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  • #974856
    kathiemt
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    I’ve been running a business for over 17 years as a Virtual Assistant and know the industry really well. I have really enjoyed working in that field and started it when my children were young and at home.

    They’ve left the nest, my husband and I are closer to retiring years and although we’re not yet retired I am looking towards what I can do to generate some income and yet be out and about with him, instead of being tied to my desk. I’ll probably refer my existing clients to my VA team and still manage the network but I won’t have to be at my desk all day every day for that to happen.

    So my thoughts are turning towards my passion of nature photography. I’ve been developing a name in my region for what I do and have had an exhibition, sold print images, won a local competition, have a website and have sold a small amount of stuff and are now looking to see how I can further advance my photography as a business. I’m hoping to hear from other photographers who don’t do portraiture but rather landscapes, wildlife, perhaps even architecture and sporting events. What kind of things have you done to run a photography business successfully?

    Getting bookings and/or sales is my main aim. I am booked for a market the week after next and hope that might generate more interest for my work. And I have purchased a domain name (and variations of) to point to my ‘topic’ – the Dandenong Ranges.

    And this isn’t a short term plan but rather more long term. I’m not planning on ‘retiring’ yet but am looking to build this up over time and looking for ideas and guidance from others who may have already trod this path. Thank you.

    #1070790
    Tony Pfitzner
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    Hi Kathie

    I am not a photographer, but one quick and easy way to establish the market for photography services in your area is to run a number of pay per click campaigns. These should be focused on the specific niches you are interested in surveying, and directed to relevant landing pages on your website. e.g. architecture, sport, local government etc.

    If the campaigns are geographically restricted, this will be about the least expensive and most accurate market research you can perform.

    Even the keyword research for this will be very informative. If you understand the relative number of searches for particular photography related keyword themes, then you will gain some idea of the market. You need to test this against enquiry on your website to get a real idea of the potential though.

    Once you have this information – -e.g. if you think architecture is the go – you can start to build up architecture related content on your site.

    #1070791
    Anonymous
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    Hi Kathie,

    Nice to see you on the forums, and I’m excited to learn that you’ve decided to expand your focus on this – it’s obviously been a passion of yours for a long time.

    Can’t wait to see that new website of yours!
    Jayne

    #1070792
    kathiemt
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    Thanks Tony, that makes sense. And Jayne, you can see the site at http://www.dandenong-ranges-photography.com.au. I am trying to work out whether to change the look and style or whether to keep it as is. It was under a different domain before but I really want to focus on this area so it makes sense to have a domain that reflects it. I have variations of this domain without the hyphens and the .com versions too.

    I really do enjoy photography. There was no opportunity to study it when I was in school (over 40 years ago) so I’m kind of making up for lost time now. No kids, empty nesters and time to ourselves means I can enjoy the same environments my husband does but in a different way. He’s sporty, I walk and take photos :)

    #1070793
    Peapod
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    Hi Kathie! Nice to see another photographer on here! I’m just getting started, myself in portrait photography. Haven’t had a whole lot of luck yet, but I’m just going to hang in there and try different things. Looking forward to hearing about your ventures!

    #1070794
    bluepenguin
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    If it’s your cup of tea, you might find that you can make a little bit of money by selling your photos on sites like http://www.shutterstock.com and http://www.istockphoto.com

    #1070795
    kathiemt
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    Hi Alexis, I’m sure you’ll do fine. There is so much call for portrait photography theres days, but it’s not my forte. So trying to find clients for what I do will be a bit harder but I’m convinced it can be done. I need to be promoting ‘wall art’ I think in some ways.

    Re Shutterstock, Bluepenguin, yes, I’m already selling there. But I don’t make a lot of money as they literally pay you only cents per digital download. I know some photographers are making good money but they have over 10,000 images up there and have been for some years. There’s new photographers entering the stock photo market daily and I concentrate on nature only so there’s only so much call for that. istockphoto is a lot more fussy about the images it accepts as it has a glut of photos available already. So I don’t do a lot of the type of photos they’re happy to take.

    But please do keep the ideas coming – some I might have already considered but need to revisit and others I might not have thought of yet.

    #1070796
    Peapod
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    Thanks Kathie. You’d think there’d be a lot of business out there for portraits, but with everyone thinking they’re a photographer nowadays, it’s pretty tough.

    I also probably won’t bother with the stock photos thing. As you said, they pay pittance: hardly anything you can make a living out of!

    Once I’ve got some albums and stuff printed, I’m hoping to go to some local markets. Have you thought of doing the same? I’m sure they’d be great places for you to sell prints and such. :-)

    #1070797
    kathiemt
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    I’ve had an exhibition and sold some photos there in May. I got profiled in the local paper a few months ago and got a small job booked from that, photographing a family of Tawny Frogmouths in a man’s backyard. He’s let me use the photos for other things, he just wanted a couple of prints for himself as his camera didn’t have the zoom required to get good shots. I got some great ones!

    I’ve got a market coming up Saturday week and hope to sell some there.

    With respect to portrait photography, have you registered with ServiceSeeking.com.au? There are regular calls for portrait photography. Almost every day.

    #1070798
    Tony Pfitzner
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    One other thing Kathie, you or other photographers may be interested in promoting their images in large formats on vinyl, canvas or acrylic for interior design or large scale display purposes etc.

    I have a client – Designs for Me – who specialise in custom printing in a large range of formats including vinyl murals and acrylic and canvas etc. They are a very professional operation and are happy to deal direct with artists.

    #1070799
    janetteb
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    kathiemt, post: 88334 wrote:
    With respect to portrait photography, have you registered with ServiceSeeking.com.au? There are regular calls for portrait photography. Almost every day.

    Kathie, I just checked out serviceseeking.com.au – what a great tip. We’re wedding videography but it has that stuff there too. Thanks!

    #1070800
    Peapod
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    kathiemt, post: 88334 wrote:
    I’ve had an exhibition and sold some photos there in May. I got profiled in the local paper a few months ago and got a small job booked from that, photographing a family of Tawny Frogmouths in a man’s backyard. He’s let me use the photos for other things, he just wanted a couple of prints for himself as his camera didn’t have the zoom required to get good shots. I got some great ones!

    I’ve got a market coming up Saturday week and hope to sell some there.

    With respect to portrait photography, have you registered with ServiceSeeking.com.au? There are regular calls for portrait photography. Almost every day.

    Good luck at the market!

    No, I haven’t had a look at that site. I’ll go look at it now! Thanks! :-)

    #1070801
    AdvancedPetSitting
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    Hi Kathie,

    You may want to explore http://www.zazzle.com
    it’s a website that sells all kinds of things like mugs, t-shirts, posters etc. You get an account and create products with your images, and when your products are sold (zazzle does all the production and shipping) you get a percentage.

    Here is what they say: “Zazzle is the world’s leading platform for quality custom products. Zazzle’s proprietary technology enables individuals, professional artists, and major brands, including Disney and Hallmark, to create and offer billions of unique products for customers worldwide. Zazzle’s rapidly expanding product base covers every topic imaginable and includes t-shirts, business cards, invitations, in addition to a variety of custom gifts. Upon creation, products are instantly and accurately visualized on the site and offered in the Zazzle marketplace.”

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