(Image Copyright Brooke Shaden) Starting in the business of fine art photography is not easy. More than anything, there will be a lot of peaks and valleys ahead. In my Shutterbug magazine August Business Trends column, we look at how to navigate some of these issues, find clients, seek gallery representation, and market your work. Thanks to my contributing photographers: Larry Angier, Michael Garlington, Laurie Klein, RJ Muna, and Brooke Shaden, https://www.shutterbug.com/content/how-become-fine-art-photographer-full-time-tips-launching-photo-career
When I interviewed Orit Harpaz on building her family portrait business (www.oritharpaz.com) for my 5th edition Photographer’s Guide to Marketing & Self-Promotion, I was impressed with her creative use of the “retail connection” marketing concept I discuss in chapter 23. Here is an excerpt from her interview,
Orit Harpaz: Getting your phone to ring and booking the next session is always the challenge. One of the ways I acquire new clients is by working with another local business that advertises my photography in their space. I work out of my home so I don’t have the advantage of a studio space with signage and walking or driving traffic. When I first started my niche in family portraiture, I approached the owners of a business that offers children’s art and music classes as well as an indoor play space. I have framed prints hanging on their walls. During holidays, I offer “mini-portrait sessions” which they advertise to their clientele. In exchange for advertising my business, I service all their photographic needs for their own advertising. It’s a wonderful relationship with mutual benefits.
For more, check out my book and the many other success stories and interviews, https://www.amazon.com/dp/1621535479
Come and visit me on Instagram @themariapiscopo where I am re-gramming from some of the amazing photographers interviewed in my new book, the 5th edition, Photographer’s Guide to Marketing & Self-Promotion. The response has been very positive for the up-to-date coverage of marketing techniques and the thirty-seven new interviews and case studies with both consumer (wedding/portrait) and commercial photographers (lifestyle, travel, event photography), https://www.amazon.com/dp/1621535479.
I love the business and marketing of photography and all the challenges in today’s marketplace. Come and visit and share my adventure with these wonderful photographers! This post’s image features Instagram posts by @oritharpazphotos (interviewed in chapter 16) and @caeccles (interviewed in chapter 6) – enjoy!
Although everyone loves travel photography, not everyone possesses the skills to turn that passion into a viable business. For my Business Trends column posted this month on Shutterbug, we spoke with six photographers working (and making money) in the travel photography business: Joe Becker, Todd Gustafson, Blaine Harrington, Jen Pollack Bianco, and David and Lina Stock. https://www.shutterbug.com/content/how-turn-your-love-travel-photography-business-6-pros-share-tips
While previously thought of as a niche, boudoir photography is now a thriving way for photographers to make a living. Usually a gift to a loved one or one’s self, boudoir photography consists of an intimate photo of a woman or man suggestively covered or even fully nude. Although the photographers I interviewed all have different businesses, they all have one thing in common: tremendous kindness and compassion. Thanks to the following photographers for sharing how they have made their businesses a success: Mariah Carle, Lynn Clark, Lindsay Rae D’Ottavio, Megan Drane, Kristi Elias, and Mistie Simone. http://www.shutterbug.com/content/business-boudoir-how-succeed-one-photographys-fastest-growing-markets
Thank you to Therese Gietler @askaproducer for helping me (okay, nagging) me to get started on Instagram for promoting the 5th edition, Photographer’s Guide to Marketing & Self-Promotion. The response has been very positive for the up-to-date coverage of marketing techniques and the NEW thirty-seven interviews and case studies with both consumer (wedding/portrait) and commercial photographers, https://www.amazon.com/dp/1621535479
Of course, you can still find my Business Trends column in Shutterbug Magazine (May issue “Travel Photo Business” on newsstands now!)
So now, it’s time to start my own promotion and regramming of the amazing photographers interviewed in the book on @themariapiscopo, come follow me and see!
From my 5th Edition The Photographer’s Guide to Marketing and Self-Promotion check out the case study from Vonda Hussey-Klimaszewski, www.onelastmarble.com and her new book, Fulfilling the Vision: One Dallas Arts Schools Impact on the World https://fulfilling-the-vision.org/fb.html
Maria: Many of our readers start out with photography for family and friends, what is your strategy to find new senior portrait photography clients to build your business and sales?
Vonda: When I first started out I reached out to my network of friends through church, girl scouts and business acquaintances. I offered to come to speak to the PTA groups while offering special discounts to their members, and through talking with these groups I found out what special shoots that fit their needs, and I offered those to them. As the word spread I secured small private preschools, and a preforming arts high school for high school seniors; and that gave me a base of people who knew my name. Now after 8 years I have landed on high school seniors and their families as my niche. I rely on word of mouth, social media and email campaigns. The way people choose their photographers has changed and a lot in the last 8 years and word of mouth followed by regular social media and email to my current clients keeps my phone ringing. Advertising in local magazines is no longer a smart way to advertise to my clients.
Maria: What recommendations do you have for those looking at family portrait photography as a business –what are the pitfalls to avoid or opportunities to pursue?
Vonda: Pitfalls to avoid: that is a big question isn’t it? From a shooting side: Show images on your site that reflect a connection and candid moments. That is what your clients connect to when looking for a photographer. But always in the session include a traditional image as well as those more candid images. From a business side: Make sure your workflow includes some sort preview for your images that has a built in way to keep the proofing and choosing and purchasing process flowing towards a closure. I do not know how others do that. I offer a couple of proofing alternatives that allow for incentives for deposits for preview galleries. I give incentives to my clients for keeping appointments, so they get more and my assistants require fewer calls to get the sales process completed. Also offer regular mini sessions that allow families to do a small update every year. Even if they do not book a session it gives you a reason to keep in contact and it keeps you in their thoughts that time is passing and they need to come is again soon.
For more, https://www.amazon.com/dp/1621535479
Now online! Who are the clients buying outdoor and nature photography? How do you find these clients and make money? What are some of the special challenges you may encounter? In Business Trends this month we will address these questions and more with working pros Andy Biggs, Nick Simonite, Christopher Wilson, and Steven Wohlwender at http://www.shutterbug.com/content/getting-outside-work-selling-outdoor-photography-has-become-second-nature-these-pros#cR8r0pGTCS89HVog.97
What are your plans for getting more work this year? Check out Chapter 23 in my 5th Edition of The Photographer’s Guide to Marketing and Self-Promotion https://www.amazon.com/dp/1621535479 #marketingphotography for the interview with Kim Campbell, www.campbellsalgado.com, Kim Campbell: More video is one marketing trend photographers can really step into. Many of our cameras are equipped with really nice video functions. Giving a personalized, virtual tour is my next video to craft. Wall design is hot right now. Proselect Software allows you to import the photos your clients take of their own walls (or you can use generic sample walls) to show them what their portraits could look like in different arrangements. This highly custom service is really well received by our clients and sets us apart for offering uniquely cool tools to our clients. Developing more products for our family clients including customized smart phone/tablet apps (like Sticky Albums) is something we are gearing up for in the future.
Are you interested in a better business for 2017? Getting paid what you want for your assignments? Check out Chapter 13 in my 5th Edition of The Photographer’s Guide to Marketing and Self-Promotion https://www.amazon.com/dp/