good, and yes, I am looking for people in Melbourne. Thanks

      June 4, 2013
      • Alright. We know some people there; a pregnant couple. I will send them your email address, though the baby is due in two weeks, so can’t promise anything.

        June 4, 2013
      • Thank you, that would be great.

        June 4, 2013
  35. Leanne — I’m sure you’ve thought of it, but to plus up your portfolio, why not offer a free shoot for several different personal photo ops: wedding, birthday, retirement, owners and their pets, owners and their boats, etc. Good luck!

    June 4, 2013
    • I will see how I go, I do know that I don’t want to go anywhere near weddings, unless it is to do something afterwards. Couples yes, there are things I want to do, and things I don’t. I know I want to do fine art portraits and for the immediate future that is what I want to concentrate on. Thanks for the ideas though, they are always appreciated.

      June 4, 2013
  36. You know, Leanne, I like the original darker ‘misty look’ portrait (without the foggy effect. I can see that as a large canvas, hung over a fireplace… Good luck with your plans… Keith

    June 4, 2013
    • Thank you Keith, it was interesting to show both, I couldn’t decide, but I like it too. Thanks again.

      June 4, 2013
  37. Wishing you THE BEST on your new venture!
    HUGS

    June 4, 2013
    • So many hugs today, I do like them. Thank you so much, it is going to be an interesting time.

      June 4, 2013
  38. just get it out there on facebook you will be picking and choosing who to use. Try model mayhem (give craigslist a miss)
    https://www.facebook.com/pages/AndrewZ-Photography/108788092495069

    June 4, 2013
    • I have put it out on facebook, well on my pages. I haven’t heard of model mayhem. Thanks Andrew.

      June 4, 2013
  39. Wishing you all the very best.
    Your work is beautiful.

    June 4, 2013
  40. Best wishes for whatever venture you are working on. You really do have talent! I work in high schools, and there are photography classes in most of them. Have you thought of contacting a photography teacher who might let you demonstrate a technique. Then, some of the students might pose for you. Don’t forget, however, to get parental permission. Best of luck! http://ohtheplaceswesee.com

    June 4, 2013
    • Thank you Rusha, I am hoping to get a few of my daughters friends to model for me as well.I better remember the parental consent for the form. Thanks for that.

      June 5, 2013
  41. talesfromthelou #

    Gorgeous Leanne

    June 4, 2013
  42. Good luck, Leanne! I can only imagine how tough it must be to pull off something like this. I just started to take portraits. A great field of photography!
    Once again, good luck!
    Charlie

    June 4, 2013
    • It is going to be interesting, but am determined to make it work. I quite like the interaction with the people. I hope you are enjoying them.
      Thank you Charlie.

      June 5, 2013
  43. Good luck Leanne. I’d volunteer for you if I was down there 🙂

    June 4, 2013
    • Why does the world have to be so big LOL, thank you.

      June 5, 2013
  44. I’m on the same journey trying to get a little business off the ground. Good luck to you! You take amazing photos.

    June 4, 2013
    • I think there are a few of us doing that, good luck to you to, thank you.

      June 5, 2013
  45. Nice work! Best of luck with your new venture

    June 4, 2013
  46. Don’t worry much Leanne, as you have in it you to make it big in the portrait world! Good luck.

    June 5, 2013
    • Thank you, I am going to give it everything I can, so I hope so.

      June 5, 2013
  47. I have nominated you for the The “One Lovely Blog” Award.
    You can find the information on the below link if you choose to accept the award.
    http://theadventuresofcanon1100d.wordpress.com/2013/06/04/one-lovely-blog-award/

    June 5, 2013
  48. All the best to you as you venture into a new path in photography!

    June 5, 2013
  49. Good luck! I am sure you will do well. I too am working at building my portrait business and portfolio. It takes time and effort…and more time 😉

    June 5, 2013
    • That is the part I am starting to see now, the time it all takes. Thank you and good luck to you too.

      June 5, 2013
  50. Having done this in the past, a couple of thoughts/suggestions:

    There can be very good money in portfolios, modeling and acting. There are specific requirements for each of the performing arts, especially dance. But ALL performers need pictures regularly and expect to pay for them. They know what they need. If you can get a few of these clients and they you, they will tell their friends. It’s a better market than babies, graduations and weddings because portfolio clients become regular customers, lots of repeat business. You can make real money at it if your nerves can take it. It’s clients who are the problem (can’t live with them, can’t live without’em) Like the bride who wouldn’t buy pictures because her nose was too big (I’m not a plastic surgeon). The singer who refused to pay because I made her look old (she was 75). She thought she should be allowed to keep the pictures anyhow because she liked them. I said no money, no pictures. She was my LAST client. I went back to writing.

    June 5, 2013
    • I’ve been approached a couple of times by people wanting headshots. They can be easy to do, but still, getting them is a problem. Also finding somewhere to shoot them, I have just used my lounge room in the past, but they were people I knew, so not too bad. I might have to find out about a studio at some point, but no where near ready for that now. It is an interesting idea and if I can’t do the portraits I want to do then, I might consider it. Thank you.

      June 5, 2013
  51. If I ever am in your neck of the woods, I will come take classes from you 🙂

    June 5, 2013
    • I think I am going to be doing more and more of those classes, so it would be great if you are ever in my neck of the woods. 🙂

      June 5, 2013
  52. So much to do, and so little time, Leanne–yet you shall have success at this venture!

    I wouldn’t necessarily do them for free–just a very minimal charge to apply for ‘wear and tear’ re: equipment…most people will readily understand that.

    The only other advice? Go around the corner to the “Patience Store” and buy a good ten pounds of it!

    People get ‘antsy’ too quickly when they’re being photographed, and “Patience” (for your part) includes with it the ability to ‘smooth-talk’ that person into relaxing. I know you’ve done this, esp. w/Yvette…but a little ‘extra help’ never hurts!

    June 5, 2013
    • I just want to get started, but I know I have to take it slowly.
      I just want to do a few for free, get some images to show people then I can start charging, I would be okay with that.
      Yes, patience is going to be interesting. I have always thought of myself as a impatient person, but there are some things that I seem to have an infinite amount of patience for. Thanks 1000

      June 5, 2013
      • Same here Re: the patience! I just don’t want you to get sucked into the whole “She’ll do it for FREE!” thing, because that word spreads like wildfire–I personally vouch for this!

        June 5, 2013
      • Yes, I understand, initially to just get images, I wanted to do that, but once I have some, then I might offer a free session fee, or a reduced rate, and give like a voucher of some money towards a print, but encourage people to buy prints. That is where it will get tough. I am going to have to do a heap of marketing, and get that part right.

        June 6, 2013
      • Just take your time, Leanne…I know youll do it well–and right!

        June 7, 2013
      • Thanks 1000, I will. I am feeling quite positive about it all now, especially after the shoot yesterday.

        June 7, 2013
      • 😉 !!!

        June 8, 2013
  53. Best of luck as you search for models – which I never would think it would be hard to find willing subjects. Perhaps a local school of the arts (university) – where you can post an ad that you are looking for models…..perhaps offering a small payment in addition to the shots. I look forward to seeing your models posted here!

    June 5, 2013
    • Thank you, finding models isn’t usually hard, it is just finding time when they can sit for you. That is the real issue. I have had quite a few say yes, but working out a time, mmm, that is the hard bit. I have been getting some great ideas from people and that has been wonderful.

      June 5, 2013
  54. Good luck, Leeanne! You’re an artist!

    June 5, 2013
    • Thank Svetlana, I am hoping for good things.

      June 5, 2013
  55. Woo-Hoo! I’d ship you my Sarah (Niko’s Mom), if I could. Child is crazy, but she photographs well…
    Sending all kinds of magic thoughts your way, and big hugs 😀

    June 5, 2013
    • Wouldn’t that be wonderful if you could, she sounds like my kind of model. I want the shoots to be fun.
      Thank you so much Marie, I’m getting all kinds of hugs today and I love them. 🙂

      June 5, 2013
  56. Great shots, Leanne – she has a lovely smile. Good luck getting your models – I’d love to pose for you, but I can’t afford the airfare.

    June 5, 2013
    • Thank you Richard, maybe one day we will be in the same country and I might take you up on that.

      June 5, 2013
  57. Great photos, love the smile the most. There are some great ideas here. I think Ted’s one is a really good one. You’ll get there.

    June 5, 2013
    • I think her mother will love that one too. I have been getting some great ideas from people, it has been wonderful. I do love Ted’s idea and will definitely see if I can make that one happen. That could be great.

      June 5, 2013
      • Yes, people in their environments.

        Melissa’s smile is amazing, the life and joy coming from her eyes. Who doesn’t love to see a young person, or anyone, looking happy?

        I can see the art value of other expressions, but these days I seem to be drawn to certain things, peace, joy, the quiet mystery of an older person (http://pedroholderbaum.com/2012/12/15/menno/). It’s interesting to see what I’m drawn to at the moment. Does our artistic sensibility evolve? Or is it there and we discover it? Does it just change? Do we have phases? Reading your Influencing Me posts, it seems like for you, and I think perhaps for me, it is largely innate and we discover it as we study and learn.

        June 5, 2013
      • I have my first photoshoot tomorrow, will be outside in the park, I have bought some crushed velvet to use, hoping to make a cloak out of it. well, pretend one. Not sure how it is going to work, but we will see. I also want to do something with an umbrella. Should be a lot of fun
        I think our taste in art does evolve, but I also think you will always like the same sort of thing. It is an interesting idea though, I know my taste has changed, but I don’t know if it is because I have grown older, or if I have been exposed to new things in the art world. Interesting idea and could create an interesting discussion.

        June 5, 2013
  58. Couple ideas:
    – Is there the AUS equivalent of ModelMayhem.com? If so, you can look for some local models willing to do TFP or TFCds (Trade For Prints/Cd).

    – Contact the local modeling agencies and see if they are in need of photographers to shoot comp cards. They usually have a very specific look they want for their comp cards, but maybe you can work out a deal with the model where you shoot the images for the cards, and they’ll do some “creative” portraits for you.

    Also, be sure to get model releases from everyone who sits for you, even your daughter’s friends. Their parents may need to sign it if they’re under 18 (or whatever the legal age is). Cover your butt.

    June 5, 2013
    • I don’t know if we have anything like that, but I am hoping that I can find enough people who will just do it for me. I am even going to ask the mums, I have one lined up already. I think trading for images is a great idea.
      Yes, the model releases, I must go and find one, I think it is very important to get that signed. I like that, covering your butt, always a much safer way to go. Thank you.

      June 5, 2013
      • You can use the Getty MRs for yourself. They’re generic but well written. PDF link: http://contributors.gettyimages.com/img/articles/images/model%20release%20-%20english%20-%20clean.pdf

        I was curious and googled for Australia model mayhem, and while they don’t seem to have a separate site with the AU (or aus? I forget which is your domain), I did see a few models who listed their address as being in Australia. One was in Melbourne, even. Even if you end up not using the site, they might be a source of info on other resources specific to your area.

        One last thought though you probably have this covered: it’s a great bane of contention here in the states; not sure if it’s a major issue over there. Be sure to price yourself for the market demographic you want to be, even if you’re new. It’s hard to move up into a new price point later on.

        Don’t charge $10 for a portrait shoot if you want to be charging $300 later on.

        June 5, 2013
      • Oh thank you, that is great, I will take a look at that.
        Yes, it is AU, I will have to have a look, but I suspect it may not be a problem, I seem to be getting quite a few offers which is great. I might check them out for the reasons you said as well.
        Oh yes, pricing yourself. I have been thinking about that as well. I worked out how much I would like to make myself for each shoot, and then priced myself according to that. I think that was fair enough. I have also used some other information that I have seen around the place.
        Thank you so much for all your help.

        June 5, 2013
  59. Wish I lived near you. i would love to be a volunteer! Contact some service groups, business networking groups, etc. Good luck.

    June 5, 2013
    • If you lived near, you would be my partner in this, I am sure. I am finding quite a few which is great, I think I have 3 shoots schedule in the next week, so busy time ahead. Thanks Anne

      June 5, 2013
  60. Get in touch with a local community Theatre. The actors are usually very willing to pose, especially if they an get an electronic copy of the prints. They need their own portfolio, are generally fearless, and very creative. Good luck!

    June 5, 2013
    • I think I have done my dash with the local group, have criticised them too much on my blog, haha. I slowly starting to find people, which is great. I don’t want to do too many for free, just enough so people can start seeing what I am doing. Thank you.

      June 5, 2013
  61. Pricing, making business cards, doing a website is what I spent all my free time doing last summer. Pricing alone took me forever! It can be exhausting and exhilarating all at the same time. I have no doubt your portrait business will fall into place. You are a wonderful photographer. Best of luck!

    June 5, 2013
    • I think I am going to be doing quite a bit of that to come now. It is time consuming. The pricelist, that is hard, am I charging too little, am I charging too much. Thank you Nareen, how has yours been going.

      June 5, 2013
      • Hi Leanne. To be honest my “business” has been going a bit slow. I live in an area in which a lot of people prefer to go to the mall instead of paying a bit more to have their pictures taken. I’ve lowered my prices but cannot lower them so much that I don’t make a profit or don’t feel like I’m getting paid adequately for my time. People forget that as serious photographers we invest our time in editing, etc.
        Hopefully in the future I can make a go of it and start building up a clientele but creating a website was a great learning experience. Much luck w/ yours and cannot wait to hear of your future success!

        June 18, 2013
      • It is hard to know what to do. There are also so many people out there doing photos that don’t really have any idea what they are doing, but because we have a public that are also uneducated, they don’t get that the images that they have are not that great. I used to see that at cycling all the time, apparently it is about educating your clientele. Have you tried doing vouchers that will give people a reduced session fee, or something like that? I might have some ideas, not that I have tried them, but I watched a creative live show on her and she had some great suggestions. It might be good for you to check her out.
        My website is coming along and I sort of know what i want, Thanks Nareen.

        June 18, 2013
  62. LB #

    Here’s to your success! I’d hire you if only for the fact that your portraits are not typical … your bring the artistry to photography. Good luck finding models!

    June 5, 2013
    • Thank LB, I really hope that others think the same, I want to create works of art, something that is more than just a portrait. It is going to be interesting to see if people want the same thing. Thanks again.

      June 5, 2013
  63. You do a fantastic job, and I know you will do well! If I didn’t live so far away I would send you volunteers who like having pictures taken of them. The pictures of your daughter look great — she is a lovely girl and you are a good picture-taker!

    June 5, 2013
    • Thank you Becky, I am really enjoying the planning and now I have some people lined up and have 3 shoots organised this coming week, that is good. It is starting to happen, I hope. Love the way everyone, including you, have wanted to help, it is so heart warming.

      June 5, 2013
  64. I know how you feel! Best of wishes on your portrait portfolio building 🙂

    June 5, 2013
    • It is hard, but hopefully as people see what I am trying to do it will get better, good luck to you too, thank you Teresa. 🙂

      June 5, 2013
  65. KerryW #

    Hi Leanne. I have a friend who is an amateur photographer. He’s been getting models to build his portfolio through a website similar to ebay that deal not just in selling products but also services. He’s starting to get quite a few bookings for models. At the moment he’s doing pregnant women and photographing their journey, i.e. pregnancy through to birth at different stages. This is the website, but it’s based in Brisbane. You may have something similar where you are. This is the website address and he’s advertised under services, photography and video I think. http://www.gumtree.com.au/ Hope this helps, as he seems to be getting models no problem. 🙂 BTW I just love the first image. To me it denotes a strange purity. Good luck with your portraiture business. 🙂

    June 5, 2013
    • I have heard of gumtree, I might have to take a look at it, oh I just did and got carried away, sorry. I might have to go that way, I will see, though, I was just saying to some it doesn’t rain then it pours, I have 5 models booked and ready to go over the next 5 days, so hopefully I can get heaps of images. It is pretty exciting. Oh yes, and thank you very much. 🙂

      June 6, 2013
  66. Wishing you all the best!!
    I love your portraits… really love them!!
    I’m so glad you took one of Melissa smiling… her smile is so pretty.

    Your portrait work is stunning… so textural and at the same time… so silky.
    Hope that makes sense??
    I’ve been watching along, just being amazed at your beautiful work.
    As I am far away, I can’t help in person, but I will let people know for sure and I’ll be cheering you on!!! 😀

    June 5, 2013
    • Thank you Robyn, that is wonderful to hear, and I do know what you are saying. I haven’t heard from her mother, but I am sure she will like the one of her smiling. It isn’t my favourite, but that is because it wasn’t what I was going for.

      I really love doing the portraits, so I am hoping that it does take off, now that I have worked out exactly what I want to, which is basically dress ups for adults, doing a fantasy theme. Finding a story. I am really excited about it, I have been trying to do something similar to this for years, but couldn’t work out how, and I have come to realise that what I was missing was photoshop, now I can make those ideas become reality.
      I have 5 sessions booked over the next 5 days, so I am going to be very busy, I am hoping to come away with some brilliant work. Well, the start of some anyway. Thanks Robyn.

      June 6, 2013
  67. The colouring is stunning

    June 6, 2013
  68. It is really hard maybe someone should create a blog where people offer their friends to fellow photographers for modelling

    June 6, 2013
    • It is a nice idea, but the thing I have been finding is that it is too worldwide, and people want to help but they are in the wrong country or the wrong state. Though, there are websites, for particular places, as people have been showing me. Thanks James

      June 6, 2013
  69. lezlijean #

    I know how you feel. I also need a portfolio but my problem is that I don’t know what size of a photo would be best and finding people who actually want their picture taken is an issue too – a lot of the people I ask to sit for me say this “when I’m not fat, you can take my photo”. UGH! So, I’ve decided to just go with the flow and not rush it. 🙂

    June 6, 2013
    • It is hard, people can be so self conscious, I’m trying to do something out of the ordinary, so so far, it has been pretty good, people are willing to give it a go, and see what I do. But you are right, best to just go with the flow and don’t rush it.

      June 6, 2013
  70. Sadly, I am not in Australia anymore…hope you are starting to get some portrait volunteers. Have you considered offering your services through a hair salon? Best part – they already have hair done!!! Or perhaps a make up artist who is doing a wedding – I am sure they would love some portraits and you may get enough people in one go! Good luck. Very excited for you!

    June 7, 2013
    • That is sad Anita, it would have been fun. I have actually been quite lucky so far and have been able to find quite a few people who have been willing to volunteer, a full weekend of photoshoots, I am going to have so many photos, it is going to be fantastic. Thank you Anita.

      June 7, 2013
  71. Leanne, don’t give up. I have always loved photography and fell into it professionally after doing a few head shots for a model in Birmingham, AL. If you are near a University, take a class – it can be a non-credit class and the University will provide the models. I started by asking some good friends if I could do their photos free just to build up my portfolio. This was 20 years ago and at that time my portfolio was all 11 x 14 for black and white and color. I think 8 x 10 is good as well. Best of luck and hope these ideas help a bit. Carol

    June 7, 2013
    • Thank you Carol, but I am not giving up, I am only just starting. Our universities don’t work like that though. Photography classes are very hard to get into and you can’t just go to them. Though, I have a few models lined up now, so not a problem now, I think I can get a fairly descent folio together with what I have now. Then I will look for more, but will say I’m looking for potential clients, but they can do it at a reduced rate, that will be the hard part.
      Thanks for the advice, I have recieved so much support here, it has been wonderful.

      June 7, 2013
      • Never give up on your dreams! You will make it!

        June 11, 2013
      • I think I am going to go after this one, full steam ahead 🙂 Thank you.

        June 11, 2013
  72. I wish you the best of luck. This market is dead in the UK, eroded from the top by escalating overheads and from the bottom by Uncle Bob and his D3000.

    Good luck.

    June 8, 2013
    • I think much the same has happened here, so I am hoping if I do something different it will attract people. The real problem is Uncle Bob and his D3000, and the fact that people don’t really understand the difference between good photos and bad. Thank you for the encouragement.

      June 8, 2013
  73. You may already know this but have you heard of the Melbourne Creative Network on Facebook? It’s a group and it’s a great way to find models who are looking for free images/headshots for their folios. I have a photographer friend who has found a few models from there and built up her photography folio. Have a search for it but if you can’t find it let me know and I can add you. 🙂

    June 9, 2013
    • No, I didn’t know that, I will have to look into it, thank you so much for the link. I am starting to find quite a few of my daughters friends are coming forward now, especially after seeing what I have done so far. They are challenging, but they are what my clients will be like, so in a way that is good. If I can’t find I will let you. Thanks again.

      June 9, 2013
  74. Love your photography – I would volunteer in a minute but I’m in Vancouver. I’ve sent this link to friends in Melbourne, though. Judging from comments you’ll probably be inundated! Good luck!

    June 11, 2013
    • I have been inundated, unfortunately, but as I start doing images, I’ve noticed more and more people are wanting me to do them. The next big step will be to see if people are going to pay for them.

      June 11, 2013
  75. Sunny Days Photography - Rheanna Cross #

    I’m not sure if you’ve found a web service for your website yet, but I strongly suggest redframe.com. It was cost efficient, and took very little time/practice to put up. Check out my website http://www.lovesunnydays.com. It took me a week. The cool thing is you can set up galleries for clients to log in to, set your prices, and link your page to your WordPress blog. I wish you luck, and I totally understand where you’re coming from, and the anxiety that goes along with it. Keep your head up!

    June 14, 2013
    • I do have a web service, I have had a website for a while, but I do need to do some work on it. You can check out mine if you like, it is basic, but hopefully will get a lot better. http://www.leannecole.com.au/
      I do appreciate you taking the time to tell me about yours though, I have been given so much advice and stuff since I started doing this, I will keep my head up, thank you so much.

      June 14, 2013
  76. My gorgeous friend Lea Ault recommended you – happy to put forward some guinea pigs (otherwise known as children) if you still need them!

    June 14, 2013
    • Who wonderful, how old are your children? I am assuming you are in Melbourne somewhere, where abouts? Do you want to email me, leanne@leannecole.com.au

      June 14, 2013
  77. Love the misty effect too! So dreamy and kinda surreal…

    June 14, 2013
    • That image was taken through some fabric, I really like the effect too. Thank you

      June 15, 2013
  78. All the portraits look great! I think the way you watermarked along the hair strand and neckline was cute and fun too!! I like high key but gravitate more toward low key and so my favourite of these images is the second from the bottom. I think the dark background and soft natural lighting looks classic. Everyone loves to have a great picture taken so hopefully you’ll plenty subjects ready to help make your portfolio!!

    June 15, 2013
    • Thank you Judy, I try to do it in a way that doesn’t detract from the image, well whenever possible. I have been fortunate and quite a few people have come forward, so that is great. It is good too because I am learning so much from these images, and my models are very patient with me.

      June 15, 2013
  79. I have the same problem. As soon as I move out, I plan on taking more portraits too. I am an Australian living in the Netherlands without many contracts but my idea is going to the park and social events to take photos of people. Dutch people are quite nice so it’s really easy. Most people let me take photos of them when I ask nicely.

    June 15, 2013
    • I am actually starting to find that as I put the photos on facebook and people I know see the photos they want to pose for me. I am getting lots of people now. I think the first few were the hardest, but as more people see the images people want them, I think I said that already. I have a small list now, so I should be able to get quite a few. The other thing I am finding is that as I do them, if I say, can we do one more, they are having such a great time, they just say yes. It is wonderful.
      It must be really hard trying to get a business going living in another country. Sounds very nice. I have an idea for you, I watched a thing on Sue Bryce, have you heard of her? She will walk up to people and say, “I think you look great and would really love to photograph you” She hands them her card, and says if they are interested to call her. You could do that, maybe get a flyer or something, if you are interested, send me an email and I will give you some more info on what she has said, it might really help, if you want it. good luck.

      June 15, 2013
      • Oh that’s awesome, I would love to have more info thanks.

        Oh and social media, who would have thought? Great opportunities to expand. You can also find models online through online communities for that purpose. I’m sure many need a book or Portfolio.

        June 16, 2013
      • I have sent you an email with some more ideas, they are just what I can remember from the top of my head. She has some great ideas for starting up and getting clients, I haven’t tried any yet, not quite ready, but not far away.
        I am lucky with the models, I am finding I have more than enough from the people I know, and as they are more likely who my clients will be like, it is good, gives me good practice.

        June 16, 2013

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