A friend of mine has been playing around with photography for several years, strictly amateur but he lost his job and was struggling for ways to pay the bills – not unlike millions of Americans in today’s economy. Since he had decent equipment, a digital SLR with a couple of good lenses and plenty of practice, he decided to start an event photography business. Here’s how to do it:
1. Sign up for a free photo hosting site that sells prints and photo products, even digital downloads. For example smug mug, zenfolio or backprint.
2. Print 1000 business cards on stock paper at the copy store with your name, phone number and web url that they can look at their photos and buy them. This costs $5 or less at your corner copy store, practically free if you do it with your home printer.
3. Attend events and snap people’s photographs, hand them the card with the website address and be friendly.
4. Advertise “free event photography” on craigslist explaining that you will show up and shoot the event for free, they only buy photos that they want. It’s a win-win as most photographers charge a fee to show up and shoot an event. For instance, Brightroom, a leading national event photography service pays photographers $30 an hour. While you’re at it, you should probably sign up to work for them as an event photographer.
5. Offer to take pictures of kids sports teams, birthday parties, wedding receptions, charitable events, parades, and you can ask establishments if it is ok to take pictures there ie, restaurants on Valentines day, night clubs, karoke bars, etc. You can take pictures of people anywhere, just be sure that they know they’re getting their picture taken (and want it taken) and give them your card.
My friend told me that it was helpful for him to go out shooting with his wife to greet people, give them the card and she would take their email address so when the photos were uploaded, they’d get a personal email to go check out their photograph. He also said that just being out in the public, he’d get asked to do other events and more prints were sold from events he was invited to.
There you have it, another make money anywhere idea courtesy of Scott R. Asher. Enjoy!