The first month under my belt

So, with all the preparation needed, such as getting stationery printed, and sorting out insurance, and marketing; I didn’t start the sittings for baby portraits until the 15th October.  In that time, I have had 13 appointments for sittings.  From those, I have had 2 cancellations and 2 no shows.  Out of the remainder I have had 3 sales, with an average order of around £170.  So far, I have 15 appointments lined up for November.

Putting the numbers to one side, I am really enjoying the work, well certainly the marketing, sittings and viewings – the sales side I need to work on.  What I have learned this month, is I need to show a wider choice of shots – different poses, backgrounds, clothed, unclothed, and to a lesser extent, different expressions.  Customers seem to want a wider variety of shots, especially, if they are buying a collection – which offers them the best value.

Something that was reinforced to me this month, was never do a viewing when Dad isn’t around.  I had a viewing yesterday evening, where Dad had been called into work at short notice, and Mum loved the photos.  We chose her favourite photos, a selection of 12 different ones, enough for a collection number 3, but she wouldn’t part with a penny unless her husband was there.

The unforeseen aspects of the month, were that I had to replace my exposure meter, which failed on me, and more importantly, my car is now starting to play up, and will probably have to be replaced since its done nearly 130,000 miles.  The car has served me well, as a run around I bought 18 months ago for less than £2,000.

One of my favorite customers, was a young couple who lived in Richmond.  I received a phone call from the Mum two days before the sitting asking to change the appointment, because the sitting was due to take place during the Rugby World Cup Final, and her husband was from New Zealand.  I readily agreed, and re-arranged the sitting for the afternoon. Partly, I wanted to watch the rugby myself, but, mainly, it was all part of my flexibility to my customers.  They went on to spend a couple of hundred quid, and look like being returning customers, with friends to recommend me to, as well.  So, in conclusion, I am not ready to give up my day job yet; but, I am gaining in confidence – and my customers all say they love my photos.


2 Responses to “The first month under my belt”

  1. November 5, 2011 at 8:41 am

    It’s fascinating for me to read this. I do hope you’ll keep it up. Something that’s become very trendy in Hong Kong lately is photos of pregnant women, belly exposed, with their husbands. Lately I’ve seen professionally shot photos of pregnant women I know who were always very shy and reserved and never posed in a sexy fashion in their life. Something about the pregnancy and presumably having the husband right next to them makes them bolder than usual. No idea how this would play in the UK but seems to be a huge business here. Maybe you can start a trend where you are?

    • November 5, 2011 at 9:05 am

      Thanks for the kind words, Spike. I think baby bump photos have been in vogue here, ever since Demi Moore appeared nude on the front cover of Vanity Fair, when she was about seven months pregnant, back in 1991.
      One of my customers told me about a London studio she went to for a pregnancy shoot, and the offer was 33 hi-res images on a CD for £3,000! The customer walked away. Realistically, though, what is the client going to buy? If there are other siblings, then a pregnant Mum with the rest of the family would make a lovely feature photo, but otherwise?? Its certainly something I can offer, but I don’t plan to market it, just yet.

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