Author Topic: Photography Side Business? (Read 349 times)

rmp451

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Photography Side Business?
« on: November 06, 2017, 08:43:54 AM »
Anybody here do photography on the side?
I've had a lot of people tell me I take great photos. I have a good camera and lens, and I teach yearbook journalism at my school, so I do have a lot of experience with photography. I mostly shoot sports and landscapes, but I'd like to get into portraiture a bit. Just wondering if anyone has any tips or advice to share?

I should also add that I am not looking at quitting my day job (teaching). I'd like to start bringing in a bit of additional income, though.

SC93

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Re: Photography Side Business?
« Reply #1 on: November 06, 2017, 10:48:44 AM »
Since you already teach it seems like you could hit the jackpot! Senior pictures or just pictures of kids at your school. I bet within 10 days from today you could be making profit if you are serious about it.

Lots of people talk about starting a side business and probably less than 1% actually do it. Don't be the 99%.

lexde

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Re: Photography Side Business?
« Reply #2 on: November 06, 2017, 12:56:20 PM »
Depending on where you live you can get really creative with this.

There was someone that I purchased from last year. He was at the dog park every single Sunday and would take photos of the dogs having a great time. He had a T-shirt with his website on it and would take requests. He would have a separate gallery for each week and I bought an awesome print of my dog straight from his website. $10.00 in his pocket and I had a super cute and affordable photo of my best friend!

I’d imagine that’s an awesome side hustle if the park is big enough and there are enough dogs.

I also remember when I was competitive with horses there would be on call photographers on site. They would take pics of everyone but could focus on a specific class or test if you requested it. They always seemed busy enough!

Those are just the ways I’ve noticed you can stand out from the “photographer momtrepreneur” crowd that does kids and babies.

SC93

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Re: Photography Side Business?
« Reply #3 on: November 06, 2017, 02:57:56 PM »
Yes, I know a few people that go to the dirt tracks all over the country and take pictures every week.

The dog park is a GREAT idea I think. How about this, I'm no daycare professional but I've never heard of day cares taking pictures like schools do. How about get with a local day care and see about taking the kids AND staff's pictures? Or an animal boarding place.

ketchup

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Re: Photography Side Business?
« Reply #4 on: November 06, 2017, 03:44:36 PM »
The key is finding a specialty. Some of the other posts are already going this direction. Everyone with a camera thinks they're a photographer now since decent camera gear has become so cheap. If you don't have some sort of niche, you will be forgotten and abandoned (and you can't price yourself to make it worth your time).

Source: Girlfriend is a pro photographer. She quit her day job about three years ago. While she still had her day job and before she narrowed down to a specific niche, she'd do one or two photoshoots a month for $75 or $100 (if she was lucky) and it would involve driving 30-60 minutes each way and spending an hour there, and afterwards giving them like 20 photos (usually basic stuff like family/baby pictures or an event). Now, she'll charge $250 for five photos, shooting them in about 10-20 minutes somewhere that she's already traveled to specifically, doing anywhere between 4-20 shoots a day, working roughly between zero and ten days a month, and she loves it.

Ocelot

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Re: Photography Side Business?
« Reply #5 on: November 06, 2017, 07:13:12 PM »
I've been shooting part-time professionally for about the last 5 or 6 years ( plug ricohriottphotography.com /plug). I definitely have a niche, shooting professional cycling events, that I was able to leverage as I already worked in the field and had the right connections. If you don't find a specialty it will be very hard going, as nobody hires a "general" photographer, they hire for a purpose, and each of these purposes has it's own skillset which takes a lot of dedication and often specific equipment to do well.

On that note, don't underestimate how much time and learning is involved in getting to a professional skill level. I obviously can't comment on your skills - you could be amazing! - but even after as many years as I've been doing this I still frequently encounter very challenging situations and if you are charging for your services you need to be delivering consistently quality results in less than ideal situations. There is a lot of competition out there. I'm not trying to put you off, it's absolutely worth doing, it's just not as easy a job as it may at first appear. Depending on which niche you're going for you may need a fair bit of equipment too, lenses and lighting, which obviously will cut into your bottom line if you're doing this for profit.

ketchup

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Re: Photography Side Business?
« Reply #6 on: November 07, 2017, 07:54:14 AM »
On that note, don't underestimate how much time and learning is involved in getting to a professional skill level. I obviously can't comment on your skills - you could be amazing! - but even after as many years as I've been doing this I still frequently encounter very challenging situations and if you are charging for your services you need to be delivering consistently quality results in less than ideal situations. There is a lot of competition out there. I'm not trying to put you off, it's absolutely worth doing, it's just not as easy a job as it may at first appear. Depending on which niche you're going for you may need a fair bit of equipment too, lenses and lighting, which obviously will cut into your bottom line if you're doing this for profit.
This too. I neglected to mention it in my post, but my girlfriend had already spent at least seven years honing her skills to a professional level before any of that. Being exceptionally talented helps. But it alone won't get you past $75 Craigslist shoots.

jamesbond007

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Re: Photography Side Business?
« Reply #7 on: November 15, 2017, 03:10:31 PM »
If you don;t have absolutely anything else better to do, then yes. I used to side hustle as a photographer before Groupon started eating my business. I used charge very modest prices ($30/hr, min 2 hrs. if the customer wanted to go hourly) or a package. Eg: I shot an entire engagement shoot with multiple dress changes and my own props for 3 hrs, charged $150 and gave them Original High-res photos and provided them recommendations on where to get them printed. I'd even color correct according to the printer. I used to do well. Then Groupon showed up. Now everyone wants 100 photos taken for $20 along with a bazillion prints. There's no point doing it anymore. You just can't compete with those who undercut you. I gave up my "hobby" business. Now I have more time to spend with my kid.
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