Com­mis­sioned photo shoots

From wed­dings and por­traits to prod­uct shots and pro­mo­tional shoots, there are loads of ways to make money by shoot­ing for in­di­vid­u­als and busi­nesses


From wed­dings and por­traits to prod­uct shots

Wed­ding and por­trait pho­tog­ra­phy have long been the bread and but­ter of get­ting paid for your pho­tog­ra­phy ser­vices, but these are very crowded and com­pet­i­tive mar­kets. De­spite this, there are still op­por­tu­ni­ties to make money if you ap­proach it in a pro­fes­sional man­ner.

You’ll need to be able to shoot per­fect pic­tures at speed, in dif­fi­cult con­di­tions, and of­ten while deal­ing with a host of other de­mands. From ar­rang­ing large groups of peo­ple and be­ing the cen­tre of at­ten­tion with­out tak­ing any­thing away from the ex­pe­ri­ence of the cou­ple on their big day (or their fam­ily and friends), wed­ding pho­tog­ra­phy is more about peo­ple skills and charm than sim­ply be­ing able to take great pho­tos.

Shad­ow­ing a full-time wed­ding pho­tog­ra­pher is a great way to get to grips with the de­mands of wed­ding pho­tog­ra­phy. Or if you are con­fi­dent of your skills you can get ex­pe­ri­ence by work­ing as a sec­ond-shooter.

Shoot­ing por­traits will re­quire sim­i­lar skills to wed­ding pho­tog­ra­phy, but there tends to be slightly less time pres­sure as you aren’t usu­ally cap­tur­ing a ‘once-in-a-life­time’ day.

The best way to get started find­ing clients for both wed­dings and por­traits is get your name out there through friends, fam­ily and work col­leagues. Most of them will know that you take great pho­tos, and many of them will know some­one who needs a pho­tog­ra­pher. This ap­proach will only yield so many com­mis­sions, though, so you should also start ad­ver­tis­ing your ser­vices through your web­site, so­cial me­dia and even lo­cal ad­ver­tis­ing. None of these should cost a for­tune, and although it can take time to build a rep­u­ta­tion, you should be able to build up a de­cent in­come in a year or two.

If you don’t fancy shoot­ing wed­dings or por­traits, then you could start ap­proach­ing lo­cal busi­nesses and com­pa­nies to shoot prod­uct or ad­ver­tis­ing im­ages. Al­most ev­ery busi­ness, from your lo­cal cafe or restau­rant to man­u­fac­tur­ers and builders, will need im­ages for their web­site or ad­ver­tis­ing.

Like get­ting wed­ding com­mis­sions, try sound­ing out friends and fam­ily for any ini­tial leads, and even try work col­leagues (for the lat­ter, make sure that it doesn’t con­flict with your cur­rent em­ploy­ment con­tract). You can also try con­tact­ing some lo­cal busi­nesses di­rectly, ei­ther by email, phone or – even bet­ter – in per­son.

Try to tar­get those who would re­ally ben­e­fit from some pro­fes­sional pho­tog­ra­phy, which means those who are aim­ing at a mar­ket that is in­flu­enced by great im­ages, rather than your lo­cal greasy spoon or one-man­band builder! Us­ing this ap­proach, you’ll need a pretty thick skin, though, as you’re likely to get a lot of re­jec­tions be­fore your first break.

Along with high-qual­ity stills, many wed­ding and com­mer­cial clients will also re­quire video. All the lat­est Nikon cam­eras can shoot amaz­ing video, so if you have the skills to shoot and edit videos (or are will­ing to learn them), why not of­fer this as part of your imag­ing ser­vices? This is a great way to broaden your ap­peal to an even wider range of cus­tomers.

Try to tar­get those who would re­ally ben­e­fit from some pro­fes­sional pho­tog­ra­phy

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