Is this a good idea for promotion?


TPF Noob!
Jan 12, 2009
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Grants Pass Oregon
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I am thinking of doing a promo shoot in my area to get my name out locally. I want to pick a location in town and put out advertisements all over that I am doing a promotional headshot shoot limited to 20 entries. I will charge $25 per person for a 8x11 basic print. I am not trying to make any kind of money from this shoot I am just trying to get my name out in my home town.

I will set up in front of a brick wall of a downtown business with permission. I will set up two AB800's with soft boxes as a very basic light setup.

Do you think this is a good idea?

Have you seen this done before?
I'm sure it would be a good idea as long as the photos turn out good.

My assistant did something similar. The problem was he did it under my company name and the product he gave people is something I wouldn't have dared give out.

So it is a matter of preference or opinion what is good, but if your product isn't any good then it can be a negative thing.

Definitely bring business cards.
Promoting sessions like this can be very difficult, plus you're limiting the number of sittings.

You might consider partnering with another business for a fund-raising event. I've done this, and it works very, very well.

If you shoot pet and children's portraits, you could approach a boutique pet store and schedule a photo day, with the proceeds of print sales going to an animal shelter. You'd set up in their shop and photograph children with their pets.

I partnered with a barber shop that always had boys coming in with their fathers. Tons of traffic. Great location. We put huge posters in the shop windows promoting the event. Handed out flyers. Sent announcements to my e-mail list. Created a web site and SEO'd it expressly for the event.

It was a lot of work, but we raised a considerable amount of money for a medical research fund. The barber did very well, because dads brought in the kids for a hair cut before the shoot.

I only photographed children, alone and with siblings - no families together.

I had cards, take away promo materials, and a computer displaying my web site.

I did not do on-site print orders. I handed each parent a card with a web gallery link. I got the images online that night, and started receiving orders the next day.

The benefit of doing it this way is that the family is forced to keep your card and go to your web site if they want to see the photographs.

It led to quite a bit of family portrait business - even wedding referrals - later that year.
Promoting sessions like this can be very difficult, plus you're limiting the number of sittings.

How can it be very difficult? I don't see it being difficult at all. I will just set up a posing chair with two AB 800's for the studio set up. This will keep things very simple.

I will be giving out a promotional DVD and brochure to everyone that comes.

I am limiting the amount of people to create a sense of urgency. I will do it every few months for a year.

When it comes to prints I am going to get the information of each person and mail them a free 8x10. This will create a connection and maybe some future clients.

I sent out msg to all my Facebook Fans and got a very positive response.
I have an old friend in Chicago who does this downtown and in Evanston and they have tremendous response. One caveat: she's not a studio shooter (a photojournalists who does this for fun and $). They also use a lot of natural light and make them environmental.

Marketing is usually Facebook (I see the ads even though I'm 1,200 miles away) and they team up with local biz organizations (neighborhood types, not Chamber).
Really, why even ask opinions here? This is such a quick, simple, cheap promotion, just do it and see what happens. You have so little to lose that it's not even worth asking, imho. If you've gotten good fb and word or mouth response, just go for it!
What do you guys think of the poster?
how are you going to promote this? facebook only? or are you going to use other mediums?

who is your target market? When I think headshots I think of actors and models. Or are you going for the average person as well?
The two images here are very different. I don't get a good feel for your style or what I can expect from you. Is the bottom image you? Are you trying to include an image of you so you can show you are a female, non threatening, etc? I don't think that's a bad idea but you need to make this piece consistent with the look of your photography. Also, you'll have a much better turn out if you partner with a charity and donate a portion of the sitting fee to them. Then they will help you promote it. You can bill it as a facebook day for charity.
The problem is the time you have available for each headshot. Professional portrait photographers generally get into appropriate clothes, make-up, hair, facial structure, customized lighting for the individual face, poses,...every technique to flatter the individual subject, irrespective of visual "blemishes" or physical issues such as a long neck or a droopy eye, for example.

Assembly-line head shots do not make for quality work and doing all the right things quickly on the fly, requires experience that you do NOT have, to be honest and straightforward.


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