People & Planet
This business makes a positive difference by...
- Helping people treasure wonderful memories of their special events.
- Making life much easier for people by taking pictures for them.
- Helping people save money by offering a lower fee than the professionals.
- Making someone feel good because they know that they are helping you develop your business and photography skills.
Before You Start
Do Some Market Research
Conduct a quick survey among your neighbours and friends asking them:
- How often do they organize special events or parties?
- Are there times where they thought they should have taken more pictures?
- Have they ever run out of film or batteries during a special moment?
- Have they ever missed out on some party fun while they were busy taking pictures?
- Have they ever wished they could leave the photography of their event to someone else and avoid paying an arm and a leg?
This will give you a clear idea on how your business will perform.
Get Yourself Sorted
Before you actually do a job, make sure that you KNOW HOW TO DO IT!
People do not want blurry pictures so if you want to avoid those uncomfortable situations where you need to explain your mistakes; take a short course on photography. You can do this by:
- Asking for advice from a local photo store sales clerk
- Asking for advice from a professional photographer
- Asking your parents
Attending special events would also mean dressing appropriately for them. So make sure that you have something to wear for different occasions (e.g. casual, formal, and smart casual).
Because you will be developing pictures at a photo store, it would be wise to go to the cheapest photo store in your neighbourhood. Do some research to find out which store this is. Also, you may like to ask the store owner to give you a discounted price for being loyal to their business.
Things You'll Need
- A camera, digital camera or video camera
- Spare batteries just in case
- Memory cards for your digital camera
- Rolls of film (if you do not have a digital camera)
- Empty tape (if you do not have a digital video camera)
- Start with your neighbours and friends - You have the advantage that they already know and trust you.
- Have a creative and convincing flyer to give to interested people
- You could put flyers in your local party-supply stores. You may need to do some convincing so let the owner know that you will promote their business for them if they will allow you to leave your flyers in their store.
- You can do the same to your local party hire disc jockeys in your area.
- Put flyers in your local library too
- Advertise in community newspapers
- Once you're more experienced you may want to: Retain more business by providing and awesome offer (e.g. Every ten photos get one Free, or First ten photos free on their Birthday - with proof by id card); Venture into portrait photography - where you take still pictures of families and groups and then frame the pictures up to be sold.
Pricing: Get to know the business by finding out how much professionals charge for their services. Then set a price that you think is reasonable. Remember: you are not a professional - which is why you shouldn't be that expensive!
Like the professionals, you may want to charge an hourly rate. This means that you would need to time the length of the event and charge your clients accordingly. Also, you would need to charge them the printing fee of the photos you've taken.
- Whenever you're visiting the house of any client, always have an adult present, and always make sure that your parents know where you're going. You can trust most people but it's better to be safe.
- You need to be old enough to be able to be in the house of a non-family member. It's just to be safe!
- Being a photographer, you will see the world through the camera lens - so watch your step! You might back into a big wedding cake!
- Do not use the camera in harsh conditions like when it’s raining (unless water proof) or windy because it will get damaged.
Get on with it
Tip: It takes practice to take the best photos but in the mean time just take photos of your family and friends before you go to others. Learn the basics of shots and lighting. Most cameras come with a good manual to help you. If you still feel unprepared to be a photographer, do some research online and practice, practice, practice.
- The average party lasts for about 4 hours but you will need to meet with your clients for about an hour a few weeks before the actual event to clarify what they want from you (you should not really charge them for this hour - call it: free consultation!). You might want to clarify things like the size of the photo prints.
- You might want to be at the event half an hour before it starts to set up any equipment and meet your clients and guests. Every guest should be in at least one of your pictures.
- Bring some of your flyers along with you to the event as there might be some potential clients there just wanting an experienced low-cost photographer.
The most important thing is getting the job done while having fun! It is after all a party!