Sunday, July 6, 2008

Get Paid to Take Digital Photographs! And maybe start a new business

I had not really thought about it, but I suppose it does make tremendous commercial sense to widen the availability of photographs. The demand for photographs today is greater than at any time since Louis-Jacques-Mandé Daguerre became the inventor (in 1839) of the first practical process of photography, the famous Daguerreotype.

We only have to look in our newspapers, both print and online, to see the requests for readers to send in their photographs of events or even of incidents. This was almost unheard of before the advent of digital photography. But this demand is a drop in the ocean compared to demand from:

* Huge variety of internet sites

* Real estate agents

* Travel companies

* Online auto, lifestyle and speciality magazines

* Landscaping sites

* Celebrity gossip sites

* Greetings card sites (and offline companies too!)

* Web designers

* E-brochure publishers…..and so on, the list is almost endless.

Unlike many other GPT (Get Paid To) ideas, such as taking online surveys, being paid to drive your car or being paid to shop or dine, there are not too many sites dedicated to getting paid to take and submit digital photographs. This is undoubtedly a good thing, as it should mean that the scammers haven’t yet found a way to fleece us!

Another great aspect to this is that it largely does not matter where you live. The Net is borderless, so if you’re in London, England, London, Ontario or East London in South Africa, you can submit digital photos from anywhere to anywhere around the world.

You would be surprised at one particularly simple, yet rewarding demand area for your photographic talent. If you look in your local paper you’ll no doubt see lots of cars for sale ads with a photo and lots without. Do you think those without a picture will sell as easily as those with one? No, of course they won’t.

It is not just print media, of course, but the growth in online used car sales (at local and national levels) has been spectacular, and not just on eBay or Exchange and Mart. If someone has a car they want to sell online, they need a digital camera or of course, someone else with a digital camera who can take their car’s photograph for them.

This is where you come in.

With print media ads, take a note of the telephone number they give, and call them, suggesting that if they are not successful selling their car with this advert, they may like to try one with a photo, as sales successes are far more likely with a picture, and you’ll be very happy to take the photo for them. Make sure though that it is at a very reasonable cost. Markets vary considerably, and you will need to gauge what is right for your area. While you need to convey that you will provide them with a professional job, you need to balance that with a price structure that is not synonymous with Lord Snowdon, David Bailey or Annie Leibovitz!

Once you’ve got them hooked on using your newly professional talents, you could also suggest additionally using one or more of the online car sales sites, and of course, that you’ll be delighted to help them get this organized!

Clearly this is a business (and make no mistake, you can make this into a good business), but as with any new venture, you will only get out of it rewards that are proportionate to the amount of effort you have expended. Start slowly, and on a small scale. Put particular effort into building your skills, both photographic and self-marketing. This is a business that is about quality not quantity, especially at the outset. That being the case, it is probably advisable to start out part-time, not giving up your regular employment. Once you’ve built a little bit of a reputation, people will tell their friends and you’ll gain new business that way too. But that’s just local.

Your new business’s boundaries are limitless. Search out all those sites that are desperate for new photographs but do not want to pay over-the-top for them. Personally I’d think it rather cool to be taking pictures where I live in S E Asia, that are being used on a website hosted in Canada!

Wouldn’t you?

Michael is a British citizen, but long term resident of Asia (Hong Kong and Malaysia). After 25 years with a global banking leader, he headed up his own Management consulting company, and today this successful business has branched out to include database/direct marketing aswell as Internet and Affiliate Marketing. Michael’s email contact is (usual email format). His website for this particular topic is at