One of the easiest ways to making extra money is with a camera.
More people own cameras than radios, and photography is the
fastest growing hobby in the world. Yet using a camera as an
extra income tool is largely overlooked!
With a little imagination, a flair for showmanship, and just a
hint of showmanship, the average man or woman, or even teenager,
can easily make an extra $300 a week with his camera.
You don’t have to have one of the popular, more expensive cameras
either, or a lot of high priced attachments and equipment. in
many instances, a Polaroid or other « off-the-shelf » camera will
suit the purposes perfectly. The only special piece of extra
equipment you may want to invest in would be a tripod for
mounting the camera in certain situations.
One of the easiest ideas is to visit a children’s clothing store
in one of the busy shopping centers, or the children’s department
in one of the large department stores. Sell the manager or store
owner on the idea of your setting up in a corner of the store or
department, and taking pictures of the shoppers’ children. He can
promote the fact that you’ll be in the store taking pictures for
a special prices during certain hours—perhaps on Friday
evenings and all day Saturdays—in his advertising, thus drawing
more patrons into his store because of you.
You’ll need a sheet or plain piece of material, or some sort of
imaginative set for a background. But this can be easily make or
build yourself. You should also have an eye-catching poster that
calls attention to what you’re doing and the prices you’re
charging. Unless you’re a commercial artist, spend the money to
have this sign made for you by a professional. The next and last
thing you’ll need will be a two-part receipt or coupon.
This can be a simple piece of paper about 2 inches wide by 5
inches long. On the left side draw lines for your customers to
fill in their name, telephone number and address. You might also
want to include space for additional information such as the
child’s name and age and number of children in the family, for
future efforts, but keep it brief and simple.
On the right side of this coupon, have your business name,
address and telephone number, plus a quick outline of the
different kinds of photography work you handle, and perhaps a
business slogan such as « Satisfaction Guaranteed or You Don’t
To add a little bit of class to this coupon, take the basic
outline of this idea over to a instant print shop. Tell them what
you want; show them your outline; and have them typeset
everything. Then put a fancy border around the whole coupon and
have it printed on colored paper. The best color is a « dollar
bill » shade of green. If you want to give it even more class, you
could have it printed on green, lightweight card stock. You’ll
want to divide the « information » side of this coupon from the
« business card » side with a dotted line and perforations.
If you layout this coupon properly, you should be able to get six
of them on an 8 1/2 by 11 sheet of paper or card stock. This
means the printer can print and cut 6,000 of them for about the
same cost as printing circulars or flyers.
On your printing, shop around for the best deal, but in the end,
it shouldn’t cost more than $60 for all 6,000 coupons which will
come those 1,000 sheets of paper or card stock.
Now, when you take a person’s picture, regardless of whether it’s
an « in-store » set-up out on the golf course, or along the street,
you give your customer one of your coupon-receipts and tell them
their prints will be ready in a couple of days. They fill in the
information part of the coupon and give it back to you, retaining
your « business card » portion of it.
When the prints are ready, you can phone the customer and remind
him–volunteer to deliver and collect; send them through the mail
with a bill; or make arrangements with a store to take care of
them until the people call for them and pay at that time.
Most stores, golf courses, bowling centers, and other retail
merchants will be glad to handle this part of it for you, because
it brings the customers back into the places of business, and
provides another sales opportunity for them.
By all means, be sure to include an advertising circular with
each set of pictures you deliver. This circular should explain
how the customer can get more prints, how he can get enlargements
of his favorites, and details relating to all the other
photography services you offer
Back to the original « in-store » picture taking set-up during
evening shopping hours and on weekends for extra income. You can
call attention to your « in-store » set-up, and bring in more
business with a few merchandising promotional ideas. In the
following paragraphs we give the highlights of a few ideas that
have worked well. However, you should keep your eyes open to
observe additional promotional ideas that could be adapted to fit
your new business.
Dress a helper in a clown suit, and take pictures of the kids in
his lap or with his arm around the kids. Put a sandwich
advertising board on a helper and let him stroll through the
shopping center advertising the fact that you’re in a Kiddies
Clothing store taking pictures.
Promote a « Baby of The Year » contest where you can take pictures
of the babies, display the pictures on a « show board » and offer
$100 cash plus a merchandise prize in a big drawing at the end of
Set up a booth in the mall and promote « Instant Snapshots. » Be a
Roving Photographer and take candid shots of shoppers and promote
a « Shopper Of The Year » contest. Work with a clown and have him
« attach himself » to the kids, and ask if they’d like to have
their pictures taken with him. Build and inexpensive and portable
set, such as an airplane, a race car, bucking bronco,
hand-shaking scene with a famous person or « balloon figures » and
take pictures of the people standing in or on these sets.
Get out to the golf course and take pictures of the golfers
teeing off. Get over to the bowling centers and take candid shots
of the bowlers in action. Do the same thing wherever there’s a
sports event taking place. Be on the spot and ready whenever
there’s an opportunity to take team pictures.
You might follow, or hire someone else to follow a Little League
team through its season, taking candid and action shots. You then
arrange the best pictures in a photo album with the team’s name
and year on front. You should be able to sell one of these albums
to each member of the team.
There’s also the idea of « just » strolling through the park » on a
Sunday afternoon. You can take candid and interesting pictures of
couples, children and people in general spending time with their
Keep tabs on the announcements of new births. Send advertising
literature to the new mothers, and follow up with a phone call
efforts to set up photography sessions.
Keep tabs on the engagement notices in the weekend papers. Send
your sales literature to the brides-to-be, and follow up with
phone call efforts to take the wedding pictures.
Set up a household and business photo inventory service. With
this idea, you contact the insurance companies and determine if
they will approve and endorse photographs you take of their
policy holders’ household, personal, and business property in
Most will, and from there–working either with the help of an
insurance agent, the agency itself, or on your own–contact
owners of property and sell them on the idea of you taking
pictures of the household goods they have insured. You take the
pictures–a pictorial inventory of everything they’re claiming or
would like to claim on an insurance policy–and then identify the
pictures, giving one set to the property owner and the other set
to his insurance agent or company.
Picture inventories of household and personal property is still a
new thing, but everywhere it’s been introduced, it’s definitely
proven to be a super money- maker for the people willing to get
out and hustle.
If this idea arouses your interest, you might want to check into
a going franchise operation that gives you a complete business
manual, operations guidebook, and ongoing consultant services:
Photographic Inventory, PO Box 4046, Morgantown, WV 26505.
Once you decide that using your camera to generate extra income
is what you’re going to do, get out and use your camera, start
taking pictures, and allow yourself the opportunity to build.
Give yourself the chance, and you’ll quickly begin to think of
hundreds of ideas for taking pictures, merchandising ideas for
promoting your services, and sales angles for increasing your
The important thing is to get started, regardless of how small
your start, and begin cashing in on an idea that’s still in its
infancy. This is an idea that can produce new concepts for profit
every day of the week. An idea that can be fun, as well as
financially rewarding for you!
You’ve got the idea and the plan–the rest is up to you. You’ve
got the ball; now run with it!