Sell Event Photography Online

There are two main methods of selling photography online; you can sell event photos online, or sell stock photography. The two types of photography sales are vastly different in both subject matter and market. While stock photography is usually of generic content, and there are services that market stock photography generally to businesses, selling personal event photography is a much more intricate process.

To sell event photos, you are generally commissioned to take photos of such an event. Examples are a wedding, school portraits, sports photos, a party, or even a portrait session can be considered an “event”. The subject matter in these types of photos is usually a person or group of people, and the subjects are generally your clients and customers. If you shoot a wedding, the bride, groom, and family members are the ones who will be purchasing your photos. If you do a portrait session, the same is true, or for a larger event, any of the attendees may be potential customers. Depending on the number of potential customers (is it just the parents of the child you took photographs of, or every attendee at a huge party?), as well as the level of service you wish to provide, there are multiple ways of presenting photos for order.

Some photographers like to meet with a client after a photo shoot and present a limited number of the best photos in person, and take orders there. This can be time consuming, but depending on personalities of the photographer and client, can be a very special sales tool and result in great sales. Generally, the photographer will bring either printed proofs, or some way of viewing the photos via technology; a laptop computer, projector, or iPad all work. Clients can respond positively to seeing photos enlarged, in their own home, and to have the exclusive feeling of a private proofing session.

Some photographers would rather give clients access to proofs online, so they can browse at their leisure, take time to come back to a decision, and also, potentially view a larger number of photos. For a wedding, a photographer might take 700 photos; it would be quite time consuming to sit with a bride and look through all of these photos with her, rather than letting her go through them on her own time. However, for a child’s portrait session, perhaps narrowing down the choices to the best 15 photos will result in an easier decision than looking through the hundred photos that were snapped during the session. Some clients also may wish to view their photos in private, either due to self-consciousness or perhaps if the event was of a personal nature, as in boudoir portraits, or even an intimate moment with one’s child.

Another positive to online proofing is that clients can pass their gallery access along to friends or family members for extra input or for more potential orders. The downside in online proofing is that clients can tend to put off making a decision, so adding a deadline is a must. Also, photographers need to make sure to follow up with clients in person or over the phone, to ensure they are getting proper feedback from the client.

Selling event photography online can be a great tool for a photography business, there are just many factors to consider to ensure that your clients have a good proofing experience and this leads to sales. The photography business can be difficult, but don’t be overwhelmed, with a little persistence, any great photographer can also be a good businessperson.

Sam Breece is an expert on the business of photography and is dedicated to helping photographers sell event photos online.

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