Providing people and businesses with products and services they want (and need) is the basic underlying principle of all commerce. During the holidays, one “commodity” that most everyone wants is photos, which offers you an opportunity to make money with your camera. Most of the pictures people want don’t require extensive knowledge or experience, although you must have enough of a skill set and equipment to capture holiday portraits and what occurs during events and parties. Any or all of the following suggestions are relatively easy to sell; and even though it’s already December, many people, businesses and organizations are still looking for a photographer.
Although it seems like everyone has a camera, not everyone is able to take the quality pictures that most families want to preserve as holiday memories. You may have to do nothing more than distribute flyers in your immediate neighborhood to find families that are expecting a large group to gather at their homes or other locations and would be willing to pay a photographer instead of relying on Uncle Harry (especially after he has been to the eggnog bowl one too many times).
This is often the one time of the year, or the only time for several years, that extended families can be photographed together. There are many combinations of group photos to be taken, which increase the number of people who will pay for prints and/or a DVD of images.
You can also make money by suggesting that a family orders photo books to be sent to family members who were unable to attend. Check with PhotographyTalk’s vendor partner Viovio at viovio.com for a great selection of photo books that it prints, assembles and ships for you.
Next Year’s Family Holiday Card Photo
You can only imagine how many families wish they had had a family portrait taken last year for this year’s holiday card. Just as many will be kicking themselves next season because they didn’t have such a portrait taken this year. You may need more than a single flash unit to take high quality family portraits, but remember such equipment is easily rented and will pay for itself with just a few contracts. Plus, PhotographyTalk’s Article section is filled with articles about how to shoot with studio lights or multiple flashes. It’s relatively easy with a bit of practice.
You may also be able to convince families to have portraits taken at multiple locations: in front of their tree or other home holiday decorations; outside in a beautiful snowy environment or among exterior holiday decorations; or even all dressed as Santa.
Many people dress their pets in holiday finery, which makes for a photo that wouldn’t be available at any other time. You are likely to find an eager market for such photos where senior citizens live. Often, their only companion is a pet, so they will definitely be ready to pay for holiday photos of their favorite dog or cat outfitted as Santa or an elf.
Corporate/Business Holiday Parties
The full-time professionals in your community may have already snagged the contracts to photograph the biggest corporate or business holiday parties, but many, especially smaller businesses, are also looking for someone to capture the fun and frivolities. Book 5 parties at $100 to $150 for your time, and you’ll generate enough cash to pay for a great holiday for your family.
Business Holiday Decorations
Many businesses rely on the holidays for a majority of their annual revenue. These include jewelers, tree lots, holiday decoration retailers, etc. Many of them spend considerable money to decorate their stores and would like to have photographs that they can use next year for advertising, or simply to preserve the ideas they used to attract people to their stores.
Check with your local newspapers, other publications and even community Websites that may want lifestyle photos of the holidays. It could be a local holiday parade or event for which the publication doesn’t have a photographer it can assign or iconic holiday images, such as close-ups of decorations, packages, etc., it can use in a variety of ways next year. Staff photographers may be on vacation during the holidays, providing you with an opportunity to be a substitute.
Local Tourism Websites
If your town or community hosts a major holiday festival that attracts visitors, then your city’s or state’s tourism Website may want images to help promote next year’s event.
Just these 7 ideas for making money with your camera during the holidays could keep you quite busy; but do a bit of local research because there may be unique holiday money-making opportunities in your community.
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Photo by PhotographyTalk Member Linda Judith VanDeusen
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