Could I make photography my little earner?

Hi all,

I was already planning on trying to make some money out of my interest in photography anyway, but then my mum phoned to tell me I might have to pay rent when I go back home! (I'm a student).

Any tips or ideas? I have a fair amount of equipment, a prosumer body, two flashguns I can set off remotely, three lenses...

I've been wondering if there's some money to be made in taking photos of bands in some sort of conceptual/album like affair, I've already set up a shoot which I'll do with a friend's band for free to see how it goes. I'm not holding out much hope for the idea so far as making money's concerned, but I'll give it a try nonetheless. Where and how should I advertise, and what areas of photography would you say would be a good idea to try?

I realise that there are plenty of professionals in my area probably with far better equipment, but I figure that I can quite happily undercut them which might give me some sort of advantage perhaps.

I was going to post a link to my portfolio, but apparently I'm too new - they must measure this by posts 'cause I've had this account for years!

Thanks, Tom.
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Comments

  • Scaredy_Cat_3
    Scaredy_Cat_3 Posts: 2,812 Forumite
    Depends on the sort of work you want to do. My husband used to do portraits - mostly going to people's houses and doing shots of their kids. Do you have backgrounds? He also did weddings, but that was a lot more involved because of wedding albums etc. Was much easier just selling portrait photos in cardboard mounts.

    Most of his advertising was word of mouth, but we did put an advert in one of those little local papers once. Also I think we posted leaflets through doors on the estate where we lived - it was such a long time ago I can't really remember.

    The idea you have about photographing bands sounds more lucrative, but I guess it depends on how many bands you know, or could interest in the service?
  • Boopop
    Boopop Posts: 26
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    Unfortunately I don't have a background =/

    So far as bands are concerned, I know members of two different bands already, but I plan to use them to build some sort of portfolio first. I imagine I could find local bands via facebook or something like that. Thanks for the ideas :)
  • geordie_joe
    geordie_joe Posts: 9,112
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    Boopop wrote: »
    I imagine I could find local bands via facebook or something like that.


    Don't look for local bands, look for local venues. Local venues will advertise which bands are playing there weeks, even months in advance. Find one venue and you've found many bands. Not only have you found out that they exist, you know exactly where they are going to be on a certain day.
  • geordie_joe
    geordie_joe Posts: 9,112
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    edited 27 May 2010 at 9:00PM
    Just had a thought, venues, such as pubs can organise their live bands months in advance because they (probably) use one, or a small number of agents to book the bands.

    Get the details of the agents from the venues and you could get access to even more bands.

    Edit: You may even get work from the venues photographing the bands that play there. Most bands will supply a publicity shot for the venue to use as an advertisement, but venues might like shot of bands, and happy punters, actually in their venue.
  • Boopop
    Boopop Posts: 26
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    Thanks for the tip geordie joe! As it happens I'm from Blackpool, and there's a site called Blackpool Bands which lists gigs and of course the venues they'll be playing at, so that'll be helpful too :)

    EDIT : Do people think this bands idea could earn me some money, or can you think of better ways to earn money with my camera? Thanks.
  • sara86pink
    sara86pink Posts: 324 Forumite
    My friend used to do this and she was registered with a company (sorry cant remember the name!) and she would have to go to venues where bands were playing, nightclubs (like dontstayin.com for example) and she even got to go to Camp Bestival for photos (and I got a discounted ticket woop!)

    She didnt get paid for this as it was just to build up her portfolio so she could present it for some hard cash but then she fell in love, moved to Scotland, dropped it all and I rarely hear from her now so maybe if she continued doing that things would be different.

    Everytime I hear my friends or people I know talk about photography, they always say how wedding photos are the way forward. Maybe this is because people have tight budgets for weddings and are happy for a less known person to do them for a fraction of the price.

    Good luck with it all though!
    :j *~* 2011 - TRY TO GET CREDIT CARD AS LOW AS POSS BUT STILL HAVE FUN *~* :j
  • Boopop
    Boopop Posts: 26
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    Thanks Sara, shame you can't remember the name of the site! Anyone else have any ideas?

    Thanks.
  • Why not make a lightbox and take photos of objects to sell on stock photography sites like iStockPhoto or Shutterstock? There are some great tutorials online for home made lightboxes and you wouldnt have all the hassle of lugging kit around gigs!

    Good luck!
    This will be mine 2009: Cash prize, Holiday, Make up/perfume
    _party_ Wins: AVON lip gloss, Peroni Kagoule, Foraging day (!)

    My spending challenges: £5 a day challenge August: 3/8 days
  • Boopop
    Boopop Posts: 26
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    I've considered stock photography but it seems like it'll be somewhat more effort than it's worth, considering the sheer volume of other people I'll be up against.
  • Zazen999
    Zazen999 Posts: 6,183
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    Boopop wrote: »
    I've considered stock photography but it seems like it'll be somewhat more effort than it's worth, considering the sheer volume of other people I'll be up against.

    Whereas most bands are playing to make a few bob; they aren't likely to be rolling in it for some considerable time.
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