Photo delivery question

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by Nwcid, Nov 13, 2019.

  1. Nwcid

    Nwcid No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I have been asked if I would be interested in shooting "Santa" pictures at an event in a small rural community. I only have a basic idea of what they want and I will get more details tomorrow. According to the person I spoke with it sounds like in the past anyone who wants images with Santa pay by donation and leave a SASE to receive a small (3x5 or maybe 4x6) image in the mail.

    From a business standpoint I am going to be lucky to break even, however this is an area underserved by photographers and I could likely market my other services like senior and family images. I also currently shoot school sports images for a smiler sized school. I just need to decide if it is worth it for me or not.

    My question would be about how to improve my potential sales from this event. While I will be sending physical prints I am considering uploading all the images to my "sale" site where people can order more and/or larger prints. Also if I am there early/late any event pictures. Does anyone use this model and does it work?

    Are there risks of uploading all of these pictures into 1 gallery where people can see everyones images?
    Do you sell just prints or digital also?
    Are there other risks I am not considering?
    Are there other effective marking or sales opportunities I have not considered?


     
  2. Dean_Gretsch

    Dean_Gretsch Always looking... Supporting Member

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    I would think it definitely would be worth the effort. While you might break even only in this instance, it should be an investment in potential future clients and events. Include your watermark on the photos and make business cards available prominently at the shoot. If you are mailing the photos yourself, include a card there as well.
     
  3. zombiesniper

    zombiesniper Furtographer Extraordinaire! Supporting Member

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    I was offered a similar event.

    1. Who are the donations going to? In my case it was the organisation running the event, I was expected to work and provide prints free. (I promptly told them no thank you.)

    2. I find most that attend these type of low cost photo events are not those I would want as costumers as they tend to want family portrait sessions + a boat load of images for the Walmart (store of choice) advertised price of $50. While you may get some customers, I doubt you'll get customers that are willing to pay what you're worth.

    3. If you decide it is a good fit for you. Group photo gallery isn't a bad option provided you have somewhere in your form that you'll be doing something to that effect. This way nobody can claim they expected any type of special online privacy.

    4. Get your job, expectations of you and from you in writing. i.e. what you are to provide, what the host is to provide etc.

    Most of all good luck. If nothing else it's a bit more learning and at best, it's an opportunity to get paying jobs in the future.
     
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  4. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Ugh. This sounds like a bad plan, all the way around. I do an annual 'Pets with Santa' shoot every year in support of local animal charities. People "donate" (mandatory, minimum donation $20) in advance, and provide contact info and an e-mail address. I shoot, process and deliver finished files to other members of the team, and they are responsible for getting them to the individual donors. My actual out of pocket costs are pretty much just the gas to get to the venue, and I do it only because I think it's a worthwhile cause which I want to support. I have picked up a few jobs as a result, but not much. It's a big job, and a lot of work... if you're not doing it because you think it's a cause worth supporting, than don't bother doing it. It will just cost you time, money and frustration...
     
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  5. Designer

    Designer Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Alternative details:

    Patrons make a small donation to the kitty before they sit with Santa. Could split the donations with the local community or some local charity. State your end of the split before agreeing to do it. (Say the first $125 for instance.)

    Photographer takes photos, and immediately (or as he gets the time) posts them to a newly-created and dedicated FB page. No editing. AS IS, SOOC.

    Patrons download files and print them as they wish.

    Patrons see your webpage link and click if they want to engage you for further shoots.

    This was used at our local school carnival. Photographer posted to a special FB page, and handed everyone the web address printed on a small (half page) flyer.

    Personally, I think you will get inquiries from real clients.
     
  6. Nwcid

    Nwcid No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    The donations for the photos goes to the photographer.

    This is one of my concerns for sure. Also in a depressed rural area compounds this problem. However, if I was to pick up one or two jobs it would help. My business is just getting started and I do not have much paid work yet.

    That makes sense. I could make up some advertising material the covers this specific event.

    This is solid and somehow one I overlooked. I will be sure to do this.

    That is the other half for my consideration for doing it.
     
  7. Nwcid

    Nwcid No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    The donations for the photos goes to the photographer.

    From a business standpoint this is an underserved area and if I can provide a quality experience and product it could generate more business. I realize it is going to be a lot of work.
     
  8. Nwcid

    Nwcid No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    At the moment the donations are to the photographer for taking the photos.

    Photographer takes photos, and immediately (or as he gets the time) posts them to a newly-created and dedicated FB page. No editing. AS IS, SOOC.

    Patrons download files and print them as they wish.

    Patrons see your webpage link and click if they want to engage you for further shoots.[/QUOTE]

    That actually makes the process much simpler. I could cross post them on my proof site for anyone who wanted to order prints, or those that do not have FB.

    I would defiantly hope to get more clients for sure, but I am not as certain. I shot school sports images (staged team/individual) all of last year and fall sports this year for a similar sized community. I have only gotten 1 outside client from those for a family session.
     
  9. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Businesses do not operate on donations. Businesses operate on pricing schedules. If you want to do this as a business opportunity, then fine, but you need to approach it in a business-like manner. A set price for a set product, receipts, cut to the tax-man, etc. Think of it from the customer's viewpoint: You like the product so you "donate" $20, but the person immediately in front of you only donated $5, yet you both get a comparable product? Doesn't seem right to me.

    IMO, SOOC/printed on the spot is NOT a good business move. No one can produce their best work SOOC, and when people are paying for your work, even if it's not very much, you want to give them your best work. They're not going to come back to you if you don't stand out from a thousand other "photographers" on facebook in your area....

    I wouldn't touch this with a barge-pole!
     
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  10. vintagesnaps

    vintagesnaps Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Exactly, you're not a charity, and I don't think it's legal to accept donations for yourself. I'm chairperson of a small nonprofit, we couldn't do an event this way.

    I agree, you could donate your time, and have them use their budget to cover costs of a small print for each photo with Santa. Probably they could send out the pictures to the families or provide a printer (and paper & ink) to print on site.

    I've seen that done in sports at tournaments as a business, where photos of participants are viewed at the event and printed on demand and sold to parents & families. Or a password protected website is set up for them to obtain photos. But there's an expectation in sports to get photos that can be used immediately (in major league sports etc. there's often a photo on a team website by the time the game is done).

    As a business you'd need to have a contract, establish set fees, pay any necessary taxes, etc. (in my state you have to make a certain amount per year to pay taxes on it, so small money makers like yard sales/craft shows etc. may not owe tax). Usually the photographer may have a display, flyers, business cards, etc. available including their website info.

    I'd think twice about using pictures of people's children. If you want to use photos of participants for business purposes you'd probably need releases signed. If you provide event photos to the organization you'd need to contract usage. If you would provide photos to a local newspaper/media outlet you shouldn't need releases but would need to contract usage and payment for a specific purpose and length of time.
     
  11. Nwcid

    Nwcid No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Interesting. Can you point me to any information supporting this? Everything I can find points to the opposite. The only issue being is that I can not issue a tax deductible receipt and it would go into my business as regular income for tax considerations.

    I am not a charity, however I am looking to expand my business. There are several ways to do this. In this case there is already an event in need of a photographer.

    I will not be printing on site as I am not willing to print "SOOC" as that is not representative of my work.

    Yes, that is a business model, but not one I am interested in.

    Yes, I have a business license, TIN, I pay my quarterly taxes on my business.

    What am I using images of children for? My plan is to chat with people in person, have business material like cards/fliers onsite and drive traffic to my website.
     
  12. Nwcid

    Nwcid No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    After much consideration I am going to pass on this event. I will use the information you were kind enough to provide when considering future events.
     
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