As a wedding photographer, it has often found that business slows down after the last few leaves have fallen. photographers usually only have a few weddings in the winter, so like a bear putting food away for the winter, I’ve had to get creative to keep my belly full. When someone gives you advice, you should think about what might work and what might not. As you read these tips, try to picture yourself in a situation where any of them could work. I’ve used all of them myself, and they’ve all been great ways to make money during the winter months in my area and with my clients.
Take short sessions.
During the holiday season, mini-sessions are a great way to make money because so many people want to send out holiday cards (more on that below). Different photographers can have different ideas about what a mini-session is, but here’s what I do:
Photographers usually pick a single date from the calendar for a certain city. A few photographers have clients outside of their usual shooting area that I still want to serve, this is a great way to get a lot of families in on the same day. Mini sessions with are take, which last up to 30 minutes.
Photographers only edit five or less of the customer’s favorites and send them back quickly so they can order prints and holiday cards. They make sure to tell them that they chose their favorites but can change other pictures if they need to. Holiday time is valuable, so there’s no point in wasting it editing photos that won’t be bought. I’ve loved doing mini-sessions because it keeps up the trust and respect I’ve built with past clients who have moved to other cities. It also gives them an updated family portrait that they can use however they want.
Holiday Cards for Sale
After the mini-sessions are over, selling holiday cards is a great way to make more money. Photographers tried almost everything to sell as many holiday cards as possible, and I’ve found a few tips that will help you get the most done in the least amount of time.
Use your professional lab’s templates. choose a design, choose an image from the session, choose a foil color, and write out text for the back of the card.
Sell custom-made cards, but make sure you charge enough. I don’t mind making something special for each client. But my usual hourly rate is $300, so if it takes me a long time to design a card, photographers talk to their clients about pricing and quality. Telling them that their card will be the only one like it in the world is a major selling point. Only they will be able to buy fonts, colors, and layouts that are made just for them. But if I do work like that, I will save it and use it as a model for years to come.
Sell Digital Files
Some people don’t like selling digital files very much unless I can get a fair price for them. But if I were a photographer and didn’t want to deal with selling holiday cards to my clients (which happened to me once when my wife was nine months pregnant during Christmas), I’d let them buy digital files instead. When pricing your digital files, think about how much money you usually make from print orders and holiday orders. If the average price of a print order is $1000, you’d want the price of the digital file to be the same.
Sell photo books and brag books to parents
This is the time of year to sell gifts to your clients. Not only do prints make great gifts, but labs like Miller’s Lab offer a ton of cool products that show off your photos and make it easy to give them as gifts. Around Christmas, we always sell parent albums to our wedding clients. The parent album we sell at this time is a simple book with one picture per page, so it’s quick and easy to design. If they want a custom design with more than one image, we either put it off until after the holidays or charge them a lot more (normally 200-300 percent increase).
Don’t take the week after Christmas off.
I really enjoy being with my family. Most people, not just photographers, try to find a little extra time during the holidays to spend with the people they care about. I really do think this is the best time of the year, and what makes it so great is that I get to spend time with my family and friends. But I don’t take time off from December 26 to January 2. Why? As a wedding photographer, I know that between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Day, a lot of couples get engaged. Guys tend to ask girls to marry them during this special week. This could be because family is all in town or because it’s already such a special time.
Conclusion: If you work hard, starting your own photography business is a great way to make a second income or even your main income. Even though the photography market is competitive, many business owners have found their niche and built a successful career. To be successful at photography, like most creative things, you need to combine your passion with real business skills.
You need both raw talent and a knack for marketing if you want to build and grow your business. We talked to a photographer who said that being able to “market yourself” was one of the most important skills for success. You should always try to get better at what you do and improve your product. You should also keep working on your own brand, online marketing, and people skills. Without the two, the end result is more likely to be an expensive hobby than a full-time business that can make money.