How To Make Money With A Home-Based Portrait Studio

A simple home based portrait studio can be started for little money and could be your ticket to living a lifestyle most people only dream about! Think about it. What other business can be started for such a low investment in tools (camera, lights, background and props) and produce almost instant profits of $500 to $1,000 per day?

A thousand dollars per weekend is not very difficult to achieve once you know the secret of how to drum up business. Many portrait photographers earn over $1,000 per day working part time hours and it’s not as hard to do as you may think. Many amateur photographers often consistently produce images far superior to those taken by the big national portrait studios but feel they can’t compete on price or afford to advertise for business.

If you want to make your living as a self-employed portrait photographer all you need to get started making money is a 35mm film or digital camera and one good strobe light. You can set up a portable portrait studio in the comfort of your own living room or take your camera and lights on location to your customer’s home. Because you won’t have the high overhead expenses that most of your competitors do you’ll be able to offer your clients fair prices and still make really good part time or full time income.

Here is what most professional photographers do to get business. They print up and distribute their business cards and brochures. They put up portrait displays in shopping malls and restaurants.

They advertise in the yellow pages and local newspapers. They sponsor photo contests and they do direct mail. They hold portrait parties and canvass public and private schools, dance studios, pre-schools along with offering to shoot portrait fund raisers for clubs, churches and other non profit organizations. They put up websites to showcase their best images. They send out a monthly newsletter to anyone who has expressed an interest in their business and they attend seminars or workshops to better their skills every chance they get.

It’s a fact that many great photographers just like many great artists; often fail in business because they fail to drum up clients. They know how to capture beautiful expressions and create very artistic prints but they do not know how to market a photography business. They love photography and will practice their craft to sharpen their picture taking skills but fail to make any real money because they neglect to learn how to effectively market their photographic skills.

Many great photographers end up working for someone else’s studio. They’ll just keep clicking away working for peanuts while dreaming of a better lifestyle that a home based studio of their own can produce. All a photographer really needs to live his or hers dream and enjoy a better lifestyle earning full time pay working part time hours is to invest in some tools of the trade and learn how to inexpensively market and sell their home based photo studio. Creating saleable portraits of people and pets is not rocket science. It’s not that hard to learn provided you are passionate about photography and marketing.

How to Take Great Pet Portraits

Pets are the cynosure of our eyes, whether they be canaries, cats, dogs, rabbits or any other animal. They love us in a most complete way, and we love them back the same way. Capturing timeless pet portraits is a great way to treasure your companionship for many years to come. Though we may click away our pet’s portraits, there are very few photographs that remain timeless for us. Here are five ways through which you can improve the quality of your pet’s portraits.

Face to face

Most pet photographs tend to be taken from a human viewpoint at that height. However, for a change, it may be good to kneel down and take a portrait from the pet’s level. This approach helps to better capture your pet’s eyes and eliminate the background clutter.

Use lighting to your advantage

Most pet portraits get taken within the comfort of one’s home using artificial lighting. We also tend to rely heavily on the flash, the lighting from which not only creates the red eye effect but often also startles/ frightens the pet from giving more photos. Expert photographers thus suggest that you use the natural light available for your advantage. The early morning light and the evening light offer good scope for great portraits. Try to take pictures out of your home, in safe surroundings.

Use camera settings wisely

Most cameras today are equipped with high end features that allow scope for a wide array of adjustments. However, we are often unaware of how these settings can help us take good portraits. For pet portraits, experts advise that you adjust the shutter speed to a higher level. As pets are quick to move and can’t sit still for long, this feature can be of great help.

Have patience

One needs to practice extreme patience while taking photos of animals. That is because animals seldom sit still to give the perfect pose. You may need to take many shots, before you find one that is perfect for your requirements. Cranky, irritable or unwell animals may also refuse to pose for photos. Take snaps only when your pet is healthy, active and well fed.

Use effects to your advantage

If you are still unhappy with the kind of effects created by the digital photo, it is time to try out new photo portrait styles. You can consider converting your pet’s photograph into a pop art style such as monochromatic, classic Warhol or even a comic Lichtenstein. Ready-made software available off the Internet can help you achieve so too at less costs. However, if you want a professionally done job, you can work with pop art studios to design the required look. These studios will give you the finished portrait, on mediums of your choice, ready to display wherever you require.

Pet portraits are commonly invested in today, as timeless pieces that capture your best moments with the pet. While these can focus just on the pet, you can also take portraits with you and your pet, a great way to show the wonderful bond you share. If you are looking for professional support, do check out questions that you need to ask. Pop arting such portraits looks great, and can create fabulous results from the innumerable styles.

Finding the Right Pet Photographer for You

For those who are going to have some professional photographs of their pets taken, there are some expectations that the owner of the pet will have. To them, their pet is like part of the family and as such, it should be treated that way too. To ensure that they are getting just the right photographer for the job, they usually ask a series of questions to see if this particular photographer is the right one for them. It may be a good idea to find out if the photographer has pets of his own or whether he has experience with animals. Some animals have a sixth sense when it comes to people so those who are nervous around dogs, for example, will put out some kind of vibe that the dog can feel very often. That being said, the professional will have some ‘tricks’ that he can employ to make the pet relax as much as possible.The professional pet photographer should also provide some of the services set out below:

1 The photographer should have his own portfolio showing the kind of work he has produced in the past. From this, the client can ascertain not only if the photographer will be suitable, but also the kinds of poses that will be utilized in his own photo shoot. This also precludes the necessity to ask for references as well.

2 A studio set up if the photograph is not going to be taken in the home or garden. Most photographers will have a place set up ready for any kind of photography, but for pets this is a little different. For example, the exotic pet may need a branch or something similar to sit on so this has to be set up well in advance.

3 A guarantee. If the photos that the photographer has taken do not come out quite as expected, he will normally offer a re-shoot so that the customer can try again. If the pet is particularly unruly, then this is very valuable offer. However, this does not mean endless photo shoots. Rather, it just gives the pet time to settle down and get used to him.

4 Thumbnails or proofs. Before the final printing is done, many photographers will produce contact sheets with all the photos from the session on. From these, the client can pick out the ones that he wants and have them enlarged.

5 A photo ‘package’. Some photographers will have package deals and this will consist of a few normal sized prints with one or more enlarged shots all for one price. This is open to discussion, of course, so always work this out before the shoot takes place.

Lastly, the general idea is that both the photographer and the client feel very comfortable with each other. Discuss fully what requirements are expected, from both sides, and agree upon a package up front. If the photographer takes shots with owners and pets together, organize a studio shoot or one in the home whichever will get the best photograph in the end.