Sunday, 13 November 2011

Making Money from Photography

Are you a Photographer ?

The First thing you really have to ask yourself is are you a photographer or just a Camera Jockey, photography is a tough business and you need to have all the tools of the trade before you begin thinking you will make it big. 

Taking a few shots with friends just wont cut it, and posting to facebook is really not the best way to get acknowledged as an artist.

And investing in creating a studio just at the beginning stage wont be the best thing for you either as in the long run you will have to incur huge marketing expenses to get the right clients through your doors.

even after reading all that you still think you have what it takes to become a professional photographer and if you are really interested in developing a photography business in Pakistan , then read on.

A Simple List of Things you Need !!
  • A Camera
  • Imagination
  • Business Sense
Is That All !!!

Yes Trust Me that is All you need to start your business, now first things first, be prepared to invest a little in a good camera as it will make all the difference, and your Genre will define what equipment you ought to get.

before you invest in a new camera i would recommend you select your Genre of photography and the way you can do that is by joining This Forum, it has a brilliant list of genre's and a lot of members that can help you make a decision of how to start work. till that time use the same one you have or it that is not up to par then get a reasonable Digital camera anything above 3 MP will do at this point.

Before you Join the forum i will request you to kindly collect all the photographs you have ever taken and place them in one place, do not collect them and put them in a shoe box, put that shoe box down. i meant collect your work online.

Online Presence !!

Collect your work online in a blog, every single picture you take is in a separate post write a few words on your experience in taking that particular shot, if you have some poetic ability i would advice you to polish it now by writing a few words for that awesome pic you took. it will help make the reader's experience more exiting and dynamic, be sure to label your posts properly, for E.g all black and white in one place and all family photos in one place and then the artsy in one label.

i would highly recommend you use Blogger Dynamic views Template as it is totally awesome, the flip card or snapshot view will really help showcase your work.

i am well aware of the fact that Blogger Dynamic Views currently has no S.E.O value, but that is irrelevant at this point since the important thing for you right now is to have your work in one place to get suggestions on how to make your work better, later we will discuss WordPress blogs but for the time being at this stage of your development a Blogger Blog will do. Oh and did i mention Blogger Blogs are Free :-).

 Make New Friends !!

After you have made the blog and learned all there is to learn in creating blogs and managing blogs along the way, start hopping on the photography forums and start chatting with the regulars, ask them to look at their work and comment on their work in turn, make sure you keep at it, talk to as many people as you can make facebook friends, devote real time into creating affiliations and strong friendships with the great names in photography internationally. 

you must be wondering at this point how this will help you, allow me to explain, once you have bought your camera, ( and yes we will be heading there in due time ) and once you start taking professional pictures, the time you have spent looking at other people's work will reflect on your photography in the long run, 

learning the tips and tricks, watching the experts will go a long way in helping you define yourself as an individual artist, if you are really serious about photography you will really enjoy this phase of your development.

i would recommend that you keep at this phase for at least 6 months or 50 new facebook friends whichever comes first. as soon as you reach this milestone look back at what you have achieved so far.

Be Proud of your Achievements !!

Reflect on how well that pic you took got appreciated by those internationally celebrated photographers, how many comments you have gotten and how much you have learned, once you feel confident that you have refined yourself as an artist, take the bold step and  SELECT YOUR GENRE. once you have done that, you will know by this point what equipment would be best suited to your requirements.

use your imagination and creativity and go wild, express the world and your emotions through visuals, show everyone a new world through your viewfinder.

Making Money !!!

Once you are setup an in the groove of things now is the time to start making money, please do me a favor and do not quit your day job at this point in time, keep on going with that and do your photography on Sunday's in your spare time, there are actually 2 streams of income you can create , both are effective and both can help you in making a really good solid income, you can choose to 
Both methods have their pro's and cons, establishing yourself as a photographer will require a mix of both.

For the international readers of this article i would recommend you pursue both because you can, for the people who are reading this article in Pakistan know the fact that since we do not have Paypal there will be no direct transfers from online purchases, and since the sites that i will be recommending will be mostly related to Paypal accounts you would do well to start working on the offline ideas till such time a solution becomes apparent for the Paypal accounts.

Selling your work Online !!!

Selling your work online is not difficult at all. in fact it is the easiest thing in the world to do, there are a lot of websites out there where you can become a registered contributor and the websites will do the selling for you, if the images you put up are good enough, you will get buyers, since more and more people are getting websites developed, more and more people require content and images, if you make that you niche market you are in the gold. the website will take their cut of the sale and the remaining goes to you.

think of this as creating a product and having it on sale on a general store, people walk in browse for stuff they stumble upon yours they like your work they wanna buy the pay the guy who owns the store, the guy gives you your cut. listed below are a few websites that can help you setup online accounts where you can sell your work.
these are 3 out of hundreds of websites out there. that provide this service. eventually when you do get developed as a photographer and make a residual income strong enough i would like to recommend you think of starting a website similar to the ones listed above for their fantastic income value, remember the golden Recipe for creating a successful business ( Competitors strengths + your Innovation = Recipe for Success ).

Selling your work Offline !!!

Selling your work offline is a different thing altogether

first thing you need to do is create a presence in your local market. i will give you as many ideas i can , take one and run with it, but before i start spouting of random ideas i would like to take the time to say something

success depends more on consistency and a passion to succeed more than creating brilliant art and taking amazing photographs. be consistent, and keep leaning and eventually you will achieve the success that you wish to achieve.

Get Some Business Cards !!

First thing that you need to do is have a business card, i would recommend having something innovative, ( for the Pakistani Market ) , they key to success in local marketing is being memorable and having a great impression, what you hand to your client will show how professional you are. so card needs to be attractive in look and feel. do not be cheap when it comes to creating a business card.

Have a website !!

  • This step is not really necessary if you already have a good looking blog but the the interest of creating a really good impression i would like to recommend that you take the time to create a professional looking website to showcase all your work.

Get the Word Out !!

  • Let your Friend and family know that you have started photography professionally and before you get the word out take some time to create charge sheet for your services. hand out cards to your friends, direct them to your online showcase of your work , start meeting people and getting the word out.
  • start posting individual pictures from your blog on your facebook profile showcase your work and define yourself as a photographer in your online social media circle.

Coffee Shop Displays !!
  • This is something new i that i would like to share with you. this is an idea that i have not yet seen explored. whenever you go out to your local cafe's and restaurants, initiate a link with them, ask them if they would like to earn additional income from their wall space, when they ask you how, direct them to your blog and original artwork, ask them if they would be interested in creating a better ambiance using your photography. ask them to share on the profits from sales. 

Gallery Displays !!

  • Contact your local art galleries and have a showing, create a deal based on share from sales, invite all your friends to the shows and thereby create hype among your friends allowing you to get more and more clients for your work, as well as generating some income through direct sales.

Last Word

I have tried my best to provide the most logical steps of how you can make an income from your Hobby, it is not impossible, and do not think for a moment that you will be wallowing in riches in a few weeks time, this is not a get rich quick manual, this is a get rich eventually manual, to put you on the right track and give you some direction in your life. hopefully my words will serve to guide you and inspire you.

i will be creating successive material. to guide how to make more income, keep checking back to find more updates. you can feel free to email me anytime i would be more than glad to provide you feedback and guide your steps to success

also feel free to look around my blog. you will find my poetry as well as my forays into music, i would really appreciate your feedback on my work .

Thank you for the time you spent
i hope i made a positive impact on your life
Live strong. Live Long

You'rs Sincerely

Waqas Rabbani.


Umm... i have a qstn...
how can a person talk to those shops you were tlkn bout..
i like tkn pictrz.. and have fun with it a lot..
could you guide me more ... i need a bit more ideas...

well contact me on my email address waqas[dot]rabbani[at]live[dot]com.

if you are a photographer i can get you in touch with other people in the trade, share your ideas with me of how you want to take things further and i will let you know.

first things first , get a business card, and if you really are that serious get a domain and host an email address on Google, it will give you that professional feel when you can receive and send emails and quotations for services from a professional email address.

other than that what you really need is perseverance and a can do attitude..

rest of it all is there in the article..

mail me if you are having any problems and i would be more than happy to help you out..

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