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Exhibitions, stock photos, professional work This board concentrates on topics that explore the potential of your photography being seen by a wider audience and even earning you some money.

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Old 30th May 2011
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Making it pay

Photography is one of those curious applications which is a day job for some people but a hobby to others. I say curious because most careers do not have amateur participation. For instance, you donít come across many hobbyist bankers, surveyors, lawyers or doctors. Itís unusual to hear a man say to his wife on his day off, ďJust popping in to town, Dear, for a couple of hourís road sweeping,Ē although thatís the sort of thing Mr Cameron would like to encourage under his Big Society initiative.

I guess that many amateurs who become reasonably proficient dream of ďturning pro,Ē surely the Holy Grail of their hobby. For many of course the dream remains just that, and with good reason. In reality who wants the hassle of keeping your own accounts, advertising, marketing, promoting, worrying about cash flow, dealing with difficult clients and, worst of all, photographing what someone else wants rather than what you want?

Nevertheless, itís tempting to try to make a bit of extra income without making photography a full time profession. After all, itís a welcome bonus if it only pays for a bit of new gear once in a while. Iím no different and since taking early retirement 18 months ago for health reasons I could certainly use some extra income to supplement my pension. I currently receive benefit payments for my ill health but am conscious that the type of benefit I receive is due to be limited to one year w.e.f. next April under new rules set by the Government, and in the meantime the DWP are trying their best to stop it anyway despite me winning a tribunal hearing in February.

But I digress; the real issue is not why but how. How do you suddenly start making money from your hobby? I have in fact done that for many years through magazine submissions, essentially to photographic and outdoor publications, but timescales are long with payments mediocre and irregular. In my view this market is becoming harder because more amateurs are getting much better results with digital than they did with film and many magazines have taken advantage of this by reducing payments or rewarding contributors with memory cards, camera bags etc. instead of cash. Some even offer only the incentive of seeing your work in print, cheeky devils! In short itís a lot of work for little reward, especially if you are writing an article as well as supplying pictures, and unpredictable.

Stock photography and libraries have been discussed in a recent thread but this market, too, has been devalued by the digital revolution and a lot of work is required taking, editing, key wording and submitting images with no guarantee of success. Indeed, to have any chance you need to upload thousands, rather than hundreds, of pictures and payments can be very modest.

Weddings have never appealed to me, theyíre just not my thing. Iíve done three in my time, for friends and family and all turned out OK. The main thing was that on each occasion the happy couple were pleased with the pictures but I was conscious that they were proficient rather than special and creative and in recent years the bar has been raised quite high in wedding photography. Nevertheless, I did toy with the idea of offering a ďbudgetĒ service for couples with limited funds who otherwise would not be able to afford an official photographer. I even considered going on a course to learn the basics of wedding photography more thoroughly.

However, the big drawback from my point of view is the unpredictability of my Parkinsonís disease. Some days Iím a bit slow and clumsy but otherwise not too bad as long as I rest when I need to. Other days I can barely function and this is exacerbated if I am under any stress or pressure Ė and of course you donít get any of that with weddings, do you?

For the same reason I eventually discounted running landscape workshops, I just cannot take the risk of having a bad day when responsible for leading a group of clients. In many ways my options are curtailed for the same reasons that I had to give up my job and have difficulty in finding alternative employment with which I could cope.

There may be one more option that is worth exploring, however. Iím currently researching the feasibility of selling prints and cards at fetes, craft fairs and exhibitions. Iíve bit the bullet and booked stalls for two fetes in July to test the water and during the next month Iíve got to be rather busy preparing for them. At least I now seem to have overcome my card printing problems and during the last few days have printed about 100 cards. I aim to have a large stock covering a wide range of subjects for these events, plus a reasonable stock of mounted prints and a few, larger, framed pictures. It might all fall flat, of course, as Iíve no way of knowing if my work will sell in sufficient quantities to make the activity worthwhile.

I have now got a definite date for my exhibition at a local gallery next year; it starts on the 5th February and will run for three weeks. As well as approximately 40 framed pictures hung, I intend to have a number of mounted prints displayed in a browser, plus racks of cards for sale. The same gallery has also invited me to display a couple of pictures in a general exhibition in July.

Whatever happens at the fetes and exhibitions, success or failure, Iíll share it on this forum; it may be useful to someone thinking of trying the same sort of thing. Does anyone already have experience in this area and have any tips to share? And, of course, if anyone has a good idea for another enterprise, Iím sure weíd all love to hear.
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Old 30th May 2011
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Re: Making it pay

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Originally Posted by Zuiko View Post
Photography is one of those curious applications which is a day job for some people but a hobby to others. I say curious because most careers do not have amateur participation. For instance, you don’t come across many hobbyist bankers, surveyors, lawyers or doctors. It’s unusual to hear a man say to his wife on his day off, “Just popping in to town, Dear, for a couple of hour’s road sweeping,” although that’s the sort of thing Mr Cameron would like to encourage under his Big Society initiative.

I feel you mean "earn a little extra, out of hours" ? Those Careers you mention, are their "hobby" ! Drs specialise and become Consultants and then "do extra hours Private Client work"; Bankers/Investment "do evening & weekend Money Clinics" then turn Pro with their own Co as do Lawyers, who then start their own firm!

I guess that many amateurs who become reasonably proficient dream of “turning pro,” surely the Holy Grail of their hobby. For many of course the dream remains just that, and with good reason. In reality who wants the hassle of keeping your own accounts, advertising, marketing, promoting, worrying about cash flow, dealing with difficult clients and, worst of all, photographing what someone else wants rather than what you want?

You really MUST keep records - if the Inland Revenue & Customs tap on your door, they can issue a demand "assuming for 10 years and more" and you hAVE no defence against paying it, as you have NOT kept accounts. RIGHT NOW they are chasing the SMALLEST OF PAYMENTS DUE TO THEM ! because 10,000 times that £sum is millions !

Nevertheless, it’s tempting to try to make a bit of extra income without making photography a full time profession. After all, it’s a welcome bonus if it only pays for a bit of new gear once in a while. I’m no different and since taking early retirement 18 months ago for health reasons I could certainly use some extra income to supplement my pension. I currently receive benefit payments for my ill health but am conscious that the type of benefit I receive is due to be limited to one year w.e.f. next April under new rules set by the Government, and in the meantime the DWP are trying their best to stop it anyway despite me winning a tribunal hearing in February.

This may mean "they" are watching you too, for "extra undeclared income" !
But I digress; the real issue is not why but how. How do you suddenly start making money from your hobby? I have in fact done that for many years through magazine submissions, essentially to photographic and outdoor publications, but timescales are long with payments mediocre and irregular. In my view this market is becoming harder because more amateurs are getting much better results with digital than they did with film and many magazines have taken advantage of this by reducing payments or rewarding contributors with memory cards, camera bags etc. instead of cash. Some even offer only the incentive of seeing your work in print, cheeky devils! In short it’s a lot of work for little reward, especially if you are writing an article as well as supplying pictures, and unpredictable.

THIS is how professional TOGs, earn their income ! BUT Sydicate articles (I have an agent in the US). The Ethos of Publishing is all about "Do it once, and sell it may times !

Stock photography and libraries have been discussed in a recent thread but this market, too, has been devalued by the digital revolution and a lot of work is required taking, editing, key wording and submitting images with no guarantee of success. Indeed, to have any chance you need to upload thousands, rather than hundreds, of pictures and payments can be very modest.

Now this is hard work - Marketing ! - but unless you are prepared to TARGET YOUR SALES YOURSELF, you have to stand in the market place with the other HOPEFULS! In Business its known as the Rifle one shot (carefully aimed) or the Shotgun (Spray Many per shot, hope to catch one)

Weddings have never appealed to me, they’re just not my thing. I’ve done three in my time, for friends and family and all turned out OK. The main thing was that on each occasion the happy couple were pleased with the pictures but I was conscious that they were proficient rather than special and creative and in recent years the bar has been raised quite high in wedding photography. Nevertheless, I did toy with the idea of offering a “budget” service for couples with limited funds who otherwise would not be able to afford an official photographer. I even considered going on a course to learn the basics of wedding photography more thoroughly.

There is a thread about Turning Pro Weddings here, and this is concisely covered there!

However, the big drawback from my point of view is the unpredictability of my Parkinson’s disease. Some days I’m a bit slow and clumsy but otherwise not too bad as long as I rest when I need to. Other days I can barely function and this is exacerbated if I am under any stress or pressure – and of course you don’t get any of that with weddings, do you?


For the same reason I eventually discounted running landscape workshops, I just cannot take the risk of having a bad day when responsible for leading a group of clients. In many ways my options are curtailed for the same reasons that I had to give up my job and have difficulty in finding alternative employment with which I could cope.

My other half, has critical, long term health probs, Asbestosis (Less than half of each lung now) due to a job in a School in the 1960's now lots of pain, can hard walk & breathe for any distance. So he has to "manage" on his income! BUT he does work for me some days, reading stories; teaching painting: woodwork; arts & crafts and spending days "playing" on the beach etc., on good days - to the children we look after here ! on "good days" !

There may be one more option that is worth exploring, however. I’m currently researching the feasibility of selling prints and cards at fetes, craft fairs and exhibitions. I’ve bit the bullet and booked stalls for two fetes in July to test the water and during the next month I’ve got to be rather busy preparing for them. At least I now seem to have overcome my card printing problems and during the last few days have printed about 100 cards. I aim to have a large stock covering a wide range of subjects for these events, plus a reasonable stock of mounted prints and a few, larger, framed pictures. It might all fall flat, of course, as I’ve no way of knowing if my work will sell in sufficient quantities to make the activity worthwhile.

OK! Now your cooking on GAZ HM Rev & Customs, gets lists of "peeps who buy space" ads in *Horse & Hound; *Car Sales/Auto Trader & *local paper; eBay; *Home Services (cleaners; decorators; gardeners; Electrical & Plumbing repairs etc.,). eBay HAVE TO REPORT TO THE In REV&Cus User ID's with over £ sales per year !

NOW the critical thing here is "HM Rev & Cus" are not in a hurry! Infact, if they let "you/JoPublic" go on trading for a few years - they are on a CERTAINTY - you will have no accounts and no defence ! THEY slap you a Bill, assessed and for as long as they "feel" they can prove you HAVE TRADED since! They add INTEREST ! (if you have substantial assets, they even let you go longer (they and anyone, can lodge an "interest" at Land Registry to make sure you dont re mortgage! or a wife/partner slaps a Equity Protect on your home!) THEN they get a report of this impending act! Um ! How Do I know ? Well I used to be a systems architect ! 'nuff said! * with many ads, the mobile and landline tel nos are the Unique Identifier !

I have now got a definite date for my exhibition at a local gallery next year; it starts on the 5th February and will run for three weeks. As well as approximately 40 framed pictures hung, I intend to have a number of mounted prints displayed in a browser, plus racks of cards for sale. The same gallery has also invited me to display a couple of pictures in a general exhibition in July.

Whatever happens at the fetes and exhibitions, success or failure, I’ll share it on this forum; it may be useful to someone thinking of trying the same sort of thing. Does anyone already have experience in this area and have any tips to share? And, of course, if anyone has a good idea for another enterprise, I’m sure we’d all love to hear.
John, sad and painful as it is, Keep Accounts please

I am sure your cards & photos will sell really well ! (have you sticky back labels ? for on the back of prints & cards with your phone no & email address for re-orders? and sign and year prints, they "like" the original touch!) Fetes bring out the Peeps who love the Countryside & Wildlife - and lots of them have Children and Pets want a Portrait or two done as well !
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Old 30th May 2011
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Re: Making it pay

I had serious thoughts about this when I retired six years ago (at 60) but eventually, with all those things in mind that Chevvyf1 has mentioned, I decided that the only option was to keep photography as a hobby. I had recent experience of a hobby turning into a job and in essence I was RETIRING!. My all consuming hobby had once been rock climbing but eventually I was persuaded to become an instructor and that's where it started to go downhill, I no longer climb!
I now exhibit at wild art days and produce postcards and, soon, Christmas cards for our parish church and as I organise the annual fete I will have a stall selling local scenes and wildlife on cards for charity, only taking out the cost of production (accounts kept). This means I am able to share my interests with others without any serious commitments, which I had plenty of in my working life and no longer wish for.

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Re: Making it pay

David, your so right "Turning a Hobby into a Cash Cow" can so sour the "Hobby" !

However, 20 years ago I had received £5,000 for photos that year - I *invested it and thats worth £72,000 now. (*as an FSAVC as part of my Self Employed income!) But I am a long term view+saving person & keep accounts (I started out in writing computer systems for accountants and solicitors Client Accounting ) But photography for me, is always a hobby ! ALL MINE ! ok I share a bit, cards and pictures and do a bit of 'work' with peeps but I have to love it !

My brother loved metal work and cars as a kid ... - he recently ... 5 years ... was asked to make huge cages for a private collection of BIG Birds {Eagles etc.,} and the family had never seen him so excited ! ... (his £7m Ferrari Birdcage or Mario Andretti's GP winning cars are ... so dull and ... boring ) THEN followed making a 1/10th scale Stuka for a Hannibal film and a 3 storey metal reception desk for a Geneva HQ of a drug company ! Now its back to "other peeps rust heaps" for him

BUT some of us have to make serious income from it !
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Old 30th May 2011
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Re: Making it pay

Hi John

What a wonderful, enlightening post, thanks for taking the time and trouble of putting such a text together John, it makes for a smashing read (as do all of your article type posts).

A few thoughts if I may...

I think your offering cards/prints at fetes model will work, though I am not sure how much of a financial return there is in that business specific model. However, there are some possible spin-off areas. If, say, you were also to offer a 'commissioned print' model - where people who may want specific shots taken etc could book your services. You never know, you could attract all sorts of business - use the opportunity of a stall/area at a fete to promote what you do to everyone there. Use novel means of attracting attention... maybe come up with a 'family portrait discount' offer - just for those at the fete. Try to utilise the power of a digital camera and software i.e. show weird and whacky backgrounds in kids portraits - and have the kit there and then to provide it.

I also think there is a solution to your dilemma of not wanting to book a landscape workshop in case your condition causes you to have to cancel; or postpone. Firstly, your landscape photography is excellent and I am sure there is a demand for such a course. Now... the easy way to mitigate this is to work with a partner/friend, who, in the event of your health not being up to what you would wish on the day of the course, could stand in for you. Sure, you may not make as much in terms of final amount as you would have to cover someone else's costs... but the event would still go ahead, and in the event of poor health I am sure your participants would understand and would appreciate being presented with the option of postponing or continuing with someone else running the workshop.

There you go, just a few thoughts from me.
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Old 30th May 2011
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Re: Making it pay

A long while ago I had my first VAT inspection and the VAT lady obviously thought that I was cheating and turned me over, fortunately I was squeakily clean and she left empty handed, however she obviously marked my record as "honest" and since then all my inspections have been very gently affairs, which takes up much less time and provides less agro than the first sort.

She did however leave me with the abiding conviction that I was not clever enough to win if I did try to cheat, so I have decided to stay honest.

Roger
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Re: Making it pay

Quote:
Originally Posted by RogerMac View Post
A long while ago I had my first VAT inspection and the VAT lady obviously thought that I was cheating and turned me over, fortunately I was squeakily clean and she left empty handed, however she obviously marked my record as "honest" and since then all my inspections have been very gently affairs, which takes up much less time and provides less agro than the first sort.

She did however leave me with the abiding conviction that I was not clever enough to win if I did try to cheat, so I have decided to stay honest.

Roger
Roger, I find, its Just so much easier! Imagine remembering all the "lies/cheats" no notes! and there are so many Tax Efficiencies that are legal and lovely ! like FSAVC's ... ISA's etc'; ... BUT I do know of a few who's VAT Inspection in their OWN business, suddenly became their Personal Tax Investigation and the costs, were a rare fortune in Accountants and Solicitors Fees - the latter knowing from your home address and Accounts how much you "can afford" to keep out of jail - and it ain't free
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Old 30th May 2011
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Re: Making it pay

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zuiko View Post
Photography is one of those curious applications which is a day job for some people but a hobby to others. I say curious because most careers do not have amateur participation. For instance, you donít come across many hobbyist bankers, surveyors, lawyers or doctors. Itís unusual to hear a man say to his wife on his day off, ďJust popping in to town, Dear, for a couple of hourís road sweeping,Ē although thatís the sort of thing Mr Cameron would like to encourage under his Big Society initiative.

I guess that many amateurs who become reasonably proficient dream of ďturning pro,Ē surely the Holy Grail of their hobby. For many of course the dream remains just that, and with good reason. In reality who wants the hassle of keeping your own accounts, advertising, marketing, promoting, worrying about cash flow, dealing with difficult clients and, worst of all, photographing what someone else wants rather than what you want?

Nevertheless, itís tempting to try to make a bit of extra income without making photography a full time profession. After all, itís a welcome bonus if it only pays for a bit of new gear once in a while. Iím no different and since taking early retirement 18 months ago for health reasons I could certainly use some extra income to supplement my pension. I currently receive benefit payments for my ill health but am conscious that the type of benefit I receive is due to be limited to one year w.e.f. next April under new rules set by the Government, and in the meantime the DWP are trying their best to stop it anyway despite me winning a tribunal hearing in February.

But I digress; the real issue is not why but how. How do you suddenly start making money from your hobby? I have in fact done that for many years through magazine submissions, essentially to photographic and outdoor publications, but timescales are long with payments mediocre and irregular. In my view this market is becoming harder because more amateurs are getting much better results with digital than they did with film and many magazines have taken advantage of this by reducing payments or rewarding contributors with memory cards, camera bags etc. instead of cash. Some even offer only the incentive of seeing your work in print, cheeky devils! In short itís a lot of work for little reward, especially if you are writing an article as well as supplying pictures, and unpredictable.

Stock photography and libraries have been discussed in a recent thread but this market, too, has been devalued by the digital revolution and a lot of work is required taking, editing, key wording and submitting images with no guarantee of success. Indeed, to have any chance you need to upload thousands, rather than hundreds, of pictures and payments can be very modest.

Weddings have never appealed to me, theyíre just not my thing. Iíve done three in my time, for friends and family and all turned out OK. The main thing was that on each occasion the happy couple were pleased with the pictures but I was conscious that they were proficient rather than special and creative and in recent years the bar has been raised quite high in wedding photography. Nevertheless, I did toy with the idea of offering a ďbudgetĒ service for couples with limited funds who otherwise would not be able to afford an official photographer. I even considered going on a course to learn the basics of wedding photography more thoroughly.

However, the big drawback from my point of view is the unpredictability of my Parkinsonís disease. Some days Iím a bit slow and clumsy but otherwise not too bad as long as I rest when I need to. Other days I can barely function and this is exacerbated if I am under any stress or pressure Ė and of course you donít get any of that with weddings, do you?

For the same reason I eventually discounted running landscape workshops, I just cannot take the risk of having a bad day when responsible for leading a group of clients. In many ways my options are curtailed for the same reasons that I had to give up my job and have difficulty in finding alternative employment with which I could cope.

There may be one more option that is worth exploring, however. Iím currently researching the feasibility of selling prints and cards at fetes, craft fairs and exhibitions. Iíve bit the bullet and booked stalls for two fetes in July to test the water and during the next month Iíve got to be rather busy preparing for them. At least I now seem to have overcome my card printing problems and during the last few days have printed about 100 cards. I aim to have a large stock covering a wide range of subjects for these events, plus a reasonable stock of mounted prints and a few, larger, framed pictures. It might all fall flat, of course, as Iíve no way of knowing if my work will sell in sufficient quantities to make the activity worthwhile.

I have now got a definite date for my exhibition at a local gallery next year; it starts on the 5th February and will run for three weeks. As well as approximately 40 framed pictures hung, I intend to have a number of mounted prints displayed in a browser, plus racks of cards for sale. The same gallery has also invited me to display a couple of pictures in a general exhibition in July.

Whatever happens at the fetes and exhibitions, success or failure, Iíll share it on this forum; it may be useful to someone thinking of trying the same sort of thing. Does anyone already have experience in this area and have any tips to share? And, of course, if anyone has a good idea for another enterprise, Iím sure weíd all love to hear.
Thanks John for giving me the inspiration to carry on! I too had to retire early following a Brain Haemorrage and turned to photography, I'm still a novice but improving and am keen to make some money from my hobby! I'm in the process of creating a website and am doing a diploma in photography - just to keep my mind active!
Thanks again for spurring me on and to others for their posts/ideas too!
Caroline
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Re: Making it pay

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chevvyf1 View Post
John, sad and painful as it is, Keep Accounts please

I am sure your cards & photos will sell really well ! (have you sticky back labels ? for on the back of prints & cards with your phone no & email address for re-orders? and sign and year prints, they "like" the original touch!) Fetes bring out the Peeps who love the Countryside & Wildlife - and lots of them have Children and Pets want a Portrait or two done as well !
Hi Chevvy,

Sorry to hear of your hubby's health, it's a reminder that there is always someone worse off than me and I count my blessings.

I didn't mean to imply that accounts only need to be kept by full time professionals! What I meant is that accounts for a full time business with high turnover and extra complications like rented premises, VAT threshold etc. are by nature much more complicated than a simple part time operation and are just one of numerous hassles of being self-employed. Keeping accounts for my new venture is much more straightforward and, at present, the expenditure (card stock, envelopes, cellophane bags, new printer, ink, table, card racks, print browser, gazebo, stall fees, etc) far outweighs income which, at present, is zero! I look forward to entering some figures, however modest, in the income column!

I also need to contact the DWP to check it comes under the definition of permitted work, but they can hardly object as it is they who seem so certain I should be attempting a return to work! Last year I had my benefit withdrawn but continued to receive it pending appeal to an independent tribunal in February, which I won. Following this I was informed by the DWP that I had been placed in the ďwork relatedĒ group of claimants and I assumed that meant I would get some sort of support identifying what type of work might be suitable, perhaps even with some kind of work experience.

Last week I received another assessment form to complete with a note that I will be required to attend another medical assessment to determine whether I qualify to continue receiving payments. How they can think that a progressive, degenerative disease may have improved since the tribunal is beyond me, and I know from the last ďassessmentĒ that it is a thinly disguised ploy to reject claims and meet targets.

So as well as declaring my new venture I want answers to what they intend to do in practical terms to support me in trying to find suitable employment. I would much prefer to find a part-time job with which I could cope and keep my photography purely as a hobby. If the photography takes off I donít expect to retain the profit myself, I fully accept that it should be used to offset benefits, or help replace them when they are eventually withdrawn Ė if not this year, then next.
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Re: Making it pay

Phew ! John I am SO GLAD to hear this !

Yes I utterly agree, a "full blown business" accounting is a real pain, esp. VAT !

It is rather disconcerting to hear of your own health related problems ! My other half has the same trouble! and his X-ray/ lung photos can "show" the decay growing ! YET, I see peeps in our village who claim all sorts and play tennis, take a taxi here & there ... I must stop now or I shall really RANT ...

Some of these Govt. Peeps do not realise NO ONE EMPLOYS those with such health probs even p/t

Caroline I have posted somewhere here about bulk card price reductions etc., and how I use the "FREE photo prints postcard size" for cards ... etc., all in the positive oh! and the LETS too !
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Old 30th May 2011
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Zuiko Zuiko is offline
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Re: Making it pay

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Originally Posted by theMusicMan View Post
Hi John

What a wonderful, enlightening post, thanks for taking the time and trouble of putting such a text together John, it makes for a smashing read (as do all of your article type posts).

A few thoughts if I may...

I think your offering cards/prints at fetes model will work, though I am not sure how much of a financial return there is in that business specific model. However, there are some possible spin-off areas. If, say, you were also to offer a 'commissioned print' model - where people who may want specific shots taken etc could book your services. You never know, you could attract all sorts of business - use the opportunity of a stall/area at a fete to promote what you do to everyone there. Use novel means of attracting attention... maybe come up with a 'family portrait discount' offer - just for those at the fete. Try to utilise the power of a digital camera and software i.e. show weird and whacky backgrounds in kids portraits - and have the kit there and then to provide it.

Regarding the card stalls, I do intend to use them to market other services. For instance I have a few decent pet portraits which should make nice cards and I can use them to promote commissioned pet portrait shoots.

I also think there is a solution to your dilemma of not wanting to book a landscape workshop in case your condition causes you to have to cancel; or postpone. Firstly, your landscape photography is excellent and I am sure there is a demand for such a course. Now... the easy way to mitigate this is to work with a partner/friend, who, in the event of your health not being up to what you would wish on the day of the course, could stand in for you. Sure, you may not make as much in terms of final amount as you would have to cover someone else's costs... but the event would still go ahead, and in the event of poor health I am sure your participants would understand and would appreciate being presented with the option of postponing or continuing with someone else running the workshop.

There you go, just a few thoughts from me.
Hi John, and thanks for your kind words.

Last year I was indeed poised to enter a partnership providing landscape courses, my proposed partner approached me but he became ill himself and had to withdraw. I did contemplate going it alone and even went on a workshop run along the lines I envisaged to see how it worked and get some advice from the proprietors. On reflection, I felt it wasn't for me and I'm very wary of committing myself to something that could sour my hobby in the way that David mentions becoming an instructor ruined his enjoyment of rock climbing. At times during the depression associated with my illness photography has been my one escape, one of the few things that have kept me going, and that has far more value than any financial considerations.
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Old 30th May 2011
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Re: Making it pay

Hope it pans out for you Zuiko.

I am intersted in the cards venture, I've been toying with similar ideas recently.

It seems you are printing them yourself, I would have thought it cheaper to have them professionally printed?

I have read somewhere that if you order "flyers" on the right card and size they are, to all intents and purposes identical to postacrds but don't attract VAT
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Old 30th May 2011
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Re: Making it pay

Hi Spooner, I have researched but have yet to find a printed card provider (for short runs of each image) at a commercially viable price. I would be most interested if someone could point me in the right direction as it would save a lot of work!

Here are my costings for self printed cards:-


A6 GREETINGS CARDS Ė COSTS & PRICES


THE PAPER GIRL Ė Gloss Finish
48 A6 cards & envelopes 6.99
48 C6 bags 1.48
Ink (comp @12p per print) 5.76

Total 14.23 Cost each .30p

Price (Single) 1.25 Profit .95p
(6 Pack) 6.00 Profit 4.20 (.70p per card)



A5 GREETINGS CARDS Ė COSTS AND PRICES


THE PAPER GIRL Ė Luxury Gloss 260g
44 A5 cards & envelopes 20.75
44 C5 bags 3.08
Ink (comp) @ 24p per print 10.56

Total 34.39 cost each .78 p

Price (single) 1.75 Profit .97p
(6 pack) 9.00 Profit 4.32 (72p per card)


As you can see margins are tight and do rely upon using compatible inks rather than Canon own brand, but I have tested these and they seem fine for this application. I hope I have set competitive prices for my products as they will need to sell well to produce a worthwhile return. I have researched prices locally and have pitched mine at the lower end of the scale.
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Old 30th May 2011
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Chevvyf1 Chevvyf1 is offline
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Re: Making it pay

John are you printing straight on to the ACTUAL cards then ?

I buy 3 fold cards - with an aperture - and set the photo in place.

I have details of Printers - down in Devon/Cornwall - who print small runs for Artists (friends who are Artists live and paint down there ... its THE PLACE) and I have used theirs ! will dig out details ...
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Old 30th May 2011
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Zuiko Zuiko is offline
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Re: Making it pay

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chevvyf1 View Post
John are you printing straight on to the ACTUAL cards then ?

I buy 3 fold cards - with an aperture - and set the photo in place.

I have details of Printers - down in Devon/Cornwall - who print small runs for Artists (friends who are Artists live and paint down there ... its THE PLACE) and I have used theirs ! will dig out details ...
Hi Chevvy,

Yes, I'm printing on the actual cards. I'm using pre-scored A5 240gm photocard which easily and neatly folds to make an A6 card once printed. On the back of the folded card I'm printing the title plus my contact details and indicating the message (if any) printed within. At the moment I'm leaving the message blank but if there is demand I can print "Happy Birthday" or whatever. I've just ordered a stock of pre-scored 260gm A4 card, which folds to make an A5 greetings card.

Do your aperturecards work out cheaper? My big concern would be do I have the dexterity and finger control to set the photo in place neatly, squarely and quickly.

Thanks,

John
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