Posts Tagged ‘photography business ideas’

Fun Bridal Photoshoot

Here’s a fun video from CMAX photography.  I love these “photographer at work” promo videos.  What a great way to advertise your photo business!  Enjoy the video, and I’ll see you over at Shuttermom University for more photography tips and business coaching!

What to do when clients procrastinate?

You had a great shoot and captured some fantastic images. The client raved about
how much she loved them, but it has now been over a month and still no order. Sound
familiar? Here are some tips to get clients to complete their orders in a timely manner:

1. Charge session fees
Most of you probably already do this, which is good. If you don’t charge session
fees, and then the clients don’t place an order, you are simply out of luck (and
money !). You NEED and DESERVE to be paid for your time and talent. The
session fee is a way to make sure that this happens.
Some photographers go the route of charging a very large session fee, and then
charging very low print prices. This way, they make their money up front (for their
time and talent), and do not have to rely on selling prints or packages.

2. Build print credits into your session fees
Building a print credit into your session fee encourages your client to order, and it
also guarantees that you are being paid (at least for a few prints) even if the
client is slow to order. I would recommend doing at least $50 as a print credit.
So, for example, if your session fee is $150, then $50 of that goes toward a print
credit. Make this clear to your clients so that they understand. This credit can be
applied to a package or ala carte prints.

3. Show proofs in person
It has been proven that your sales increase when you show proofs in person
(projection is optimal). The emotional impact goes way down with an online
gallery only. Ideally, you should strive to take orders immediately after the proof
showing, but of course this isn’t always going to happen. If you can, show
projected proofs in person, and THEN make the online gallery available so that
they can complete their orders at home.

4. Limit the number of proofs that you show
I would say no more than 10 to 15 images. When you offer too many images,
the client simply has too hard a time making a decision (especially if some of the
images are very similar). Narrow down the options, and the client will have an
easier time ordering.

5. Enforce deadlines
Have deadlines in place and then enforce them. Don’t cave. Offer to have
their online gallery up for one week, and then start charging a hosting fee. Also,
if you offer a print credit, have an expiration date when that credit will expire.

6. Give incentives for ordering on time
Tell your clients that they will save 10% or so by ordering within 5 days. After that,
no discount will be offered. Make sure they are very clear on this (state it in your
contract and remind them). If you don’t want to do a discount, you could offer
them an additional free print if their order is completed within your chosen

7. Remind them by email, phone, or postcard
First reminder – at the in person proof session
Second reminder – email or call after two days to see if they need assistance
Third reminder – the day before the gallery or discount expires (phone call is

Bottom line: don’t feel like the bad guy for having and enforcing policies. You are
in business to make money. If you clearly state all of your policies (and go over
them in person with the client), then there should be no arguments about time
frames and ordering.

Like this blog post?  It was taken directly from Shuttermom University! For more photography business and technical tips, come join in the fun.  See you there!

Newborn Baby Photo Session

Found this video of a newborn session with photographer Emily Weaver Brown and wanted to share.  I love watching photographers at work - you always learn something new!  Newborn photography isn’t easy, but it can be so rewarding.  Enjoy the video, and then come join us over at Shuttermom University for more photography lessons, tips, and business ideas.  See you there!

Pricing Portrait Photography

I’ve received a couple of comments in the suggestion box from people wanting to know about pricing their portrait photography.  The following is an excerpt from my book The Portrait Photographer’s Ultimate Pricing Guide.  I hope you find it helpful.  For more info on the pricing guide, check out

One of the most common questions I receive is, “Cindy, how should I price my photography?” Most of you are afraid of pricing too high or too low, and if you are on the higher end, many of you are “ashamed” of your prices and don’t know how to justify them. In other words, you find it difficult to quote your prices with a “straight face.”

If you have been guessing at prices, you may be surprised to find that you have no profit to show at the end of the month.

Other common questions are “Should I show my prices on my website?” and “How do I create a price list?”

It can all be very confusing. Well, get ready to finally understand how to quickly and accurately price your portrait photography! You are going to be amazed at how easy it really is!

To survive in the portrait photography business, you MUST have an accurate pricing strategy in place. You can’t guess at this – it has to be right, or else your business is going to fail.

Remember, people do not buy because of price. People buy for quality and service. In most cases, you do not want to do business with people who are basing their decision on price. In the minds of most clients, price is equal to value. Therefore, something that is very inexpensive becomes “cheap” in the mind of a client, and something that is very expensive becomes “valuable.”

So…let’s get you started!

#1:  You Must Know The Cost Of Doing Business

3 main things to consider:

1. Your Capital Expenses (High Ticket Items)

Equipment, real-estate, car, furniture, etc. (these items depreciate over time)

2. Your “Cost of Sales”

EVERYTHING that goes into making a sale – including your time (post processing time/labor, lab costs, flash cards or film, frames, packaging, etc.). Ideally, you wan to keep your “Cost of Sales” at 25% to 35%. What does this mean? It means that for every dollar you take in, you should not be spending more than 25 to 35 cents on your “cost of sales.”

3. Your “Fixed” Costs:

These are things such as rent, utilities, insurance, advertising, office supplies, postage, equipment maintenance, telephone, Internet access, employee’s salary and benefits, and YOUR SALARY AND BENEFITS (yes – you need to pay yourself). You want to keep your “fixed costs” at around 30% to 40%, meaning that for every dollar you take in, you spend no more than 30 to 40 cents on “fixed” costs.

So, think of it this way:

Total Sale – Cost of Sales = Gross Profit
Gross Profit – Fixed Costs = Net Profit

Let’s see how this works out in a hypothetical example:

Let’s say that you just sold a package for $100.

Total Sale: $100 (this is what the customer paid you)

Cost of Sale: $25 (this is how much it cost you to produce this sale – assuming 25%)

Gross Profit: $75 (this is your profit BEFORE taking out fixed costs)

Fixed Costs: $30 (assuming 30%)

Net Profit: $45 (this is what you actually made on the sale)

So, in this example, you are making $45 for every $100 in sales (assuming that you are keeping your cost of sales at 25% and your fixed costs at 30%).

Stay tuned…more on pricing to come!

Gorgeous Urban Family Portraits From Sam Puc’

Hi There!  I hope you all had a wonderful holiday!  I found this new video from Sam Puc’, and wanted to share.  It is a gorgeous urban family photo session.  I like how she mixed video clips in with the slideshow.  Enjoy the video, and I’ll see you over at for more photography business tips and coaching.

Photoshop Fairy Makeover

Hi There!
While this isn’t a tutorial, it is an interesting time lapsed look at a fairy makeup transformation done on an already beautiful model.  Fun to watch.  Enjoy the video, and then join the other 400 photographers over at for more photography business tips and coaching.  See you there!

Another smart photographer uses video to market his wedding services

Hi There!

Here is another great example of a promotional video for a photography studio.  Imagine having this video on your website or blog and the clients it will bring in.  You get to see the photographer at work, talking about his work, and a couple talking about how much they loved their photos.

Enjoy and learn from this video, and I’ll see you over at for more photography business ideas, tips and coaching!

Urban Engagement Session

Hi There!  Hope you had a great weekend.  I wanted to share a great engagement session video I found from photographer Armin.  After the video, come on over and join us on for more photography business tips and coaching.  See you there!

Sandy Puc Portrait Session

Hi Everyone!

Here is a video of the wonderful Sandy Puc in action shooting an outdoor session with a little one.  Unfortunately, we don’t get to see any finished portraits - but it is still good to see a pro at work.  Enjoy the video, and be sure to visit for more photography business ideas, tips and coaching!

Photoshop Mama Tutorial

Hi There!

In this photoshop tutorial by Photoshop Mama, she shows us how to isolate a subject.  Enjoy the video, and stop by for more photography business ideas, tips and coaching!

June 2011
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