How long did it take to get your first paid job as a photographer??

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by bellaPictures, Sep 26, 2005.

  1. bellaPictures

    bellaPictures TPF Noob!

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    Just wondering, how long did it take for you to get your first photography booking?? After a few weeks of actually advertising by direct mail, Ive only had a few, and was wondering what the average time it takes to get bookings. Im starting to wonder if im doing something wrong? My prices are quite reasonable and cheap since ive only started advertising, anyone got any ideas??? Maybe my skills need more work??

    thanks in advance
     
  2. SLOShooter

    SLOShooter TPF Noob!

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    Maybe it just takes a while to get a rep? I donno.
     
  3. Meysha

    Meysha still being picky Vicky

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    Maybe you should bump your prices up so they're not exactly "cheap".

    If you've got a quality product, charge a quality price for it. That's what we always said to ourselves with our business (game fishing charter boats) and it's always worked. We've given the same advice to a good friend who is now a wedding ceremony person (arhg forget what it's called)... Celebrant! that's it. She wasn't charging much when she started off... but then she put her prices up and people wanted her then.

    It's very strange and I can't explain it. I wouldn't go crazy though and it all depends on what you're doing, but I thought you might like that story.
     
  4. bellaPictures

    bellaPictures TPF Noob!

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    oh thanks for that...i do like that story!
    I have considered putting my prices up but they might think im ripping them off if they see that ive just started out, they wont want to pay THAT much...my portforlio needs to be increased as well so thats why they might be put off with such high price. Ill see how it goes..

    im not exactly in a hurry at the moment because I have a baby due anytime soon, but will get back onto it as soon as its over!

    THANKS!!
     
  5. thebeginning

    thebeginning TPF Noob!

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    meysha has a good point. also, never think of your stuff as 'good enough'. always view it as sub-par, no matter how good you thought it was. It helps you to take more care in your design, methods, and actual photos. also, keep in mind that the best advertisement is word of mouth. dont worry if you only have a few clients at the beginning. Focus all your efforts into them and tell them to tell others of your work.
     
  6. bellaPictures

    bellaPictures TPF Noob!

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    Any good tips on better design, methods and photos??
     
  7. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    What services are you offering? It can just take time to build up a word of mouth reputation. Be patient. I would love to be doing more portrait sessions unrelated to weddings, but after 2 years of advertising most of my clients contact me about engagement portraits and weddings.

    In my experience direct mailings and newspaper ads have been useless. A good website that is linked to all the places sites that will pop up when a potential client types in "{your location} photographer" has been my best advertising bang for the buck. Good word of mouth is invaluable.

    I think your website looks pretty good, and your prices are good for starting out. It's just going to take time. I spoke with several pros that I knew as I was getting started, and they all said it just takes time to build up the business base to really make money doing it.
     
  8. bellaPictures

    bellaPictures TPF Noob!

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    thanks for your kind words...yes i know it all takes time, i can get quite impatient at times. I offer all services to do with photography but mainly portraits and weddings. Im not much of a landscape photographer by any means but i do like to take a few nice shots when i see it, but i dont get much satisfaction as much as when i take portraits. I enjoy them much more!

    I thought about newspaper ads but i thought it was abit pointless as well...But how much time does it take to build up the business base do you think is the average time?

    Thanks for your input

    www.bellapictures.com.au
     
  9. Hertz van Rental

    Hertz van Rental TPF Noob!

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    How long it takes to establish yourself - apart from the type of Photography you do - is affected by style, approach, image, prices... Getting it right straight away is virtually impossible and I don't know of any guides on it except to look at succesful photographers in your field to see what they are doing.
    A lot of it is down to word of mouth and personal recommendation - this takes time to build. Advertising can help but you need to make sure your ads appeal to the market you are after and appear where they can do most good.
    For example, if you advertise your services as a wedding photographer in a newspaper how many people reading it are people planning on getting married and looking for a photographer? Not that many.
    If you put the same ad in a magazine aimed specifically at the marriage market (in the UK we have several) then virtually every person seeing it is a potential customer.
     
  10. bellaPictures

    bellaPictures TPF Noob!

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    Yeh i guess so....in my area there are ALOT of families with 3 or more children so thats why I thought it was a good idea to do direct mail..guess we have to wait and see

    thanks
     
  11. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    I don't know about Australia, but here in the USA most people hear about wedding photographers first through word of mouth, and second through searching on the internet. Read up on how to get your website to perform well on the search lists. It is hard not to be discouraged, but don't worry, if you take good photos, and have decent prices they will come.

    I've been worried about next year because I wanted to see a lot more dates booked by now than I have. I've been busy with a lot of weddings, but it's all "old" business. Today I received two new wedding deposit checks, 11 inqueries in my email, and a call from a commercial client about new work. When it's dry, it seems really dry, but (hopefully) when it rains, it pours. ;)
     
  12. bellaPictures

    bellaPictures TPF Noob!

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    Congrats on your bookings!
    I hope i get that many soon!! cross my fingers I dont have to wait too long, i get withdraw symptoms when it happens and gets discouraged!
     

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