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high school seniors
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Earn Income Taking Senior High School Portraits
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Whether you are looking for a new career or just need to supplement your income, photography is a fun way to achieve these goals. There are many different areas in photography where you can earn an income. I will talk about senior high school portraits since that is what my wife specializes in.

Taking pictures of high school seniors is a good way to break into the photography world. The start up costs are pretty minimal. Here are the basics: a DSLR camera (you can start out with a low end one), a flash, photo editing software (I recommend Photoshop, there are many different versions), a tripod, and extra batteries or battery packs. Some people purchase portable backdrops, my wife doesn't use these but they may come in handy.

Don't worry about renting a studio. If you have extra room in your home you can set up a studio, or do what my wife does and take the pictures at a location of your client's choice. This means no overhead costs for you and your customers will like the idea of going to their favorite place.

Some people have scenic back yards so you can offer to meet them at their home. This can be an advantage because your client might feel more comfortable, meaning more natural looking poses. Other places you can go: zoo, conservatory, community centers, parks, or a place with water.

You need to set some ground rules for picking a location. Driving far will eat into your profits, especially with the cost of gas. Or you can offer to go further for a higher sitting fee. Two locations is ok to get different backgrounds but make sure they are not far from each other.

Do your first photography job for free and if you do quality work, you WILL get referrals. High school kids exchange their photos which is free advertising for you. My wife took pictures of my younger brother and ended up getting more than a few jobs from it. We do virtually no advertising, she gets clients from word of mouth. We have set up a SmugMug account which will host your pictures for a yearly fee. This is a great way to showcase your work without having to set up a website.

There are two ways in getting the pictures to your client. The first way is to print a proof book, have your client pick what they like, and order them. You make money by up charging the prints. We have done this but find it to be a little tedious. If you have the time, then you can make more money doing this. Between our three small kids and work schedules, we have chosen another route. My wife will select 10-15 of the best pictures, edit them if needed, then put them on a disc with a copyright release. Your customer can take disc anywhere and have them printed. We have found this to be much easier and less time consuming.

Taking senior high school portraits is just one way to start earning money with your camera.


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