Looking for some input

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Woodall13

Looking for some input

Postby Woodall13 » Thu Jan 21, 2010 3:31 pm

I have been off of the forum for awhile and I have a lot of reading to do to catch up, so my questions may already be answered and you've seen this a million times. But... I'm considering starting a business using Producer. I've been using for years now and have done memorials, class shows, graduation, weddings, etc. I'm not a professional photographer but have equipment and am working on getting better photos. My passion is the slideshow and it's impact on the people who watch or receive them. I've done some event promo's as well and had good success.

I'm having a hard time deciding where and whom to market my shows to. I love the ability to impact someone with the personal photos but wonder if I can really make a living doing this. I would love any advice you might have for someone starting out.

Blessings,
Robin

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Re: Looking for some input

Postby bellzerr » Fri Jan 22, 2010 1:32 am

Many folks here seem to settle in on a niche. What types of shows do you like to do best and which would you really prefer to stay clear of? With this information, you're better equipped to get some targeted responses.
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Re: Looking for some input

Postby Patricia_C » Fri Jan 22, 2010 6:03 pm

Hi Robin,

I'll pipe in here. I think that making a living at doing slideshows is probably difficult. However, I think it all depends on how much you want to do it. Can you see yourself doing it. And work yourself though the doubt and keep at it until you get that first client?

Personally, I would love nothing more than doing shows all day long and getting paid for it. I envision it everyday. I tell myself that people, all around the world, have jobs that they paid for --for doing exactly what they love to do. And that is my plan. I have had clients, but they haven't just kept pooring in. That is discouraging. But...I still stick to my plan. I educate myself everyday. Google slideshows and photo montages, check out other site and see what others are doing and charging, ect...

Find your niche like Mark said. I choose to concentrate on family history documentaries. But guess what, they are very hard to market. How do you get your name out there. Anyone can make slideshows...there are all sorts of programs out there. How do you make people see what YOU can provide them. How much better YOU can do it. I don't have the answers to that. I'm too new. But I'm constantly working on it.

Funny thing...at the moment, I can't even get anyone to bring me wedding pictures to do a free show. I need a sample wedding slideshow, and while many have said "sure, that would be great, ect..." do you think anyone will bring me their darned photos!" :?

I hope you will continue to follow your heart and wish you success.

Regards,
Last edited by Patricia_C on Sat Jan 23, 2010 12:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Patty Cantu
Digital Heirloom Studios
http://digitalheirloomstudios.com/

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Re: Looking for some input

Postby bellzerr » Sat Jan 23, 2010 7:35 am

Patricia_C wrote:Personally, I would love nothing more than doing shows all day long and getting paid for it. I envision it everyday. I tell myself that people, all around the world, have jobs that they paid for --for doing exactly what they love to do. And that is my plan...
...I educate myself everyday. Google slideshows and photo montages, check out other site and see what others are doing and charging, ect...
...I'm constantly working on it.

Patricia, your attitude is right on target. Every business start-up must suffer periods of discouragement. Keep focused on your vision but stay flexible enough to adjust if the market demands. I recall that some weeks ago you were discussing shows with a wedding photographer. I would suggest that as your source of wedding photos for a sample show. Negotiate use of the show on your web site as your fee. Give them the option to accept only after they see the completed show. Who could say no? Sure, you risk your time but you know they're going to love your work.
I find the real estate market intriguing as well. Talk about repeat business! And your client may be the entire real estate office, or simply an individual agent who likes your work. The rub for me here is that I'm not free during the day to take photos - but perhaps the agent can supply them - I haven't explored this market yet so I don't know the answer to that.
For your family shows I would think word-of-mouth would be your best sales tool. Have you offered a finders fee to your existing happy clients? Call an confess a post-Christmas lull and offer a show discount for their referrals (who will be their friends and family) as well as a finders fee.
I know I'm rambling, but brain-storming is great fun for marketing ideas. I'm certain you will succeed was things get rolling. Keep at it and keep us in the loop. We all want to hear what does and doesn't work even if we're only in this for the love of it.
By the way, that new tag line looks great on your site! :D
Mark

Woodall13

Re: Looking for some input

Postby Woodall13 » Sun Jan 24, 2010 6:38 pm

This is great feedback! So far I have done many end of the year-type school shows. I've done shows for camps we've held at our church. A few shows timed to music during our contemporaty church services. I've made shows for wedding receptions, rehearsal dinners, memorials, and retirements. I make the promotional videos for our yearly women's retreat.

What I really love is making "quality" videos with great quality pictures... the content is not as important to me. I hate having to put a picture in a show that's been scanned badly or doesn't have enough pixels. I'd love to be in the position to market myself to photographers or companies to create their shows. So far my clients have come to me, but they are sporadic at best. It may be time to just step out and start asking :)

Blessings,
Robin

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Re: Looking for some input

Postby AMD » Sun Jan 24, 2010 7:48 pm

Hi,

I understand your "pain" regarding having a good slide show creation service to offer and actually attracting clients. It seems that many people indicate they want a show made but just can't seem to get around to gathering their images. I find that seems to be one of the biggest problems regarding family shows, especially. If I had definite commitments from everyone who told me they wanted me to make a show for them, I would stay too, too busy! As a matter of fact, I have friends who just can't believe that I am not swamped with slide show jobs.

Ann

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Re: Looking for some input

Postby bellzerr » Mon Jan 25, 2010 5:29 am

After our Tuscany vacation with 9 friends (4 other couples and one single) we went almost a YEAR without getting everyone's photos organized. We finally decided to have a party. Drinks, stacks of photos, scanner on the table, with everyone chiming in, "Oh, that's a great shot - put that in the keeper stack." Viola! I had all the photos I needed for my show. Perhaps you can suggest to friends and family to have a "Photo Pick Party" and get those photos to you. :D
Mark

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Re: Looking for some input

Postby bellzerr » Mon Jan 25, 2010 5:30 am

Hey Patricia,
Nice to "see" you. :D
Mark

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Re: Looking for some input

Postby feathermm » Mon Apr 19, 2010 7:27 pm

Here are some things I see as a key to success in this business:

1. Full time income elsewhere, including insurance.

2. Live in an area with discretionary income, lots of discretionary income.

3. Live in an area where people are so darn busy making a living and spending their living don't have time to live. That's where you come in, documenting their busy lives.

4. Live in an area where no one else has a computer and can't do this for themselves. Let's face it, software has become so powerful, any person can create an acceptable slide show.

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Re: Looking for some input

Postby DickK » Tue Apr 20, 2010 5:41 am

Great list Carl.

#1. Essential. Keep the day job until you simply can't do both, then choose.
#2. Yep.
#3. Which mostly goes with #2.
#4. Key comment here is that you've got to get past the fact that you're competing with the client! You've got to convince them not to buy the $50 software and do it vice paying you considerably more and having you do it. What's your value-add they can't or won't get elsewhere? Why are you worth the extra money? For many the simple fact of saving time is it including the time they don't spend learning the software.

Dick
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Re: Looking for some input

Postby lynn1102 » Mon Jul 26, 2010 4:37 pm

Robin,

Don't know if you're still looking for input on this or not. You didn't say where you're located, but here are some more ideas. When discussing this with clients, if they mention scanning the photos or slides, I make it a point to remind them of how much time it would take. Scanners have become faster, but most people still don't how to use them properly for good results. I had one guy who scanned almost a thousand 35mm slides himself, but he scanned them all at 2400 dpi. It took him almost a year to get them done.

Marketing: photos are a tough sell with the new digital cameras, as they don't need the time to scan them. There are too many cheap, free, and easy programs to do that.

I do many 35mm slide projects, from normal slide show to fancy productions, They take longer and I charge accordingly. Most of these 35mm slide were done in the 60's to the 80's. Many of these folks are now living in the new "over 50/60" type developments, retirement homes or nursing homes. These same people will have lots of photos and negatives in boxes in the closet. Try these places if there are any nearby.

Keep us posted on what you decide.

Lynn

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Re: Looking for some input

Postby joemav57 » Fri Aug 06, 2010 9:25 pm

Lynn is right. The majority of my projects were older folks that had tons of old photos that wanted them digitized and put into family slideshows. The market is there. If you have the time, the desire, and the passion and do great work, you will have a great business. I know if I stuck my nose out there I could make this a full time job. But I really don't want to go that route. I'm afraid of burning out, which I'm not sure that I haven't already done. Good luck in whatever you decide to do. It's hard work, but it is worth it when you finish it and hear the family's or friend's comments. I am so surprised at how it effects everyone.
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