From the time I got serious with my photography almost 25 years ago the desire to make money was always in the back of my mind. My first assignment was a stint in children’s portrait photography producing black and white photos of kindergarten children.
It was hard work developing black and white photos in my wet darkroom as we call it today. But, when the first cash started coming in it was a welcome addition to the family budget and a great inspiration.
So let’s take a look some keys for making cash from children’s photography.
Learn your trade
There is no point in trying to take children’s photographs if you don’t understand the fundamentals of photography. Understanding what a great image looks like and how to create one is fundamental to you as a photographer. If you are a photographer then hone your skills and refine those areas that need a little polishing.
Take an intermediate course if you need to and progress to something more advanced. It is essential that you increase your abilities and then practice until you can see an improvement. Never enter a field of photography without the corresponding skills.
Acquire the right equipment
If you are not sure what the right camera and lenses are then find out. Don’t buy what you feel you might need as you’ll be wasting your money. Visit forums and other online meeting paces and find out what experienced photographers recommend. Ask questions and read reviews.
If you don’t, you might find yourself making an expensive mistake. I have found that the Canon 100 mm f 2.8 macro lens makes a fantastic portrait lens although coupled with a non-full frame digital SLR it is a little long.
Research your potential clients
If you’re in an area where there are many kindergartens and junior schools then you have potential clients. Find out where they are and create a database of contacts. It’s from these contacts you will create you first set of clients.
It’s pointless trying to start a child photography business in a suburb somewhere in Florida where there are high numbers of retired people. Good research is going to pay off in the long term.
Use guerrilla marketing tactics
One of the best books ever written on marketing was ‘Guerrilla Marketing’ by Jay Conrad Vinson. Guerrilla marketing is the use of simple free or almost free media to market your business. That is, the use of flyers, business cards, trade exchanges, radio interviews or mail drops as well internet marketing.
Offer your services for free to charities or non-profits in order to build a reputation. Then use business cards and flyers to market yourself through these organizations. The key is to get yourself on the radar and let people know what you do. Offer your services for free as a prize in competitions. Anything to increase your public profile.
The key to any new business is persistence. Keep at it chipping away at your marketing strategy until you start seeing results. Surprisingly as it may seem the actual type of photography i.e. children’s photography is only a small part of setting up the business.
When running a business the time you take to shoot photographs is only a portion of actual time as the business part is quite time consuming. Just keep at it; if you’ve done your homework then success is only a matter of time.