confessions of the photographer – shopping centre baby photography experience

Shopping centre mobile studio

Experience of taking baby photos in a mall

As one way of making money with photography is to organise a mobile studio set up in a shopping centre for baby photos. It is a difficult task form organising to actually take the photos and it is a business with a good earning potential. Following examples form other companies already offering this kind of services, I took the decision to give it a try. It took 6 months of preparation and few thousands of dollars in getting the setting made up, approved by the shopping centre management, executed. Bookings for a available space for any temporary set up need to be made 6 months to one year in advance. Selecting which shopping centre and when is also a process with a lot of thinking behind, due to the competition travel patterns and also the most important aspect is the demographics of the area. The best choice is to select a mall in a area where there are plenty of families with small children. The selection of the location will play a heavy role in the success of the business.

Please watch the video above and let us know if you enjoy it. For any questions, feel free to drop us an email and we will be happy to answer to specific topics.

Shopping centre photography is for strong business minded photographers, not for the comfortable enthusiast making money with a camera during the spare time

Tudor Photography

 

Tudor Photography

Shopping centre- mobile studio baby photography – a photographer experience

There are many ways of generating income with a camera. A less popular and certainly a restricted one is shopping centre photography.
Taking photos in a shopping centre is way more difficult than covering a wedding or organising a relaxed family session. It takes a real business approach, long time planning, and a significant investment level.
On top of that a lot of research is necessary as it is very easy to fail.

The core difference between shopping centre photography stall and other forms is also the income potential. With a the right attitude, business skills, it can generate a decent amount of income in a short period of time, however to reach at right level may take a while

The pros for setting up a mobile studio in a shopping centre
– Thousands of mums with their kids walking by every day and they are potential buyers
– Incredible exposure not only for the shopping centre activity but other leads for your photography business
– Many sessions in one day. People respond to impulse buying and they stop and shop. Every session will attract other sessions as there is action, people will stop and queue finding what you do interesting.
– More likelihood of a sale as people are coming to the shopping centre to spend money
– Unlimited income potential if you can create a franchise system that can be sold
– Individual talent and effort of the owner photographer is no longer a pre requisite for success
– Easy performance measurement and forecast of the business aspect
– Travel around

The cons :
– Initial investment in the mobile stand, long approval process, props and equipment
– Booking fees, planning months and years in advance, lack of flexibility
– Following strict rules for the program. You need to adhere to the shopping centres hours of operations
– Strong and upfront selling skills required. In order to get notice one must stop people passing by
– One need to employ assistants to help

Having a mobile studio in a shopping centre to take baby photos is a serious business activity. The smallest decisions can make the difference between success and failure. One must plan many months in advance if not years as the shopping centres are limited and they do not accept more than one studio at one time. Also they prefer to leave some time off in between mobile studios, as the same people form the suburb are getting tired and the sales will be decreasing. The mobile studio must be an activity served in short portions, once in a while so the shopping centre regular customers do not have time to get used to it.
Also you must do your research properly in terms of locations and good times as each shopping centre has different demographics and what works in one may fail in another.

As a minimum equipment is one camera, the higher specs, the better. Already established companies already doing it will be using cheap cameras and not professional level someone might think of. Important are 3 or 4 studio lights, few stands for props for the children, and a background system.
Also one must have a proper workflow to be able to deal with the day to day sessions, entry forms, upfront payments, booking schedules when the will pick up the photos, packages options.

Even if the degree of difficulty is higher than other photography business models, mobile studio in shopping centre has a big potential for a good income due to incredible exposure and high traffic.

Having a better equipment that the current competition, has helped us to provide a real studio quality result. We have seen them using Canon 550D, but for the untrained eye, the quality seemed to be OK, however, we have used Canon 5dMark II with Canon 24-70mm L,
few samples of images below
Tudor Photography
Tudor Photography
Tudor Photography
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About Christian Tudor

professional photographer, main editor at Academy of Photography and owner and principal photographer of Tudor Photography