How does an amateur photographer find clients?
December 11, 2012 2:04 PM Subscribe
I'd like to start a modest photography business, but I'm not sure how to find clients.
posted by good day merlock to work & money (12 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I studied photojournalism in college, but time passed and I've made my way into the editorial side. A year and a half later, I'm just now getting back into the swing of things. I miss photography! I really enjoy taking photos of people, and have a solid portfolio and some practice shooting portrait, graduation and engagement sessions -- enough that I'm past the point of just needing to build my portfolio, and that I wouldn't feel bad charging for my services, but not enough to consider myself a professional (or able to charge toooo much). I need a lot of practice. I've put together a website and would like to shoot some portrait sessions on the side. I'm not planning for this to become my primary income, but I'd love to make some side income. (Living in New York is expensive!)
However, since NYC is so large (and filled with so many aspiring photographers), I'm a little more stumped on ways to get the word out. When I lived in smaller cities, I had some success posting on Craigslist or Livejournal groups, but I feel a little lost here. I also don't have friends that are getting engaged or having babies or need portraits taken (although if any pop up, I'll be all over it). NYC Craigslist seems to be filled with the same group of people spamming their services over and over again, and the advice I find online says that Craigslist usually just results in a lot of spam and not many clients. I'll probably still put up ads there, but I have a strong suspicion it will be a tough road. I'd love to find clients who are understanding of the fact that I'm an amateur (but a pretty decent one, I think...), and looking for something on a tighter budget.
My question is: What are ways for a young/amateur photographer in NYC to find clients so she can start building a business & reputation? Are there alternatives to Craigslist? Any other suggestions? Or is this idea totally crazy? Thank you!