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Here are five tips to marketing your portrait photography business. When you are trying to reach an audience, it is important to know who you are talking to. I listed all the qualities that this client would possess.

For me, most of my business was portraits of children and families, so my list would include things like: Once I made a list of who my dream client was, it was easier for me to make decisions on the voice our company would have to attract those clients. I was able to take a look at other retail companies or stores where this client would shop, and take a look at the sort of messaging those companies were using to attract their clients and see what sort of trends were popular in the marketplace.

One of the goals of marketing a business is creating buzz…. I wanted everyone in my community to be buzzing about my business, so I set out to become not only a company with a great product and a stellar experience but also a company that gave back to the community. When all things are equal and there is an abundance of competition, people want to do business with people they like and who they believe are giving back and doing good things in their community.

I started to get involved with our local chamber of commerce by photographing headshots of chamber members and any fundraising activities the chamber was running. I became involved with local charities, photographing fundraising events and donating auction items to raise money for causes close to our hearts. All of these efforts were a donation of my time and my photography, but beyond being fulfilling on a personal level, it was great networking and created goodwill and great buzz in my area.

Of course, in the beginning, that circle will be small, but you can increase it over time. I started with a list of just 25 people that I thought were the perfect clients for me. These people were friends and family, members of the local community, other business owners, etc.

1. Know Your Client

I made an offer to my original sphere to try out my photo experience in exchange for 25 names they felt may also like what I did. I photographed the original 25 clients, created a custom invitation to their list using the images from their sessions, and immediately expanded my sphere list to over qualified customers. Over my 10 years as a portrait studio, this was one of my most effective campaigns and I would bring it back from time to time to widen my client sphere from time to time. As you learn, you will make mistakes, but it is how you deal with those mistakes, how you learn from them, and how you push through the fear that will be the impetus for your success.

How a Bad Client Consultation Changed My Portrait Photography Business

Here is a list of my toughest fears to push through as a professional starting a photography business, and how I deal with them. When you begin to think about starting a business the scariest question is whether your work and your abilities are good enough. You may have heard you are talented or that you have a gift for image making, but the reality is that being a good photographer is based on your experience and the amount of effort, thought, and study that you put into your work.

Anyone can take a good photograph, but professionals learn to do it day in and day out in a variety of circumstances. If you are starting out, no matter how good you are, you will have a lot to learn. It is important to know this. Spend time researching people who do the type of work that you want to do and figure out how they do it.

Read about photography and settings and situations. Go into the job with a plan. If you are an introvert like me, interacting with subjects to get them in the right mindset will make you nervous. If you treat your image making like this and put the work into it, even if you are not currently ready, you will be soon. The more prepared you are, the more confident you will be when going into jobs and marketing yourself.

All of the information is out there for you to prepare yourself, it is just a matter of doing it. Everyone had to start from somewhere and it is the prepared and thoughtful photographers who ultimately become successful. Pricing is an artform based on experience.


  1. 1. Is my work good enough? What if I’m not experienced enough for a job??
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  3. 5 Fears to Overcome When Starting a Photography Business.
  4. At first it can be scary because you will not have any experience with it. Also, if you are not confident in your work or your ability, then how can you be confident in pricing your work? If you are entering the professional world you have to understand that you are starting a business.

    GROW your photography business FAST! - Tips

    You need a business plan. You have to charge enough to make a living. If you are making the commitment to do this, even if you are not fully comfortable yet, you still have to make a living. Create a pricing structure based on this and raise your prices as you become more experienced.

    Some jobs you will lose because you are too expensive. Do not let these people affect your opinion of what you charge. Other customers will pass you by because you are not expensive enough! Some jobs will be much easier than others but always plan for the worst. They would not want to risk hiring the cheaper photographer for the most important day of their lives. Also, if people tell you your prices are too high, educate them on why you charge what you do.

    Many people who hire you will not understand photography. That is so, so far from the truth. Explain what you will be doing for them, the time and knowledge that goes into the job, and why it is priced where it is. Some people will understand, be happy that you explained it to them, and will then hire you.

    Turning Portraits Into Profits: How to Run a Portrait Photography Business | Shutterbug

    Do not be afraid to lose a job because of price. That will inevitably happen and it should not dictate your pricing strategy. This one scares the heck out of me. What if something breaks while I am on a shoot? If you are creating a photography business, you need to have backups in place.

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    A photographer plans based on contingencies. This is not only a vital business practice, but very important for your peace of mind and confidence. Have an organized system for your equipment and bags and a consistent way of packing them for jobs. Have a backup of everything. If you do the same job regularly, then it is worth it to purchase two of everything that you use regularly.

    You can consider renting equipment for jobs that you do not do as frequently. This became a huge problem, especially with the difficult clients who kept changing the job parameters and asking for more. This mistake cost me a lot of time and ultimately money. Your time is valuable and certain jobs, particularly when you are starting, will not be worth your time. If you are starting a photography business you need to build up a steady stream of clients and having one take up an inordinate amount of your time, particularly if they are not paying you well, is just not worth it.