In 2015 I became a professional photographer, and as glamorous as that sounds, it was, and still is a very frightening prospect to think that you have to support yourself and your family with income earned from your camera.
In the run up to Christmas 2015 I decided to produce a Calendar of my much loved home town, Whitby in Yorkshire. I had them produced at a local printing firm in Whitby. They did an excellent job for me and I managed to sell about 400 Calendars in a period of about a month.
In Spring of 2016 I was contacted by Jason Cornish of The Photographers Calendar Scheme. He explained the scheme to me, and the prices seemed excellent. In fact if I ordered enough Calendars I could get them at roughly half the price I had paid locally the previous year.
Jason sent out some samples in the post and I was massively impressed with what I received. Jason also told me that part of belonging to the scheme meant that if I took on Whitby, then he could Garuntee that he would not let a second Photographer onto the scheme covering the same town.
I made my order of almost 1000 Calendars, of 3 separate designs. One being Whitby, the Second Robin Hoods Bay and the third was for a corporate Calendar I produced. Ordering such an amount meant I got them at a fantastic price. When they arrived I unpacked them and was massively pleased with the quality. They were a significant jump forward from what I had produced the year before, and at half the price.
A lot of the big sellers in the Calendar Scheme sell to retailers who then sell on their calendars. Although I was happy to do some of this, I was also confident in my ability to sell a lot direct to the public, meaning 100% of the profit would come to me.
I have a significant presence on Social Media and I’m also Savvy in Social Media Advertising. This gave me the confidence to use this channel and my website as my main sales area. It does take a massive amount of hard work to sell online, but I was confident I could do well. I also sold on Ebay and Amazon. A Member of the scheme suggested Amazon to me and I was pleasantly surprised at the rate of sales there for very very little effort at all.
I did however recruit 3 retailers in Whitby who I sold to. I also have very good relationships with some local businesses in the town who stocked the Calendars for me and took no commission at all from them. There really are some very nice people where I live.
Receiving the Calendars in July, Initially Sales were slow, but By December I had totally sold out. I was very happy with the money I had made and was going to call it a day for 2016. However Jason told me I could have more and he could ship them out within days to me. Once again i was hugely impressed by the service he offered, and as promised, more Calendars arrived prompt and on time.
Although Im not entirely certain how many I sold in the end, I imagine it was well in excess of 1000. In 2017 I aim to better this number. My hope is to produce at least 4 Calendars and to build on last years success.
Jason also sells corporate Calendars and has purchased images from my Stock library to use within them for his customers. Thats a nice added bonus for me, as every penny counts when your trying to earn your living with a camera.
Joining the scheme has been a great success for me. Not only do you get the Calendars, but you also get access to a social media group filled with the members of the scheme. Its a great place to throw around ideas, and I can honestly say that some of the help Ive received in the group has helped me sell a lot more calendars than i would have done without the group.
In Summary, the scheme is excellent. The product is excellent and comes at a very good price giving you the marhins that make it a worthwhile investment of your time and money.