Captured by Cat│ISQ Christmas Fair 2016
On Saturday morning we attended the ISQ Christmas Fair. This is an annual event hosted and put together by the International School of Qingdao (ISQ). You might remember us mentioning this school on this blog in previous posts.
In 2014 we attended this fair for the first time, and we had a family picture taken with Santa (you can see that HERE). In 2015 I decided to have my own stand. Since everyone had been encouraging me to make and sell homemade crafts, I gave that a shot. It was a great experience, but I can’t adequately describe just how much work it involved! I had hoped to make a small ongoing business out of it, but after Christmas the orders were few and far in-between. It definitely didn’t seem like there was much market over here, so I decided not to do the craft table this year.
Putting myself out there…
About a month ago I decided to start promoting myself as a photographer. My closest friends and family have been encouraging me to do this FOR AGES! To be honest, I just didn’t think that I was good enough to offer this service. As I mentioned in another post, I thought that I needed to get to a certain level and then advertise myself. I guess that I was wrong about my abilities because once I put myself out there, the photo shoot requests started rolling in!! I was completely surprised by how many people started messaging and asking to book photo shoots.
There was therefore no doubt that I should have a photography table at the Christmas Fair this year. Although I have had many bookings already, I knew that there would be many more people at the fair. I printed some of my favorite pictures and put many more on a slideshow on our iPad. I decorated my table with small frames, and then placed a big one on the table too – with me sitting behind it. People thought that was really clever, and a few asked to come behind my table and get a picture taken with me inside the frame. haha
In order to generate some extra interest, I made a sign up sheet where people left their details and added me on We Chat. We Chat is like a lifeline in China! I offered a lucky draw for all those that entered. Later this week I will draw one of those names and they will win a free photo shoot. I also donated a photo shoot to the ISQ RAFFLE – a hugely anticipated annual event at the Christmas Fair. It was awesome seeing my logo up on the wall when they announced the prizes.
<< My logo
This year was much more relaxing that last year, and I think that this was a better business choice for me. I would still love to make and sell crafts, but I would have to work on promoting individual items that I can make. It is a lot more work to do that, but I do thoroughly enjoy making things with my hands. Photography, on the other hand, is something that people always want. I am so happy that I am getting my name out there. This is a really big step for me, and I feel so grateful for how people in Qingdao have responded.
We took video footage at the ISQ Fair, and I hope to have that Youtube video made by this afternoon (or maybe tomorrow).
If you haven’t figured it out yet, my photography business is called “CAPTURED by Cat” and there is a tab on the top of this blog which directs you to all of my shoots. Look at the top bar, and then the tab to right hand side…
Look out for the video update on the ISQ Fair… coming soon!