Advice for Photography Business

9 replies
So my fiancee is in a bit of a financial crisis and I would like to help her get more exposure for her part time photography business.

Her full time career is non profit and she may not get paid for April and probably won't be able to make her mortgage payment.

So I am trying to figure out the best way to get more exposure for her photography business online or even offline so any suggestions would be great! Thanks so much!
#advice #business #photography
  • Profile picture of the author Michael Franklin
    Advertise her services in Craigslist...You will get some immediate business!
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  • Profile picture of the author lotsofsnow
    Craigslist is one option. You can also search all craigslist using searchtempest.com

    Another option are stock photography web sites. Uploading pictures and offering them for sale. It takes a while to get something going but you can make a steady income with that.

    Another option is to create a WSO: Put together a set of photos and sell as WSO. That is actually what I would do as it brings in immediate cash.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mike Linley
    Just checked out Craigslist thinking it might be a great idea but we live in one of the larger cities in California and there are more than a dozen job posts every single day so I am not sure that will create any business unless she does gigs for about half her already low current rates. Even then I am not sure it she would get any traffic or emails?
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    • Profile picture of the author Eric Seiler
      Originally Posted by Mike Linley View Post

      Just checked out Craigslist thinking it might be a great idea but we live in one of the larger cities in California and there are more than a dozen job posts every single day so I am not sure that will create any business unless she does gigs for about half her already low current rates. Even then I am not sure it she would get any traffic or emails?
      Don't let the competition scare you away. Being in a large market is a good thing even if there is competition. Sadly, if she's doing this to make rent and is expecting it make up the difference through photography, she's going to have to sacrifice her rate for immediate business.

      Most successful photographers have years of experience building up their networks with companies or other customers. They have a reputation, thus can charge more (photography is very much a reputation-based market, not necessarily quality-based). A lot of kids coming out of school can take photographs on par with the seasoned pros, yet won't make a dime immediately. Many of those photographers are already advertising on Craigslist in your area, I'm sure.

      Back to the point though - Craigslist is worth a shot. There is really nothing to lose if she isn't passing up paying jobs elsewhere. A lot of photographers also have side jobs that have nothing to do with photography. That sucks for long term advancement in the field, but it is the truth. For every full time photographer there are many more part timers busing tables or working at the checkout line in your local grocery store.

      Unless you go paparazzi, or at least something risky, photography businesses (in general) take a lot of time to build up. Maybe that isn't the advice you want from a marketing forum, but having personal experience helping my cousin, who is a professional photographer, it is what I've found to be true.
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  • Profile picture of the author Always-A-Warrior
    Run a Facebook page and check out Photography forums. Exchange and share ideas. Get involve with those already doing the business. Every photographer has their own style so its best to make friends first. Then later market. But get yourself set solid and go for it.
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  • Profile picture of the author milodigital
    Network with local related businesses. Florists, wedding dress shops etc. (assuming she shoots weddings).
    Do something newsworthy. Offer to take pics for free of worthy people.
    Serving military personnel with a story etc. Help them tell that story.
    Raise awareness for a charity or some other worthy cause.
    Check out help portrait for inspiration.
    Good luck.
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    • Profile picture of the author options
      if she is your fiancee surly you can help her out with the finances untill she starts earning.
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  • Profile picture of the author Takuya Hikichi
    Hi Mike,

    Your finance should know how often
    her customers end up purchasing on
    average how much worth of photos.

    Say almost everyone purchases $100.

    Then offer $15 "family" portrait deals where her
    customers get two good sized photos for
    that price. No strings attached.

    Now you might be thinking why only charge
    $15, well, that not only covers the base
    cost, but what happens is so many
    people who come see you for the two pictures
    want more pictures.

    If you get 5 customers to buy $15 deals,
    which is her front-end offer, I bet good
    number of those 5 family end up buying
    more pictures from her that she took during
    the session.

    So then she will do One-Time-Offer.
    Normally, the rest of the sheets
    costs $30 each, if her customers buy
    them right now, they can get all
    the rest of the 5 sheets of photos
    for $100.

    I bet majority of them will purchase.

    "Family photo session" is very emotionally
    driven transaction, who wouldn't pay
    money to get their kids' pictures?

    Then every time she gets a new customer,
    keep their mailing address and send
    direct mail to them every so often, pitching
    for more photo shoots for other occasions.

    How about that for her funnel?
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  • Profile picture of the author EddieBlog
    Advertising on Craigslist is a good way to make your photography business look cheep and only attract low end brides with no money to spend that are a pain to work with.
    They want everything for nothing.

    Have a great website with a lot of great looking sample photos.
    Have a great facebook page with a lot of sample photos.

    Run adds in facebook
    go to bridal shows.

    We book 100% of all our weddings from our website and book around 80 to 125 of them a year.

    I will say wedding photography is a fast dying business and if i was just starting i would be looking for another business to get into.
    I know more photographers in the last 3 years that have went under or only work part time now as lack of business.

    I have been doing wedding for 23 years now and it gets worse every year.

    The more people have digital cameras the more wedding photography has been de-valued. Everybody thinks they are a wedding photographer and most of them have no training and do not have the right equipment to even shoot a full wedding. Most do not have backup equipment and back up flashs and most do not know how to use off camera lighting.
    The problem is a lot of brides are so over whelmed they go for the best price and then after the wedding hate the photos then end up with.

    We make less and have to work more now to even come close to what we made just 5 years ago.

    We are all ready looking at other business to get into. We do still do very well with our family portrait side of the business.
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