Halloween is one of Americans’ favorite celebration, as well as many peoples around the world. In fact, according to the National Retail Federation, 70%, or 148 million, Americans participated in Halloween activities during 2011. Plus, the average person spent $72.31 for costumes, candy, decorations, haunted house tickets, etc. The total spent for Halloween 2011 was $6.86 billion.
Halloween is big business for many companies, and there are also many moneymaking opportunities for digital photographers, including you.
Instead of just distributing candy, fruit, etc. to Trick or Treaters, decorate a corner of your front porch or front yard with a Halloween theme. Then, offer to photograph children (and adults) in their costumes for a low fee, say $5.00, with half being donated to a well-known charity. Children and their parents will love to have a photo of them in their costumes. Send the image directly to the person’s email or Facebook page. Make sure to create a sign that promotes your charitable donation promotion. To garner publicity for your promotion, write and distribute a press release with a photo.
Approach a local costume store or any retailer that offers face painting during the Halloween period with a similar promotion. Set up an appropriately decorated background in the store and offer to photograph people with their faces newly painted. Again, promote this idea as a charitable contribution and write and distribute one or more press releases in conjunction with the retailer. Ask the retailer to share the cost of a flyer and a store poster or sign that announces this promotion in advance to draw more people to the store.
A commercial haunted house is another type of Halloween business that may join with you to enhance its Halloween revenues, and yours. Propose the same charitable donation idea to haunted house operators. They can charge patrons an additional $5.00 for a ticket for a photograph you’ll take after they walk through the haunted house and a donation. Uploading patrons’ photos to their Facebook page or cellphones as you take them can help the haunted house operator generate some immediate social media buzz to attract more patrons.
A variation on the idea in #3 above is a haunted house operated by a local charitable or nonprofit organization. You can offer the same photography/donation promotion, but the donation portion goes to the organization. You can also volunteer some of your time for one evening to take these photos. You’ll qualify for a tax deduction and have another publicity opportunity. Record a few general images of the organization’s haunted house that it can use on its Web site and to promote next year’s haunted house.
Approach a farmer’s market or large pumpkin stand with the idea of hosting/promoting a carving contest. Customers that want to enter will pay a low fee for a photograph of their carved pumpkins with half donated to a charity. Place the photos on a Facebook page (the page of the farmer’s market preferably) and invite people to vote to choose a winner. Again, take advantage of the publicity angle and release a before and after press release in conjunction with the farmer’s market.
Adults, especially young adults, 18–24, are primarily responsible for the growth of Halloween’s popularity, and the revenues. For Halloween 2011, adults spent $1.21 billion just for costumes and 55.4% of young adults were more likely to host or attend a party. Some Halloween parties have become very elaborate affairs at country clubs and other social organizations. Many people have substantial private parties. All of these are opportunities for you to offer “social” photography services. If adults are spending that much on costumes, then many of them will want professional quality photos to preserve the look they so carefully created and the fun of the night.
Photo copyright PhotographyTalk member Samantha Nicole
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