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I wont say ive pulled out more semi retired to do some bits for fun again. A while back i noticed alot of my shows were becoming swamped with photographers 6 - 7 per craft fair of 100 stalls, it doesnt sound alot but people usually only buy one picture.
So i decided that instead of sitting there and taking peanuts while the other 6 photographers came and asked what camera i used and where i took a certain picture, i would invest in some machinery and supply them. I know do photo mugs and gifts direct to photographers that i competed with at trade prices, this now gives me back my weekends and lets me enjoy photographing the steam railways of Britain that i used to shoot images from to sell.
Best of both worlds, bit of diversification but still doing a job i love
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I had my own car valeting and cleaning business some years ago and after getting the hang of the business side of things decided that photography was the way to go, so sold the valeting business and started photography full time....
and then decided after about 6 months of full time work, that i prefered doing it when i wanted to, so got a job with someone that paid me a regular wage and did my tog work at the weekends....
as said above too many people with the AWARD WINNING or BEST TOG IN BRITAIN crap in the adverts and people go for it even if the work is terrible.
I see on Facebook sooooo many times peoples pictures that are blurred with poor lighting and terrible comp. but they charge about £10 for a shoot with pics on cd at the end of it and people go for it.... 'because it cheap'
Quote: If you specialise you hone your skills and become known as an expert in that field and can legitimately charge higher prices
Unfortunately with event photography, well my area, that just doesn't work, alot of people will go with the free photographs because they are free, although there are alot that do appreciate a good quality shot. There is also a company set up that are just selling digital images from races for £2.50 each covering all kinds of sport.
Talking it through with hubby, I've decided to keep my website, butI'm limiting the amount of cycling photography I do, to events that I want to cover either because it's an event I enjoy or I'm covering it for a friend. That way I can still keep my hand in, but also have more time to go out and enjoy photography, which is what I did the other day by going over to Birmingham to look at the Selfridges building. Also, after shooting a charity calendar last year, I've got a few people who want me to do photographs of them in a similar style and for my sins I've agreed to cover a very, very small registry office wedding next year.
I've also joined a local camera club and am enjoying that, as having to photograph things for a set topic makes me think outside my usual box, although next months subject being transport, one of the shots might just be a cyclist
Quote: Unfortunately with event photography, well my area, that just doesn't work, alot of people will go with the free photographs because they are free, although there are alot that do appreciate a good quality shot.
Do you find you sell more images of the juniors or the seniors? I play table tennis in my local league and I wouldn't bother buying a photo of myself playing table tennis to hang on the wall. However, if I had a child playing table tennis or cycling then I probably would pay good money to have a top quality shot (which yours are by the way!) on my wall. Perhaps focusing on selling junior shots to parents would work, particularly if you emphasise the fact that the image can be blown up to a decent size and framed. How do you let people know about your service at the moment?
Quite often more of the seniors than juniors, even when advertised that I will be there. In 2008 I did the national junior road race for British Cycling and got 1 order.
As for advertising, race organisers will put in the start and result sheets that I will be there, along with a link to the website. I also post on forums that I've been to races and the Governing body has a site that gallery links can be uploaded to, so advertising is not a problem, it's just that people don't buy many shots of themselves.
It would be interesting to know what the advertising copy actually says. If the organisers (or you) have written something like: Get quality prints at xxx website it will get less interest than something that captures the reader's emotions. Something like this might work for the juniors:
Headline: Are memories of your child worth more than two kebabs?
For the price of a couple of kebabs you can have a stunning, framed photo of your child to display in your lounge. Your child has broken the pain barrier today, so why not show them how proud you are of them and get a professional photo that's fit for the living room wall. It will give you happy memories for a lifetime.
I'd consider offering larger prints too. People with low end cameras won't be able to print to large sizes so you'll be able to corner the market in larger framed artwork for the lounge. If you do decide to do that then you'd need to incorporate that selling point in your advertising
LOL Daniel, I might just give it a try, but they prefer to spend money on the bikes. I should know, I married a cyclist and he has only ever ordered 1 photo ! I'm doing a veterans race next week, so could put something about getting a memory of a loved one before they are too old to get on a bike again
You've got some top shots and they deserve to be sold, it's just finding the right angle for the audience. Like I said before I'm not sure how many people will want larger photos of themselves as it's a bit vain really but I just thought there might be mileage in the juniors because parents can be emotionally blackmailed (if that's not too strong!) into buying larger high quality framed prints and canvases of their kids. How about the cycling mags - had any joy there?
Thank you Trouble is, it's not a big sport and there are alot of people out there and when you've got one time trialling shot ....
Magazines, tried that & occassionally get an order through for a shot if their photographer isn't out there. Next thing is to try photographing a sportive, apparently you get a few sales from those. I know the organiser for one later in the year, so may give it a go.
I'm actually enjoying other things at the moment, such as my trip to see the selfridges building and hubby, has booked me to cover a wedding next year for someone at his factory and I'm also doing one for a friends daughter. Neither are church weddings, just small registry office family weddings, neither bride will be wearing white thank goodness.
The other thing that might add something different is the charity calendar I shot last year. I've had a few people ask if I'll shoot them in that style, so I shall have fun diversifying.
I think you're right to diversify. Spread your reach. It's fine to be pigeon-holed if you're in a nice coup, but otherwise it's better to be as free as a dove!
In all seriousness though I think in this day and age diversification is important so you can make the most of every opportunity. Of course your website will need to portray your whole range of services now. In my town I'm top or near the top of Google for several types of photography, as well as copywriting but I only get a bit of web traffic from each sector. However, when I add them all together and add them to other types of marketing I'm doing then things look a lot rosier. Diversification is very wise in my opinion so good luck with your wing-spreading and enjoy!
Thank you. I'm top of most google lists for the cycling stuff in my area and for the rest of the country. I'm thinking about stock stuff as well, so am looking into that.
Maybe some of these photos from the Tour de France will inspire you?
Quote: Maybe some of these photos from the Tour de France will inspire you?
Have to say I was thinking only yesterday that its a shame the ePz gallery seems devoid of images from this years Tour!
There are some superb shots out there, I tend to look at Graham Watsons shots every day. But there are some superb shots on there, #57 is I think my favourite. Mind you, local riders would still baulk at paying
I've now got a new member who has joined our club with his camera and is giving everyone free shots He emails them all to me as well to look at, but if he asks what I think and where to take them, he always does the opposite. Asks for advice on lenses and when I say which I would use as he's having problems with one, he will then say he prefers his problem lens It would be amusing if he wasn't quite so irritating.
Quote: There are some superb shots out there,
Totally agree - incredible images. You were our cycling champ Sarah lets see some more
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