Make Money With Children's Portrait Photography
Here's a great way to get started in your digital photography business - Children's Portrait Photography.
Visit or contact a children's toy store, book store or clothing store, or the children's department in a department store. Negotiate a deal with the manager to set up a booth to offer a children's portrait photography service at specific times, possibly Friday evenings, Saturdays, Sundays and during school vacations.
Get the store to promote your digital photography service when they advertise their regular specials. Try promoting these photo shoots around child-friendly occasions, such as Christmas, Easter, Halloween or the start of the school year.
The store will benefit because you help them attract more customers.
You benefit because you start taking orders.
The parents and children benefit because they get some great photographs for their albums.
It's a win-win-win situation.
What You Will Need
- A "set" to use as a background. You can build a set yourself, creating a background from draped with sheets or fabric. In many cases, the store will have a suitable form on hand from other displays, if not make sure you have something sturdy and portable you can use. Avoid a busy background as this detracts from your subjects. Solid, neutral colors work best and compliment any color clothing the child might be wearing.
- Studio lighting. Unless the store's lighting is very good (you will need to check this out well before you set up) you will need your own portable lighting, if you don't already have some, you can purchase studio lights relatively inexpensively at most photographic stores or Amazon.com who have a huge range to choose from.
- Printed order forms. For a totally professional image, these need to be printed in duplicate, carbonized sets with sequential order numbers for each set so that you have a copy for yourself an another for your customer - either as individual order sets or in duplicate book form. The information that should be included is:
- Your business name, address, telephone number, email address (and web site URL if you have one) at the top of the order form together with an explanation of the photographic services you offer.
- Below your details, include lines for the customer's name, contact information and details of their order, including a Picture Reference to keep track of the photographs so you don't confuse the Smith family photos with the Jones family photos. (I've included a sample form layout to give you an idea on what you need. Click Here to get it).
Video: Children's Portrait Photography
You will also need an eye-catching poster (A3 or larger) promoting your service and prices to place on display in the store. You can create this yourself using your computer and a desktop publishing program such as MS Publisher or graphics program such as GIMP (free to download and use) and save it to CD. Most home printers won't handle a poster of this size so take it to a print service and have them print it out for you. Most copy shops will be able to do this for you. If you don't know a local service run a Google search for "poster printing services".
To make sure you don't get various family's photos mixed up, it's a good idea to use a clapper board or something similar with the order number and family name on it which you photograph before each set of photos are taken so that each family's photos are separated on your camera.
You should collect either a down payment or payment in full at the time you take the photographs. If taking a down payment, be sure it is sufficient to cover your printing expenses if the customer doesn't follow through. And if you are going to accept checks, make sure they clear before you hand over the photos.
One suggestion is to arrange with the store manager to leave the prints in the store where the customer can pick them up. This has a two-fold benefit, for the manager it brings the customer back into the store where they are likely to shop once again, and it saves you the necessity of having to arrange delivery to the customer.
When delivering the photos, include a coupon for a discount on the next order, or perhaps a coupon they can pass along to their friends. You might also offer a free photo session in their home to any customer who refers three new paying customers to you.
Another delivery option is to upload the photographs to a password protected web site and allow your customers to download and print them as they choose. But if you are going to take this route you must make sure you receive payment in full before you give the location of the photographs.
Uploading to a web site*** saves you the cost and work of printing and delivering photographs. But be warned, you will need considerable web storage space and bandwidth, since you will be uploading lots of high resolution photographs weighing in at a couple of Megabytes or more depending on their size. I use Ultimate Marketing Center who offer 4 gigabytes of disk space (equivalent to around 2000 x 2 megabytes or 800 x 5 megabytes photographs) and 100 gigabytes of bandwidth per month (plus a host of other useful applications) for a very reasonable monthly fee. This should be enough to get you up and running in the early stages of your business, you can request additional disk space and bandwidth as your needs increase.
This Children's Protrait photography idea can be a sure winner. You will never run out of proud parents wanting professional images of their children.
Suggested Equipment and Supplies
In addition to your DSLR Camera, suitable Lens(es) for your shoot, Colorful Eye-catching Poster, a plentiful supply of Duplicate Order Forms (One copy for you and one for your customer) and Business Cards to hand out, 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 Tripod
- A Web Site, 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)
Please Note: Pricing and free shipping offers may change without notice
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