8 Tips to Create Fairytale Styled Child Portraits That Sell

Because I loved the magic and storytelling of child portraits, I decided to focus on that genre as a specialty. I began to focus on creating a story within my images, and I quickly realized that the more I focused on building that story by supplying the wardrobe, building a set, and focusing on a theme, the more interest I received for my sessions. This was a win-win for me! I was able to create what I wanted to for my creative soul, all the while having parents pay top dollar for it.

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What I’ve Learned in My Nearly 35-Year Career

At the start of my journey, I stumbled and made mistakes as we all do… but those mistakes were all part of a steep learning curve. For the first 10 years of my career, I exclusively did private portrait commissions. That experience was invaluable in that it taught me how to deal with children of all ages. It’s difficult at the best of times to connect with a child who considers you a stranger, and to draw out the uniqueness in each child within a very limited time puts huge extra pressure on that connection.

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Dealing With Massive Disruption in Your Photography Business

Out of nowhere, our country was hit with the largest pandemic in over 100 years. The state of California ordered nonessential businesses to shut down, all while encouraging us to maintain our staff. As we went through late March and early April, weddings on our calendar began to eviscerate. Concerned couples started postponing their weddings or canceling altogether. We were prepared for a record year, and a record year is what we are going to get. However, this is likely going to be a record low as opposed to the record high. So with that being said, how does a business immediately shift gears? We have had to deal with ups and downs before, but never a down that was so severe that it literally prohibited the main service that we provide to our clients.

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5 Ways to Make an Extra $2K Per Client

As a wedding photographer with a young family, my weekends are sacred to me. I always knew I never wanted to be “high volume,” but of course I wanted to make as much as possible per client to scale my business. Over the years I’ve learned a number of ways you can increase your client accounts while receiving raving reviews and not giving up more weekends! Hint: if your clients are spending more with you, it doesn’t mean they’re unhappy clients. The experience and value you provide just needs to match the price.

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Transitioning from Shoot & Burn to IPS

By transforming our business from a shoot and burn model to a full service IPS photography studio, we took our income from a yearly average of $70K to $195K in one year. I’m not going to lie to you—it was hard work. We revamped our logo, our website, thought about what we could do to elevate our client experience, and most importantly, added IPS. We realized we were leaving so much money on the table and we weren’t helping our clients where they needed it most. Here are 6 actions we took to get the ball rolling.

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Building A Team to Support Your Studio

This is the point in your business when you probably begin to ask yourself, “Is it time to hire some help?” When you get to that point, it’s usually already too late. Now I want to start by letting you all know that I understand your reservations about hiring employees. No matter how much money you spend on equipment in a year, it will probably never be close to what you invest in an employee. People are inherently expensive, and the workload involved in having employees is also very stressful at times. However, no empires have ever been built by an individual, and if you want to continue to grow your business, you will need the help of other people.

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When Disaster Strikes: Wedding Photographer Nightmares

Unless you have been living under a rock, you know the entire world is dealing with Covid-19 and the aftermath of this has yet to be realized. Panic and desperation are challenging small business owners around the world. So much uncertainty. So much still to be realized as every day delivers more bad news. If you are like me, I am just looking for some positive news. Any glimmer of hope that things will return to normal sometime soon. 

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5 Rules for Better Photography Pricing

The problem can usually be narrowed down to business skills, although sometimes a bad personality peeks its nasty head in. But even if the marketing is good and the business sense is great, some serious bankruptcy-causing mistakes can be made in the pricing area. Let’s take a look at the basic structures of pricing so you can avoid common pitfalls.

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The Evolution of Senior Photography

High school senior portraits have evolved over the years to some incredible new heights. Gone are the days of sitting in the studio and posing behind a fake ivy wall. Today's seniors want style, fashion, hair and makeup. They want an experience that they will never forget. Remember, we are living in the experience economy. Consumers are willing to shell out big bucks for that one-of-a-kind experience. We have been shooting high school seniors for almost 15 years now. In order to stay relevant, we have to adapt to today's consumer. We live in a Snapchat, Facebook, and Instagram world. These teens want to live that influencer life, and my job is to give them amazing images that make their friends jealous, but most importantly to provide them and their families with an experience they want to brag about.

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Outsourcing Post-Production to Enhance the Client Experience

Over the last two-and-a-half years, we have built a luxury brand in a small market. We are by far the most expensive photography option in our area—I am talking three to ten times more expensive than others. To be honest, we don’t think we are five times better than the other photographers in our town, and we don’t think our end product is five times better than their products either. However, we are able to charge ten times what they are, and still fill our calendar, because of the time we have spent making sure from start to finish that our clients are getting an incredible experience.

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