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DPChallenge Forums >> Business of Photography >> Could really use some help from everyone... Please
Showing posts 1 - 11 of 11, (reverse)
12/27/2009 01:43:53 AM · #1
So - I moved to a new area about 2 hours from where I was living roughly 6 weeks ago. Obviously nobody here knows that I'm a photographer... much less that they want to hire me.

What do you suggest for someone with a limited budget as far as getting my name out in a new area? Where I WAS living it just kind of happened from shooting for people that I worked with (also an RN - lol guess you can get that from my ID). Here - havent been so lucky.

I have 5x7 glossy ads/business cards and will also be printing regular business cards in the next week or so through WHCC. I've put some of the 5x7 cards in break rooms in the departments close to where I work - still no calls.

I've mainly done family photography; however I'd LOVE to do more weddings - I've only done two so far. I have also lowered my rates since I'm in the new area - I figured lower rates will possibly attract more customers which would get my name out a little faster - plus the economy kind of blows still for a lot of people around here.

How do you approach other businesses when you want to leave business cards (Children's clothing boutiques, salons/spas, maternity shops, etc.)?? Would really appreciate some suggestions, tips, and techniques to getting the manager to say ok to putting cards in or displaying a print or three.

- Clay

PS - if seeing my work may help then please go to www.claytaylorphotography.com or www.myspace.com/claytaylorphotography.

Message edited by author 2009-12-27 01:46:21.
12/27/2009 02:04:16 AM · #2
What about concentrating on making connections with those businesses that work more closely with your potential customers? Like flower shops, for instance? Or wedding planners. I'd think a wedding planner would be someone very interested in seeing your prior work, as it is their job to recommend someone like you to their clients. Caterers perhaps?
12/27/2009 02:29:29 AM · #3
Right I guess I should have put them in the list - I've dropped cards off with florists where I used to live and a bakery or two, but never any results. I guess at this point I'm open to any type of photography just to get my name out somewhere... as business comes in I can narrow my focus to what I want - or is that not a good idea?
12/27/2009 05:54:03 AM · #4
Your best bet would be to join Wedding Photographers International and/or Professional Photographers of America. While membership to either one could eat into "limited" budget, you would have access to the information you need to succeed. You can get some good ideas here at dpc, but this is not a full-time professional organization established to support professionals.

A business is a three-legged stool, with production, sales & marketing, and administration being the three legs. Most businesses topple over because the only strong leg is the production leg (how to take a picture, bake a cake, create a graphic, arrange a flower, design a website, whatever). If you don't understand or have people in place to handle the other two legs, your business will topple. Simple as that.

Is it impossible to pull yourself up by your own bootstraps. No. It just takes time and commitment. Not commitment to doing the production work, though, but commitment to building three strong legs for your stool. When someone says you need the right tools, they don't just mean having the right camera or glass.

Good luck!
12/27/2009 11:30:22 AM · #5
I'm curious to find out what works for you because I've never had much luck with advertising for photography. Every client I had last year was a referral or somebody who found me via google and liked my work. The referrals got kicked off a few years ago when I simply worked with people because I they had an interest and I wanted to shoot. They showed the images or recommended me and it just built up from there. It's not a quick start but so far it's had more impact than anything else I have tried.
12/27/2009 11:38:45 AM · #6
Could this be an opportunity to raise your rates instead of lower them? People aren't yet "familiar" with your rates, so it could be whatever you like. If you're worried people won't pay that rate, offer a sale BUT CLEARLY ADVERTISE THE NORMAL RATE. (Example - Book now and save 20% off the normal rate of $xyz)

If you'd like to advertise at work, just bring in some sample work & talk about it with a few people that you know will help spread the word. The right people will share the word like wildfire.

Good luck!
01/01/2010 03:37:34 AM · #7
Originally posted by Skip:

Your best bet would be to join Wedding Photographers International and/or Professional Photographers of America.

Skip, I actually belong to both.

Message edited by author 2010-01-01 08:48:40.
01/01/2010 10:41:28 AM · #8
Originally posted by malenurse1979:

Originally posted by Skip:

Your best bet would be to join Wedding Photographers International and/or Professional Photographers of America.

Skip, I actually belong to both.

just out of curiosity, what type of replies did you get when you asked for help on those forums?
01/01/2010 07:20:34 PM · #9
I'm in the same boat as the OP- I moved to USA about 4 months ago but I had a photo business in UK and in NZ before this so I'm starting from scratch.

I told the staff at my local coffee shop that I'm a photographer and showed them my website and gave them some business cards- they loved my work and said they would refer me to their friends if the need ever came up. I also emailed every newspaper, magazine, publication in the state i could find and told them I was a photographer looking for work and here's my web address. Someone saw it and passed it on to a company I had missed and they got in touch with me. Bingo. I also have 2 weddings booked from friends of the coffee shop staff.

Just tell EVERYONE you can think of who is in the public domain that you're a photographer in town and are available for weddings/whatever. You want to make it so that when people consider hiring a photographer, you're the one they think of.

Ive also had paid shoots through friends on Model Mayhem- I'll do a shoot with a girl and her brother/sister/next door neighbour/boss will see the work and want something similar. It's all networking really.

Another thing I'm just about to undertake is put up posters around the place (coffee shops, florists, salon owners) for wedding photography. I'll let you know how this goes :)
01/02/2010 01:46:57 AM · #10
Originally posted by Skip:

just out of curiosity, what type of replies did you get when you asked for help on those forums?

Lol I havent actually posted there yet. I'll get on that :)
01/02/2010 02:28:31 AM · #11
Network. Volunteer to shoot a fund-raising event for a cause you believe in. Join the committee to put together next year's walk-a-thon for whatever? If church is in your lifestyle, that is a good place to network. Show up at youth league sports and do some free-lance photos (most youth teams / leagues have contracts with photographers, but those are usually formal team and individual shots, and action shots during actual games are open game - be sure to check with coaches / league people first, so they know what you're doing and why - wouldn't want anyone to misunderstand why you're taking pictures of children that aren't yours...)
Volunteer at the pet shelter - there is big money in photos of people and their pets.
Join the local photography club. Participate in local photo contests (if they're not amateur only) and exhibitions.
I'd agree with ' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/31.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/31.gif', '/') + 1) . ' rossbilly - set your rates at a professional level - too low and you're telling people you're just an amateur trying to get started.
Research your competition - who else is active in the area - what kind of work do they do? What are their rates?
Unfortunately, people generally think of photographers (paid) for weddings, engagements, and senior proms - that's about it. So, your advertising may have results, but with a long delay. Gotta do something to put stew in the pot in the meantime... Good luck.

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