My First Commission – Part 1

There are many ways for artists to make a living.  Craig and I already have our website up, with many of our pieces for sale, and we’re about to test out another way, in the form of an art fair next month.  We’re also currently doing some research on how to sell some of our designs on a wholesale basis, although we’re probably a year or so away from fully engaging in that method.  But one way I hadn’t considered before is commissions.

I had always thought that when a photographer took a commission, it was generally for family portrait work, or maybe photographing a wedding.  Since I know I’m horrible at taking pictures of people (they usually end up looking either stoned, sleepy, or like their worst mug shot), I figured I’d probably never do commission work.

However, that changed, quite serendipitously, when someone I volunteer with found out that I was a photographer.  She expressed an interest in getting a photo of the dock out by her house, and wondered if I’d be willing to do a commission of it.  Capturing inanimate objects is a specialty of mine, so I readily agreed.

I had to do some quick research into the world of commissions: how much to charge, how much time it might take, and what the client should expect, among other things.  I told my client that this would be my first commission job and we agreed upon a price.

I’m technically still in the midst of this job, and thankfully my client didn’t have a specific time frame in mind.  She just wants me to capture a certain mood that would help evoke a memory for her.  I’ve been to the location a couple of times to take some preliminary shots, just to get a feel for the subject, and I think I’m already seeing the finished pieces in my mind.  Here are just a couple possible ways for me to go:

Elizabeth Keuny - 033






Elizabeth Keuny - 022Elizabeth Keuny - 009








Obviously I need to work on the lighting and will probably need to do some post-production work in Photoshop, but I’ve shown her some of these and she feels that the mood is right, thankfully.

I think I’ll be working on this for the next few months, capturing these in different weather and lighting, to see what else I can come up with, but it’s exciting to have been asked specifically to help capture her memories in picture form.

Stay tuned here, because when I’ve finished the piece(s) I’ll share it/them here in a future blog.