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EXECUTION Home Photography Studio

Aldomoro

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My girlfriend and I came up, over the weekend, with the idea to open a home photography studio at my place. We have a lot of friends with kids, and they were complaining about not being able to find a photographer for a Christmas-themed session (especially for their kids), or about the high prices they request for a few photos.

Since I have been in this field for many years at different events and she has an eye for decorating, we decided to give it a shot.

It's already november, so we have to do it quickly enough to take advantage of the favourable timing.

Here's our plan and what we did so far:

1. Borrow a camera, lenses and 2 flashes from a friend, in order to have 2. - DONE
2. Buy a studio setup (lights, 3 backdrops etc.) - DONE
3. Buy decorations for Christmas. - DONE
4. Clean up the living room in both homes. (I live with rent in another city at the moment) - DONE
5. Come up with a name for the business. (we have a few options here, but we still don't know if the name should be in english or our native language)
6. Design a logo. (I have some skills in Photoshop, I was thinking that it should be a simple text with the name, but eye-catching, a nice contrast between the font and the background)
7. Open up Facebook and Instagram pages (I'm thinking that for a month or two, until we have enough material for a portfolio, we won't need a site)
8. Write the (initial) copy for social media.
9. Write a form (which the client will fill out before the session) which specifies if he is ok with us publishing their photos to promote the business and from which we can make an e-mail list and, why not, a phone number list, for future offers and communication. A kind of contract, basically.

So far our spendings are about 470 $ (money we saved the last few months). We live in a relatively poor country, so prices are a bit lower, but so are our earnings. We also had the advantage of me already owning a camera and a good-enough laptop for editing.

We already have our first "clients" lined up. Next week we will have two sessions, one with a coworker of mine with her 2 boys and a family friend with her daughters. Next weekend we will move the studio in my hometown and there we have another 3 sessions.

Promoting and pricing

My cousin has a small business in which she sells personalized decorations for children. She has a lot of work and has a community of people that always buys from her. Seeing as we will begin with the same demographic in mind (parents with little children), we asked her if she would promote our starting business with her followers and she agreed. I hope this would give us at least some clients and from there we hope it would create a snowball effect.

I thought about Instagram and Facebook ads, but I don't know the first thing about them (there are a lot of forum topics about this that I have bookmarked but didn't get to read). Another problem about this would be the cost, as we are almost at the end of the budget we alloted for this.

The pricing scheme is another thing we haven't decided on yet. In order to dip our feet into the market, I think we need to present an offer that makes us attractive for the market, as we aren't well know at the moment. The average session (just for 30-40 pictures in a digital format) is around 60$.

I want to offer 4 or 5 plans, and promote it as a 50% discount from the usual price until around the 10th of December:

Plan A - 10 edited photos (sent digitally) with only one set of backdrop and decorations ---> either FREE (this was my first idea) or 15-20 $
Plan B - 30 edited photos (sent digitally) with 3 sets of backdrops and decorations + A special Gift (which would be a little decoration, with a thank you letter, or a future discount, I haven't decided yet) -->> 35 $
Plan C - 30 edited photos (sent digitally) + 3/4 photos in a nice photo frame + a 2-3 minutes clip from the shooting (works better for children) + Special Gift --> 45 $
Plan D - 30-40 edited photos (sent digitally)+ 3/4 photos in a nice photo frame + a 2-3 minutes clip from the shooting + an album of 20 photos (the album would cost me about 40 $ to print) + Special Gift ---> 100 $

The prices are just an idea and are applicable if we have clients after our first sessions (we will do those for free). We would have to rely on strong word of mouth and for sure, the quality of the work.

Any advice or idea would be appreciated. I'm pretty new to this and, even though I've read a lot of books and the experience from a lot of people in this forum, I know that I will have to learn by doing.

I will try to keep this updated with our progress.
 

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broswoodwork

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We already have our first "clients" lined up.
Congratulations!

I've seen photographers do viral promotions where the clients share their pictures on their personal Facebook profile and invite their friends to vote for them to win some contest by liking those pics on your photography page. Seems to do an alright job of spreading awareness, because the clients will have stronger organic reach than your page.

I did the above myself with a product giveaway way back when I first started getting serious, and the viral reach, in conjunction with a boosted post, rocket started my business.

I know facebook changes the rules constantly, so your mileage may vary here.
 
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Aldomoro

Aldomoro

New Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Dec 29, 2018
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16
Romania
Congratulations!

I've seen photographers do viral promotions where the clients share their pictures on their personal Facebook profile and invite their friends to vote for them to win some contest by liking those pics on your photography page. Seems to do an alright job of spreading awareness, because the clients will have stronger organic reach than your page.

I did the above myself with a product giveaway way back when I first started getting serious, and the viral reach, in conjunction with a boosted post, rocket started my business.

I know facebook changes the rules constantly, so your mileage may vary here.
Thank you so much for this suggestion. I have some friends that won a contest like this, but never thought about the growth the page was getting from this.

Will definitely try this after the first few months.
 

broswoodwork

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Thank you so much for this suggestion. I have some friends that won a contest like this, but never thought about the growth the page was getting from this.

Will definitely try this after the first few months.
I look forward to reading your progress! You seem like a guy that just STARTS doing stuff, without getting bogged down by website font sizes and the word "can't", which is exciting and awesome. Welcome to the community! :)
 

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