Case Study Photography Success Series

How Calendars Launched My Dream Photography Business

Ever dream of turning your photography passion into a thriving business?

Picture this: you’re Holly, a busy mom of four seeking a creative outlet. Little did you know that snapping photos of your local covered bridges would turn into a thriving business. Today, your Off The Square Artisans Covered Bridge Calendars are a Parke County staple, but it all started with a passion for photography and the right printing partner. Now, let’s unfold the story.

A Passion Project Takes Shape

For Holly, photography began as a way to unwind amidst the whirlwind of motherhood. “I started photography as a way to have some time to myself when my kids were little.” She lives near Parke County, Indiana – home of 31 covered bridges and the Parke County Covered Bridge Festival. The allure of these covered bridges soon captivated her lens. “They became my playground,” she recalls. “I just loved capturing their unique beauty.”

As she shared her work at local events, her photos resonated with the community. Holly realized her hobby had the potential for something more. Inspired, she opened Off The Square Artisans, a shop celebrating local artists, with her bridge photography taking center stage. “Approximately 3 years ago, I opened my store that is now home to over 40 different artists. Everything in the shop is handcrafted, and includes all of my photography.”

The Calendar that Launched a Photography Business

“The calendars were born from the idea of sharing the bridges all year round and became a cornerstone of my growing photography business.” Holly explains. “With a camera and a love for the bridges, I began a side project that had minimal startup costs.” Parke County is known all over the world for the festival and receives over 1 million visitors in 10 days! Part of Holly’s target audience is anyone who visits the festival. Holly just needed a way to expand this vision to an audience outside of this magic sector.

That’s where PrintingCenterUSA stepped in. “Their affordable pricing and quality allowed me to start without a huge investment,” she says. More importantly, the user-friendly templates made calendar design a breeze for someone without a tech background.

From Side Hustle to Community Staple

The calendars were more than just a product – they became a powerful marketing tool driving new customers to her shop and fueling her photography business growth. “Tourists seek them out, locals anticipate them – my calendars have become interwoven with the Parke County experience,” says Holly. “The calendars brought in new faces to my store, who then discovered all the other fantastic handcrafted items,” Holly reveals.

From Hobbyist to Business Owner

Holly never imagined this hobby would become a profitable sideline. But partnering with PrintingCenterUSA made it seamless. “Their user-friendly design tools and quality printing gave me the confidence to turn my photos into a product people loved. Now, my calendars drive traffic to my shop and my business continues to grow!”

Holly has also expanded into selling the calendars to the Parke County Visitor Center. Holly shares, “Parke County Visitor Center prefers to sell my calendars over other options, they prefer the quality of her photography and the printing.”

Holly is currently in the beginning process of making a photography book of the Parke County Covered Bridges. This book will include images of the bridges and also (I hope) people’s memories of the bridges.

Actionable Marketing Tips for Selling Photography Calendars

While Holly’s story is inspiring, building a successful calendar business takes more than just beautiful photos. Here are some key marketing tips for hobbyist photographers looking to turn their passion into a profitable venture:

  • Find Your Niche: What makes your calendar special? Focus on a specific theme, location, or photographic style to stand out. (Example: Holly’s focus on covered bridges)
  • Identify Your Audience: Who is most likely to buy your calendars? Consider their interests, demographics, and where they might shop.
  • Price Strategically: Research similar calendars to find a price point that balances affordability with reflecting the value of your work.
  • Promote, Promote, Promote! Utilize social media, your website (if you have one), local events, and partnerships with relevant businesses to get your calendars in front of potential customers.
  • Offer Pre-Orders: Gauge interest and generate early sales by offering pre-orders before your calendars are printed.
  • A Tip from Holly: “I post my new images on Facebook and Instagram regularly. All of my photography is displayed at my shop, which I also post on Facebook. Facebook brings the most success.”

The PrintingCenterUSA Advantage

For Holly, PrintingCenterUSA has been more than just a printer, they’ve been a business partner. “Even though I’m not tech-savvy, their templates made calendar creation a breeze,” she explains. “They’ve been there every step of the way, ensuring my product is top-notch year after year.” “Their affordable pricing, user-friendly design tools, and quality products helped lower the barrier to entry for starting my photography business.”

Do you have a passion project with photography business potential? Like Holly, you could transform your creative spark into a successful venture. PrintingCenterUSA can help you make it happen! Visit us today to start bringing your ideas to life.

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