Return on Investment of a Wisely Purchased Prop

by Debi Gomez, Marketing and Props for Photographers

I was chatting with a friend the other day, lamenting about how props for the studio can cost SOOOO much, when she said something to me that stuck!  “That’s true, but how much money did you make with that prop?”

I sat and thought…  and realized that {wisely purchased} props are an investment into my business, into my bottom line.

Recently,  I wrote an article on using props to market and grow your business – “Use Props to Differentiate Your Business!”
In that article I share my journey into using props to attract clients and increase sales and started offering props to other photographers to do the same.

Now we take a minute to analyze ONE particular prop purchase and its Return On Investment.

I’ve purchased props that are still in the box or that went directly into a garage sale, so not every prop purchase has been “wise”.  But to show how a prop that’s been thoughtfully purchased with a purpose in mind can have a huge return, we are analyzing a prop that has become my prized possession {and the one whose cost I was complaining about!}.

I talk in my previous article about how this particular prop actually gets me clients and is a highly requested item.  It’s a baby swing (hammock, net, thingymabobber, basket,  who knows what it’s really called).  It cost about $70.  That investment was a hard pill to swallow for knotted yarn - especially now that I am realizing I need to buy 2 more.

©2010 Life's Images Photography, Baby Swing - by Huggabeans Crochet

I count at least 30 newborns that I’ve wrangled into it, all at the request of parents who ask for “that net thing” – resulting in at least $1500 in sales of various newborn babies in a net.  I credit a minimum of 5 newborn sessions directly to “the net” as I was told as soon as they saw that picture they wanted to hire me – we’ll count that as $4000 in sales.  Who knows how many other clients were seduced by the “baby in a net”.  I am counting only the ones that said this was THE reason they called me.

So this one $70 purchase has made me over $5500.  That’s an acceptable return for me!

Next time you are contemplating that oh-so-gorgeous prop, treat that decision like you would any other investment into your business!

See more of Debi’s portrait work at
and her antique replica wooden bowl props for photographers at Marketing and Props for Photographers