If you are a, mum, and thinking of ways to combine a busy homelife with a growing business then you should at least consider the, pre-school photography, market. Many of you might think that cameras and lights are too daunting; do not be put off. There are many places where you can easily learn how to take technically perfectly pictures time after time. And, with, digital cameras, you can instantly see your results. So, assuming you want your own business, sometimes want to explore your creative side, where do you begin:
Firstly why not enroll in one of the many digital portrait classes or schools that can be found all over the country. This is a great way to meet with a professional and become confident with the equipment. If you find after the course this is not for you, at least you have kept your costs to a minimum and you do not have expensive equipment lying around.
So now you are home and eager to go further. You need to buy a basic, portable studio, of good camera, 3 portable lights, a background, flashmeter, props and some cables. Once you have this you can practice on your own children, friends' children or maybe even your local nursery will allow you to do a test run. Experiment with your poses. Try adding some creative little touches like at Easter time having yellow bunnies around, in the Autumn some dried leaves. These are the things that make an ordinary picture a work of art.
Next you need to organize an area or room in the house where you can work from. Build a, database, of all the local nurseries, playgroup, toddler groups, creches etc and gather as much information on them as possible. You will use this database for marketing in different ways: email, letter, telephone and most importantly, personal calls ,. The best time to send a letter or mailshot is just before the start of any school term. You should aim to market to your potential customers once every term as only a registered and ongoing campaign will make your business grow. Please be patient and accept you will have many rejections but they soon become history when you get success!
When making personal calls have a good portfolio of your work and list all the benefits of your service. Mention that you are a professional, you are local, you have some great presentations, you empathize and are relaxed working with young children. Always remember to sell the benefits and not the product. A car has an engine and four wheels does not sound as good as a car gives you and your family the freedom to explore the countryside.
When you photograph inside a, nursery, always remember that safety is a number one concern. You should have, CRB, clearance at an enhanced level. Always ensure that stands and wires are clearly marked and do not present a trip hazard. A good idea is to enlist the help of the child's mum or a nursery helper by giving them props to gain attention for great expressions. I have always found bubble guns a great tool as children invariably are fascinated by the bubbles and if a few fall into the picture even better.
Because of the large numbers you will be pressed for time. Try not to panic and always keep calm and you will be pleasantly surprised how quickly you finish the session. The type of photographs supplied in this market is usually through a proof and order system which is best produced in a specialized, laboratory. Your skill should be in getting business and taking photographs and let other professionals do what they do best.
Nursery schools and all similar markets will want to receive a commission or percentage of the sales for their funds. This is anything from 10% to 25% and should be costed in to your sales prices.
Whatever you do, from the sales call to sending a thank you letter with the money for their funds you must always be presentable, personable and professional. Follow these basic guidelines and you could soon be having the best of both worlds; time for your, family, and time for your business.