Buff Strickland Turns a Low-Budget Shoot into a Long-Term Profit
Back in 2018, Buff Strickland shot a spacious Austin home for an interior design client. The shoot took place over the course of one day due both to a tight budget and not wanting to inconvenience the homeowner and her young child. More recently, the photographer found a way to give the shoot a second life.
I actually shot this for the interior designer originally, and the builder also ended up having me do some images for them. Then Luxe Magazine communicated with the builder about houses they were interested in publishing it. And it just sort of had this second life when Luxe came along and wanted to run it.
Buff and her client Andrea Giles worked together on the shoot — just the two of them. They planned for the shoot in a walkthrough the day before, and that’s when Buff realized what a problem the house’s many windows might pose to the shoot’s success. While Buff loved working on a house that’s so open, spacious, and beautiful, she had to find creative angles to capture the house’s interior without having it be overlit from the outside. In the end, Buff had to do a lot of this work in post-production.
Nevertheless Buff’s efforts were worth it in the end. Not only did her interior design client and the builder love the pictures, Luxe Magazine ended up buying the images as well.
From there, the shoot took on a second life — on Instagram.
Like many photographers, Buff has mixed feelings about her photos being shared on Instagram because while there is no cost to reshare a photo, the images are a freelance photographer’s source of income. Even two years later, photos from Buff’s 2018 shoot are still being reposted on Instagram and used on interior design blogs.
They always credit me, and they credit the designer. As long as I’m credited, I’m sort of just ok about it. If it were anything commercial, I wouldn’t be happy about it, but I haven’t come across that problem yet. It’s mostly just designers and people who have design blogs that repost it.
In spite of the unpaid credits, she thinks that the platform can help photographers monetize their pictures after a shoot. By tagging brands whose products are used in the images, photographers can engage with a variety of different companies and encourage the companies to buy their images.
Some of the designers I worked with were the ones that mentioned monetizing the shoots after the fact. When we would be shooting a shower or something, they’d be like let’s make sure they get this tile, because they knew the tilemaker might end up using it in brochures and on their website. There are so many opportunities with lighting and cabinet makers and so many people that make tile and fixtures. There are just so many places you could sell that work later.
As freelance photographers’ work ebbs and flows, Buff stresses the importance of being able to find new ways to profit from her work. Even low-budget shoots can result in big profits if they’re found by the right buyer.
It’s gotten a lot of Instagram love. Luxe Magazine posted the picture of the kitchen, and almost every day someone is reposting that picture. The people who make the lights in the kitchen have bought that image for use on their website. It was a good shoot for me for that reason.
Check out more of Buff’s work at buffstrickland.com.
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