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Photo Market Ideas for Inspiration

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Have you ever been stuck for a new idea to market your photography?
Or perhaps you need inspiration for a new service to offer?

Here are some random ideas to kick start your imagination...

Granny Portraits
Approach your local ‘old folks home’ and offer to take free portraits of their patrons which can then be displayed in a portfolio for the families to select and purchase from your website. This can also generate referrals for family portraits.

Food Pictures
Approach local restaurants and cafes and offer to photograph their menu dishes which can then be used as display poster prints in their restaurant and on their promotions etc. Take dramatic close-up shots of ingredients and veg etc as well as full plate views.
 
Pampered Pet Portraits
Contact pet grooming services and offer to photograph the animals after they have been groomed. Shoot close-up portraits to avoid the need for special backgrounds. Add them to your website for the owners to view and purchase. Owners are more likely to be interested in their pet photos after they have just been groomed.
 
Sports Car Portraits
Anyone with a sports car will be proud to have a special portrait with their ride. Refer to the classic style of shots in car magazines. You need to find suitable dramatic locations such as quarries, lakes, industrial backgrounds, and use graduated filters etc. Contact your nearest sports car dealers and sports car clubs.
 
Fashion & Hair Stylists
If you want to get into the fashion photography market then approach hair stylists and offer to photograph some of their most attractive clients after they have had their hair done. This could lead to studio portraits and fashion shots. It’s also a great way to find amateur models.
 
Amateur Dramatics
Contact your nearest dramatic society and offer to take theatrical shots of their members during rehearsals. This can result in commissions to photograph actors for their portfolios and promo cards. You could also supply the local press.
 
Dance Groups
Dramatic shots of dancers are guaranteed sellers, so make sure that you approach you nearest dance group and classes. Shoot for black & white as well as colour, and try to keep the backgrounds simple and the lighting dramatic.
 
Sporting Events
This can be difficult to break into as it is one of the most popular photo subjects. If you can specialise in a particular sport then you are more likely to become well known. It also makes it easier to contact the organisers and potential buyers through the specialist websites and sports associations etc.
 
Photo Clubs & Schools
If you are a known professional then your local clubs and schools may be interested in having you attend a meeting or class to demonstrate your techniques etc. Use these events as a networking opportunity.
 
Animal Rescue
Offer to photograph portraits of the cats & dogs at a rescue centre. Then create greeting cards which they can sell from their centre to help raise funds. You can also sell them via local shops as a fund raiser. This helps to increase your profile and can generate useful free publicity.
 
Dogs Eye View
Take a walk through your town with your camera on a pole so that you can hold it abut a foot above the ground. Take lots of pictures which illustrate what a dog sees (and in black & white). This would make a humorous exhibition that could be held in your local shopping centre (or any other suitable venue). Novelty always attracts attention and gets people talking.

Ugly Mugs
Go through your client portraits (human and pets) and use PhotoShop (or any image editing software) to distort them into Ugly Mug Portraits that can be transferred onto a photo mug. Send your clients a leaflet with some samples. Perfect comical gift ideas. This can generate new sales from your existing clients.

Local Greeting Cards
People are generally proud of their own town and village, so take some atmospheric village scenes and produce some photo greeting cards (or calendars). They don’t need a message, so only print on one side. Then sell them via your local shops. Make sure your name and website address is on the back. It may not generate much cash, but the value of any free publicity is priceless.
 
Novelty Photo Books
Create a small B&W photo book that contains images of a single subject. The more weird and funny the subject the better. It could be close-up shots of people’s hands, from baby hands to old wrinkled hands. As long as the photos raise a smile, you are on to a winner. Novelty always sells.
 
Photo Stories
Great idea for adding extra content to your website. Create a page (or pages) that tells the story of your recent photo shoots. Add a couple of photos and write about what happened during the session. People are always interested in real life stories, especially if there is some humour or emotion. If you keep adding new stories people will return, so add a registration form so that visitors can be informed when you have a new story. If you don’t want these stories on your website then create a blog (we can provide one free with our website system).
 
Projected Gallery
It is very expensive to produce an exhibition when you have to pay for printing and framing, not to mention the wall space that you need. Consider hiring a Video Projector that can project a slide show of photos on a white floor! Yes, the floor. Imagine people walking through a shop or a busy bus station and walking over your photos enlarged to giant size on the floor? You would need a poster on the wall nearby to explain what it is about, with your name and website. Create photos of a field of flowers or a cobbled street or a stream etc so that it adds a unique sensation.
 
Digital Slide Shows
Many people now buy digital photo frames as presents and display family snaps and portraits etc. These can be set as a slide show, changing from one photo to the next. Why not produce a set of portraits of your subject using fast frame, so that each shot displays a slight change in expression or movement. This produces a comical film style display which can be very effective. It also adds to the possible sales options you can provide as part of a standard portrait session.

Photography is a part of everyone’s life, and for every day of their life; from news and advertising in their morning paper, photos on their food packets, pictures on their office walls, posters on the roadside, wallpaper on their computers and phones. Photos are everywhere.

The challenge is to get these people to buy your photographs, either as works of art, or for personal or commercial use. They can only do this if they know you exist, and if they have seen (and like) your work. You have to get your work out their in front of as many people as possible. Get a website and make it work for you. Then use every other means possible to display your photography. Quality is paramount, but quantity is unavoidable if you are to succeed in this business.