(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
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
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/
Though I have worked with hundreds of creative professionals in my career, only a handful have their work reverently displayed in my happy place, the reading corner of my home library. Next to the fireplace and placed on the floor-to-ceiling bookshelves my dad built for me is one of my favorite images from Chris Winton-Stahle. We worked together on many projects including my 5th Edition Photographer’s Guide to Marketing and I miss him every day. With the 5th Edition book release due in 2 weeks, I would like to dedicate this project in memory of Christopher and in honor of Heidi and Liam. https://www.gofundme.com/supporting-heidi-liam?r=17760
It’s almost here! Long time labor of love…check out my new 5th Edition of Photographer’s Guide to Marketing & Self-Promotion and available for pre-order! I am very excited about the up-to-date coverage of social media and marketing techniques and the thirty-seven interviews and new case studies with both consumer (wedding/portrait) and commercial photographers and photo reps. https://www.amazon.com/dp/1621535479
Visit this month’s online Business Trends column for an educational and inspirational interview with six successful portrait photographers. Their subjects include toddlers, high school seniors, corporate executives, goatherds (not kidding!) http://www.shutterbug.com/content/turning-portraits-profits-how-run-portrait-photography-business#bepifKCrYU8tdg6D.97. Special thanks to our contributing photographers: Rick Dahms, Omayra Espino-Vázquez, Robert Houser, David Neff, Sara Press, and Michael Schmitt
Back from Summer Break and I have a new product announcement! Luke Copping was one of my featured photographers last year for my Business Trends column (he made the April issue cover!) and now he, Shauna Haider (of We Are Branch and The Nubby Twiglet Blog and Paul Jarvis (former writer for Lifehacker, Forbes, and Fast Company) have just launched a new workflow tool for emerging commercial photographers called Project Prescription.
From Luke, “Developed by a team of photographers and designers with a combined 40 years of experience in the business, this set of digital documents, checklists and processes enables photographers to streamline their workflow with a ‘tried-and-true’ blueprint for landing, handling, and pleasing clients from start to finish. Offering a comprehensive workflow system and customizable documents for photographers, Project Prescription eliminates much of the guesswork that comes with incorporating sound business practices for photographers. The package will be especially useful to young and emerging photographers, those transitioning from journalism staff positions to the freelance world, and to those moving from consumer to commercial-based markets.”
Yes – We are still on Summer Break and I am working on my next book so for now DO get to nearest newsstand and get your copy of September issue of @shutterbugmag and check out my Business Trends article on “Turning Portraits into Profits”. Special thanks to our contributing photographers: Rick Dahms, Omayra Espino-Vázquez, Robert Houser, David Neff, Sara Press, and Michael Schmitt – you are all my heroes! Don’t miss the portrait photo assignment “war stories” they have to tell – love it!