5 Tips for You and Your Modern Photography Business

5 Tips for You and Your Modern Photography Business

It's common as professional photographers to spend so much time researching the latest technical tips and advice that the space within our mental hard drives originally intended for common sense runs low. We can become so focused on the latest and greatest that mundane day-to-day tasks sometimes suffer. Here are a few pointers (or reminders) that may help you free up some of that precious mental hard drive space and fill your calendar with the types of clients you want to be booking as we look toward the upcoming year.

Know Your Schedule 

Nothing is more frustrating to a potential client than inquiring about scheduling a shoot with you only to be told something along the lines of, “Let me check my calendar and get back to you.” They’re calling a professional: the least you can do is know your own schedule. There's even a good chance that you’re holding something that can help as you read this.
Androids, iPhones, and other smartphones all come right out of the box with helpful calendar apps, but is that enough? We back up our images and computer files without thinking twice, so apply that same thinking to the scheduling of your clients. If you don't like the calendar app that comes with your phone, try one of these suggestions.
Alternatively, buy a calendar, write important things down, and follow through with those things.

Respond to E-mails

If your inbox looks anything like mine, it’s a little bit ridiculous. When you receive an e-mail or message via social media from a potential client, do yourself a favor and reply to it right away. This may sound like common sense, but there have been times that I’ve looked at an email and told myself I’d respond later, only to get distracted and forget to respond promptly. Much worse is the dreaded response you may receive after you finally do reply, stating they’ve already decided to hire someone else who got back to them sooner.
Also, delete spam and save important emails. When your memory is as random and selective as mine, hanging on to emails with specific dates and other important information can be a life-saver. Simply referring to an archived email on your phone can save you from forgetting important details that you may be responsible for.

Marketing to The Right Crowd

Let’s imagine for a second that we’ve just opened up our very own exotic car dealership. How many Ferrari’s do you think we’re going to sell at our dealership in my small home town in the heart of rural, Arizona farmland? I’ll answer that: not very many.
Aim your marketing efforts in the right direction. If you aspire to be a high-paid photographer, market toward people and locations that can support the type of business you want to operate.

Native American Royalty, on the Colorado River Indian Tribes reservation, located in Arizona.

Set Goals and Focus on Them

I’m not talking about the types of goals everyone sets after stuffing their faces over the holiday season. I’m referring to goals related to your photography business. Don’t set a goal of becoming a better portrait photographer and spend the next year photographing leaves in the park. As with anything in life, it’s important to develop a plan and follow it. I personally set two or three business-related goals every year, all of which I’d like to have accomplished by the end of that year. Do I always accomplish them? Of course, I do (not). Setting realistic goals is important if you plan on reaching them.

Set realistic goals and write them down somewhere they can be seen regularly.

Print Your Images

Printing images has several positive effects on professional photographers. For one, not only do you get a more complete sense of fulfillment, but there is also profit to be had in selling prints. Get connected with a trusted print lab or invest in your own professional photo printer and you’ll be able to calculate pretty quickly how much each print will cost you. From there, determine your markup. There aren’t many products in retail that can justifiably be marked up the way art can, so remember, don’t sell yourself short. 

Large 40x70 inch acrylic print, printed by Artbeat Studios out of California. Photographer Ivan Farca.

For some, printing at home on a quality photo printer is sufficient. For those seeking other options and or who prefer a hands-off approach when it comes to printing their images, I've included a few links below to labs I’ve trusted over the years along with a couple of other reputable professional companies that offer a variety of incredible print options that will leave your clients' jaws on the floor.

Dusty Wooddell's picture

Dusty Wooddell is a professional photographer based in the Southwestern United States. Self-proclaimed thinker, opportunity seeker, picky eater, observer of things.

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