How to make extra money with your photography
Salon de la photo 2017
Hi there, and before you point it out, yes I look really tired in this week's video. We just got back from the Salon de la photo and while on the train, during our return home I thought I would give a little feedback about the event, and share with you a few ideas on how in 2017 as a photographer, you can make some extra cash with your work!
Every time I talk photography with people outside the business, I get asked the same question: "What do you do besides just pressing that button?". Most of them ignore all the hard work behind some of my pictures. The preparation, all the paperwork for eventual authorizations, the team, and of course way ahead of that, selling yourself and reaching out to new clients.
So what do I actually do when I am not testing new ideas, new props, and accessories when I am not out scouting for new locations and not learning new editing techniques or simply just retouching my work?
As a photographer, I believe you have to be up to date with the technology that is out there. New accessories that can help you work faster on the field from the latest tripods and camera straps, to the latest bags that are lighter, stronger, and that will protect your precious gear and help you carry it everywhere.
That's why being present at these types of events is necessary. An event like the Salon de la photo is great to learn more about the industry. I was lucky to learn about new printing techniques and actually, touch and see new printing papers, and printed a few pictures. I am now questioning whether I should still send my files to the lab or print my photos myself!
Wedding photographers, portrait, lifestyle photographers can actually meet a few brands at the salon to see the latest trends. Some offer huge discounts, so why not make deals with them?
This leads me to my first tip: Sell your pictures! Selling physical, real pictures is still a thing. The experience is still unique and a lot of people are complaining about storing their images on a hard drive to never see them again. We still enjoy having a real image in our hands and judging by the number of people present at the Salon de la photo, there are a few bucks to make there.
I am actually thinking about my next exhibition (The follow-up to my first big one last year) and I am still looking for a way to give my audience the best experience possible.
My tip number 2 is for starters... the other great thing about the Salon de la photo are conferences, talks, and open workshops given during the entire event. Experienced photographers and videographers share their experience from the business perspective to the artistic one. Some big brands invite their ambassadors that share their lighting and retouching technics!
So why don't you do the same? Give your own Workshops! This is really something that people are asking for on and off-line. Tutorials, mentorship, learning from another experienced photographer is something I highly recommend. If you have the skills, if you are patient and feel you have the ability to share your knowledge, you should definitely consider giving workshops. Doesn't have to be huge, could be one on one and online or you can do it locally with amateurs from your city.
I've spotted a few local YouTubers at the salon de la photo and this will be my third trip, on how to make a little bit more money.
Create a gear-related YouTube channel!
Making gear reviews is still growing. I discover dozens of new channels each week reviewing new gear, and the Salon de la photo is the unmissable Rendez-vous if unfortunately, you didn't get to have your hands on Sony's latest A7rIII or Canon's 6d Mark II.
Here are 3 YouTubers that I follow that are worth the watch:
My 4th tip is a simple word: Contests!
Photo contests can be great for exposure! Brands, printing companies, and magazines were displaying some of their winners at the salon de la photo. Depending on the reputation of the contest this can go beyond a simple exposure. You can win gear, be published, and even money! Some of these contests are free, and of course, others need you to pay a fee to participate... It is all up to you and your work and on the money you can actually invest in this. You even had the possibility to get a few pieces of advice from professionals to help you choose which pictures to use to increase your chances of winning.
My final tip is an easy and obvious one. Going to this type of event is an opportunity to meet new future clients.
Always have a business card with you and if possible your portfolio. I printed a book and the effect and impact on people are always way better than showing them my work on a tablet or phone. All these brands might be your future clients! Who knows. Some have their CEO there ( usually present at the opening) so be sure to have a portfolio with you just in case. They need us photographers to sell more tripods, accessories, cameras, and this person could be you. Inform yourself before, to have the names and faces of the big boss in mind and be ready to show your work. Don't get your hopes too high though as you'll not be the only one to do this... Finally and this is also a tip that will help you save rather than earn. I had my camera sensor cleaned there for free! Most of the brands present there offered special discounts so if you were interested in buying something but you were still hesitating, you can test compare and buy it with a discount! How great is that?
I was there to check a few new camera bodies and lenses because my Canon 5D Mark III is showing signs of fatigue. I also hooked up with the French Broncolor Family and we had a few discussions on future projects we might develop together in the future.
For example, If you are still thinking about switching from Sony to Canon, you have the possibility to test multiple camera bodies and lenses and bring image samples home. Just bring an sd card and compact flash and show up early if you don't want to wait hours, put your card in and fire away!
Overall it was a pleasant event, worth visiting, and also got to discover a few talented photographers during the weekend.
It's apparently not really hard to get an invitation each year so if you happen to be around Paris next year during this period, it is worth a visit!
The weather was horrible while I was there, I was supposed to make a few photoshoots outdoors but had to cancel all of them... except one!
But this will be developed into another post, so be patient!
So I might be there again next year... Do you want to see me again there next year? Wish this video was more technology, camera-related? Something more in-depth?
Let me know!