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Thread: Maternity photography using Chamonix 45N-2

  1. #31

    Re: Maternity photography using Chamonix 45N-2

    This does not seem like a path to success. I certainly would advocate exploring other formats as part of your growth and path as a photographer, but not as a marketing gimmick. A good picture is a good picture whether its taken on a phone, a $30k medium format digital camera, or a large format film camera. Ultimately your clients will be drawn to you because of the quality and style of your work, not what camera you shoot it on. I'd much rather have a huge grainy wall print from an enlarged 35mm neg of a great photo, than a tack sharp grainless enlargement from a boring 8x10 neg.

    And even if there is a market for those looking for maternity photographs who are looking for that large format quality, lets say for every active member on this board, there are 100 other people in the US who appreciate the quality of large format (either technical or aesthetic either of which I would say is very nuanced/unnoticeable to the not photo-obsessive), so that's 3500*100= 35,000 which is 0.1% of the population. So assuming the market for maternity photos is roughly representative of the general population, you're looking at 1 in 1000 clients who might even notice the difference in the image when produced on large format. And the non-image novelty factor of working with someone who uses a view camera will quickly vanish when the reality of that process is revealed to them.

    don't get me wrong. i love film. and i really like large format (albeit i'm still quite new to it). But I think this is neither a smart marketable aspect, nor a particularly smart choice of format for working in maternity/newborn photography professionally (the odd job here and there on large format is way different than working day in and day out). And as much as i like film, i wouldn't chose a photographer because they worked in film, i would chose them because i think they are good photographer!

    That being said... I do think that if you shot wet-plate, with a great big ol' wooden camera and brass lens, and made the whole thing an experience which resulted in a one-off collodion image that maybe got housed in something like they would put old Daguerreotypes, I think there's a market for that. The logistics of that on newborn sound like a nightmare, but I personally would pay for that if you were good enough to get the baby to go consistently to sleep to allow for a long exposure image (or got clever with artificial lighting that wouldn't practically explode the baby's retinas).

  2. #32

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    Re: Maternity photography using Chamonix 45N-2

    Quote Originally Posted by scathontiphat View Post
    This does not seem like a path to success. I certainly would advocate exploring other formats as part of your growth and path as a photographer, but not as a marketing gimmick...
    Well, some are able to earn a living making maternity photography with an smartophone, while others may fail with a Hassy HD6...

    But there is nothing wrong in making a bet with LF, also the risk is low because presently LF gear can be cheap. For sure LF has a unique look for portraiture that today is uncommon.

    The question is about the phtographer's ability to make great portraits, and if he can take commercial advantage from LF unique look.

    I repeat, the risk is relatively low, making a try with a CAMBO SC and a Symmar 150 has less cost than a Nikon flash.

  3. #33

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    Re: Maternity photography using Chamonix 45N-2

    Like Pere said... except I had better success with my infants using a Cambo with a longer lens - 210.

  4. #34

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    Re: Maternity photography using Chamonix 45N-2

    You are right, a newborn is too small for the 150, but it is convertible to 265/12

  5. #35

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    Re: Maternity photography using Chamonix 45N-2

    If I were to start a business doing child/maternity photography on film I would start with something like a 500 series Hasselblad or a medium format range finder. Once I had a good understanding of what worked I might then move to a large format camera, most likely starting with a 4x5 technical or press camera.

  6. #36

    Re: Maternity photography using Chamonix 45N-2

    Thank you very much for sharing this list of photographers using film cameras.
    Actually I think it would be a good idea in order to distinguish yourself (I don't really know precisely about the maternity market). A lot of people say that gear doesn't really matter. In a sens I do agree that light, composition, attention to details and connection (if you are into people photography) are the most important. Nevertheless...gear definitely has a part of importance to me. Just have a look at some website like "the wedding sparrow" who only accepts submissions of images shot on film. Or just have a look at all these top notch wedding photographers...most of them use film as it was said in this conversation and I think we can even go deeper and say that most of them use a Contax 645 with a Zeiss 80mm f2 lens (it's all about the lens actually) that gives a unique and impossible to mimic final result.

    I also agree with the comment saying that it would be a good idea to first start on a medium format before jumping into the Large one (and getting involved with such an investment). I started playing with 35mm camera before I was ready to jump a level higher and get into the medium format world...who knows what's next .


    Tim
    http://www.tim-moore.com

  7. #37

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    Re: Maternity photography using Chamonix 45N-2

    Quote Originally Posted by parisphotographer View Post
    Or just have a look at all these top notch wedding photographers...most of them use film as it was said in this conversation and I think we can even go deeper and say that most of them use a Contax 645 with a Zeiss 80mm f2 lens (it's all about the lens actually) that gives a unique and impossible to mimic final result.
    http://www.tim-moore.com
    Hello Tim,

    While the digital vs film debate is over since 10 years ago, and connection can be all, film can hook a fashion photographer in a number of ways.

    Josť Villa skyrocketed the price of the C 645 with the Z f/2 , but IMHO there is more than the 80 f/2...

    First is format, a Phase One has an small 53.7 ◊ 40.4 mm MF digital sensor, while a Pentax 67II has twice the surface, same difference than DX vs FX, then we have the Takumar 105mm f/2.4, that glass was not made in the earth, but by god himself. Even the small 645 overuns the Phase surface by 30%. If we talk about "Full Format" DSLRs, then we are in 2nd division portraiture aganist a 6x7, twice the DX vs FX impact.

    Format is not all and a lot of times it's simply irrelevant, but sometimes the DOF/OOF grading nature of a bigger format makes an atonishing difference in portraiture, fashion photographers reject DX in favor of FX, and this is (mostly) not because image quality, but because focus nature...

    Then we have spectral response. Some may prefer Canon over Nikon DSLRs for portraits, and Nikon for the rest. Photoshop won't match completely the result with RGB adjustments because the difference in the spectral to tri-color conversion.

    Film photographers have some powerful tools, Portra 160 and Fuji 160 for example. These are well sharpened bullets that today have no digital equivalent, we could talk a week long about why. I don't say one thing is better than the other, but certain look it's natural with film and IMHO a botched job if emulated in Ps from a digital capture, perhaps customer won't feel it, but Villa doesn't take that risk.

    Then we have BW... let me point a fashion shot taken in Paris: http://100photos.time.com/photos/ric...with-elephants

    Regards

  8. #38

    Re: Maternity photography using Chamonix 45N-2

    Wow -- I just realized this is an extensive thread. I haven't read through it. Here's the reply I wrote before realizing that many others had replied:

    Alex -- I'm a longtime professional photographer up in L.A., and I don't think 4x5 / large format is the way to go for you, if you want to separate yourself from the competition. (And I love using film when possible.) Here's why:

    - You may or may not know, but it is slow, cumbersome and expensive. And it will feel slow and cumbersome to your clients as well. The great images you see in large format are probably shot by photographers who have been doing this a long time. Honestly, with large format, even if you manage to get good images on film, your images probably aren't going to look much different from anyone else's. See next point.

    - For the most part, it's not the camera that makes the shot. It's you. The things that will distinguish you are your lighting, your composition, your eye, your ideas, the content of your images, your locations, your taste level, your styling (wardrobe, makeup, hair). These having nothing to do with camera. Large format has many advantages -- very large prints without graininess, better tonality in the image, endless ways to manipulate the image and plane of focus -- but the drawbacks are too many to make it practicable for you. If you want to use film, medium format also enables very large prints and great tonality, while also allowing you to see through the camera while shooting (you can't with large format), 12 or so shots per roll (large format = one sheet at a time), and handhold-ability.

    - What will also distinguish you is your final deliverable, most likely prints. If you really want to separate yourself from the competition, I think this is where you can stand out: your retouching and printing. If you shoot B&W, perhaps you can print in the darkroom using an alternative process, to deliver a look like no one else's? You can also choose to work with a great retoucher, which will also enable you to deliver unique final images. Both of these options would make your pricing higher but would separate you from others.

    I could go on more, but suffice it to say, I think large format for maternity work is a bad idea, at least at the start of your photographic career. Hope this helps.

    best,
    ethan

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