Following on from my last post, here’s the plan.*
I work as a tutor in a tertiary institution and as such I’m lucky in that I have large gaps between semesters when I have no work (no work does also equal no pay though, so it’s not all roses). In a way, my employment could be seen as seasonal.
Anyway, I’ve decided to (try to) take photographs for money, basically working as a part time portrait photographer in my free time. Something like what Zack Arias refers to in his book** as a “weekend warrior,” except that between semesters I’d be a weekday warrior.
The basic approach is that if I like the look of someone and ask to take their portrait, then it’s on me. But if someone asks me, they have to pay.
Unlike in the past, I’m going to be much more professional in my approach, with clearly defined rates, usage rights contracts and model releases (no more photographs unexpectedly turning up on websites, posters or album covers).
At the moment, I have a web site almost ready and have figured out how to present this offline on my iPad. I have also made a short e-book too, to present another selection of portraits on my iPad. My business cards arrived a couple of weeks ago. I had two different designs made, and in the flesh I greatly prefer one over the other, but that’s okay. Next I will make some flyers / postcards to distribute around places where my intended target market hangs out.
Which brings me to my intended market. Japan is saturated with photographers and I doubt I would ever get much work targeting Japanese people (despite being asked twice in the last month by Japanese people to take family portraits). I’m going to market myself primarily to the large expatriate community here that speaks English.
So, that’s the plan. To see what part time work I can pick up.*** For what I intend, I already have everything I need equipment wise, and I have a separate income. So, apart from my pride, there’s nothing really to lose. All it will cost me are the internet site fees, some paper and ink and a little time marketing.**** If I pick up a little work, then great – some extra pocket money. If not, then never mind.
* actually, from this post from one month ago – I’m late publishing this post
** Arias Z 2013. Photography Q & A. New Riders, San Francisco, p. 286
*** actually, I’ve already done one ‘paid’ job
**** it’s bound to be that easy…