Doctors and Patience

I was interested to read in The Photographer’s Outlook on 2013  by PhotoShelter of 5000 photographers worldwide, that 56% of photographers were intending to up-skill themselves via workshops and classes. I think this is an indication of the need for remaining current in an ever-increasing competitive field. Commercial photography, much like most other business sectors has not been immune to the GFC (global financial crisis), therefore we must all work harder and smarter at what we do.

Further to the survey it suggested that 90% were planning to make changes to their website in 2013 and 68% spend $1000-$2000 per year and on average 2-4 hours per week on their marketing. This time is split between 54% word-of-mouth, 25% social media and 9% blogging.

I think these numbers indicate that while most of us would like more work, we are fairly time poor and struggle to put in the hours needed to secure more leads and work. The reliance on word-of-mouth marketing is a great way to generate leads but it may also be an indication of a lack of financial investment in marketing strategies that yield more work.

This week I’ve been shooting a continuing project for a corporate client to photograph doctors at various medical centres from Penrith, Blue Mountains and the Central West.

The brief I’ve been given is quite specific – they require the images to be shot with a 50mm lens, all wide format and the doctors are to be positioned to one side of the frame holding something in their hands.

I have had the doctors holding stethoscopes, pens, files and their spectacles. Generally speaking it is preferable to have the hands of your subject in the shot to avoid the appearance of arms not to having hands attached to them.

I used two lights on this shoot, one main light at 45 and a second kicker at 135, both balanced with the ambient light in the rooms.

One of the doctors I shot this week.

One of the doctors I shot this week.

This shoot required me to find suitable ‘plain’ backgrounds for each of the doctors – easier said than done in these practices with most of the hallways painted beige and/or decorated with tacky framed prints of some sea-side or forest, or better yet plastered with posters promoting good health and vitality.

With just the hallways to work in I have had my lights stuck in fire hydrant reels and open doorways trying to achieve the correct position and angle. On top of all this the doctors are on duty so I have no more than 2-3 minutes with each of them between seeing patients.

I needed to be patient and work very fast!

As part of our Certificate IV delivery at NADC our students are expected to develop their own blog as a means to create an online presence and a vehicle for answering exercise questions and assessments.

This has been met with much enthusiasm on the whole and their efforts are fantastic. I felt I needed to share in the experience and have created this blog in response.

I read through the how-to guide from WordPress over the weekend and have now evolved my blog into a website with image slideshow and separate pages for contact, links and video tutorials.

I’m loving this blogging!

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