Make Money Selling Calendars Created From Your Digital Photographs
This can be a very lucrative market if you approach it right.
You could contact calendar publishers and enquire about their photographic needs or you could create and sell your own calendars.
Let's discuss the practicalities involved in making and selling your own calendars.
The time to do the photography and market the service is all year round. The time to arrange for the printing is October, but check with your printing service to find out what their time frames are for delivery. Generally they will be busy near the end of the year if they take a lot calendar business.
The time to be delivering the calendars is late November and throughout December.
A Printing Service
Early on, shop around for a good deal with a printing service. Quality and reliability are the watchword, not just price. If you don't have a local calendar printing service you could try a service like Gotprint.com who offer full-color, high-quality printing at an affordable price. Gotprint offers a variety of sizes to choose from and their finished products look like those you'd buy in a store.
Alternatively run a Google search for "get a calendar printed" or "calendar printing" (include the quotes in your search query).
Markets For Calendars Created With Digital Photography
Now, how do you put your digital photography to work to make these calendars? First you need to find your customers. Then you will need suitable pictures - in most cases you'll need twelve in all depicting whatever subjects the customers want.
Here are some suggestions for finding potential markets.
Churches, Charities and Other Organizations
Contact churches, charities, non-profit or social service organizations and pitch the idea of calendars as fund raisers. You charge a set amount for delivering an agreed-upon number of calendars. The organization can resell them at any price they choose to their members, on their web site and to the general public.
You will need twelve photographs, assuming you are using twelve layouts. You could arrange to take photographs depicting the organization's activities for each month of the year. Alternatively, you could use twelve photographs of local scenery or attractions, landmarks, flowers, wildlife, cute kittens - whatever the organization prefers.
Amateur Sporting Events
Contact managers of sports teams, especially children's teams, and pitch the idea of taking pictures to generate a calendar. As already mentioned, this could be an item the team could sell for fund raising, or you could simply sell calendars to team members and their families and make a donation to the team's funds.
If you are dealing with proud parents, be sure to stress what a great gift these calendars will make for grandparents, aunts, uncles and other family members.
Craft Shows and Specialty Shops
Take pictures of local scenery, attractions, landmarks or wildlife. Generate calendars, then sell them at craft shows or arrange with vendors and specialty boutiques to sell your product. As we saw in chapter eight you should avoid big department stores, chain stores and supermarkets. You will face too much competition in these venues, and in most cases, you can't compete with their prices. Try farmers' markets, market places, art galleries, mom and pop book stores, boutiques, art galleries, tourist attractions etc..
Special Community Events
Is your community planning a special event?
- An anniversary of something?
- A reunion?
- A walkathon or race?
- A celebration?
- A best kept garden event?
Contact the event organizers and negotiate a deal to photograph the event for commemorative calendars. You can take orders for the calendars, which you will deliver a few weeks after the event completes or to coincide with the next calendar year.
Flower Shows and Gardening Associations
Digital photography and flowers make an awesome match - and where better to make this match than at flower and garden shows? Contact the organizers or club executives. Offer to photograph prize-winners, gardens and floral arrangements and compile your best digital photographs into a calendar. Sell the calendars at the event, or take orders for later.
Contact art galleries or artist associations and suggest a deal to photograph selected works of art and compile them into calendars. Include the artist's name and contact information for each photo used. The associations or the galleries can sell the calendars themselves, or alternatively, you could sell them directly to shops or boutiques. Be sure to get a signed release from the artist allowing you to distribute copies of the work. Remind the artists that potential customers will view the calendars along with information about purchasing the artist's work. Alternatively, you might agree to pay a small royalty fee for each calendar distributed.
Your Own Web Site
The Internet and a web site are a great way of promoting your own calendars created with your digital photography and your unique calendar services.
Calendars are a great opportunity to make money and promote your digital photography skills.
Suggested Equipment and Supplies
In addition to your DSLR Camera, suitable Lens(es) for your shoot, 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:
- 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)
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