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FORUMS Post Processing, Marketing & Presenting Photos The Business of Photography 
Thread started 15 Jul 2012 (Sunday) 04:04
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Share your Craigslist Experiences

 
BaghdadFred
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Jul 15, 2012 04:04 |  #1

Everyone has to start some place in professional photography. It takes time to build up a good portfolio and word of mouth referrals.

As I will be transferring out of the Middle East later this year where I was in a more of a Staff Photographer role and plan to do more freelance type work in the US in the future. I look to where I might be finding my next photo gig.

Although I have no first hand experience I am curious to know of others good and bad experiences with using Craigslist. No doubt CL is the low end of professional photography but I see opportunities where it could lead to repeat business in some of the adds. There are also many instances of people wanting photos an entire wedding or special event and expect to only pay 50 bucks or even free.

I was wondering if some POTN members could share their past experiences (good or bad) with Craigslist ads.


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CameraMan
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Jul 15, 2012 06:00 |  #2

So far all I've gotten from Craigslist is freebies (TFCD) and SPAM. Not a real good money maker for anything really.


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mosabi
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Jul 15, 2012 08:49 |  #3

I have never posted my business on Craigslist however I have looked before to see what gets posted. I found someone looking for a photographer last year and I replied to her advertisement. Since then I have photographed her family twice and 2 other families she does daycare for. She has got me more business than anyone else has. So it was relatively good for me you might say. For the record most all of my business comes from Facebook. If you don't have a Facebook page that would be a pretty good idea.

I'm just not a big fan of all the spam that you get when posting something on CL.

Best of luck to you


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mirrorrim
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Jul 15, 2012 10:59 |  #4

This is my first wedding season, put my first ad in CL in May, and have put 3 more ads up in that time and I've booked 6 weddings for this year and 1 for next year. I'm also a second shooter for 6 other weddings this year, which I got from replying to an ad on CL. Yes, I started out VERY cheap but I'm increasing my prices by about $150 after every 3rd wedding booked, so hopefully as the year goes on and word of mouth spreads from these weddings I'll be in my ideal price range.

I got my first spam email (sign up for yellow pages ads!) yesterday. I think using CL really depends on the area you're living. I'm in a small state, in the largest city of 200,000 people, and hardly anyone uses internet resources (yelp, the knot, wedding bee, there are only 2 Vermont wedding blogs..) for finding wedding photographers. It's all word of mouth and CL. I check the ads from other photographers and each day there's about 4 ads from established pros, 2 from up and comers, and 1 or 2 people who just plain suck.




  
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Christopher ­ Steven ­ b
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Jul 15, 2012 11:16 |  #5

I used craigslist for my first few shoots (2 weddings, a small corporate party) and then gravitated to kijiji--a Canadian version of craigslist that seems to be growing in popularity. I've booked probably 20 weddings from that. The cost of advertising: $0.

I think craigslist and similar sites can provide fantastic opportunities for up-and-comers whose main goal is building a portfolio and not worrying too much about the $. Once you're past the $1200 zone or thereabouts (for weddings in my case), interest drops off a fair bit. The key is to use this avenue while growing your portfolio and experience and then to gradually shift your marketing strategy to include other avenues.



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BaghdadFred
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Location: Baghdad Iraq
     
Jul 15, 2012 13:13 |  #6

Besides posting your own adds, I see plenty of adds of people requesting photography services. I am in a pretty massive market (LA, Orange County) however its also quite saturated with photographers. My hope would be to maybe hook up with some established studios and start doing wedding and events PT.


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Looony2nz
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Jul 16, 2012 08:45 as a reply to  @ BaghdadFred's post |  #7

for the past 2 years, about 99% of our business has come from Craigslist. We are a part time / weekends family photographer and for the most part, we have only met the nicest people !




  
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mikeinctown
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Jul 16, 2012 10:27 |  #8

People rarely use the yellow pages anymore, so sites like CL have their place. I've mentioned before that my ex wife gets a lot of her clients for art work from CL.I've sold and bought a ton of stuff on there and have seen plenty of job offerings. It's free, so what have you got to lose?




  
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PeaceFire
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Jul 16, 2012 22:00 |  #9

How successful Craigslist is depends entirely on how active it is in your area. When I was in San Diego I could post and get paying clients minutes after posting. In my new market it's not as active, but I still got two paying clients within a day of posting an ad when I was getting ready to relocate up there. But in some other areas I know Craigslist is just not used, no one looks there for anything, and therefor it won't work for advertising. And in some areas it's full of free-loaders and spammers.


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jetcode
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Jul 16, 2012 23:05 |  #10

The funniest CL story I have is finding a date on CL who happened to direct publication at a travel agency. When asked "Have you ever been to Europe" the answer was "Yes". Well, Monday bring in your best work. I licensed 6 images for $6k on that one contact. We never did date.




  
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Thomas ­ Campbell
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Jul 17, 2012 09:27 |  #11

Never got any business from CL. They are likely to not pay a working wage and offer referrals that I don't want.


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jra
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Jul 17, 2012 09:50 |  #12

From what I've seen, CL seems to vary a lot depending on what area you're in. IME, I've had good luck with CL and have received numerous paying clients that were an absolute joy to work with. I guess one of the best things about CL is that it's free so it doesn't hurt to post up an add and keep it running to see if it brings in anything.




  
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plawren53202
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Jul 18, 2012 11:40 |  #13

After reading this thread, I decided to give it a go. No risk other than getting some annoying spam replies. Just posted an ad, first time. I will report back if I have any significant luck with it.


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Glueeater
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Jul 19, 2012 14:12 |  #14

I'll be posting a wedding I got off Craigslist shortly. I've only had 2 gigs of 5 contacts follow through on CL.


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Christopher ­ Steven ­ b
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Jul 19, 2012 14:29 |  #15

^sounds like a really good follow-through rate to me. I'll be looking for the photos.



christopher steven b. - Ottawa Wedding Photographer

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