Once you decide that using your camera to generate extra income is what you're going to do, get out and do it. Not only can you generate income selling your photos to publications, but there are many other ways to sell photos. Give yourself a chance and you'll quickly begin to think of hundreds of ideas for taking pictures, merchandising ideas for promoting your services and sales angles for increasing your profits.
Word-of-mouth advertising works well no matter what product or service you are selling. Most of your work will come through referrals from people who were happy with your work. You should also promote your business by showing samples of your work to stores in your niche, clubs and schools (i.e. ski, kayak, etc.), who normally do a lot of business in your hobby. Just tell them you would be happy to send business their way, if they will do the same.
The important thing is to get started, regardless of how small you start, begin cashing in on an idea while it’s still in its infancy. An idea that can be fun, as well as financially rewarding! You've got the ball, now run with it!
Here’s some ideas to get you started:
- Make a Portfolio – Make up a portfolio of quality 8x10 prints to show your potential clients. It should consist of both color and black-and-white prints. Mount your 8x10 prints on attractive 11x14 boards, that way you can include a few 11x14 prints as well. A complete portfolio should also include some slides. Display them in 8.5x11 plastic sheets, which will hold 20 slides.
When you are satisfied with your portfolio, make multiple copies for your car, home, etc. Call on advertising agencies and show the art director what you are capable of. Consider beforehand how their agency could use your services. Be prepared to show your work to anyone at anytime. Everyone is a potential customer, and you never know who will need your services next. Carry your portfolio in the car at all times. If you are proud of your work, show it!
- Popular Location Photos – Finding a popular outdoor spot and setting up to take photos of people as they come through, can be a gold mine. Just leave flyers on cars where everyone parks (common at the take-out for whitewater rivers) with info on how to buy your photos. A specific example would be to get access to one of the more popular rapids on a river by hiking or paddling in and then take pictures of rafters as they splash down through the rapid or maybe a local kids soccer field on game day.
- A Variation – Some freelancers even hire out to certain guide services or clubs. They often promote you by providing their clients with your name because it’s an added benefit to their services.
- Action Photos on Location – Sports such as football, kids baseball, skiing and snow boarding offer a very profitable opportunity to make fast cash for a freelance photographer. People want some nice action photos of themselves or their kids. You can offer your talents to take professional photos of them in action at their games or favorite spots. Advertise with local sports leagues, ski shops and schools.
- Races – You can make some fast cash by making arrangements with a race organizer to have action photos taken of racers during the race. Set up your camera on a crucial spot on the course for some action shots as each racer passes by, then offer them to racers afterwards.
- Calendars – Who doesn’t like outdoor or action photos on a calendar.
There’s some great marketing ideas in this post, but in today‘s world you need to be on the Internet. If you’re not there yet, get there. To help out here’s one of the best Internet marketing websites I have found, it’s A to Z on the subject and I can’t give it a high enough recommendation CLICK HERE
To your success,