I think I found a niche..but not sure

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by TylerF, Jul 9, 2017.

  1. TylerF

    TylerF TPF Noob!

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    been a long time since I posted here. Life got in the way and I was torn from the camera until recently when I decided I am making a goal to quit my 9-5 and pursue my passions (all in baby steps).

    I have been thinking a lot about my niche and what I love to shoot. I love to shoot people but not weddings or fashion really. I enjoy environmental portraits or people in their element doing what they love and being creative with it.

    I was thinking about approaching local businesses and their owners and doing portraits of them in their business as well as stuff for prints/books of their business. Though I'm not quite sure if it's too narrow of a niche and will be able to pay the bills.

    Opinions?

    Thanks!


     
  2. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    Start by making a written, well researched, business & marketing plan.
    That's how you determine if there is sufficient demand for the service you want to provide.
    Small Business Administration
    Figure you'll need to shoot 400 or so jobs per year to make a lower middle class income.
     
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  3. TylerF

    TylerF TPF Noob!

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    You're saying I need to shoot more than once a day for the entire year to make a lower class income? That seems a bit much lol. I'm not afraid of hard work but I just don't know if there are enough business owners who want stuff like this or should I just broaden my scope and just be a portrait photographer in general?
     
  4. dennybeall

    dennybeall No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Two things I like to mention:
    The first is - Business is not about "making money", it's about making a profit!, a very different goal. Businesses that make lots of money often fail because they overlooked the high costs.
    The second is - What is your service or product worth to your customer. That's what you can charge, not what you want or need the price to be.
     
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  5. chuasam

    chuasam Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    General portrait photographer. Sure pick a niche but better be good enough that everyone in the city would want to come to you. And that city better be Los Angeles, New York or San Francisco.
     
  6. Flash Harry

    Flash Harry No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I did a lot of portrait photography in studio a few years back and made quite a lot at it but you do need spend a bit to get the punter through the door in marketing/advertising, I started out on the run up to Christmas offering 'family' deals and would shoot them all regardless the size of family who booked the sittings, the deal at the time was around $50 an hour shoot, it was hectic. For the fifty they got to choose one 14x11 finished print plus the 'proofs' which at the time was film format, so they got 36 7x5 proofs of the whole family in various combinations/groups, then I'd sit waiting for the orders which did come right through till around march/april and usually I'd make a couple of grand out of each family (the more the merrier). It was graft though and you can only keep that up for a while as its mentally draining too as its not just taking the pics its keeping these people amused/entertained while you adjust clothing/poses and try to communicate with stroppy kids without losing it. As for 'business' stuff, 'corporate portraits' I've had a few of those too but you don't tend to get any orders for more prints from those though they will possibly want usage rights to what you have shot and possibly call again for product shots etc. However I never regarded it as a 'niche' of any type, just the paid work of a general photographer, FFS I even once had a farmer wanting his chickens photographed, that was more trouble than it was worth and took ages lol.
     
  7. Designer

    Designer Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    That certainly will improve your chances of getting work. Placing adverts and waiting for the phone to ring is yesterday's formula for success, but I doubt the long-term viability of that approach.

    When I owned a small business, and ran up against a low-income period, I went out and got the business myself. Nothing like the prospect of failure to motivate oneself into knocking on some doors.
     
  8. Flash Harry

    Flash Harry No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Knocking doors takes time without any guarantees of work, advertising by any means possible gets people through the door, I had a lot of success too with yellow pages over here, most numbers had accompanying email addies, basically I went through the business pages collected email addies then targeted those businesses with my advert and accompanying letter describing my services, got many replies and phone calls/bookings, its a lot harder and time consuming going door to door. Maybe my way wont work over there but it works here and especially in areas like this where population is less dense as well as fewer large businesses to target.
     

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