by Julie Hughes Published 01/08/2004
As a small town, family-owned photography studio, one of our main interests is to drum up new and excited clients, as well as offer new services for the clients we already have. We have a large kids-friendly studio that sometimes sits empty during the week, and on the occasional Saturday. We thought that having tea parties and birthday parties was a great idea. We had no clue what a great concept this would turn out to be. Absolutely fantastic sales, and so much fun!
I have been collecting adorable clothes and teapots in a whimsical area of the studio we call "The prop room." These things I find in consignment stores, goodwill, and online on EBAY. Try punching in key words like Children's Vintage, teapots, costumes, wings, etc., and you will be amazed at what pops up.
Most things on EBAY are very reasonable, and you can start building your collection like that. Even yard sales, and auctions can yield fun props. Look for child-sized furniture as well.
I buy very few "props" for photographers because of the tremendous expense. Our business was always run on a shoestring, and until just the last few years, we were often pinched for funds to buy things like props. At the end of this article I will supply you with the basics needed for a successful party.
How we got started was to send fun post cards to my entire database saying "It's My Party" with some fun dress-up images, and a picture of a tea party I had already taken for a client. We also now have a Yellow-Book advert, but once you get started, word of mouth will carry for you. Remember the kids are going to spread the word, so make sure it's incredible FUN!!!
Don't fret over the mess they make because with the average sale in the thousands of dollars for two hours of mayhem, you will be rewarded for your hard work and patience.
When you first make the reservations with the mum over the phone, do not conceal your enthusiasm. Get very excited for her, asking lots of questions about favourite foods, colours, games, toys, cartoon characters, stuffed animals, best friends, etc. Also make a careful note of dislikes and food allergies.
Let Mum know there are usually lots of sugar, and check if she has objections to sweets. Take lots of notes because these will come in so handy in making a party for your young Diva.
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