ShutterCraze (NUEL) 8:38pm, 6 August 2008
What: Au Salon employee photoshoot for their web page gallery.
Date: A Sunday in September to be determined (14th, 21st, or 28th).
Time: 9:00AM to 3:00PM
Where: Au Salon on NW 23rd Ave
Attendees:Maximum of 15-20 strobists, we will be given credit for our photos on the Au Salon website.
Picture Expectations: Head and shoulder shot for each stylist's profile picture on Au Salon website. Also some fun shots of stylists.

The Story: This is the hair salon I have been going to for several years now and I got to know everyone there pretty well. As usual you get talking about life with the person cutting your hair and one day we talked about their recent photoshoot for the salon's website. The salon owner paid a photographer to come into the salon and shoot the employees. The photos turned out to be crap and were never used for the salon's webpage.

I sat down with the salon owner today and proposed a photoshoot with the salon with our strobist group. I proposed opening the salon on a September sunday when the salon is normally closed for business and doing the photoshoot. I suggested the 13 employees would come in select groups at specific times to rotate through three or four sets on location. She asked if some of their clients could come too and I said the priority would be the 13 employees then time permitting clients could squeeze in. We discussed meeting again if our group is interested in doing this to iron out the details as far as the look they wanted, requirements from their webmaster etc. I explained that our group of professionals do projects together and it would be a win win situation for both parties. I stressed the idea that our group would benefit of getting a chance to shoot on location with models and they would get nice photos to post on their website if they choose to. I scoped the area out and the salon interior and store front area have potential for great setups. The employees are all beautiful women that can give us great looks. It is important to know that our group will not be paid, however I look at it as a great experience for my learning at shooting a business environment.

The Au Salon is an authorized dealer of Bumble and Bumble hair products. They are fancying the look of B&B images like these:

Is there anyone interested in joining me for this photoshoot so I can commit to this arrangement?

OregonVelo 10 years ago
Depending on the Sunday, I am game.
| whiteSpace | PRO 10 years ago
Count me in. Thanks.
[ninjaphoto] 10 years ago
I should be able to stop by for this one. Depending on which football games are on. LOL.
afraid caption [deleted] 10 years ago
Totally In, bringing my ringlight :D
seanmophoto 10 years ago
Count me in, sounds cool
ShutterCraze (NUEL) Posted 10 years ago. Edited by ShutterCraze (NUEL) (admin) 10 years ago
The Au Salon is an authorized dealer of Bumble and Bumble hair products. They are fancying the look of B&B images like these:

I'm thinking big soft boxes, big reflectors, ringlight. Oh ya high fashion fun baby.

afraid caption [deleted] 10 years ago
Nuel, this sounds like such a fun shoot, I'm totally jazzed over the idea! Thank you for inviting us to do this, I think it's great!
thinkable straw [deleted] 10 years ago
I should be able to make it to this one :)
Whoowl 10 years ago
I will pass as I don't want to be apart of a shoot that's primary purpose appears to be providing commercial photographic images at no cost to a business (that clearly knows the value of the work, and purchased services in the past).

I feel this violates my ethics in PDX Strobist being a non-commercial group with a focus on education. I am also going to have issues with images being delivered to the client via the PDX Strobist server if this shoot happens I think people will need to take the time and money to deliver the images to the client themselves.
ShutterCraze (NUEL) Posted 10 years ago. Edited by ShutterCraze (NUEL) (admin) 10 years ago

Thanks Jon for taking the effort to post your concerns about my proposed September shoot rather than not saying anything at all. I appreciate all the work you are giving the PDX Strobist group from organizing meetups to helping with our website and the PDX Strobist server.

I did mull over the possibility of issues like you voiced before going through with meeting the salon owner and then going on to ask the PDX group. My thought was we already provide our pictures to people for free and they turn around and use them for their own use, some for commercial. Such as photos of Model Mayham portfolios where they did not have to pay a photographer to get their images. In my opinion portfolios are a showcase to represent someone's talent. Portfolios can create opportunities for commercial work, like modeling. So that being said I thought it was safe to ask our group to join me in learning to shoot off-camera in this environment. You are one of our leaders being an administrator, if you strongly feel that this shoot violates the goals and ethics of PDX Strobist then I will remove my post from PDX strobist and communicate to the others differently.

My plan at the shoot is to have everyone download their images onto my 80gig cardreader. I would rate all the images and get back to the others on which photos we can go forward with post processing. I can do all the post processing if needed or others can submit to me (via my own FTP site) their own rendition of the images. We all will get credit for our work. Then I will hand deliver a CD to the salon owner with all the post processed photos. That is how I have done all my past projects as far as workflow.

Please get back to me as well as others who have feedback about my proposed September shoot. Thanks again for bringing up your concerns.

DaveWeav 10 years ago
Please add me to the list
Rosborough Photography Posted 10 years ago. Edited by Rosborough Photography (member) 10 years ago
Well, being the photographer producing the "crap" I'd have to say, beware of this shoot. To start off, let's set a couple of things straight.

1. I was never paid a dime.
2. I was, kind of still am, friends with the owners. Not sure why.
3. I did not expect to be paid because they are friends, and they apparently don't like my work. I don't normally charge for anything unless people like what they see. With that said, I don't want them trashing my work and my name.
4. I am pretty pissed off about the whole thing.

Here is a "crap" example from my shoot. It may not be the best image in the world, but it's not crap. I know no one would have ever known that I was the "crap" photographer but this has been irking me for quite some time. Their way of treating me has really taken a hit on my confidence and want to see if you guys think this is "crap"

AU Salon Crap Photo Example
Rosborough Photography Posted 10 years ago. Edited by Rosborough Photography (member) 10 years ago
Here is a link to the proofs. The first eleven have some minor processing done but are not fully processed. The rest are well the rest. Please tell me that my stuff is not "crap".

It may not have been to the owner's taste, and I am fine with that, but does it deserve to be called "crap"?
Whoowl Posted 10 years ago. Edited by Whoowl (member) 10 years ago
@ShutterCraze - Regarding Portfolios... I see a clear difference between us giving models pictures in trade for Portfolio use and use giving a business images for free that are clearly going to be used for promotion and use in generating income.

Our models are just like us, out to learn, practice, and for some to build a portfolio for us in securing paid work.

None of the images that a model receives or a photographer produces can be used to generate revenue. It's a balance between the copyright holder (photographer) and the commercial use of one's likeness (model) provided by no releases allowed at the events.

I also see a difference between the volunteer admins taking time to setup a shoot for models and photographers versus for a business that will use the images produced later.

What it comes down to me is that it isn't about money, it's about time. All of us only have so much of it and if I am donating my time, it will not be done so others can profit from it. Likewise, I believe that if you are not donating your time, you deserve to be compensated fairly for it.

Personally, I donate my time because I believe that we all owe it to our communities to contribute and help each other. Another way to think about it, is I am compensated for my time, just in Karma or in knowing I am helping people.

@barosborough - I feel for you. You have done some fine work, and it is definitely not crap. It's hard working with a client to make sure to have a shared set of expectations and conceptual vision. My guess is that they might have wanted more contrast in the darker hair shots. It is hard to see the details of the hair styling in some of those shots. I bet you could fix it with some post work, but the question would be why when they are already not valuing your time from the shoot.

Also, some businesses just don't value creative work. These are the ones I get particularly upset with when I hear they have got work donated to them for free (or worse they are then complaining about it).

Sorry everyone if I am sounding preachy...
Doug S photo 10 years ago
Whoowl - Not preachy at all, I agree totally.

barosborough - I looked at your website, your galleries as well as the proofs from the shoot you did for the salon. You are clearly a talented photographer. Seems to me that its just a communication error, on the part of the salon, to let you know what it is exactly that they wanted. The images on the bumble and bumble product website, which they wanted to emulate, are clearly a different "style" of photos than you produced for them. You came up with lively, colorful and energetic, they wanted moody, something like you would see in a super elitist, pretentious European salon.
pdxblazer503 10 years ago
Count me in, I shall be back then.
GeoFX 10 years ago
I love fashion photography. Please count me in if there are availability. Thanks.
ShutterCraze (NUEL) Posted 10 years ago. Edited by ShutterCraze (NUEL) (admin) 10 years ago

I am very sorry about your whole experience with Au salon and the feelings you're experiencing from my post, I feel aweful. That is Hannah that you posted here and you had done a great job to capture her and all the others too. I even went to your website and browsed your galleries and found that you have great talent for your interests in photography. Browsing through all your captures, never did I see any crap. I particularly liked your landscapes and tulips.

Well going back to Au salon, they protected your name and didn't bad mouth your name or your business, not a mention of who you are. I was suprised to learn that it was one of my fellow strobists. I tried to ask even before I suggested doing a photoshoot for them why they didn't use the photos you provided for their website. Please know that I don't know each and every person's opinion of their photo that you took, I'm sure others liked it. I'm a little worried now how to shoot this if I though your work was good. Maybe it was just what Jon suggested "It's hard working with a client to make sure to have a shared set of expectations and conceptual vision." Maybe I need to change post processing to give it their look they fancy or change the posing and background or something. Those are details I was going to work out in my next conversation with them. Talking with them I think they also wanted fun candid shots of the stylists, an image of the shop with all the products and people doing business, etc. and maybe they didn't express that to you or they changed their minds after you had done your work. Your images may at the end not be the look they wanted to post on their website but none of your images of Au salon and your website are crap. Geez Aaron I just feel so terrible on stirring up the bee hive on you. I am deeply sorry and I wish I could say something else to make it right. As a starting photographer I am sensitive to what others say about my work too and it does affect my confidence. It is a part of photography that I didn't expect but I take it as something that I have to go through as an artist. That is why I can't be full time artist or salesman, I have a hard time with rejection.

GeoFX Posted 10 years ago. Edited by GeoFX (member) 10 years ago
You did great with those photos. Like Doug and John mentioned earlier, it sounds like a misunderstanding in expectation and style.
YouLookNiceTodayPhotography Posted 10 years ago. Edited by YouLookNiceTodayPhotography (member) 10 years ago
So if I understand everything correctly, they are wanting free photos but have specific expectations about what they will look like and aren't willing to hire another professional photographer? This sounds a little sketchy to me. I also agree with all of the Whool's points.

To me this sounds more like work for free with pressure to get it right.

Just my 2 cents.

PS I also think barosborough pictures are great.
Aaron Audio 10 years ago
I think jod.d.himes might just need to bring his Speedotron setup for this.
ShutterCraze (NUEL) 10 years ago
Thanks everyone for your feedback and I do respect all of your comments and I don't take any offense.

I wanted to make it clear that it was my idea for me to shoot their salon photos with my donated time and effort. I heard their story and I took it as an opportunity to do something nice for someone and learn from it. The salon never demanded the photos for free rather I offered it free to them because I wanted to use the experience to practice off camera lighting. If they didn't like my work then I don't feel bad for charging them for the photos. I am not sure if the salon is not willing to hire another professional photographer or maybe even giving Aaron another shot at getting something they are looking for. Ok THEN I had the idea of sharing this opportunity with PDX Strobist to whoever thought it might be a good chance to experiment with off camera stuff.

I envisioned this shoot to be a very fun and learning experience for me and anyone else to shoot high fashion with many models. I have failed to organize this successfully if it portrays an unethical work for free high pressure job. That was not my intention. I feel so embarrassed over this post and discouraged. After my Workflow workshop I organized and this Au salon shoot I am no longer looking for opportunities for us, I'll leave that up to others.

Whoowl Posted 10 years ago. Edited by metakephoto (admin) 10 years ago
@shuttercraze - don't worry we can get you and everyone else lots of oppertunities to shoot fashion and other things. Little do you guys know, but there is a secret Admin's Mailing List for PDX Strobist that we use all the time to plan events, and come up with ideas. Anytime someone throws out an idea, we talk it up and figure out how to make it work. I am actually working on setting up some bigger events for the group with professional instructors, so stay tuned!

@everyone - just an FYI, my name is spelled John or Who Owl, heh.
Rosborough Photography 10 years ago
@shuttercrase - Please do not feel like you have any responsibility in my reaction to the shoot. These are my issues and you did nothing wrong in my mind. I feel much better just having the chance to get the situation off my chest and to have received honest feedback from those whom I respect. For that I accutally thank you.

This issue is done for me and don't really want another oppurtunity to make it right in the minds of the salon. It's better for me to just let this rest. Having peoples opinions have really helped me out.

@everyone -- Thanks for your comments. I have no issues with you guys doing the shoot. The employees/owners at Au Salon are very nice and fun people. It was just a shity situation all around. I'll just say that I will not be attending this shoot! :)
roxnmud 10 years ago
Hi, new member here.

Just wanted to add a different POV. Yep, this could be a high pressure/expectations event, all done without financial compensation. But for those people looking to become professional, this gives valuable experience into the career and would be worth the time and effort. I do a lot of volunteering in high pressure positions because it gives me experience that I wouldn't have been able to get otherwise.

Professional photography is a lot more than just taking properly exposed pictures.
kenneth barton PRO 10 years ago
OK, I feel the problem with borosborough's images is a matter of style. To me they are very good portrait sdone in a consistent style. Also they speak a bit of the personality of the employees. Nice work.

Still, clients aren't always technical about whether the images are art, well-lit or how competently they are executed, only what their message. They are likely interested in selling an idea, a branding in effect, an feeling of who they are and what they do, and what they'll do to transform the life of the client. I'd be willing to bet they see them as "crap" because the photos don't say "trendy NW23rd salon', let us do your hair and you'll get laid more often and by cooler people," which I'm sad to say they do not.

Having ventured my opinion about that, I'd now like to say I'd be happy to attend the event, but only if I can do my own post-processing. I understand the ethical arguments, but it sounds like a new business just getting their feet wet, and it sounds like fun, a chance to shoot trendy looking post-hipsters (or whatever) while trying to figure out how to pull that off.

Our strobist meets so far haven't taken shooting fashions into account and maybe this is a chance. Whether they use the images or not, who cares. Let's look at some September 2008 fashion magazines, analyze the lights, poses, and post-processing and go for it! Sign me up.

I would be interested in doing this one as well depending on the day.
afraid caption [deleted] 10 years ago
I agree with Ken that i would like to do my own post-processing as that's part of my learning/learning curve LOL
I think that looking at magazines for lighting idea is a great idea!

I am also one of those photographers that think this is a valuable experience, I wouldn't normally have a chance to work with a salon and see it as a learning experience when it comes to getting a clients vision across.

barosborough - I think your images are beautiful, the lighting is very flattering to the subjects. I think these are wonderful shots for the stylists in my opinion of course. I think had you been asked to photograph the hair styles and cuts that you might have done better with some dramatic lighting and strong poses but unless instructed otherwise I would have gone for the same type images for the stylists themselves.

So that's my 2 cents if anyone cares :)
[ninjaphoto] 10 years ago
Stereoblind 10 years ago
Hi all, long time. I've missed working with everyone. I'm finally "uncorded" and need practice with my little flashes so I'm looking to come to an event soon.

Long story short, I find this discussion interesting and will share quickly my experience with a different salon.

I volunteered to shoot another salon's events strictly for the experience and networking with other artists. I provided a lot of pictures with the understanding that they would offer me trades in return (free product, makeup and hair for models) up to an agreed upon relative value and the possibility of getting my images on the walls of the salon.

But even though I mentioned that we should put something in writing so no one felt gypped, that never happened. I put in about 16 hours of shoot time (between 3 events), even brought in another photographer with more equipment to make absolutely sure they got what whey wanted even if I couldn't do it myself.

I got 3 haircuts, one makeup session, two products and a partridge in a pear tree.

Oh, and yet another experience that my passion for shooting and trusting I'll be taken care of at least as much as I take care of my clients doesn't often go both ways.

If I were to arrange to shoot with another salon myself I would ask for that little "trade coupon" before handing over the goods for them to use. But the first place to put my stuff in print (either in store or in a printed ad) would still get the variation of TFP deal. :)

But for this event? I'd do it for the experience, not expecting at all for any of my images to actually be used because mine (unlike anyone elses) I fully expect to be actual crap. Oh how I fight the strobes...

Let me know if this gets firmed up, depending on the Sunday I might be free too.
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