Primarily, I'm a NYC Wedding Photographer. However, I also photograph business headshots in my NJ Studio as well. I love doing this as a side-gig that brings me extra money for practically no work at all. To be honest, I wasn't really all about it when D.C. Headshot Photographer Moshe Zusman told me I should start implementing it into my business. Seemed a bit boring and I didn't get how it would make me more money than the $10,000+ High-End Weddings that I photograph now. I was wrong.
The truth is, everyone today needs a good headshot. Everyone from corporate CEOs and lawyers to start-up companies and small business owners. Consumers today are more in-tuned with good branding and photography and most certainly judge businesses based on that and often the personal connection to the owners and staff. After realizing that, here are the three things I implemented into my headshot business to start making money with very little effort.
The biggest key to making more per hour is doing less work yourself. Now you could hire an assistant to do a lot of the work for you, or you could automate it.
I decided to automate the process by using SquareUp Appointments. This system links to my Google Calendar, allowing consumers to make their own appointments based on my "open" hours, pay in full online, and receive reminders about their appointment via text or e-mail. Whenever a client requests an appointment, I get a text message or e-mail allowing me to accept or decline it, just in case I have a calendar conflict.
See the system embedded into my website here.
2. Tethered Shooting
The next method for cutting down on work time is streamlining my shooting and proofing. Instead of lengthy proofing processes, I tether straight to my camera while I'm shooting so my clients can pick their pictures right there on the spot. I love doing this not only for the speed it gives to the whole process (my Standard Headshot Session for $295 last about 20 minutes), but also allows me to communicate and collaborate more with my clients throughout the process.
3. Fast Delivery
As soon as my client leaves, I immediately send the final images to my retoucher. Normally, I use www.ShootDotEdit.com for my wedding post-processing, but for simple headshot clean-ups (flyaway hairs, shine, and blemishes) I just send it to one of my favorite artists at www.Retouchup.com. The low price of $2.50 per images cuts down my cost of sales (which raises my profit) and they usually get the final images back to me in a few hours. I upload the images to a SmugMug gallery and email my clients a link using a template e-mail (17Hats is great for those!). Done and done!
All of these steps help me make roughly $500 an hour working in my studio and I think that's pretty darn good money! If you're in the NYC area and want to learn about headshot photography, check out a free seminar on October 22, 2017. If you're serious about starting to make $500 an hour, join us the next day for our full Headshot Bootcamp workshop that'll help you learn how to take headshots, build an entire portfolio, or the day after where we teach you to build a business and marketing plan to start grabbing clients.
Check out the video to see behind-the-scenes of a recent NJ headshot session!