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Clown Portraits

Discussion in 'The Business of Clowning' started by Lily Silly, Jan 2, 2012.

  1. Lily Silly

    Lily Silly New Member

    Hi, clowns! I was wondering what you guys have done for clown portraits that you use on your website and business cards? I'd like to update my website with new pictures, as well as create new business cards with a picture on one side.

    My question for you is have you gone to any portrait studios such as JCPenney or Sears? I know they offer business portraits, where you pay to have a CD with full rights to reproduce the pictures for promotional materials. However, their rates seem very expensive for just digital pictures.

    The other option I'm considering is having one of my relatives take pictures of me outdoors (at the park or beach). I got a new Nikon camera for Christmas and it takes excellent pictures. But would these pictures look professional enough for my website?
  2. Bonkers #361

    Bonkers #361 New Member

    I have asked a free lance photographer in my area. She mainly works for the news paper but does stuff on the side. I give her a free party for her kid and she does my pictures for free
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  3. Alex

    Alex ...much nicer in person!!!

    The photographer who did my newspaper shoot gave me rights to the photos... I also have friends in the photo biz (from my background in photography)... Your best bet is to go to an independent photo studio rather than a "box" store like Flash Photo, Sears, and Walmart. Besides their photos being crap, they have lots of rules and stipulations.
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  4. Plywood

    Plywood New Member

    I've heard that Target does really good photos (at least in my area). I don't see why they wouldn't let a clown come and get their portraits done, though I'm guessing they don't give you a digital copy.
  5. Sir Toony Van Dukes

    Sir Toony Van Dukes Well-Known Member

    A lot of photo studios still think in terms of 8x10s and 5x7s. They don't understand using pictures on business cards and websites. They also don't know how to pose a clown in a clown appropriate position. A lot of the conventions I have attended have had a photographer who can take pictures of clowns in their costumes... I still find that some of these don't take the best pictures for clowns... They might do great work for a family of four or husband and wife, but unless they know about clowns...

    Almost all of my pictures are self taken pictures or taken by a friend at a parade or other event. Outdoor pictures in the summer can have great lighting and vibrant greens and blues. I have set up a tripod and sheets for background when taking pictures at home.

    Plan ahead with a few props... Holding a jumbo phone can be great on a "contact" page or business card. Holding a book can be used on an "About" page. It is also good to get a few action shots of you making balloons, painting faces, or performing a magic trick.
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  6. tim

    tim Have red nose, will travel

    I agree pretty much entirely with Toony.

    My own opinion would be to ask artistic types beyond the clowning community who they know that offer fun photo sessions. I think that for the best results, you need a creative person who thinks outside the box and is willing to both try to understand your particular needs for publicity shots as well as be willing to get imaginative and creative. For some photographers, this could be a nice challenge that has a value for them to expand and grow. Others have experience at it already, but you might pay a premium for that.

    Given, part of the problem if you're not from a major metropolis with the sort of vibrant arts community which I'm used to, is to even find people who are capable of this. But my recommendation, then, would be to look a little beyond to find photography clubs or colleges or even just offbeat eclectic types of gatherings which might have people who would be interested in trying something different like this.
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  7. Pinkie Bee

    Pinkie Bee New Member

    I just got mine done at Target. I brought a bunch of props and pretty much directed my shoot. Even changed wigs and collar. was free sitting, free 8x10 and all other pics 3.99each. and yes you can get them on CD for $99


    Attached Files:

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  8. looneyloni

    looneyloni New Member

    They turned out fab, Pinkie!!!
  9. saphireSue

    saphireSue True Blue

    one night our alley planned to do this, we each brought various props then would try out different poses, some came out really cute, down side none of us thought to bring some thing for the back ground, so they would have looked better had the background been set differently
  10. Face Painting Kat

    Face Painting Kat New Member

    yeah... I should probably do something more professional. Right now I have pics my hubby took for me standing against a brick wall...lol. Pinky... I love your pics. $99? Ouch. For what it's worth.. I like your pink long wig. :)
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2012
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  11. Simply Knute

    Simply Knute Well-Known Member

    Check out your local community college's Visual Communications/Photography dept. I was a Graphic Design major and was in a lot of classes with photography people, and they are always looking for models to further their portfolios. A lot of them thought it was really cool that i was a clown and i got several offers for free photos from them. You may not get free ones unless they are friends, but students are usually going to be quite a bit cheaper, since they're building their portfolio, than an established photographer. I would second alex in staying away from all of the olan mills type places. they are just too stiff.
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  12. Peaches

    Peaches New Member

    I worked for jcpenney portrait studio... I cannot imagine a clown shoot going well... they arent very creative people, The photographer is told to take a maximum of 20 minutes getting to know you while taking photos. they are good for kids and babies (if they are well behaved) and target is the same photostudio as jcpenney.. they both are lifetouch, so i think there prices/quality is around the same. find an amature photographer in your area... youll save money and have a much better time at your photoshoot..
    and as long as your new camera has a high megapixel (above 7) your photos should turn out fine, just dont try to print them for a billboard or anything
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  13. Finney

    Finney New Member

    Or... you could go to Spring Fling next year and have Goofie take (awesome) pictures for $25. I decided against it this year because I'm not really settled on my character/makeup etc., but now I'm kicking myself. It would have been nice to have them for posterity, if nothing else... Oh well, next year for sure!
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  14. Toby KID

    Toby KID Well-Known Member

    Wow. There's an egocentric view of his city.?
    FYI One of the few Master Photographers in the Midwest lives in central Iowa about 50 miles from me.
    Three miles north of me is a published poet. His fultime job is writing poetry and shorts. 6 miles west is a guy who moved here from Calafonia to buy a junk yard. He is a sculpture, selling mostly to the west coast. He's closed the junk yard down and just exports. 27 miles soth is a multi medium artist who has a work in the Louvre, and had and exhibition at the Guggenheim. 25 miles to my east lives a young lady who started taking pictures, then making films and has shown at Cannes and was nominated for an Oscar this year (and a former clown student of mine).
    That's not listing the other artist that work/display/sell but haven't gained national attention.
    Does vibrant mean folks that claim they're an artist but work as a waiter to cover rent?
    I like to visit Chicago and do several times a year. But I can safely leave my car unlocked when I am having coffee with artist in my neighborhood.
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  15. tim

    tim Have red nose, will travel

    No intention of knocking anyone's un 'civil" environment. I'm simply saying that in a metropolis, it is often easier to find a LOT of people who may be apt and offer an interesting perspective; whereas those who come from some other areas of the country don't always have as much in the way of resources readily available.

    Earlier this year, I met up with one of the clowns from the forum. She drove almost three hours to attend a festival in a city where they actually have a shop which sells professional theatrical makeup. (Having the chance to personally get a hands on look/see was very important to her.) That's something I have a hard time understanding, since there are plenty of places where I can get these products in Chicago.

    While there certainly are exceptional artists in the lesser populated parts of the country, also, you must consider yourself fortunate if you happen to be in a place where you get to interact with them. Which, ultimately, is all I'm saying about the "big city", also! I consider myself lucky and blessed to be in such an active artistic environment, with exposure and connections to so much opportunity. And, after all, traditionally artists center themselves upon such urban environs, which in turn serves as a genesis point for tons of interesting artistic endeavors.

    Now..... who wants to knock Paris, next?
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2012
  16. Barry Daft (Mr. B. Daft)

    Barry Daft (Mr. B. Daft) Old Bucket Spitter

    Not only that, I think there are a lot of clowns here, who do not know how to pose in an appropriate clowny position. I have had this thought since the first time I stumbled across this place but never felt comfortable broaching the subject. But here we have a thread where perhaps my criticism may be of relevance and value and stimulate people to think a little harder about the issue.

    There exists a sizable number of clowns here on this forum, who for one reason or another, always feel the need to pose for pictures holding what they think is an open mouthed, laughing face. You see it time and time again and I am not so sure it looks as mirth filed, as their face muscles are telling them it looks. They might be striving to create the archetypical laughing clown image, that they have seen on the side of a cornflakes packet but they achieve a totally opposite effect. Often, rather than laughter, I see a contorted gapping mouth, with black fillings, tonsils and false eyes that betray the emotion. I am absolutely convinced, to some children this fake look of unbridled, exuberant, laughter, that they assume they are projecting, is actually rather off putting, scary even.


    They might think they are projecting laughter, but what I see is something more akin to this picture. A more genuine, happy smiling face, would be in many cases be far more inviting and friendly.


    A British reporter approached Paris Hilton and asked- "Miss Hilton- are you from France?"

    Bemused, she replied "No? Why do you assume that, is it because I'm called Paris?"

    "No," the reporter replied, " It's because you are ugly, you're a bit of a tramp and no-one likes you."
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2012
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  17. Plywood

    Plywood New Member

    I for one, resemble that remark. (I'm borrowing your line, Duckie.) I wanted to get photos done with Goofie this year, but had no idea of how to go about doing "clowny" poses for the camera. I'll have to think about it for next year, and do some real planning. And I promise not to show off my fillings!
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  18. Finney

    Finney New Member

    Maybe "action shots" would be more appropriate for clowns... posed photos tend to look posed, and be devoid of the fun and energy associated with clowns. Besides, we should be less concerned with looking "good" and more with being funny! That being said, Goofie did get some great shots at the Fling, mostly because he captured that energy through use of props and action like plate spinning, etc.

    And I agree, Barry: the classic "surprised smile" pose that Lou Jacobs perfected can look unappealing and/or scary as all get out, not to mention cliche. Let's get creative! We're clowns for Pete's sake!
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  19. Sir Toony Van Dukes

    Sir Toony Van Dukes Well-Known Member

    I don't like posed pictures. I much rather walk up to someone and just snap a picture without giving them time to pose. In all truth, they look more natural that way. Someone is teaching kids that smiling means showing their teeth. Nothing looks worse than a kid struggling to pull their lips back far enough to show all of their teeth.
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  20. Alex

    Alex ...much nicer in person!!!

    ...And what's up with this pose????

    Attached Files:

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