Photographers do well doing good

Photographers can still participate in the fourth National Family Portrait Month (NFPM), a charity event which aims to raise $20,000 for the Make-A-Wish foundation by photographing families.
NFPM is a simple national fundraising effort by photographers, with all money raised going to the charity. Beyond the primary goal of raising funds for charity, the event attempts to prove the value of a professional photography session.

Family portrait photographers contribute a $250 participation fee, and are placed on a list based on their location. Families then pay $51 for a photo shoot, select a photographer from the list and arrange a time to conduct the shoot between July and October.

The theme is ‘A Mothers and her Children’, with a portrait from each shoot ending up in a photo book. The money generated from photo shoots and participation fees is donated to Make-A-Wish.

NFPM organiser, Bernie Griffiths – a photography business coach with decades of experience – told ProCounter that last year was the best year so far for the intitiative and he was hoping to go one better this year.
Over 500 photography sessions were booked in 2017, raising upwards of $30,000 for mental health non-profit charity, Beyondblue.

The event hinges on photographers promoting to their audience, or local media, with Bernie assisting them behind the scenes.

‘I coach the photographers throughout the event. I do it via a closed group, providing sample e-mails, Facebook ads, posters they can design and distribute, how to approach local newspapers or write a media release – to maximise their effectiveness and sales,’ Bernie said.

So far NFPM has just over 30 photographers covering all Australian capital cities except Darwin, and for the first time the event has a presence in New Zealand. It has received 12 bookings – things are off to a good start.

Photographers are welcome to generate additional sales for themselves if they wish, or if the client wants to take advantage of the session. Bernie suggests they use the same processes and prices.

‘The theme is a mother and her children, but the photographer can suggest to bring dad in for a few extra family photos,’ he said. ‘If they want to invite the family back with the opportunity of purchasing photos, it’s up to them.

‘The return depends on a few things. It depends firstly on the photography. If the photographer’s work is really good and they’re well established, like a master photographer or owner of a nice studio, and they treat clients professionally, they tend to benefit the most. One photographer did 39 sessions from this promotion last year.’

Photographers may find that done right, the initiative lifts their business profile, through media exposure or word-of-mouth marketing.

Photographers can still participate, either through the website or by e-mailing Bernie.

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