Photo biz

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by MarcusM, Jan 31, 2008.

  1. MarcusM

    MarcusM TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2007
    Messages:
    1,236
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    St. Paul, MN, USA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    I am tossing around an idea to start a new photo business sometime down the road. I'm in the very beginning stages right now and I just wanted to get some thoughts if I could.

    I thought it was a great idea until I talked to my Mom, and of course, being the cautious Mom type, she had to rain on my parade!:er:

    Basically, I have never really heard of this done (it very well possibly could be but I just haven't heard of it)

    My idea was to start a "portable portrait studio". After having 2 kids, I know what a chore it is to pack up your kids and go anywhere. My business would be to pack up my gear and bring it to clients' homes to do studio-quality portrait shots in the comfort of their own home! How convenient would that be! You wouldn't have to pack up the kids, you can just be comfortable in your own home and grab props and whatever else you need.

    Well, I thought it was all good until my Mom said "What if someone decides to set a trap & to rob you once you go to their home?"

    What are your thoughts on this? Does anyone know of existing businesses that already do this?
     
  2. jlykins

    jlykins TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2007
    Messages:
    1,235
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Cincinnati
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    If I'm not mistaken Big Mike does mobile photography similar to that. As for the whole rob you thing.... That doesn't sound very realistic.
     
  3. MarcusM

    MarcusM TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2007
    Messages:
    1,236
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    St. Paul, MN, USA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    That's what I was thinking...I mean, who's going to plan on robbing you from their own home? I suppose they could give you a fake address or an address of an abandoned home...

    And you have to be cautious but that's with anything. I'm sure there are some precautions I could take, such as securing a deposit or something before going to the shoot to make sure they're serious about getting photos taken.
     
  4. smcaskil

    smcaskil TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2007
    Messages:
    195
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    South Carolina
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Allsmiles7282 also does home photography with children. I bet she can give you some great insights.
     
  5. dpolston

    dpolston TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2007
    Messages:
    949
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Norfolk, VA.
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    A lot of businesses do this... what kind of advice do you want exactly?
     
  6. Emerana

    Emerana TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2008
    Messages:
    857
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Houston, Texas
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    thats like he telling you not to be a plumber cause someone might call you out and the steal your truck
     
  7. MarcusM

    MarcusM TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2007
    Messages:
    1,236
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    St. Paul, MN, USA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Thanks for the lead. It provided some good info. I checked out her website and it looks like she does go to clients' homes (in addition to any other place they wish such as parks, trails, etc.)

    I guess just in general I'm wondering if it's feasible or wise to do. My whole idea with it is, it will be completely on the side and part time to start. I will keep my full time job and just do this on weekends. I realize it may take a while to get going, but I figure I don't have much to lose, because I'm going to end up purchasing a lot of photographic equipment anyway, business or no business. So, worse-case scenario, I don't get any clients. It's not like I'll go broke, I'll still have a job. Best-case scenario, I start picking up several clients, and I have to quit my full-time job because I'm making enough with the photo gig and it's taking too much time.

    So one of my biggest questions was the security thing, because I pretty much decided that I was going to do this until my Mom got me thinking about that aspect.
     
  8. MarcusM

    MarcusM TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2007
    Messages:
    1,236
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    St. Paul, MN, USA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    :lol: lol...good point! There are a lot of businesses that have to make home visits.
     
  9. dpolston

    dpolston TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2007
    Messages:
    949
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Norfolk, VA.
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Security is the LAST thing I'd worry about. Are you going to take portraits in high crime areas or for "everyday working families"? I'd say that if you feel that you need to wear Kevlar to take a photo, you might not want to market that particular area. I would also say that the days of going to someones house and running the risk of getting attacked are over. I think your mother's worried about stories like the pizza delivery driver getting robbed because he had to deliver to the local crack house.

    I am purely mobile. I do not have a home base studio but then again, I shoot mainly corporate work where I set up in an office environment. If I shoot in someones home, I never bring a backdrop or things like that, I set a couple flashes up and go for it.

    As far as the expense of it all, when you find that you generate more income in photography than you do in your current profession, that's when you re-evaluate. I am a full time home remodeling contractor and have been for years. My photography business is beginning to generate money close to my company now and if it grows in the pace it is now, I'll be a full time photographer within 2 years. Right now I'm just using the extra cash to feed my photo habit. But if you haven't even started yet... you might be asking these questions a little early.

    Just shoot for now and see how it goes. Buy some body armor, hire a bodyguard and go for it! ;o)
     
  10. Bthornton

    Bthornton TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2007
    Messages:
    87
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Detroit MI
    My biz partner and I have a mobile studio. Have had NO problems and everyone loves the work. You do need to make sure you have a good inc. policy since you will be moving equipment all the time. We take backgrounds, lights, props, posing stools and anything else we will need for a shoot. It takes the 2 of us about 30 min to set up or take down. Our customers like to watch how we do this for the most part. All this fits in to a SMALL SUV.
    One of the cool things is when you are taking all your gear into a home a lot of the time the neigbors of your client will come out and ask what it is you are doing and then ask for your card!
    We have never felt un-safe going to homes.
     
  11. jols

    jols TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2007
    Messages:
    1,034
    Likes Received:
    0
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    this is a funny thread.

    mums they are a laugh are'nt they. lol lol


    i say go for it and big mike will be sure to ride by soon and give you some tips

    hope it goes well
     
  12. Big Mike

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

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2003
    Messages:
    33,817
    Likes Received:
    1,811
    Location:
    Edmonton
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    I see that my reputation has arrived in this thread before I did...I hope that's a good thing :lol:

    Yes, this is something that I do. My whole 'studio' is portable. I have a backdrop stand, although I'd prefer it if there was a nice spot to shoot, so that I don't need to set that up. I've also done plenty of shoots where I just hung a backdrop on a mantle or entertainment stand etc.

    I have three lights, and I'd like to add another one or two.

    Most of my stuff fits into a large suitcase, which make it fairly easy (but heavy) to haul around. The background stand is longer than the suit case but it has it's own bag. I have some smaller light stands that fit into the suit case but my larger light stand has to get strapped to the background bag.

    The most awkward thing is my softbox. I bought once that folds up like an umbrella...but it's still attached to the metal speed ring at the bottom...so it doesn't pack up very small.

    It's nice to have all of this stuff on a job, because I don't have to worry about working with the avaliable light or a messing background etc....but if the opportunity is there, I will go with what looks good and what is easy. If there is a nice outdoor location and it's nice out, then all I need is a camera and a flash.

    I do think that it's an added service to go to people's homes...but I can certainly see why it would be better to have it set up in your own studio and have them come to you.
     

Share This Page

Search tags for this page

photo talk biz