If you're one of those photographers who loves to shoot people having fun, you're in luck, because many of those people love to have photographs as memories of those good times. Naturally, weddings, corporate events and similar get-togethers are good opportunities for grabbing shots of happy people. There are many other places where people gather, though and a well-prepared, personable photographer can turn these gatherings into profits. Let's look at a few:
Street Fairs and Markets
Every city has its unique street fairs and markets that give people the opportunity to get together and browse the offerings from local artisans. These events are usually chock-full of colorful works of art, clothing and other wares, along with lots of food and drink. In short, you'll find people having a good time buying and selling stuff and a surprising number of them will enjoy having a shot or two of themselves having a good time in those surroundings. Vendors also like photos with people purchasing their favorite goods and shots of their booths packed with people. You'll have fun shooting them and you're likely to find some great stuff, too.
From Cinco de Mayo to Shakespeare, people love to celebrate culture. These festivals are some of the best opportunities to find people cutting loose and enjoying themselves. Whether it's dance, medieval sword battles, music or other unique role playing, you'll find people immersing themselves in cultural experiences and only too happy to have someone shoot them in the environment. Participation isn't always a requirement to interact with people at these events, but making an effort to blend in will go along way toward building a rapport with the participants.
Sand, sun and the ocean are a magical recipe for fun and relaxation and people find many different ways to enjoy them. A trip to the beach can give you the opportunity to photograph surfers, kiteboarders, wakeboarders, fishermen (and women), families, tourists, bathing beauties, pets and more, all in an environment that puts smiles on their faces and can put dollars in your pocket, too. The trick is to know how to approach them with the idea that the day is worth remembering with some great shots by a professional photographer.
There's nothing quite like an avid sports fan, and it doesn't much matter what sport. While most professional sports events won't allow you to bring in a video camera or a still camera with a telephoto lens, there are very few that will object to a DSLR with a standard lens. Now, if you're getting in people's faces and interfering with their watching the game, chances are you'll be asked to leave. The up side to all of this is that for those rabid fans, the next best thing to seeing themselves on the big screen is having a professional photo of them in their best game day attire and face/bodypaint. Bring along a friend and casually grab some shots of them cheering on the team and there's a good chance people will be asking you to shoot them, too. Just remember to stay out of the way of other fans.
A shot of a public speaker giving a presentation can be a great publicity tool for that person. Conferences can be a great place for a photographer to work, but it's important to check with the organization giving the conference ahead of time, as there may be restrictions. Some may ask you to register as an event photographer and this can be a great way for speakers to find out about you. Also, some speakers bring their own photographers and it's important not to interfere with them. The key to working conferences is to be a consummate professional and use the appropriate courtesies.
How to Make the Job Easier
The events above will give you hundreds of opportunities to shoot and sell photos of all kinds of people in all kinds of high-energy environments. You'll probably think of several other events in your area, too.
Now that you know where to go, how do make it easy to approach people at these events? The first requirement is to enjoy people and learn to strike up friendly conversations that lead to a very low-pressure offer to create a few memorable photographs for them.
We like to use the services that KeepSnap offers to help break the ice, since they provide everything you need to simply take the shots, leave them your professional business card with the link to your online gallery where they can select and purchase the photos they like. KeepSnap provides the sales platform, you simply take the photos and upload them. You'll be surprised at how fast you'll gain the confidence you need.
You can also add your name and services to their searchable directory, so prospective clients can fins and contact you to photograph their events. That makes the whole process easier for you.
Last, but far from least, act like a professional. Know your gear and hone your skills to razor sharpness. Bring everything you need to the shoot, including an assistant if necessary. Be organized, confident but not cocky, and polite. Be in charge, but not bossy. By the way, it's okay for you to have fun, too. After the shoot, follow up as promised. Professionalism will get you the kind of reviews that will keep the customers coming.