Couple Questions for the pros....

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by Sinister_kid, Feb 16, 2009.

  1. Sinister_kid

    Sinister_kid TPF Noob!

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    Don't know if this is in the right section, so if it's not please do move it mods.

    But to the point, I recently got the idea to "start a business" and start taking senior pictures for next year's seniors (my class). But, i had the question of has anybody had any experience with this type of idea? Also, What kind of things should i do in order to get my name out for this?

    I recently had a shot that was put in the School's monthly newspaper, but not credited, the newspaper editor said this would be corrected for the next months edition. Also, my shots are being used in the schools yearbook for this year. So i do have a couple shots out in public.

    Next question is, i took some pictures of some commerical airline planes and was wondering if anybody has ever submitted their pictures to the publisher/editing department to be used?

    Thanks everybody. :wink:

    Edit:
    Also when contacting the companies what exactly should i say to them? I was thinking something along the lines of saying that when i was on one of their flights i captured a very good shot of part of the plane and was wondering if you would be interested in using the shot in an onboard magazine.

    Something like that?
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2009
  2. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    First of all, if you are going to 'start a business' and charge money...you will probably need to be registered as a business and you will surely need to pay taxes on any money you make.

    Probably a long shot. I'd guess that if they need photos, they hire a professional to get them. And if your photos show any logos or company names, those are probably copyrighted and you couldn't just sell them anyway.

    You could try submitting them to the editors of those on-board magazines...but don't expect to get paid for them.
     
  3. CrimsonFoxPhotography

    CrimsonFoxPhotography TPF Noob!

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    I could potentially see a marketing angle for you being the fellow senior to take Senior Portraits of other seniors. If you're quite the socialite, I can see it working out quite well for you if you're decent enough. I don't know what kind of rates you were interested in charging and the quality of the products you would want to offer, but many seniors may have little money to get photos from a more experienced professional and would be willing to give you a shot. Facebook, myspace, and parties are going to be your best friend for something like this. If I were you, I would start practicing on sophomores just to get your style and process down before approaching members of your class.
     
  4. visualpoetry

    visualpoetry TPF Noob!

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    Talk to your yearbook staff. Be comfortable with the specifications they require for yearbook headshots. They're usually very particular. Usually they require a specific color of background and the head size has to meet the standards.

    Bringing the business in shouldnt be a problem for you since it sounds like your marketing to your fellow classmates. Design flyers, pass them around. See if your school will let you hang some up or leave them around - but alot of times they're contracted with a photographer already for the yearbook goods. It's worth a try!

    Good luck.
     
  5. Sinister_kid

    Sinister_kid TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for all the replies guys!

    From what i can tell of the past year's yearbooks that they don't require any specific background.. nor are they contracted with any photographer because we are required to bring in our own shots.

    As far as price/quality i figured 50-75$ for a session of shots in/around my town and if they want to go somewhere else, say seattle for a senior picture, i would charge 100-125$ depending on location, but i would supple transportation.

    As far as advertising for the "Business" I think my school would be fine with me setting up flyers, setting an ad in the school paper, and i could talk to my local paper about getting an ad in there.

    Thanks.
     
  6. Sarah23

    Sarah23 TPF Noob!

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    Im going to repeat what Mike said...if you are charging and making money, you need to register this as a business and do it all legally. You will have to withhold taxes, pay sales tax, all that not-so0fun stuff. Otherwise you are just undercutting the real pros out there who make their living doing this very thing.
     
  7. Seefutlung

    Seefutlung TPF Noob!

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    Marketplaces are different across the country.

    Here in SoCal, Senior Pictures is big business and large corporations bid for the business. I know that part of the bidding was the corporation sent "pro" photogs to some games and other events and they gave the school camera equipment.

    So I'd check out the competition before you set up a business.

    Gary
     
  8. Sinister_kid

    Sinister_kid TPF Noob!

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    Well i would of course do the business the legal way. I wouldn't want to undercut anybody, thats just wrong in my eyes.

    I will definitely have to check out the competition around here. I think there is really only one business that does it in my town.
     
  9. Holy Ghosted

    Holy Ghosted TPF Noob!

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    If you are not willing to under cut some one in one way or another then you will not get much if any business. You either need to deliver better product at the same cost or more product at the same cost. That is just business. I do understand that you do not want to make enemies and once you figure all your cos for equipment time and the return you will need to cover all that plus make a few buck for your self your price will ? should be very close to your competitors. Most people do not take into account that a large portion of every job has to pay all of your past and future bills AKA camera, computers, software, printing, lighting, and studio equipment just to name a few things. Don't for get your business and liability Ins. as well and yes all these thing apply if you only plan on doing location shoots.
     
  10. Sinister_kid

    Sinister_kid TPF Noob!

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    Well as far as equipment goes im pretty well set aside from the lighting aspect.. So not too worried there... money wise. And Insurance shouldn't be a problem, my mom works for an insurance company.
     
  11. LarissaPhotography

    LarissaPhotography TPF Noob!

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    Give it a try. Build a portfolio. Have some fun with it.
     
  12. Holy Ghosted

    Holy Ghosted TPF Noob!

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    Right, But if you ware out your equipment working it with out having the work pay for it PLUS to pay for the REPLACEMENT equipment your business will be belly up or needing to barrow money with your very first equipment failure. Just trying to give you some advice on how to keep a business going. Basically if you start using all your gear for business you need your business to buy it. Why make it your out of pocket expense just because you are the sole proprietor. If you are successful this year automatically think about setting up an LLC or CO to protect your personal assets as well as your personal credit if something were to go wrong with the business.
     

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