Make Money Photographing Children's Birthday Parties
As mentioned elsewhere, you might think it impossible to make money photographing children's birthday parties since just about everyone has a digital camera or camera phone these days, but you'd be wrong...
Many camera owners don't know how to use their cameras properly and end up taking dreadful pictures.
If it's a special event, people get caught up in the moment and forget to take pictures (I've done it myself, more than once).
The person who takes the photographs seldom shows up in group pictures.
These are good reasons why people are open to the idea of using a professional photographer, and of course this is where you come in.
Now let's start thinking about children's birthday parties…
- Do parents in your community hold children's birthday parties at themed
- Do children receive invitations to birthday parties hosted at bowling alleys, swimming pools, art galleries, museums, fast food restaurants, recreation centers, laser galleries and other places?
Chances are that the answer is a resounding yes. So here's what you do:
Contact the managers of the establishments that host children's birthday parties and negotiate a deal with them to actively promote your services as a party photographer when parents book the parties at their venue. You could offer to pay a commission for every booking that they refer to you. If you can't secure such a deal, then perhaps you can arrange to leave a supply of brochures where parents will see them when they book their party.
Your brochures should be colorful, fun, display your best birthday party pictures and list the many ways in which your digital photography can enhance the party, such as:
- Offer the customer a choice of several party photo packages with varying
price ranges. For example, one package could feature pictures of children
posing with a clown. (You rent a clown suit and hire an extroverted friend
to don the suit and accompany you).
- If you have a small portable printer, you could offer to take pictures
as each child enters the door, then print the picture promptly so the
hostess can slip a copy into that child's party bag - make sure your contact
details go with them.
- You could offer to take candid shots throughout the party, and then
post them on a web site where parents and partygoers can download and
print them out as desired.
If you are not being paid by the party organizer, but by the individuals, make sure they either pay you before you provide the link on the website. Better still set up a payment facility on the web site. For this you must set up a Premier or Business account with PayPal so that you can take credit card and other types of payment depending on the PayPal option you choose.
A number of Banks in the UK are now offering a cell phone app that allows you to transfer money direct into someone elses account - if your customers have such an app, then this would be another option for you to take payments.
- You could offer to build a slideshow presentation or video presentation of the pictures and send it to the host online or on CD/DVD to distribute as they wish.
You can come up with tons of ideas to promote your digital photography business at a children's birthday party.
When you get a booking, be sure to take plenty of brochures and business cards. Ask the host/hostess to send a brochure home with each child. You could also include a discount coupon to anyone who books your digital photography services at the party. Don't forget to give one or more to the host/hostess. They may have other children who need parties. Failing that, there is always next year.
Oh. And one more thought - suggest to the venue manager that you create a bulletin board or display showing pictures of happy birthday parties. It's a good marketing tool for them to use to promote their birthday parties - and a good marketing tool for you to promote your digital photography services
Suggested Equipment and Supplies
In addition to your DSLR Camera, suitable Lens(es) for your shoot, a plentiful supply of Duplicate Order Forms and Brochures to hand out to parents, you should also consider having:
- Spare, fully charged Camera Batteries so you don't run out of power whilst shooting.
- Extra Memory Cards so you don't run out of storage for your photographs.
- A Laptop Computer to display your photos for your potential customers to choose from.
- A suitable Photo Printer to produce good quality prints.
- If you intend to supply your photos on CD/DVD then you should consider a CD Printer so that you can print up your disks with the event name and your business details. It will print your photos as well.
- Good quality Photographic Printing Paper in two or three different sizes to supply prints at the venue (also consider photo mounts, branded with your details, to give your work a professional look)
- Blank CDs* and or DVDs* to burn your photos onto if you are going to be supplying them on this media at the venue
- * Ideally these should be pre-printed with your business and copyright details and the title of the event. But be aware that printing off CDs/DVDs at the event can be a time consuming chore, it is probably a better idea to take orders for the disks and send them to your customer later.
- Spare Ink Cartridges for your printer if you are printing at the venue
- A Web Site If you are going to sell downloads of your photos
via passworded area to send your customers to.
The easiest way to get a web site set up is to use Wordpress. For this you will need:
- A Hosting Account (get one that offers cPanel which makes it very easy to set Wordpress up)
- A Domain Name (Try NameCheap or GoDaddy)
- A Payment Provider - PayPal offers an excellent service and it's free to set up (you will need to set up either a business or premium account with them)
- A suitable Wordpress
Plugin to password protect your download area before you receive
payment. (There are number of plugins available - some free, some you
have to pay for)
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