Photography IdeasSubmitted by Michael on Thu, 2011-12-22 04:06

Sweet Catalogue Photo Business

This is the last post of 2011. The next video for improving your photo skills will be posted here on Thursday, January 5ht 2012. I know, I know, cousin, it would be cool if you could become the next Mike Larson, shooting 5-figure weddings. Or if you could become the next Yuri Arcurs makeing 7 figures with microstock photography. There’s nothing wrong with this dream of a wildly successful photography business and I highly encourage you to pursue it.


However, in the meantime, I mean... while still living in REALITY I suggest first of all taking some baby steps into lucrative paid photography. How about starting with something, that works according to your pace and schedule while you are still busy with your daytime job?



Here’s my idea for today:



I wish you good light!
-- Michael


Hard to get my thick German accent? Here's the transcript!

Hey fellow photographer! How's it going?

I'm Michael Zelbel, and today I've got a question for you:
Are you trying to earn money with your photography?
And if so, are you probably missing out
on some easy opportunities to shoot for money?
I am asking because what I see in books, ebooks, DVDs
especially on the subject of "Beginning to shoot for money"
or "Beginning a photography business"
they are always talking about the "Wedding business"
and they are always talking about "microstock",
yes, "microstock millions", but the reality is
especially for us amateurs, wedding is kind of tough.
It's very easy to fuck up.
And also microstock - that's super hard.
I mean, you need thousands of excellent photos
in order to make money.
I would like to motivate you to probably look into
something less spectacular.
Don't be ashamed to look into some,
let's say "bread and butter" sort of business.
My suggestion for today would be:
How about a fashion brochure - for instance?
A fashion catalogue. You know this type where they
just show the clothes on a white background.
That's really easy to photograph.
And it's not as risky as a wedding. You can't really fuck it up.
You can fiddle around until everything is ok, the light is ok
and the photos are ok. It's very easy to do.
It's just clothes on mannequins. It's not even models.
It's easy, peasy, lemmon-squeezy.
And it's much less work than microstock.
Even the tedious photoshop work of cutting out clothes and
isolating them, you can outsource that.
Actually you SHOULD outsource that. You MUST outsource that.
It's so cheap. You can have it for 5 bucks or something
done by professional services like Mr. Clipping.
No way, that you can do it yourself for that money.
If that's interesting for you, then I think you are lucky
because there has never been a better time for us photographers
to get such shoots from design and fashion people.
Just jump over to LinkedIn or Facebook
or meet some of those people in the real world
and talk to them about something and sooner or later
talk to them about catalogue photography.
Chances are very good that in the current economy they are telling you
"Yes, we really need photos but we can't pay
our old, professional photographers anymore."
And that is where you an jump in and offer a medium budget alternative.
Then you just care for your setup.
What you need is a white wall in your home or
a paper backdrop, or something in your garage.
You need a couple of speedlights.
It's OK to use the $40 speedlights from Yongnuo or something.
You just make a setup where light is coming from everywhere.
Then, borrow some mannequins. Exactly. BORROW them.
Don't BUY them. Absolutely don't buy them.
They are really expensive and if you borrow them,
if you just go to the next design shop,
the shop around the corner and borrow some,
then you can talk to that shop about photos as well.
Chances are, over there you directly book your next shoot.
When you did the shoot, you use a service like
Photoshelter and their "lightbox" for
letting your client select the photos for postproduction.
Once the client selected their photos, you just
give that stuff to Mr. Clipping or a similar service.
It's really, literally, that easy.
Let me know in the comments if that sounds doable for you.
Actually let me know, if that sounds even interesting for you
or if you got any reason why you think you cannot do it.
Let me know. I'm curious. I would like to know about it.
Besides that, click on the like button.
Click on the "+1" button. After you are done with that,
go to LinkedIn. Find the designers.
Or go to Facebook. Find the fashion people over there.
Talk to them. Talk to them about the weather - I don't mind -
just sooner or later, talk them into a paid photo shoot.
Don't sell yourself too cheap.
Sell yourself for an amount that you are happy with.
Try it out. It's so much easier than wedding.
Alrighty! I hope to see you next Thursday.
Until the, do a cool, paid photo shoot.
And I wish you good light!

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