How to Make Money from a Professional Portrait

It is easy to make money taking professional portraits once you have established a brand name. It is all the things you have to do to establish that brand and that local presence that can make it a daunting task. We have taken the guess work out of all the initial promotion and advertising you need to do to start and make money in the profession. Remember, consistency is key to developing a long lasting and sustainable business.

Step 1 - Get Business Cards

Have some business cards printed, and start to distribute them. Add in a brochure or two, like a mini-portfolio. Talk to local restaurants, diners and chambers and see if you can put a small holder with your business cards inside. If you spend a lot of time photographing brides and grooms, talk to seamstresses or businesses that sell wedding gowns and ask if you can display your business cards in their shops as well. For any one of your niche markets, figure out where the people are going, who they are buying things from and who they are talking to. Go to those complimentary businesses and association and get yourself a space for your cards.

Step 2 - Create Local Advertisements

Create a local advertising campaign. Everything from yellow pages to newspapers may be applicable. Again, know your target market! If the market you are trying to reach, reads a news paper, then advertise there. If your market goes online and researches for photographers, well you need to have a local online presence for your business so that your name and number come up in the forefront of their searching.

Step 3 - Sponsor Contests

Sponsor local contests or teams. Get your name out in relation to children's activities - especially if the children are the target you are trying to reach.

Step 4 - Give It Away!

That's right, give to get. We must sometimes take a bit out of our profits and money initially to get it back tenfold in the future. Try to run a special promotion and give away a full photography session for free. Advertise your promotion in multiple places and get people to sign up.  Sign-ups mean leads! What is better? You have just started to establish who you are!

Step 5 - Now to the Pricing

Ok, up to this point we have focused on how to get you to build your brand! Now we will focus a bit on how to break down your prices and start making some money. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Create a Session Fee (What does it cost for your time?)
  • Set a Day Rate
  • Decide what you would charge to create an enlargement of a portrait
  • Package Pricing: Put together some simple to understand packages for portrait sessions and prints
  • Design a premium portrait package
  • Highlight your additional add on services and add on fees.
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