Monday, 29 June 2015

How To Make A Rag Banner Garland Photography Prop

Rag banners add a shabby decorative element to photo sessions.

You can use fabric of any colours to match your theme - and they are so easy to make!

You will need

At least 1 metre of cotton fabric  (cheap bedding sheets from a charity shop or boot sale are perfect!)
Length of twine as long as you want your banner to be

Step One

Measure how low you want your pieces of fabric to be from the twine downwards - then double it.  This is how long you need to make your piece of fabric. 

Step Two

Fold your fabric in half, then with your scissors, snip a cut on the fold however wide you want each of your strips to be.  You don't have to be too precise, the more random you can make them, the shabbier your banner will look.

Step Three

Get ripping!  Rip from the snip on the fold to the bottom of the fabric.
Because you've used cotton fabric, you will get lots of lovely fraying to each piece from the ripping.

Step Four

Place your folded strip behind the twine, then bring each end of the strip through the front of the loop.
This will create a knot that you can slide along the twine

Step Five

Repeat until you have enough fabric on your garland as you require.  You can easily space your strips along the twine to make it fuller or wider

Step Six

Happy shooting!

If you make a rag banner garland after reading my tutorial, I would love to see your images of it in use!  Post to my facebook page here 

Mini Sessions Are Not Just For Christmas!

Most photography studios will run some kind of "mini session" in the lead up to Christmas.

You know the kind of thing - happy children in Santa hats with fake presents in front of a printed backdrop of a cosy fireplace or something as equally festive.

And most photographers will tell you that they are a great way to see a hike in income for their studio.

But why should mini sessions just be reserved for Christmas themes?

With my printed theme sets, why not run a mini session one month for football fanatics?  I'm sure lots of little boys would love to have their photo taken proudly wearing their favourite team's football strip.

Or how about a teddy bear's picnic session for small toddlers?  Maybe contact some local toddler or playgroups and ask about setting up a mini studio?

Mini sessions are a fantastic way to get people through your studio door that perhaps normally wouldn't have considered booking a photoshoot.

Yes, you may have to offer your services at a lower price than you would normally charge, but mini sessions are a great way to meet people, show them how you work, let them see your studio and keep your name in the forefront of their minds.

So how do you price a mini session?

Start off by calculating your costs

1) Backdrop expense (example = £60)
2) any other props (example = £40)

Costs before you start = £100

Then decide how much minumum you want to earn from each client = £25 per mini session

Based on these figures, you will need to have a minimum of 4 timeslots booked before you recover your costs.  But any bookings after that will be money in your pocket.

Decide what your clients will receive from their mini session - will it be a single print or a gallery of images to choose from?

Be clear with what's on offer - don't make it too complicated or give people too much to read on first sight of your offer.

Make your timeslots mini!  10 minutes in front of the camera should give you plenty of time to get together a gallery of approximately 10 images.  Give yourself 5 minutes on top of this to allow for any reluctant children, or late arrivals, and then another 5 minutes to allow yourself a tea / loo break between shoots.  Working on those timings, you will be shooting approx three setups per hour - that's your outgoing costs made in the first hour and a half.

What can you do after the mini session?

  • You could give your mini-session clients an incentive to come back to your studio again for a fully priced photoshoot.  Offer them a discount if they book a full session at the end of their mini session timeslot.
  • As a thank you for visiting your studio for their mini session, offer them a referral discount - if they refer your studio to any of their friends who subsequently book, tell them they can have their next mini session with you for free.
Remember, getting people through your studio door is one of the hardest parts of running a business, so once you've succeeded, make the most of it to develop a relationship with them and turn them into regular clients who are so delighted with your service that they talk about you to all their friends.

Mini sessions are a great way of appealing to new clients without too much of a financial or time investment on your part.

All of my backdrop designs and theme sets can be viewed in my facebook album here  and can be ordered online here