Ok, Great idea?!?! or waste of time?

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by JimmyO, Jun 1, 2008.

  1. JimmyO

    JimmyO TPF Noob!

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    Alright. So my and my other photographer buddy are looking to start a business this summer. We both have nice setups and a fair amount of connections. We made a freewebs site and plan on getting an Exposure Manager page to sell our shots. Our basic business plan is to both have set-up photoshoots of subjects ranging from local familys/kids looking to get some portraits and group shots, to shooting real estate pictures for local landscapers and contractors. We also want to go to some big events (mainly out local 4th of july festivities) and take lots of candids and spur of the moments shots. I hope to get an add in the event flyer saying to go to our site to order prints. I think this day will provide a wide range of customers because there are many things going on that day (fun run, pet pageant, games at park, downhill race, raft race and a parade)

    Do you think it is do able to run a somewhat profitable business without having a professional studio and is it possible for 2 photography students to get the word out enough to even get customers? Any input is appreciated!
     
  2. Meysha

    Meysha still being picky Vicky

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    Yes yes and yes... to basically everything you just said.

    The toughest thing will be getting people to go to your website to buy the pics. Always give them more than one method of purchasing. ie: list a phone number as well as the website. Try and get interested people's details so you can ring them if they don't follow you up.

    You don't need a studio, you don't even need to take great photos (although it helps hehe) What you do need is sales ability... talk the talk, walk the walk and network like you've never networked before.
     
  3. JimmyO

    JimmyO TPF Noob!

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    Thanks!

    I aggree, were really going to need to market ourselves. It doesnt matter how good shots we take, if the person doesnt know about them or how to get them it would just a waste of time. After doing some research i think ive decided on Exposure Manager to be the place to sell my prints. I was considering trying to create a system on my website but i realized that paying the 12 dollars a month would be worth it to have them do it all for me. I plan on having a part of the site where there will be a list of all my recent events and there will be linked to take them to that section of my gallary. Btw, heres the site so far:

    http://beyondphotographyy.webs.com
     
  4. JimmyO

    JimmyO TPF Noob!

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    Any more input guys?
     
  5. DeadEye

    DeadEye TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    I tried a new approach recently and it seems to be working OK. I gave away shots of an event in 8x10 print. I shot all the people of a graduation that I could from the crummy placement I received. Then picked out those who I knew and hand delivered one 8x10 to there home with my name and number on the back of the print. So far I have received nine orders for more of the prints and I always pitch to them that I would be happy to do a private shoot if ever they need it.
     
  6. JimmyO

    JimmyO TPF Noob!

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    Intresting. Ive been doing something similar. In the past few weeks ive been walking around town looking for things to shot. Sometimes i would go up to people, and even same came up to me, and ask if they want some shots done. Then i get their email address and send them a few along with contact info for if they would ever consider using me for anything else.
     
  7. DeadEye

    DeadEye TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    Only luck I'v had with online gallery is by doing horse shows. They are a great money maker like this. Make lots of cards with your info on them. Shoot all the little girls on there horse troting around and try to get ribbon and jump shots. Put all the keepers on the websight PRONTO, strike wile the iron is hot. You will get tons of hits that day and the following day but allmost no online sales. At the next shoot people will remember that you were the one that took all those wonderfull shots of there lil angel that they looked at online, now pitch the private shoot for there girl with her horse.
     
  8. JimmyO

    JimmyO TPF Noob!

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    I like the way you think!

    I think this kind of method could be employed to other things i have easy access to (little sisters)
     
  9. Bthornton

    Bthornton TPF Noob!

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    I would think it would work out for you if your work is good and you really market yourself.
    About a year ago I started a mobile studio/event photo biz with a pal of mine and now we are so busy that we are raising our prices and turning away biz. Not having a studio has been a plus for us. We really market the benefits of us coming to our customers and they love it.
    One thing you need to think about with your plan (and I might be misunderstanding this part) if you plan to take photos at an event and post them on line for purchase you might end up with some parents of kids you photographed having a fit you posted photos of their child on the internet without them knowing about it. You could end up with phones calls from people saying "how dare you, I did not say you could take photos of my child, me ect.., a sicko might be looking at the photos of my child, and on and on."
    I have seen this happen, thank god not to us, but it was on the news a while ago here about someone who did this.Nothing really came of it but it kinda dragged the photogs name in the mud.
    We are lucky with the events we do that on the tickets people buy to go to the event there is a blub about event photographers might be take photos of you and you buying the ticket gives them the ok to do so.
    Just something to think about.
    Good luck to you!
     
  10. JimmyO

    JimmyO TPF Noob!

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    Very true
    Any ideas on how to avoid that?

    Also, anymore input is appreciated

    Im currently working on my site, especially on the pricing and services.
     
  11. Bthornton

    Bthornton TPF Noob!

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    You might want to contact the event manager to see if they have a photographer. If they are not willing to pay (and a lot of times till they know you they don't want to pay) tell them what's in it for them. Make a deal where they give you a list of things at the event they want photos of for future press releases ect.. and make a trade for free advertising, contacts, just about anything. You really end up meeting a lot of people who can bring you lots of business so it's worth it to not demand a lot of $$. It's HARD work but it pays off in the end. If they take you on ask about the disclaimer on the ticket. Most of the time there is one. We have ended up with a LOT of new customers from being an event photographer. We wear t's with our logo on it and keep tons of biz cards on us and people ask us who we are and what we do all the time. We shot a tradeshow a few weeks ago and since then it's booking us solid with people wanting baby, family, wedding, product and other event shoots. We traded photography for a booth at the show. The booth would have costs us $2000. We got a free booth to show our work. Hired some pals to man it for us and we spent 4 day photographing the show. When we photograph people at these events a lot of the time they come up and ask why are we doing so. We tell them we work for the show, give them a card and tell them to send us an email and we will have the image available for them to purchase if they wish. We get the email later and sell from there. it looks like we will even get a calendar shoot from that show. Yes it was 4 12 hour days with both of us shooting but it gets our name out there more than any other type of marketing would.
    Outside of regular sessions prices for us are worked out for each event.
    Hope this helps.
     
  12. JimmyO

    JimmyO TPF Noob!

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    Ok
    Got a question
    Im currently working on building my portfolio but i am not sure about the what i have to do to put pics of people up. I mean like what are the "rules" . Do i need their written consent to put them up?
     

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