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School Portraits: Most public and private schools offer parents student portraits at all grade levels. Many schools may use well-established companies specializing in this type of portrait, but daycares and other non-mainstream schools could be good prospects.
Weddings: As one of the most important events in anyone’s life, weddings occur virtually every week of the year; and like a dress or cake, pictures are an absolute priority of any bride.
Fine Art, or Artistic, Photography: This type of photography is always in high demand, especially if you can provide individuals, businesses, galleries and stock photo services with exceptional images.
Family and Children’s Portraits: There are few families that wouldn’t want excellent photos of the entire family as well as individual portraits of their children…and at different ages, which allows you to benefit from repeat business.
Publications: You may not be able to sell images to the most popular and well-known magazines and newspapers, but there are many smaller publications that need photographs. These are good opportunities to develop your skills before approaching higher-paying publications.
Food Photography: The top opportunities in food photography go to those with specifically developed skills and considerable experience; however, most restaurants in your area need food photos for their menus and advertising and to display as large prints on the walls of their eateries.
Business/Corporate Events: Even many smaller to mid-size businesses are looking for photographers to shoot their parties, receptions and training sessions as well as pictures for public relations purposes.
Social Events (Birthdays, Sweet-16 Party, Bar Mitzvah, etc.): Those same families that will pay for excellent portraits also need a photographer to record special family occasions, creating even more repeat business.
Maternity Photography: This specialized type of family photography, or portrait, is very popular, as parents want images of the mother before the baby is born. Make sure you follow up to schedule a photography session with the mother and infant together.
Stock Photography: The Internet is filled with stock photography services that need a constant supply of new and specified images. Do your homework to learn how this part of the photography business operates, and then find a service that fits with your skills and output.
Model Portfolios: There are many aspiring models in your city or town that need a portfolio of photos to promote themselves. Look for and contact any modeling schools in your area with a classroom of people that may need your services.
Medical Photography: Medical schools, physicians and dentists of all types, laboratories and other medical facilities want visual images of procedures and tests for research and patient diagnosis.
Forensic Photography: Every attorney, law enforcement agency and many courts have call for photography of evidence, physical locations and individuals related to legal and court proceedings.
Travel and Destination Photography: There are many opportunities to sell travel photography to destination Web sites, local convention and visitors bureaus, stock photography services and anyone producing calendars and other promotional materials for the destination.
Theater and Cinema Photography: Most local theatrical venues and the actors in dramatic companies use photography for promotional and archival purposes. Look for small, independent filmmakers in your area that need a photographer to shoot stills during filming, again for promotional purposes.
Pets: Those same families that treasure children’s portraits often want just as many photos of their pets. Many elderly people have pets as companions, which they would want to be preserved in a portrait sitting.
Dance Photography: As with theatrical performers, dancers need photos to promote themselves, and even use as a study aid. Dance studios for children may also want to photograph each child upon “graduation.”
Passport Headshot: A passport has become almost a required piece of identification. People often need them quickly, so if you can be available on-call, then there is considerable money to be made. Check with local companies that are large enough to have employees who travel overseas, regularly.
Martial Arts Photography Day: Much the same as dance studios, martial arts schools often like to have a photographer available when students receives their latest belt color. Photographs of the student with his or her instructor and his or her parents are favorites.
Commercial Architectural Photography: Architects and the construction companies building their designs often want to record the various stages of construction. Excellent architectural images can also be sold to travel and destination photography customers.
Product Photography: There are companies and individuals in your town or city that are developing new products and those ready to introduce to the public. Shooting products for catalogs is another opportunity to pursue.
Car Photography: Not only are there individuals with classic cars they want photographed, but also local car clubs and shows that need a photographer to cover their events. Other opportunities are the local used car magazines and booklets typically found at the entry of grocery stores and pharmacies.
Scientific Photography: As with medical photography, there are scientists, technicians and college departments that have regular needs for photography of lab work and processes.
Industrial Photography: All forms of industry must have photos for their product sales sheet and Web site listings/catalogs. They may also require pictures of industrial processes for marketing and/or training purposes.
Photojournalism: Virtually every neighborhood and community has a local newspaper that needs photos to accompany news and feature stories.
Real Estate Photography: Land developers, homebuilders and real estate companies want photos of properties primarily for marketing. There are also opportunities with the free real estate publications that are also found at the entry of your local grocery store.
Aerial Photography: Architects, construction companies, commercial and residential real estate developers and municipalities also need aerial images of land, properties and facilities. An aerial angle could also enhance any travel and destination photography
Sports Photography: Throughout your community, there are numerous adult and children’s sports leagues that want team group pictures. Community newspapers need photos of high school and other local athletic events for their sports section.
Teaching, Training and Instructional Photography: Many companies and other organizations require detailed images of processes and the operation of machinery for their employee-training programs.
Advertising Photography: This is a very broad category, as marketing and advertising agencies as well as individual companies have a great variety of photography needs. Some assignments could be as easy as an exterior view of a client’s business to carefully composed product photography and coverage of a client’s conferences and events.