How to Make Money From Quick and Easy Photoshoots

Photographer Taylor Jackson shifted his work slightly in the last nine months, and this video gives you a really useful insight into how he has created regular jobs through short photoshoots for local businesses.

As Jackson will probably tell you, there’s a fair amount of leg work that goes into making these shoots happen in the first place: making contact, putting together proposals, sending over portfolios, and visiting in person to discuss ideas. While it’s easy to assume that being a photographer is mostly knowing about lighting and composition, equally important — if not more so — are all of the soft skills that go into making these opportunities happen in the first place.

That said, there’s lots here to take in in terms of detail, such as the speed advantage that a pair of zooms offer you over a bag full of primes. Sure, you might not be getting all of the glorious bokeh that you'd achieve with wider apertures, but as Jackson is keen to point out, a shoot like this isn’t about crafting high-end content. Instead, it’s about forgoing some of the attention to detail in order to make sure that the client ends up with a decent batch of options that you’ve delivered in an impressive amount of time.

Have you tried this approach? What details of your work make it effective for you? Let us know in the comments below.

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8 Comments

Lee Christiansen's picture

Ordinarily I avoid quick and cheap jobs, but these are interesting times with alternative solutions to be explored...

$500 in real money is about £380 :) so not a lot of pennies and I'm guessing this sort of work needs to be local.

It isn't much money, but I'm guessing it would be hard to persuade smaller companies to invest in a yearly programme costing in excess of £4000 per year. I'm guessing if we provided lots of lovely shots on the first day, they'd want to eek them out for a long time and most likely not want to refresh for another 12 months.

So whilst the basic / quick / cheap angle has its merits, I'm suspecting the finances don't work out quite so well as this video suggests. Heck, it's easy to take a rate and multiply it by a number and find a high income. By that count I should be earning £200,000 a year and last time I looked, I'm not.

So we have the question whether oodles of legwork to find a far higher number than 10 clients is going to work. And in that process, would the cheap work deprive us of higher paying jobs with those same clients?

Here in the UK, many "small" places like the one in the video are actually part of huge chains (often with multiple brands). And those outlets always defer to the mothership, which will most likely ignore this type of proposal because everything goes through their PR agency, (and they're even tougher to nail down).

It has certainly given me pause for thought. I've always aimed for the nicer work where quality is everything and I can spend 2-3 hours retouching a single image or a day + lights + assistant shooting a small number of amazing images. But I'm wondering if I can successfully market a different class of photography without hurting my brand - because it is possible to shoot fast and process fast, and deliver 75% of the quality (perhaps).

But for that, I'd need to have a strategy to reach that particular client base easily and quickly - because I'm not sold on the success ability of signing up a small outfit for 12 months - even if it is is great value.

I didn't see a link to that free course mentioned on the video. It might make interesting viewing...

(Skeptical, but open minded...)

Nick Bentley's picture

Im in the same boat. it would not be my normal work although i was sat there thinking about it and its similar to some of the work i do for brands with in the sport i cover.

I really think if 2020 has taught us anything is you shouldn't put all your eggs in once basket this could make a nice side line to a business if done right. having a mix of revenue streams is always good.

id also point out you never know where jobs will lead to just because your doing something for little brands today doesn't mean you cant build it in to something bigger or be discovered by some one this way.

if i could get 6 companies paying £400 each and all that adding up to days work between them that's £2400 a month £28,800 a year. it would be a amazing revenue stream.

Ivan Lantsov's picture

min wage 15 hr, that not good

Nick Bentley's picture

I wasn’t saying it was you total earnings but if you can work 1.5 days a month for £28,800 a year I’d take that ! To add to my other work

T Van's picture

I used to place a very high premium on high production value. Then I got a job working with clients to produce advertising for them. Mostly all small businesses, but occasionally some larger, nationals.
I can count on one hand the number of clients that actually had any idea what high production values were, let alone cared about. What the majority of clients I've worked with really cared about was getting their advert in front of consumers as quickly as possible. They want it tomorrow. They always come late to the game because the advertising is often an after thought. Their money is green too and it does add up to enough to keep the lights on and the paychecks from bouncing. Just not always exactly the kind of rewarding work idealistic production people like to work on.

Nick Bentley's picture

Agreed I’ve always said you need some jobs that are the keep the lights on money !

Ivan Lantsov's picture

minis

Mike Ditz's picture

I met a guy who used to shoot higher end commercials and TV stuff then somehow all that sort of fell apart. Now he says he shoots little social media packages for small businesses. A few video clips and enough photos for IG and FB - hooks them up for 4 a year at $600 (?) each. He said that it takes about and hour or so to shoot and an hour for post. The shop owners all talk to each other and he says he is very busy...
I didn't have nearly 40 minutes to watch the whole show, how much does Taylor charge??