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Tuesday, 18 January 2011

What type of photography returns the most money? may be shocked

If you are keen to look further into the wedding photography
market or you want to get started, this is close to being 
what I would call the wedding photography rule book. It 
even provides necessary document templates for ensuring 
you get payed.
A thought! ....What's the point of starting a wedding photography business and end up eating noodles the rest of your life while you sleep in the park? ...Joking! 

My point is that to take good pictures there is a lot that goes into play, looking carefully at how other Masters do it, reading, investing (in new equipment) and the list goes on (as you know) so why take up dust photography if it's not even going to give you enough to buy toothpaste. Who wants to see pictures of dust? I guess there would be someone, but I don't think they'd pay.

In my experience the three major areas of profitable photography are:

- weddings
- babies and children
- portraits (general)

Not always in that order but I'll tell you why I put weddings first. 

'There are no second chances in wedding photography' the main reason. If 
your camera gets stolen immediately after the wedding, you can't call everyone 
back and say "Let's do it again!" 

The next reason is, YOU the photographer are in the position of power in this field. Remember that because I'm going to refer back to it. Once the wedding and reception are over, you have the KEY to the goodies and creativity. 

All concerned parties are now waiting on and trusting you to deliver. This effects pricing and UP-SELLS. Do this part right and you can do less weddings and lead a good wealthy photographer lifestyle.

The other two areas of photography I mentioned are also lucrative but not as lucrative if you do wedding photography right.

There are sensitivities which many overlook. Here are some to ponder...

- The bridal party get tired of having their picture taken with relatives and friends after all they are there to enjoy their wedding as well. The photographer must identify when this is happening and fix it fast.

- All the shots are demanding. Meaning, you will be required to shoot the ring when it goes on the finger, little six year old Johny kissing the bridesmaid in the corner (I saw that happen once), the grandparents laughing, intoxicated aunt Sarah dancing on the table, the cars, formal shots etc.. 

You really need about ten photographers but there's just you ..right? I know you can see where I'm headed with this. With more money comes responsibility and work. Hey.. but the earnings are really, really worth it!

A little while back I had one of my readers contact me about being (nearly) ripped off by some knucklehead client. She remains anonymous for obvious reasons. I stress this one same thing - you must protect yourself as well as making sure you please the client and in the same breath 'make an excellent profitable return'. 

Note: You will need a contract, reminder letter, proper invoice, a thank you letter, and THIS ONE is important - an extended time agreement. You should also add an upsell strategy, two would be better (my favourite) where you give away a large shot and duplicate it in smaller sizes to be sold to the guests with the bride and grooms blessing (because you gave them a free framed big portrait or similar). The bride and groom sometimes sell it for you - make it worth their while and they will. 

Your shots must be exceptional - I'm assuming you know how to do that already.

You can see there are methods to be used in this process to make it more profitable than simply taking shots and charging for your time. That's why I recommended this product on my site because it provides ideas, answers and documents for all these elements and the issues which have been tested... and work! One wedding will pay for it many times over AND you'll be able to use the same stuff at every wedding after. That's SO good and it beats koala juggling for a living!
You can get it here.

Hope this has been of some help,

PS. Always, always, always take two cameras to a wedding even if you have to borrow the other camera.
PPS. If you do weddings correctly, the babies, children and portraits come to you by default :-)

Here's that product link again

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