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Ever wonder why you see so many paparazzi surrounding each and every celebrity that roams the streets? If you think it is only because they want a glimpse of their favorite stars then you might be surprised. The truth is that taking pictures of celebrities is big business. Being at the right place at the right time can mean capturing an image that can be sold for thousands of dollars. But before you head off with your camera to try and cash-in on this growing market, read these helpful tips to get started on the right foot.
Get the Right Shot
Of course you will probably be happy with your first capture of a celebrity in action, but not every picture will command big bucks. First off, get creative. Don’t follow the crowd or else you will have the same shot that everyone else is trying to sell. Next, always remember to capture their face in the shot (this is easier than it sounds). You should also make sure your subject is clearly centered, in focus, and free from background distractions. Finally, you need to obey the law. You can only take pictures of stars in public places. This means you can’t pretend to be a customer or employee of the hotel or restaurant they are at, but you can catch them outside of these locations.
Once you have your winning picture it is time to take to take it the marketplace. Since you are just starting out you will have to work hard to meet contacts from the major media outlets. Send emails to the editors at the big magazines and newspapers. Include a watermarked attachment of your image to verify your authenticity. If you don’t have success with print editors, then turn to the most popular celebrity blogs and websites. You won’t get as much money, but at least you can start building your reputation. If all else fails, sell your image to another photographer who can resell it through his established contacts.
Build Your Business
The hardest part of selling celebrity photos is finding the best spots to shoot and making the right contacts. Start taking notes of every place you find success capturing the stars at play. Build this into a route that you can drive each day looking for activity. Don’t be afraid to sell your pictures cheap at first. Once you begin to consistently capture desirable images, you will build a solid reputation in the field. This will give you access to the top-level editors and the biggest payouts. Remember to keep pushing your products no matter how many times you hear “no”. You simply never know when an editor will come around and decide they want access to your shot.
Selling celebrity photographs can be an exciting and lucrative career for the adventurous photographer. But breaking into this niche business requires an entrepreneurial mindset. You have to find a way to get the shots that no one else has access to. Once you begin to find some success, your contact list will grow and you will have multiple options for selling your work.
The key to this business is persistence and consistency. Don’t knock on the doors of publishers until you know you have a quality image. More importantly, don’t give up when you get turned away the first few times. Keep working towards your goal and eventually the money will follow.