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Old May 29, 2008, 9:03 AM   #1
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Experienced photographers : as far as you remember, what have been the key thingsto find customers for your paid jobs ? Did you start with friends, did you make a book with 20 great pics, did you work for a newspaper, anyextra assignments, costly advertising, mouth-to-ear?

I am already making money from selling aerial pictures (http://www.cameralift.com), but dealing with portraits is another world.

My idea was to propose to any large company to shoot every single staff, than make a PC screen saver for every PC in the bank showing a slideshowof each staff face with name and function so that everyone knows everyone in the company very quickly. Do you think it is realistic ?A company with 400 peoplewould make me do 400 portraits !
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Old May 29, 2008, 12:37 PM   #2
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Let me say that those screen-saver applications are crap and usually interfere with the proper operation of the computer in a number of ways.

I would suggest that you steer clear of people's (and especially, company's) computers if you want to establish a good reputation.
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Old May 29, 2008, 1:57 PM   #3
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I would never go for this in the small company that I run. People change in companies all the time which would require updating the program and photo's all the time. Not a prospect I would like to keep up with or pay money for. It sounds good, but in practice is not really easily manageable. I'm also with TC on allowing bloatware like a screensaver to run on my system tying up resources.

If you want to attract customers you need to have a product or service that people want/need. In photography that means doing some shooting and compiling shots of what you hope to sell. It means word of mouth and talking to alot of people. Whatever inroads you make, you need to reinvest your early success into things that will make you more efficient..whether its better or more equipment, a faster computer, etc.

You seem like a creative guy..your one idea seems really good and has potential. I'm not big on your second idea, but at least you're thinking.
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Old May 29, 2008, 3:21 PM   #4
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Our success has come slowly, which is what we wanted, since we're only doing it part time. I've got a "real" job that pays the bills, buys food, sends a 19 year old to college, and so forth. It's also allowed me to dabble in photogaphy as a business. We've been doing photography on the side for almost 2 years, and I'm comfortable with where we are at, financially. We've got enough to keep us busy, if we want, on the weekends and some evenings, but not too busy to not get any sleep or have family time.

Probably the most overlooked aspect of a photography business is the marketing efforts. There are many, many skilled photographers who have gone out of business because they didn't market themselves. On the flip side, there are some not so skilled photographers who make good money because they know how to market themselves.

Our first step was to build our portfolio and our web site. The wife and kids "volunteered", and we built our porfolio andweb site quickly. We signed on to a few internet sites specifically related to modelling, like OneModelPlace.com and ModelMayhem.com to name a few. Here, we could meet models looking for TFP (Time For Prints), and we both could build our portfolio. It works well. Slowly, we've built our business by doing a few local events, some senior portraits, and so forth.

If this was my only source of income, we would be living out of a tent. Luckily, our expectations were not very high at all, and we've accepted and rejected work based on what we felt comfortable with doing.
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Old May 30, 2008, 9:23 PM   #5
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I got your points straight. Thanks guys. For the second idea, having been both employee and manager in huge corporations, I can tell you that managers don't give a F... F... - hope I am not impolite - about PC resources :shock:It's all about inventing the worst crap ever ang get paid a bonus for that at the end of the year :G

Concerning my second idea, It's ok , I am not trying to convince you, I have too much respect for your time. Really interesting to see where you are coming from though. TFP is a good idea , I will try it, and if it does not exist in my area, I wil have to create it.

I have lots of photographers indeed around me who do not make enough money to live, although they have such a great idea about their work. I guess this is always the same when it comes about "art".

Thx again

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Old May 31, 2008, 8:03 AM   #6
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if you want to do stuff like that then before you start getting paid id suggest doing some free ones so people can see what they are paying for,a very professional screensaver may generate intrest but if its just a simple slideshow then it probably wouldnt, especialy if you where charging for the pictures to be taken as well

where i worksomeone in human resources takes the pics for id cards as well, nothing fancy you just stand against a blue door and she takes the pic,and we are a big company with 1000 employees !!

as an idea i think its very limited

your ballon lift is a much better idea.........i take some from a kite by the way ..........maybe you ought to stick with that and try shoot events from the sky and scenery and try to sell those.......get a nice portfolio together of your best images.

but what ever you do dont expect to get mega rich and be able to give up work :-)

getting people to part with money is hard work

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