Christmas is the best time to get the camera out
If you want to make some money with your camera Christmas and the festive season is the time to get out there and get shooting. We all know that Christmas is the time when everyone goes shopping mad, heck you probably do it yourself, I most certainly do.
Christmas is a lucrative time of year so why not jump on the bad wagon and make all your expensive photography equipment pay for itself.
The bad news is that you have probably missed out this year, unless you act very fast, are very lucky and can catch the tail end of the rush. The good news is that if you can load up on Christmas and festive photos this year you will have plenty of time to edit them, add captions and make them more saleable, get them out to the market place and do a bit of promotion and marketing for next year. Just because you have probably missed out making some money this year don’t let this put you off.
You need to think "commercial" here
In order to make money you have to take commercial photos that other people will want to buy, and the question you have to ask yourself before you take any photo you intend to make some money with is “would I pay for this?” If the answer is no then walk away and find another shot, unless you just fancy taking the photo of course. If the answer to the question is yes then fire away, take plenty of shots at different exposures and from different angles in a bid to get the photo.
The good thing about taking commercial photos during the festive period is that you don’t have to travel far from home and there will be probably be commercial opportunities in the room where you are reading this.
Don’t be put off by things millions of photographers have photographed hundreds of times before such as Christmas trees, decorations, ornaments, mince pies, glasses of wine near an open fire etc. because these still sell. Yep, even though there are thousands of these types of photos available there is still a good chance a photo of your tree, your decorations etc. taken in December 2015 will sell.
What you need to do when taking photos of these items is to try and put a different spin on the photo and make it your own. Light the subject a different way, use colour filters, take the photo from an obscure angle……… just try and do something a little different for a unique photo.
Don't forget the novelty Christmas photos
As well as the traditional type of festive photos there are more novelty type photos you can take. Pets are a popular subject and everyone loves a cute animal right? Yep they do, so exploit this. Find a willing pet and dress them up in a Christmas themed costume or place them in a scene with some festive subjects and take a few photos.
Think of some witty comment or slogan to accompany the photo and you could have the next top selling Christmas greetings card or postcard on your hands.
If you don’t have a pet yourself find a friend who does and offer to do a photo shoot with their animal where they can have a copy of all the photos as payment for the modelling services. Dogs and cats are typically the most popular (and easiest to work with) but don’t ignore other pets such as bunnies, birds, mice, rats and reptiles as owners of these other pets love them just as much as dog owners and cat owners love their respective pets.
Toys, teddies and dolls are other subjects you can photograph to make some money. Stick one of these subjects in something festive and place it amongst other festive objects and you have the recipe for a commercial photo. You do, however you do need to be careful with copyright infringement.
Because of potential copyright issues I would always use generic toys and not one that is trademarked. Sure, your Disney character teddies, toys and dolls are going to attract more attention and get more sales than a standard teddy but you are likely to end up with a law suit against you, so it isn’t even worth bothering trying with these types of toys.
It's time to hit the streets
Once you have exhausted all the photo opportunities you can think of at home head down the street and I am sure you will find plenty of other objects. Christmas lights are a favourite, as are outside decorations, holly wreaths on doors etc. Stroll on in to town and you will find even more lights and possibly a Christmas market with yet more photo opportunities!
As you can see, Christmas and the festive period is full of opportunities for commercial photos therefore you need to charge up your camera batteries and flash lights, get loads of memory cards and get shooting. Okay, you probably won’t make much (if anything this year) but if you put in the work next autumn and get promoting all of your Christmas and festive photos there is a good chance you will generate some extra money.
Keen photographer addicted to cameras, lenses and everything photography related. Feel free to follow me in my photography ramblings, and if you have any thoughts, comments, queries or anything else to add I would love to hear from you.