How to Make Money

Earn Extra Cash As a Personal Paparazzi Photographer

July 24, 2012
by Jana Lynch
Contributor
Personal Photographer

Are you an amateur or professional photographer wanting to put your talent to use while earning some money in the process? Do you have friends, family or neighbors who desperately want to be celebrities but no discernible talent? Fortunately, there’s a way to fulfill everyone’s needs.

How?

Become a paparazzi photographer.

I’m not talking the crazy, hide in the bushes, chase singers on highway paparazzi. I’m talking the follow your friends or clients around for the day at various venues, snapping pictures, shouting random questions like “How was dinner with Brangelina?” or “When’s the baby due?” paparazzi.  It’s fun, it’s entertaining and it’s a great way to make some extra cash.

So how do you get started?

It’s pretty easy, although some of the start-up costs can get pricey depending on what you need. For instance, you’re going to need a good quality camera which can run in the hundreds of dollars. You’re going to need good photo editing software, which can also run a few hundred dollars.  You’re going to need reliable transportation (or at least access to reliable transportation).

You’re also going to need to set up a website and find a way to advertise your service. You can contact companies like Celeb 4 A Day and freelance for them if you’re in their market areas, but if not, you’ll need to figure out a way to gain clients.

A few ways to do that:

  • Ask your friends to be your test subjects and then use word of mouth
  • Advertise on other websites or on community bulletin boards
  • Offer a Groupon or coupons for first time customers
  • Work with other websites and blogs for a giveaway and then ask for reviews

But once you’ve gotten the clients, what can you offer (besides the opportunity to feel like a Kardashian for a day)? Like most photographers will offer, I suggest you, too, offer different package deals. You can even be creative with the naming: D-list, B-list, A-list. Then set the prices accordingly. You can also have add-ons like magazine covers or movie posters (provided your skills can produce quality products) or have someone act as “reality TV cameras” for that extra MTV effect.

There are endless ways to make money from this kind of endeavor. Just make sure that you’ve done your research and that your prices are comparable; otherwise, it will be almost impossible to gain clients.

A few words of caution. This is not an easy freelancing gig. You are going to run into some passersby who are probably not very nice. There are legal issues to contend with, from privacy rules to trespassing. Make sure that you have signed, written permission from all parties involved that you have their consent to film them, photograph them, and enter their property. It might even be helpful to consult with an attorney to make sure that the waivers are comprehensive, and to determine if you need any insurance.  You need to make sure you, and your clients, are protected in every way possible.

If done right, this can be a fun, enjoyable and fairly lucrative job.

What do you think? Does this sound like something you’d try?

by Jana Lynch
Contributor for The Penny Hoarder

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