This is a huge deal for both photographers and businesses, especially small local businesses around the photographer’s home base. Now this does not mean you as a business can or should take advantage of a photographer looking to partner up.

There are tons of reasons why both a business and photographer should team up. Its similar to how bartering works, if all parties involved agree to terms it can work out well for everyone. Such as Photographer provides X number of images or shoots for something in return, such as it could easily be from property used for like a studio space, or advertising space. It can be anything. If a photographer comes to you, a business owner, usually the photographer has a need and they see as that need to being fulfilled by a partnership with that business owner.

Sometimes its not things, or access, sometimes its an endorsement where they like and use your product and then endorsing it would help you and them work together in making some money together.

Cross Promotion

Another option to keep in mind is cross promotion, such as if you’re a salon business owner and I’m a photographer its generally a perfect opportunity to work together to do many cross promotions.

Here’s a few different scenarios when its generally appropriate to do cross promotion with a photographer, but keep in mind the foundation. The foundation is common ground of the same target audiences, but not be competitors for that target audience. So working cross promotion with another photographer will not work unless one photographer only does X, Y and Z, and the other photographer does A, B and C with no relation in genres and types of clients.

Now the actual definition is a little different, depending how you interpret it.

Definition of Cross Promotion “the cooperative marketing by two or more companies of one another’s products.”

Now I interpret that as many different things, of course making 1 product together is one, but another is working together on an advertising campaign is another as well.

  • Working with Performing Arts Theaters can work for such as headshot photographers targeting actors.
    • How you may ask? Well a little more complex than working together to make 1 promotional deal for both parties. It’s where the theater can give an item away (like tickets to a show) to the photographer’s already built audiences/client base, etc. or start a giveaway advertising campaign on the photographer’s side, it’s different and fresh audience to the Performing Arts Theater (as well share the giveaway to the Performing Arts Theater’s client base). While in exchange the Performing Arts Theater would give access to either advertising space at their location to actors to see or literally giving promotional pieces to their actors, or many other options.
  • Working with a Flower Shop can work for such as Boudoir/Glamour photographers. Depending on the type of clientele and target audience of course this can work if the audiences do match, or if the flower shop owner is willing to try to appeal for similar clientele and work together making a cross promotional advertisement for Valentine specials, such as targeting men who want to buy a Boudoir session for their other half, an option is buy this session get a dozen flowers 20% off or giveaway 1 rose with every session booked, etc… tons of different ideas can be generated for flower shops working with photographers.

Working in cross promotion together can get tricky if both do not value each other equally, or do not see the cross promotion campaign as equally beneficial. As well working with a artistic photographer it can possibly become personal if you insult the photographer’s perceived value. So negotiate very carefully with artists.

What to offer to a photographer?

This is a general good list of what we, a photographer, would like in return as an offer for exchanging/bartering our services.

  1. Property Access: Such as if you got a property we need access to or you want to offer it, generally we would always love to use it. Just keep in mind we’d need a property release from the property/land owner(s).
  2. Advertising Space: Such as literal advertising space on your property, such as if you run a storefront business windows or walls for posters, or around the shop with stand displays, or if you run a publication (newspaper, magazine, etc.) offer it up.
  3. Service: Such as if we, the photographer, needs X, Y, or Z service offer it. Let’s say our photography services that you need will cost $2,000, and the photographer needs product or/and services in exchange bartering can work here, or working out a deal like both sides discount whatever is possible to come to terms.
  4. Products: Other than endorsements, sending products to keep or as a loan can be very beneficial for both. Generally this option is used for the photographer to talk about the product sent to them, not as an endorsement because that generally is where the photographer likes and promotes the product in exchange for USD and other forms of exchange. This part can be used for product reviews where it can go either way, positive or negative. This is generally more used by the photography industry selling goods/services to photographers so it is needed a photographer to talk about the product.

Keep in mind a big warning though. It must be of equal or more value when making any offers. If you offer advertising space but your foot traffic of the photographer’s target market is little to none, or not up to par to what the photographer wants/needs they decline this or ask for additional offers to stack onto this offer to equal the value they’re offering. And note if you low ball (under value) a serious artistic type of photographer they will generally take it personal.

What can a photographer provide to a business?

This is a general good list of what we, a photographer, wouldn’t mind offering to exchange for exchanging/bartering our services. Now its obvious its our services as a photographer is not only photography many times, we can offer other stuff too, and here they are.

  1. Photography (I know obvious): This cost can largely vary to genre, size of production, needs/wants, etc. Depending on which photographer it can be from $250 to thousands of dollars of value. This can vary largely as for delivery, and dependent on the photographer’s business model.
  2. Products: Such as I took a photograph of something you’d love to display in your business office or storefront. I can produce this product at cost in exchange for what I’d like. Note sometimes this may be a temporary thing too, as we all know photography can sometimes go stale if its the same for years and years on display.

Teaming up with multiple photographers… is it ok?

I say it is… but only if the genres are different (if you’re a private for-profit company). Like for instance, I’m a portrait editorial/headshot photographer. I shoot primarily for cash flow currently are headshots, and plans on my non-commercial photography senior portraits strictly. So if you got an wedding/event photographer (strictly specialized in that) I’d be okay with that, and hopefully they are too. As long as everyone is communicating before hand, its ok. But any time if that changes and we’re competitors in the marketplace then its time to one or the other is your option, can’t have partners competing for the same clients with the same partner. But disregard this if its for non-profit/charity work, obviously most people will look past it for the goodness in their hearts generally and offer services/products for them even if they’re competing with another in the same marketplace.

Next post in this blog series 02/15/16: Choosing a type of photography to help tell your brand’s story and sending your campaign message concisely.