Episode 17: Free Lunch, Elvis & Sports Illustrated, One Photographer’s Crazy Path to Success Featuring Monte Isom
Commercial photographer Monte Isom discusses how to hustle with and without an agent, the benefits of creative improv, and the secret weapon in his photography business: his personality.
Saratoga Springs-based wedding photographer Makayla Jade discusses competition versus community in small markets and finding balance as a mom and successful entrepreneur.
Episode 15: How This Photographer Got 10 Clients on His First Day in Business Featuring Roberto Valenzuela
Award-winning wedding photographer Roberto Valenzuela discusses his methods for picture perfect practice, gaining “subconscious competence,” and the importance of investing in education.
Adventure, travel and destination wedding photographer extraordinaire Laura Grier discusses pitching clients, photojournalism, and licensing your images as stock photography.
Award-winning wedding and portrait photographer and teacher Jerry Ghionis breaks down his sales process and explains why you should never assume someone can’t afford you.
Episode 12: How Blogging & Social Media Jumpstarted This Photographer’s Business Featuring Emilia Schoberi
Emilia graduated from college with a degree in philosophy. (What would she rather have learned, you ask? “Literally anything,” she says.)
Ditching the idea of going to law school, she ended up in a corporate sales job, but photography had always been a fun hobby for her, so she used it as a creative outlet.
Along the way, she picked up many skills that would benefit her craft as a wedding photographer, whether it was shooting in her own backyard, around the Chicago foodie scene or using her friends as her subjects. In fact, her friends were what really kickstarted her career.
Episode 11: The Wow Factor That Keeps This Black-Tie Photographer “In The Black” Featuring Nancy Beale
Nancy has been a lifelong photographer and even majored in photography in school. She started second-shooting weddings and fell in love with it. Eventually she went into business with the pro she’d been shooting for, and that’s how she got her first clients.
But her first clients were not the high-end ballroom weddings she’s known for now. So how did she make that transition? She used her creativity to shoot the events the way she wanted them to be seen and was able to then build her portfolio to attract her dream clientele.
“Do good work,” she says, and you’ll make the connections that will fuel your business down the line. These days 90% of her business comes from wedding planners. Best advice for those priceless connections is to pay attention to the assistant. Trust!
Episode 10: Why this Photographer Chose Weddings as her Niche and Never Looked Back Featuring Sara France
Sara is not only an amazing wedding photographer but has built a team of photographers in Cali that uses a unique pricing model to make even more money!!!
Sara was getting some headshot done years ago and fell in love with the whole process. The photographer handed her a camera and asked her to have some fun. Sara was an obvious talent and started doing some small jobs for that photographer. In the end that mentor encouraged Sara to do it for a living and the rest is history.
In the early days, Sara put in the work as a 2nd or 3rd at weddings and events. These hours gave her the skills she needed to perform solo one day. That being said, she also knew starting out that she wanted to build a great print portfolio and so took jobs for next to nothing.
Episode 9: How this Wedding Photographer Doubled Her Profits Without a Hard Sell (hint: it's a registry for photos instead of gifts!) with Jannah Dryden
Jannah is a wedding photographer who created a new product that gets her 100% sales success without an inkling of a hard sell!
It is called Album Registry. Jannah developed in order to sell more prints albums to her wedding clients. It is just like a gift registry, except potential wedding guests can help purchase certain pages in a future album for the bride and groom to be. If you are not a fan of the hard sell, this is the tool for you!!
Jannah also talks about how she started out, and give some great tips on how she gets clients, and runs a successful photography business.
Episode 8: How a beginning photographer made $50K from 2 weeks of family portraits with Julie Staley
As a pharmaceutical sales rep, Julie wanted to spend more time with her two small kids. She left her job in 2008 and started doing family photo shoots as a hobby.
Pretty quickly, Julie realized her sales background was an advantage—even outweighing her photography chops. She spent a year really dedicated to her craft, studying and practicing. She started second-shooting weddings and fell in love with it on Day One. Julie second-shot about 20-25 weddings before she became confident enough to strike out on her own.
Before she fully niched down on weddings, though, Julie rocked family portraits. She made an exclusive deal with a sunflower farmer to shoot during the two-week bloom period. She averaged $2000 per family and shot 20-30 families during that time.
Episode 7: The simple networking tricks this interior photographer uses to land giant clients (like Airbnb) with Anne Ruthmann
Anne got started shooting music and modeling headshots for her friends while in school. From there it’s been a roller coaster of photo styles and markets. From Michigan to Indiana, all the way to Australia and now NYC, Anne is a chameleon when it comes to providing a service to her market. From headshots to weddings, editorial work to finally architecture she has adapted her style as needed.
She typically shoots business and commercial interiors. She started in this style in Australia by taking on an AirBnb contract to shoot for new rental spots. When she got to NYC, Anne continued working with the vacation rental giant, and not because they paid well (which they most certainly do not). She used them to build a network and portfolio.
Episode 6: How this portrait photographer raised her rates by 10X and increased her demand with Megan DiPiero
Part of Megan’s early networking strategy was to “walk the mall.” She printed some brochures, went to an upscale mall and spoke with several posh boutique owners, just to get her name out there and build friendships.
She calls her approach “Serve, serve, ask.” Instead of instantly asking for introductions, connections, or other help, she offers services and value. Nurturing those connections eventually gets her to the point where the other side often reciprocates without being asked. When you keep putting yourself out there, doors open.
Episode 5: How a 22 year-old wedding photographer booked over $30,000 her first year in business with Pepper Nix
Without knowing much about wedding photography, Pepper went to a bridal fair in Provo, Utah, with a bunch of her friends to scout out the competition. Later, when nobody could remember who the best photographer was, Pepper realized that she really had to stand out from the crowd to make a lasting impression.
She went all out and spent most of her budget on an amazing brochure for her first bridal fair. It must have worked—between two bridal fairs that first year, Pepper scored 33 weddings at $1000 a pop, despite the fact that she had only shot three weddings before!
Episode 4 – How this boudoir photographer turns free photo shoots into $1,400 sales with Kinzie Ferguson
Kinzie got interested in photography while looking for her own wedding photographer. She started to follow a few pros she really loved and saw a DSLR class being offered for beginners. She took the plunge and never looked back!
By giving away shoots for free to friends and family, she got to try her hand at several different styles of photography while looking for that thing that moved her. Surprisingly it was a recently single friend that wanted to do a boudoir shoot that really energized her. There was no doubt this was for her, and not for the sex appeal or novelty, but for the feeling she got by helping a woman to feel empowered!
Episode 3 – How to get your clients excited to buy products before you ever touch your camera, with Kelli Wood
Starting out Kelli was a hustler…like she literally hustled at the grocery store in the early days! Nowadays she gets about 95% of her clients from referrals. This is where those personal social media tags have a huge impact. This also means Kelli spends next to nothing on marketing, and instead focuses on what she does best (providing a great experience and product) to create word of mouth traction in her community.
Episode 2 – How to grow a six-figure photography business fast using your personal social media accounts with Margarita Corporan
As Margarita continued to put her work into the world; people and potential clients noticed. She attributes her early success to her contagious enthusiasm, being as professional as she could possibly be, and enjoy the process. These attitudes can without a doubt be applied to any and every aspect of your life that you seek success.
It was this overall demeanor that ended up growing her business organically through referrals. The big takeaway here is that small jobs can turn into giant breakthroughs.
As for me, I am a New Yorker who is proud to run a photography business (as you might have guessed, a six-figure photography business). I know the power of giving and am truly eager to get you going towards your goals. My photography life began 20 years ago in editorials and I eventually moved into the private sector. I am truly blessed to have worked with some huge brands like Vogue, InStyle, Glamour, New York Magazine, WWD, and Vanity Fair. These names got me to where I am, but what I had to do to build a six-figure business was find my niche. Believe it or not, that niche is Bar and Bat Mitzvahs! I do about 20 projects a year and pretty much have my summers free. It’s a pretty sweet gig, and I feel lucky to be able to provide a service to families on some truly life changing important days.