A few years ago I became interested in digital photography, mainly for web publishing and personal reasons. You know, how nice is it now to NOT have to deal with film, scanning pictures, and the costs of developing all of those "not great" photos that you didn't know were so bad until you paid to have them developed!
So, at the time I got my first digital camera a friend of mine was playing in a rock band, and needed pictures for their web pages and promotional printings and ads. When I first began to do their photography, I had NO IDEA what it all would lead to... and now I will reveal to you some of the MANY ways to make money, part-time, with your love for photography!
Now, at the clubs my friend's band played in- a lot of the time they would be in a line-up of 3 bands for the evening, of which I shot live pictures of my friend's band's performance. Then I got another idea, I'm there already, usually to finish the night with the band, so I started to take pictures of the other bands. Afterwards, as they were breaking down their equipment, I introduced myself as the other bands photographer, and explained that I liked their music and look- and also took pictures of them also.
I got the names of the band members, jotted down notes about which instruments each one played, and then got a mailing address to reach them. I told them that I was going to print up some proof sheets and send them off to them... all were very agreeable and willing (and why not, it doesn't cost them a thing).
Then I printed the proof sheet(s), and selected three of what I thought were the best- of which I made a little bigger on a separate sheet and used Photoshop to refine and enhance the images
prior to printing (all on my little ink-jet printer).
I composed a form letter that I could customize for each mailing explaining details like:
- The first proof sheet was all of the raw digital images
- The second one with the larger images was digitally self enhanced
- I would professionally print any pictures they wanted for XXX cost (considering mailing costs, printing costs at a local printing shop, labor for digital enhancement, and healthy profit margin)
- For any order I would give them a CD with ALL of the photos in digital form for them to use any way they wanted
- Add my contact information
- And finally my availability to book shootings with them in the future
Now I could personalize this form letter and send it with the proof sheets to the band, and when I would call them about a 8 days after I made the mailing to ask them if they received the proof sheets and which ones they liked (and I liked)- and I simply asked for an order.
It was amazing how well this worked, and I expanded the idea.
I would go to fund-raising events, marathons, special events hosted by radio station
personalities... always getting the contact information for reaching whoever is in charge of promotions and following the same system!
As you go along, you realize some other benefits to you new "business"- like free admissions (and no club cover charges), press passes, exciting opportunities to meet
interesting people and celebrities, discount drinks, and much more! It's amazing what people will GIVE you, if you just ask!
Then there are the home-business tax deductions that are eye-opening in themselves!
As soon as you can, upgrade to more professional equipment so you can not only "play" the part, but also "look" the part. Print up business cards, and make up your own portfolio of your "best" digitally enhanced photos of all kinds of subjects and previous shootings.
Seriously, this could turn your love for digital photography into an exciting lifestyle and an income that could surpass your present one!
But then again, I know I have only just scratched the surface with professional digital photography, and I'm sure you now have just entered a "think-tank" that will spur many more ideas for you to make digital photography more than just a love. Make it a great life!
Richard Meredith is the Author of
"The BLACK BOOK of Online Business"- An amazing FREE SOURCE ebook for the online business person!
Feel free to distribute or publish this article conditional only by including the by-line intact.
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