Make the most of your people power. Like wedding photography, portraiture presents great opportunities to be creative and make money using your skills…
WHILE some genres of photography have shrunk in recent years, portraiture photography
has held strong. Parents will always want pro images of their kids, and aspiring models will always need prints for their portfolios. While competition in this field is intense, there’s no reason why someone with solid technique and a flare for self-promotion can’t excel.
1 PARENT POWER
Family photography is big business, and tapping into the genre can bring decent rewards. Parents are always looking for bargains, so a savvy approach is to offer discounts, particularly around school holidays when it’s more likely that parents and kids are free for a photo shoot. Listing your website or Facebook page details on school boards can increase interest too.
2 SCHOOL SUCESS
Speaking of schools, an alternative form of portraiture that many photographers step into is the field of formal school images. Many parents feel duty-bound to purchase these prints, so there’s already a captive audience for your work.
Be aware that you will need to gain the approved DBS (also known as CRB) background checks before schools will allow you onto their grounds for photography sessions. Various organisations can arrange this paperwork, but they all require a fee usually ranging between £25 and £40.
3 MODEL OPPORTUNITIES
Models looking to book a photographer for test prints are looking for a proven and reliable professional. Joining websites such as Model Mayhem (www.modelmayhem .com) gives you an opportunity to built a reputation as a trustworthy shooter through reviews and recommendations. Additionally, working with a variety of models expands your base of contacts, so if a job comes in from a client, for example, you have numerous subjects to call into the studio to fulfil the commission.
4 BABY BOOMERS
One of the newer trends that’s enjoyed an increase in popularity in recent years is baby photography. Rather than classic studio photography, today’s parents prefer a more nature, reportage feel to portraiture of their newborns.
Photography courses are available from the likes of www.newbornworkshops.co. uk to help you learn how to safely handle and pose newborns. These courses can also help you network and build contacts with other professionals in the field.
ABOVE While it’s good to offer your own distinct portrait style, be conscious too of visual trends that customers might ask you to adopt.
Rig ht Family and baby photography is a growing area. Many families are looking for natural-looking, informal shots rather than the formal posed studio work of the past.