Should I settle??

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by N1C0L3, Oct 9, 2009.

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  1. N1C0L3
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    N1C0L3 New Member

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    Has anyone heard of a company called Bella Baby Photography? I applied to one of their postings on Craigslist, and I'm scheduled to go in for training on Monday, but I'm not sure if its worth it. The company hires freelance photographers to go into hospitals and take pictures of the newborns before they go home. The photographers have to work for free, but you get 40% commission on what you sell. The parents can buy a CD with 20 images with all copyrights for $125. Do you think this job is worth it? How many people actually buy the hospital photography??
  2. rhondag
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    rhondag New Member

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    YES---parents buy newborn hospital pictures.

    Do you know if you will be the sole photographer? How many births the hospital has? If you are the sole photographer, I would assume that they would want you to come several days a week & do multiple babies on each trip.

    Just depending on the size of the hospital & the # of Bella Baby Photographers that will service them---that will determine the amount of business that you will generate.
  3. uberben
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    uberben New Member

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    Are you responsible for the editing as well? On average, How many families are having babies on the days you will be there to take photos. Will there be a lot of downtime? Are you editing on location and then burning the disc right away? Freelance usually means you have to pay your taxes as a self employed person...which means you have to pay SECA Tax on top of federal and state taxes. You will also probably want to at the very least care some liability insurance since you'll be working with babies and should something bad happen, you want someone to have your back.

    lets say best case scenario you sell 1 CD per family.

    40% of $125 = $50 Gross

    $50 - $15 for taxes(15.30% seca tax + 15% federal) = Your taxes could be more too if you have to pay more in federal and state.

    Take Home: $35

    there will be costs involved and sure you can deduct most of them for tax purposes. but this is just an example of what you'd be looking at.

    Also factor in the time involved and see if it really is worth it on a per hour basis. Do you have good gear? I know when I shoot newborn shots for friends, I'm shooting in poor lighting and with people that are strung out from lack of sleep. Flash can bother infants, so I shoot in natural light a lot and that means I use very fast lenses and camera's that shoot clean at high ISO's.

    Personally, I don't think every family would buy one. I would say 1 in 5 at best. I know most people have point and shoot cameras and they are happy with those. If you want to get into baby photography, set up a business model that does that right after they go home. You charge what your worth and you take home all of the profits instead of giving most of it to a parent company.
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2009
  4. N1C0L3
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    N1C0L3 New Member

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    Yes, I would be responsible for editing pictures for every family I shoot, even if they have no intention of buying the images. (I have to use my own laptop too) Then I must leave my laptop with the parents while they look at the slideshow that I will put together for them. It seems like I would be photographing about 10 babies a day. They only have one photographer working at a time, but there are 3 others for the 2 hospitals I'll be covering.
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2009
  5. Plato
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    Plato New Member

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    Do I hear "SCAM?"
  6. Big Mike
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    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member

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    Will you be allowed to promote your own business while working for them? If so, then it might be a good way to get that exposure. If not, then you might be better off with something else.
    Getting the work and the experience is good...but it doesn't sound like enough money to make it worth your while.
  7. N1C0L3
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    N1C0L3 New Member

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    I can promote my own business, but I need to get the company's written consent for each job that comes from meeting someone in the hospital.
  8. uberben
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    uberben New Member

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    if it was me.... I'd bail.

    Just sounds like a big waste of time to me.
  9. SpeedTrap
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    SpeedTrap New Member

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    I would run, not walk, RUN away from this.

    You have to use your equipment, your computers, your time and you have to do all the work and you are only getting 40%?

    Plus you need thier permission to book sesions outside of the hospital!!

    RUN
  10. KmH
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    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish

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    RUN FOREST, RUN......

    This deal is fully tilted to Bella Baby's advantage.
  11. tirediron
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    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member

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    Yep, agree with this advice. This sounds to me like something that should be advertised on the back cover of a comic book. If you're not getting a good feeling about the boss, it's time to leave.
  12. IgsEMT
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    IgsEMT New Member

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    I know them, they shot my kid when he was born in hospital. THE ONLY reason why we suckered into $175 for CD is b/c their were few nice shots and bying those prints (about 5-6) at $30/print, its worth getting the cd already.
  13. msf
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    msf New Member

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    I think ive seen these ads on craigslist for my area as well.

    Heres a thought, skip the company, and do it yourself. Why give someone 60% of the cut if your doing all the work, unless they have a contract with the hospital that doesnt allow you to go in to take photographs.

    Contact the hospitals in your area and find out if they have a contract with anyone preventing you from doing this, and if not, do it yourself. :D

    I should take my own advice here, I wonder who the best person to contact in a hospital is. I think the one hospital near me has a staff photographer though :(

    If you get in with a family with a baby, you can possibly get future Christmas pictures, birthday pictures, eventually senior pictures and maybe even a wedding, thinking long term :D
  14. rhondag
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    rhondag New Member

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    There is NO way that I would leave my personal laptop with a complete stranger---nor even a normal client.
  15. uberben
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    uberben New Member

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    so what did you end up doing??
  16. craig
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    craig New Member

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    Why are you guys grasping at straws? Ok. I know that answer, but your work is a lot stronger the Bella's anything. Be it weddings, or newborns or whatever. Leave Craigslist alone. Save your money; get a rep or buy adlist or google adwords.

    Your work is clearly upper eschlon. Start marketing it that way.

    Love & Bass
  17. caroldeandaphoto
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    caroldeandaphoto New Member

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    I actually work for them...I have been with the company for a little over a year now...
    to answer a few questions....We do not leave our personal laptops in the rooms....we leave a hospital laptop that bella baby provides....as for camera equipment...the hospital has either a cannon30d or 20d along with a cannon flash we can use...we are suppose to bring our own equipment in as well though but a lot of girls bring their own equipment as a backup and use bella's on a daily basis....
    Money wise....Commission is great...I usually make anywhere from 100-300 a day...the most i have made in a day is $700....I average about $1600 every two weeks.....with a high of $2200...and a low of about $1000 when i first started....people buy the pictures....I would Say about 80% of my clients actually buy.....i mean its their baby....I work 4-5 days a week....
    Bella has contracts with the hospitlas we are at...so no you would not be able to go in there and do it yourself....
    Bella is my bread and butter...I also freelance...
    Anyone who wants pictures outside the hospital is a bella client...I am bella life certified so I can go into their home and do pictures.....Yes i may only get %40 commssion but i get a CONSTANT flow of clients....a website to upload pictures to so families buy pictures from....a customer service team to help me...and bella baby's name to back me up if anything goes wrong...I LOVE my job and it is a GREAT opprutunity.....My bosses are WONDERFUL...especially Scott and Sara....If you have any other questions email me at cmilliganphoto@yahoo.com
    Ill be honest with you about any questions you may have....you might of gotten a lot of emails because we are expanding and really need to find great photographers for the different hospitals....sooo many hospitals are requesting us and they all want to start but we need great photographers to make that happen....
  18. PatrickHMS
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    PatrickHMS New Member

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    I know someone (a male and female couple) who does this on their own. I kinda mentored them to help them get started a couple years ago..

    They went to each Hospital Maternity ward in their area, and went right to the Nurses station on the Maternity floor to say "hi" to all the nurses (went several times to catch all shifts, incl weekends). Told the nurses that they are baby photographers, and showed some of their work they had brought with them.

    Then they handed out business cards to the nurses, with printing on the back that read something like - When you refer a client to us who pays for our photography services, we will give you a gift card to Longhorn or Outback ( or some other equally nice place - minimum $25.00) for an amount appropriate to the sale involved. Also gave nurses business cards to give to others.

    The gift card and referral was my idea, I have already been using it in my (non-photography) business for 10 years or so...

    Then they did a similiar thing with all pet hospitals and pet specialty places...

    And a similiar thing with all kiddie nursery and pre-school places.

    And to elementary school teachers.

    And to several churches in their area.

    And to restaurants that had "meeting rooms" where the restaurant holds events.

    And to catering places.

    Each customer gets a card stating what they do (including parties and events, as well as babies and pets) offering the same kind of referral idea to those customers.

    Then, when restaurants offer a free $5.00 gift card for every $25.00 gift card bought, they buy cards like crazy, generating an easy 20% discount for what they spend for referrals.

    Now this couple works as full-time photographers, he does the photography, handles the camera and that part, she does the laptop and printer, and they just swap out memory cards to camera as necessary.

    And now they are pretty much full-time photographers, and stay pretty busy just working off referrals...

    Good for them!
  19. SpeedTrap
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    SpeedTrap New Member

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    Wow your first post and a glowing review of a service most of us would run from. Your post sounds like you are trying to recrute for them and the fact that you use and @ yahoo email instead of your own photo website just makes me think that you are not that serious of a photographer.

    There is no way I would let someone take 60% of my income for the use of a name.
  20. NiKOnSLR
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    NiKOnSLR New Member

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    Less than 50$ Take Home? and you have to use your tools? HELL NO!
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