This is a helpful guide on how to get more photography clients.
Being a photographer myself, this guide is tailored to photographers however the concepts apply to all artists looking for more clients.
Photography is an art but, to make a living out of it, you have to see photography as a business, too.
To make money, you’ll have to learn how to get more photography clients.
This includes marketing, client relations, and how to become well-known and trusted enough that people are interested in commissioning your service.
This article will teach you how to get photography clients in order to grow your business.
7 Tips to Get More Photography Clients
These 7 secrets may look simple, but that’s the reason they’re so impactful.
Despite their importance, the simplest and easiest principles of photography tend to be overlooked.
People often focus on how to create more beautiful photos while neglecting how to get photography clients.
If you’ve nailed the technique and you’ve moved on to asking questions like, “How do I get my photography noticed?”, this post will give you some tips and tricks on building a client base that makes your photography business worthwhile.
1. Build and Show Your Portfolio
Your portfolio is an important part of your life as a photographer. It will be the core element that determines whether or not you get more photography clients.
This is because your potential and your products (i.e. your photos) are shown in your portfolio and will establish your brand as a photographer.
Start your portfolio by continuously learning commercial photography. Use every shooting opportunity to learn more about composition, lighting, and how to form a picture that achieves what the client wants.
Once your portfolio has been developed, the next step is to make sure that it is visible and accessible to your potential clientele.
The best way is to create accounts on photo-based social media like Flickr and Instagram with links to your own website or online portfolio.
If one of the questions you constantly ask is, ‘How do I get my photography noticed?’, then social media is a good place to start.
2. LinkedIn Marketing
A stunning portfolio of photography is not enough.
A professional photographer needs to be known personally. Businesses and individuals often want to know if a photographer is reliable.
Can he understand our vision? Can he direct the aesthetic in a way that is marketable? These are some of the questions that may be asked about you.
This is where LinkedIn comes in.
LinkedIn may come across as social media for white-collar professionals. But in the ever-expanding world of individual contractors and outsourcing, it also helps freelancers to get more commercial jobs within industries like advertising or media design.
Make sure your LinkedIn profile reaches All-Star status, as this will make you more visible to headhunters, talent scouts, and HR professionals.
This can easily be achieved by filling in all the required fields on LinkedIn.
LinkedIn can also be a platform to host your professional portfolio. Post photos of work you have done for clients, along with your experience and educational material like tutorials.
This platform can be one of your best answers on how to book more photography clients.
3. Sell Photos to Newspapers or Journalists
Newspapers and journalists are in constant need of high-quality photos, especially for recurring events.
This means that they are also in need of photographers that can take pictures under certain conditions and know how to portray an event in a certain light.
If you’re used to taking pictures quickly and can capture the moment during unexpected events, you can make newspapers for some of your best clients.
4. Instagram Marketing
Instagram is one of the most popular apps in this day and age. It generates the need for consistent and curated content.
Because of that, brands, influencers, and models are in constant need of beautiful photographs. If ever there was an answer to the question of how to get more photography clients, it would certainly be Instagram.
The first way to market yourself on this platform is by posting regular, high-quality content.
The second way is by having others post your photography on their individual feeds.
Influencers and Instagram models are quite a lucrative client base because they often need retainers in their projects, which means more opportunities to have a long-term relationship with the client.
Learn how to write the perfect Instagram photographer bio.
Apart from learning how to sell yourself as a photographer, you will likely also be worried about creating a steady income for yourself.
Keeping long-term relationships is one way to do so.
5. Be a Retainer for a Band or Performer
One of the best tips on how to get photography clients as a freelance photographer is by getting a retainer project.
Everyone that enters the public spotlight will be in need of good publicity. This is where photographers come in. If you can learn to capture bands and their performances in action, you will have found a niche worth pursuing.
Your new clients could be the publicists of these performers, who would need high-quality photography to boost the stars’ public images.
Another retainer opportunity is with a band that goes on tour. This can be a very long-term and lucrative client base as they will contract you for months or even years.
6. Be Commercially Experimental & Have a Unique Perspective
Another important tip on how to get more photography clients involves being unique and creative.
Most people are very focused on their own business and creative communication is not the first thing they worry about, so an idea that is well presented can be very interesting.
A photo concept can be daunting for both parties. Clients are often unsure about what they will get.
Often, when you do it, your clients will be interested in concept shooting even though they don’t think they want to do it when you start it.
Taking a concept shoot for paying clients is the best way to build the portfolio you want and get other people talking about you.
Talk honestly: tell the client that you are inspired by their business (because it’s true), want to work together to make something, and negotiate arrangements that work for both parties.
7. Have Good Client Service & Reward the Good Ones
If you want to know how to sell yourself as a photographer and book more photography clients, you also need to learn how to ‘pay’ the client.
This doesn’t necessarily involve giving a free session to everyone. Some clients will not buy anything after a photo shoot, while others invest in prints.
If you provide free photo sessions to existing paying clientele, you can take pictures of them and also get the opportunity to sell their photos back to them afterward (plus you’ll have newer images for your portfolio).
This is a good strategy to implement if you have a slow work period. It will keep you in touch with clients and keep the work flowing.
This can also be an opportunity for your clients to find out about new the and latest offerings of your business.
For example, if you usually only do editorial work for them, but you are also starting to take family portraits, you can offer a free studio photo session.
These 7 ‘secrets’ are surprisingly simple for everyone that’s currently asking how to get photography clients as a freelance photographer.
As a photographer, your market is everywhere and nearly everyone or every company is available for your picking.
In the digital age, photos are becoming a more and more prominent way to communicate messages both commercially and artistically.
These 7 secrets won’t work by themselves; in the end, it’s up to you.
Just as you tell stories with your photos, can your marketing tell stories about you and get you, clients?
Try these 7 secrets and see how much growth your photography business can achieve!
Frequently Asked Questions
What’s the best way beginner photographers can get clients?
The best way for beginner photographers to get clients is to build a portfolio of their work and share it on social media, online photography communities, and photography forums. They can also network with friends, family, and local businesses, offer their services for free or at a discounted rate, and focus on building a positive reputation and word-of-mouth referrals.
How to start charging as a photographer?
To start charging as a photographer, you should first establish a clear understanding of your services and pricing, and create a pricing sheet that outlines your rates for different services. You can then begin promoting your services to potential clients, and be transparent about your pricing structure and any additional fees or expenses that may be incurred.
Nate Torres is an entrepreneur, growth marketer, and photographer and writes mostly on those topics. Nate runs his own professional photography business and photography blog called Nate Torres Photography. Nate enjoys learning about new digital marketing strategy and new ways to think creatively. He is also a photography speaker and author on Photofocus.