Part of the reason I'm also going to more of the art side is that I get offers to buy my photos (the ones I choose to take), especially if they are of town I live in or the actors I get to shoot occasionally.IMAGE LINK: http://fairbanksfamily.smugmug.com …i-GCQvrJ8-XL.jpg&lb=1&s=A
One business model I'm hoping to develop is portraits of fans with celebrities. This is common at conventions, of course, and for the photographer it's relatively easy work. You simply get a subject to stand for a minute or two while you get the light and settings just right. After that it's just click, chimp, and on to the next customer.
I've recently been shooting the meet & greets with celebrities from The Walking Dead, and am about to propose a plan to the people who invited me to help out.
First, they started doing these meet and greets for fifty dollars a person. The fan walks in the room, shakes hands, gets an autographed print, and then hands his or her camera (usually a phone) to an attendant who takes a photo of the celebrity and the fan. Then the attendant hands the camera/phone back to the fan and the next fan enters the room.
So one day I heard they were having one of these events and I went. I saw a big line waiting to meet the actor (laurie Holden from The Walking Dead) and I yelled, "How about a photo for the newspaper?"
The big crowd was enthusiastic, so they all smiled and waved for the camera.
Some of the crowd asked which newspaper would have the photo and I said, "I'll submit it to all the local papers." There were 250 people in line paying fifty bucks each. My mind started working numbers.
Then, I went in the back door to the event, got up my nerve, and said, "Hi, I'm here to take pics for the local papers." The organizers asked, "Who are you with?"
I was nervous but had to play it honest and cool, so I said, "I'm not affiliated with any of the papers. I'm freelance, and I submit photos of interest to them and they occasionally publish them." All that is true, but usually it's a bridge, flowers, or something that is kind of random around town.
They let me in and said I could take some press photos. So I did.
This photo (along with the first one shown on this page) were published in a couple local papers after I submitted them along with a few lines of copy (story). The actress (Laurie Holden of The Walking Dead) is in the middle and the organizers on her outside.IMAGE LINK: http://fairbanksfamily.smugmug.com …i-VpgxZrf-XL.jpg&lb=1&s=A
One of the organizers mentioned to me that there would be more meet & greets the following month, and I took that as a very informal, tentative invite.
As the dates for the next celebrity meet & greets came up, I emailed the organizers and tried (as smoothly as possible) to get another invite. They agreed.
None of this was for pay. It was all pretty much a back scratching kind of thing.
Another from a different day and celebrity (Scott Wilson from The Walking Dead in the middle with a bunch of employees).IMAGE LINK: http://fairbanksfamily.smugmug.com …i-M7tVrHB-XL.jpg&lb=1&s=A
So it got me thinking: People want a photo with the celebrity, and I figure I could save them time and make myself money (without cutting into their profit) by doing the photos.
Right now the fan/customer hands his or her camera to an attendant, as mentioned. The attendant has to figure out how to use the camera and often the fan has to step forward, show the buttons, etc., and then the attendant shows the fan the photo and the fan usually says, "thanks" but sometimes wants a retake.
My thought was that if I have a modest setup (just need one strobe, umbrella, tripod, etc.) then the fan can get a professional photograph that has the correct white balance, no noise, and is sharp.
My plan (which I need to finalize and submit) would either give me a small fee per photo (say, $5--that would translate to about a grand for the day). While this might seem to take a grand from the organizer's profit, it might be worth their while because they could get more people signed up (I can save them a lot of time).
Another thought was to take a pic of each fan and they can go online and order from me for, say ten bucks or so (digital download) as an option and still use their own phone/camera if they like.
None of their phone pics come out near the quality of a proper portrait.IMAGE LINK: http://fairbanksfamily.smugmug.com …i-c59tDvv-XL.jpg&lb=1&s=A
So, there is always an opportunity, if you look around, that can satisfy your own wants along with the wants of others.