Is the Photo Gift Product Market for You?
By Nancy Hill
You’ve no doubt seen photo mugs and photo calendars. Maybe you’ve even purchased some as gifts for friends or family members.
But don’t think of these photo products as simply a way to give someone a personal gift. In fact, gifts are only a starting point. With some imagination, you could turn these products into a lucrative business.
For example, you could sell a number of photo products at craft fairs or fundraisers. If you’re particularly enterprising, you could create a whole business taking photographs for companies and putting them on products they could use for promotions. You could also use them to showcase your own photography business.
So what’s available, and what can you do with these products?
Forget photo albums. You can design and have your pictures bound in books. There are numerous options, including size, single- or double-sided, paper weight, and color. Cover options include leather, linen, and vinyl, and both hard and soft covers. Some companies also allow you to add captions to the photos.
While they make great gifts, you can also think of them as a way to showcase your work for potential clients.
Prices vary greatly, depending on size and quality.
Like photo books, you have a lot to choose from, including size, binding, paper weight, and number of photos. Print up some samples and approach local businesses, offering to take photos and create calendars they can give to their customers.
Sell calendars at holiday craft fairs or online.
Send your own photo calendars out to your current and prospective clients. Hung on the wall, your work will be visible day after day.
These can be great fundraisers for teams and schools. Take a good photo of your child’s school, add a cute quote and they’ll sell. These come in a variety of sizes, colors, and materials. Most are dishwasher and microwave safe.
You’ve seen the t-shirts. Like photo mugs, these could be good fundraisers. But think beyond t-shirts. Other photo apparel items include aprons, neckties, scarves, bibs, boxer shorts, and baby clothes. Other photo fabric items include pillowcases, photo purses, tote bags, blankets, quilts, and towels.
Stretch your creativity and you will find ways to earn money on these products. For example, you might find yourself a nice niche market around holidays taking photos for women who would get a kick out of giving their boyfriends boxer shorts with their photos on them.
Fun and Games
I love the idea of creating a deck of cards with my photos on them. How much fun is THAT? Other products include coasters, mouse pads, puzzles, magnets, clocks, watches, cutting boards, sports balls, ceramic tiles, luggage tags, note cards, serving trays, tins, and ornaments.
Very Cool Photo Items
Wine labels. Photos of an engaged couple on a wine label adds a really nice touch to a wedding reception. You can also put your photos on beer bottles. Imagine that.
You’ve probably seen Jones Soda bottles with photos on their labels. Guess what? You can send Jones Soda your photo and they’ll deliver a custom-made case of their sodas to your door. You even get to choose the flavor. (Go to www.myjones.com for more info.)
High-End, You-Better-Love-the-Photo Products
If you want to buy a very special gift using one of your photos, you can have the photo engraved on gold or silver. These are pricey, a pair of 3 x 6 pair photos in silver runs about $1,000; same size in platinum costs nearly $20,000. (Go to www.pmportraits.com for more info.)
On the more affordable high-end personal photo products side, you can have your photos printed on window blinds for around $200 or made into a four-panel screen for around $1000, depending on the exchange rate for the British pound. (Go to www.bagsoflove.com.uk for more info.)
You can find all of the photo products I’ve mentioned by doing a search for the products online. Prices can vary quite a bit, so shop around.
Taking Memorable Photos of Children By Nancy Hill Children are a favorite subject for many photographers. Advertisers know a photo of an adorable child will grab people’s attention. Fundraisers know an image of a sick, ...