Offering Photo Sale

Got some skills in photography?  Have a nice camera gathering dust on your office desk?  Maybe it's time to bust it out and practice your technique, make a little money, and build a nice portfolio all at the same time.  And yep, you guessed it -- all on garage sale weekend!  In this first part of two on how to make money selling your photography skills at your garage sale, you'll read up on some techniques and tips on putting together a great experience for yourself and your customers.

Taking a picture with a traditional camera

Traditional film that must be dropped off and developed is a dying medium.  On one hand, this is unfortunate; the rich, real images it provides are soon to be lost to the dusty shelves of time.  On the other hand, the convenience offered by digital photographs is too much to ignore.  A high-quality digital camera will take pictures so large that it would take a billboard-sized print to tell that the image is made up of pixels.  Besides, the ability to forward great shots to a relative in another state, without having to deal with the cost and processing time of developing and sending physical photographs, is a great appeal to the busy world of today.  Unless you think you can offer an appealing novelty by taking traditional photographs, you're not going to run into many garage sale customers who want to spend time and money developing film.  Digital is best for this venture.

However, not every run-of-the-mill digital camera is going to produce a product worth paying for.  Point-and-shoot cameras have dropped so much in price and gone up so much in quality that if that's all you have to offer, you might as well be trying to tie their shoe for a price.  This is only a good venture if you've got a camera few people have the money or reason to own -- such as a digital SLR, a type of camera that allows depth of field.  (This is that effect where the background is blurred and the subject in the foreground is not, implying that the object is 3D and has some depth to it.)

Pull together a few good props so that people lacking in creativity (or their own props) can still find something to please them.  Some hats, some shiny objects, some attractive fabric scraps, a stool, and maybe some fun stuffed animals or toys are all good ideas for props.  You can set just about anyone up on a stool and hand them something to hold, and get a few good shots out of it.

Kids and pets require some special techniques.  Neither tend to hold still in just the way you'd like them to, so make sure you've got your camera's shutter speed turned up to allow some motion.  Give them a little room to squirm, and you'll end up with much more endearing shots than if you force them to stay in one place, where their pose will look forced and strained.  Encourage a parent or owner to step into the photograph too, giving the child or animal something to be distracted by instead of coming over to investigate you, the one with the shiny camera!

If you need some tips for how to take great photographs, try visiting one of these fine Web sites:

Take into consideration, before you finalize your ideas for a photography booth, whether or not you can have someone else running the sales table while you take pictures.  You don't want to have your eye up to the camera, distracted, as someone snatches your money box and disappears!

Check back soon for part two of this two-part series, where you can find out how to deal with any legal issues, offer your customers special deals, and send them on their way happy.  And as always, be sure to check out for more great features we offer for free!

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