Is their a market?

Discussion in 'The Professional Gallery' started by Solarize, Mar 5, 2005.

  1. Solarize

    Solarize TPF Noob!

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    This question is mainly for those who do portrait photography full time, although any help would be much appreciated.

    I have been considering going pro as a portrait photographer for some time. Without going into too much detail; I would be working on location (clients house or place of their choosing), essentially the studio would be brought to them.

    My problem is that I really have no idea if there is a market for it. Looking on the internet, in local ads and telephone directories hasnt led me to any photographers doing what I want to do.

    I have done a business plan and outlined different marketing channels but have absoloutly no way of assesing whether or not they will be succesful, mainly because I have no point of comparison and no idea who would want to have their portrait taken.

    Ideas?? Thanks.
     
  2. wxnut

    wxnut TPF Noob!

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    This is exactally what I do. Ask yourself this...
    Is there a market for portrait photography done in a studio? Of course there is. Now, you will not have to pay mortage/rent and taxes on some studio, so you can keep your prices way lower than the compatition. PLUS, you get the variety of shooting in different places and using different setups and different lighting each job. I love it. Check out some of my work...

    http://www.wxnut.net/girls.htm

    http://www.wxnut.net
    http://www.wxnut.net/girls.htm
    http://www.wxnut.net/girls2.htm

    Doug Raflik
    wxnut@charter.net
     
  3. Alison

    Alison Swiss Army Friend Supporting Member

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    This is how I have run my business for several years. Many people assume that my rates are higher than a traditional studio, but like Doug pointed out because I don't have the overhead of rent my costs are less so my prices are less. Probably the biggest issue is marketing, a traditional studio gets advertisments from people just walking by. You'll have to be creative and put out fliers, advertise in newspapers, etc. Word of mouth with probably be your best source of clients.

    The biggest challenges in doing at home shoots are probably space and lighting. I usually have to move some furniture to set up my equipment but it's not so bad. I always bring my strobes with me, but sometimes I am surprised by a large picture window that lets in beautiful natural lighting.

    Here's one I took with window light + some fill flash
    [​IMG]

    And here's one with strobes on location:
    [​IMG]
     
  4. Solarize

    Solarize TPF Noob!

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    Thanks. So you would charge less than a studio, despite the convenience (for them) of a shoot being at a their home?

    When deciding your pricing did you aim for a specific group of people (poor/wealthy) or were your prices dictated more by the price of a studio shoot?
    Do you charge more for your time or the prints?

    If there are enough people that want portraits taken then I can be cheaper because I'll have work more often. If there aren't many people then I will have to charge more because I wont be getting so much work.

    Im sure it'll be different internationally/regionally etc but how many portrait shoots would you expect to get per month/week?
    I was planning on marketing localy (at least initially) and then expanding, depending on the amount of work I get.

    Cheers
     
  5. Christie Photo

    Christie Photo No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Well... I've been at it for over 20 years and I can tell you, I wish now I started out differently. I can't measure the value of having a studio from an advertising standpoint. I suppose there may be some, but it will take YEARS to achieve. My studio in on the main street in the heart of our town, and still folks will say, "Where is it? Oh, I think I know." And it costs over $1200 a month for that! Rest easy, Allison. You've made a wise choice.

    Back to the question... is there a market? Sure! Just remember you're not competing with department store photographers. Word of mouth/refferals is gonna take time, but can snowball quickly. Direct mail is the only advertising I do, and that's limited to Senior Portraits. (Hmmm... might be my problem.)

    If I could work from my house, I would. I would be much happier. SOOO much less worry and much greater profit margin.
     
  6. Solarize

    Solarize TPF Noob!

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  7. Big Mike

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

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    Don't forget about the corporate sector. Bigger companies often have portraits done of the president/CEO etc.
     

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