In my last article relating to a suggestion for your photography business No.1, I went straight to the heart of things with little distraction and I was (I hope) straight to the point. I did this for a number of reasons but none less than the fact that it can be difficult starting your own photography business because initially customers can seem to be elusive or difficult to find. It doesn’t need to be this way and I will try to help you with one or two tips here and there but I won’t be giving the more powerful secrets of my photography business guide away for nothing or in this process.
Let’s say that you want to get into the baby portrait market but you don’t know where to start and you don’t know anyone who’s having a baby. I’ll assume you have the right gear and that you’ve decided that this market is one you like. That’s important. Perhaps more important than you first might think. Taking pictures of babies is a skill – no question about it. It also requires patience, lots of patience. That’s why good photographers can charge a little more for this segment of photography, because time can become an issue when the baby throws-up or cries or simply decides that today, dribbling is fun!
Tip 1: You will need to learn distractions to bring the baby on-side for the photo shoot. You will need to use distractions that are hygienic – think about that! A distraction can be as simple as a toy but it must not be small enough that it can disappear up a nostril or in an ear canal for instance.
Tip 2: Toys need to be cleaned properly between shoots or my favourite, supply an inexpensive toy that you can leave behind. Squeaky animals worked best for me. The parents are impressed when you tell them that the toys are never used twice and you have also left a small present behind because the baby was so good.
Tip 3: You must be quick with your shots so be ready for the shoot before you bring the baby in for photographing. A baby’s attention span is limited to a point when distractions will go cold and cease to work. Work out all your lighting and positions first. Explain to the parents how you would like the baby dressed but only in principal – leave some room for the parents to be creative and add their own touch to the portraits.
Tip 4: You might think all these tips are great but only if you have a baby to photograph. Well here are some ideas on how to get started with baby photography.
Find the retail outlets in your area that specialize in baby wear and maternity wear. Leave you business card there and design a reward programme that gives them some income for the trouble of recommending you. You should not have to make appointments for this and whatever you do; don’t interrupt them if they are talking to one of their customers. Wait patiently, so that you present your credentials calmly and with purpose.
Don’t just leave your card or post your card to them. Go there and say hello. Proprietors will have more faith in recommending you to their customers if they have met you. Even more so again, if they receive something in return for their efforts. I talk more about this in my guide – starting a profitable photography business.
Remember, they want their customers to come back too! Rule of thumb is 20% of the assignment. If you earned $300.00, your reward to the proprietor should be no less than $60.00. Keep records for taxation too.
Think this through before you jump in. If you enjoy babies and baby photography seems like a good photography niche for you, why not give it a go.
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