Article from Vault.com: According to the Department of Labor, employment of photographers is expected to grow by 6 percent through 2028. The demand for photographs is expected to increase during that period, but the business of photography is now and will remain extremely competitive. There are far more people who want to be, and claim to be, photographers than there are positions available. In addition, continual improvements in digital photography lower the barriers for entry to the field: More people than ever before are now able to produce, store, and access photographic images. Only those individuals with the best skills, training, and business acumen are likely to succeed in the field as salaried workers or independent contractors.
Bride/Groom: Weddings happen 52 weeks a year. Last year there were over 2.3 million weddings in the United States, with an average budget of around $2500.
High school seniors: Photography packages for high school seniors can be very lucrative. It takes serious effort and networking to get on the inside and connect with seniors and their parents. Start networking with the parents of next year’s juniors to make inroads.
Public Relations Professionals: PR pros need head shots for their clients and coverage of events to send to the press. Some take the photos on their own for small publications. However, when they need large media attention, a professional photographer is their answer.
Architects: These professionals need quality images to sell more of their architectural services, and to display work in magazines. It’s also common for architects to enter contests in which photography is highly important.
Real Estate Professionals: Good photography sells real estate. The budgets are often not very high for this type of work. However, in the right location, volume can make up the difference. It’s important to develop relationships with real estate agents and offices. Also, high-end agents with multi-million-dollar listings tend to have more of a budget for quality photography.
Families: Expecting moms, new-born children and family portraits line the walls of many homes. If you develop an exciting photographic style, referrals alone will keep you in business. With that said, it’s important have a plan as to how you encourage people to refer business to you.
Sports teams: Pro teams are fun to shoot, but the organized teams playing at the schools and parks around you also need team photos. Some photographers do well photographing action photos during a big event and selling the images immediately after the game ends. It’s important to have an organized presentation and delivery process in place for these types of events.
Office Administrators: If you like photographing events, keep in touch with the people planning the company party. Photographers are hired by large offices to help capture the evening. Retirement parties, fundraising and company holiday parties are common opportunities.
Law firms: It is common for law firms to hire a photographer to create portraits of their partners, team and staff. Many firms also ask for lifestyle images for their websites (to show the human side of the firm). Tip: develop a plan to create a library of image for law firms.
Manufacturing Companies: Many of these companies need photographs of their employees, facilities and processes. They use the photographs for brochures, trade shows and presentations.
Website designers: Ask any website designer and they will tell you that they need more quality imagery from their clients. Unfortunately, they don’t get all they need. Stock photography does fill some of the gaps, but not all. Develop partnerships with web design firms and internet marketing companies to offer your service as part of their package.
Magazine Editors: Print and digital media companies need new imagery for their articles. Often, they employ the help of a stock photography agency. Fortunately for you, stock imagery doesn’t fit for every article. Develop relationships, follow through and meet deadlines and you can have a media career.
Politicians: Every year, especially every four years, there is a wave of new and old politicians seeking office. They need to look their best and tell their story. A good photographer helps them achieve their goal. A word of warning; be sure to get paid before election day.
Interior Designers: Interior designers, like architects, need quality imagery for their portfolio and contests. When photographing interiors, ask where key elements of the scene came from. It’s common for companies with products displayed in your photos to purchase copies.
Art Galleries: Well, they may not buy your work, but they can help sell it. Make sure you do your homework and approach galleries who sell the type of work you create. Building relationships is just as important as having great work. Don’t forget to be a good partner and promote the galleries too.
Restaurants: Food images sell more product. Contact local restaurants. Do a spec shot and show the owners your work compared to the photographs they present to their customers. Ask, which food they would order?
One opportunity is to conduct a customer survey to include:
Who they are
What do they buy now
Why do they buy it
What will make them buy from us