Monday, January 12, 2009

Business: Ideas for New Markets

Here is a list I compiled after reading a great 1991 book entitled "How You Can Make $25,000 A Year With Your Camera" by Larry Cribb. Written before the digital age, but the ideas are still good! Amazon and Alibris have lots of copies of this book available.

27 Ideas To Generate Income From Photography

1. Portrait parties - offer to parents with small kids. Hosts get freebies and/or piece of subsequent bookings.
2. Drawing for free senior session at tanning, hair and clothing stores
3. Offer to shoot and write articles for the local weekly paper (small-time weekly)
4. Mine the engagement section of the paper for wedding leads
5. Identify business types that can use photography (restaurants, salons, etc.) target them from yellow pages. Shoot a spec shot and make a sample brochure to show them what you can do
6. Make a brochure for summer beach photos and leave at hotels, restaurants, rest stops, souvenir places
7. Make decorative photography samples and show to doctor/dentist offices and hotels, places that decorate
8. Do a spec aerial shoot and send proofs to local businesses
9. Shoot a couple of nice for-sale homes in your neighborhood and sell yourself to local realtors
10. Contact local law and insurance businesses to offer up insurance photography services
11. Contact the local garden club, shoot their show or event, get additional business
12. Run a winter special on pet photography (3rd highest photo buy!)
13. Make postcards out of good local scenic shots and sell them to local businesses for tourism or unique advertising
14. Make a slide show of local businesses so they can use them on DVDs at fairs, festivals, expos.
15. Approach nonprofits, clubs or small businesses to build how-to slideshows from their activities
16. Contact the local marinas, offer to do "boat day" photographs, small prints or build collage for the club, sell prints to owners
17. Fishing and hunting clubs - members, prizes, day-of-tournament photos, website images
18. Contact convention center/bureau and offer services...even if they have a staff/contract
19. Offer photo scanning and to victims of flood/fire/disasters
20. Household insurance documentation - photos of valuables, slide show or CD, offsite storage
21. Flying clubs - fly-in event support
22. Same for bike clubs, hot rod clubs.
23. Dermatologists - before and after photos for marketing
24. Hair and makeup specialists and orthodontists, same thing
25. Golf Courses - grounds portraits (sell to members), tournament, member and member/family portraits
26. Rent a pony at some community event and sell pictures of kids...the grandparents will go nuts
27. Ski club - grounds photos, marketing images, shoot and sell on spec for action skiing shots

Have more ideas? Reply with them and we'll build a great list of resources!


  1. Interesting. I've tried to figure out the postcard thing for a while, but I can't find a low-priced option. It costs ME more money to make one than they are sold at the visitor's center in Warren. Still haven't figured it out. As it is, a local campaign is going to be using some of my local shots for their website so they are still getting some exposure. I'm more of a stock photo person, I guess.

  2. Sue, I did some research. If you think "big" then you can get cards at a reasonable rate. One website has 1000 of one card at well under 10 cents each, depending on options. Some are under 5 cents. If you sell to the gift shops at 15-20c and they can sell for 25-35c or so, you both make a profit. Or you could approach hotels and b&b's to provide them for free to their customers and pay you for the cards. You can also print a generic area image on one side and find a way to inkjet specific messages or advertising on the backside and sell them as marketing tools to local businesses.