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How I spread my photography business for maximum profitability

How I spread my photography business for maximum profitabilityOff the top of your head, what do you think photographers do? Take pictures? Yep. What else? So much more!

As a business woman, I soon learned that if I was going to be a photographer who eats, I had to branch out. I learned not to rely on my clients for all my income. I had to rely on ME. When I tell my friends that I work 40 hours a week, they’re baffled. I know they’re thinking ‘but we’ve just spent the whole day hanging out! How do you work that much?’ I do the majority of my work at night. Most of my posts you read here on DPS or my blog were written well past midnight. And if you learn to branch out and stick your finger into many different pies, you too can have a successful photography business. Hopefully your kids go to school and you can work normal hours unlike me! 🙂

Here’s how my business breaks down:

{Shooting} I do a max of two bespoke sessions per month. These are those ultra special, super time consuming sessions where you spend half a day with a family. I do a max of two, making money on the session fee and the resulting product order.

{Writing} I write for Canon, DPS and my own blog. My personal blogging makes money through affiliate ads (I learned everything I know from problogger.net). Lots of photographers make money writing ebooks.

{Teaching} I have students who come from allover the world to meet me for a day or two of shooting, editing and general brain-picking. I didn’t seek this activity. I just started replying to email queries about whether I do workshops or not and it took on a life of it’s own. I’m in the final stages of putting the finishing touches on my first DVD with the working title “How I Photograph my Kids.” If you have access to a filmmaker and an audience who’s listening, a tutorial DVD is a great idea. I also do Skype consultations where I can share my screen. It’s super cool, super fun and super profitable.

{Clubs} I don’t do this personally, but some photographers establish an area photography club. I think they make money from these. You’ll have to look into how that works.

{Artwork} This is where I think of starving artists. Very few photographers are successful selling their work as art, but it can be done!

{Schools} When it comes to shooting, schools are where it’s at profit-wise. You go in for a couple hours and a couple weeks later pick up a pile of envelopes with hundreds and hundreds of dollars in orders. Possibly a thousand if it’s a large school. Straightforward head and shoulders, maybe one quirky shot. Possibly groups (if you decide to go a group). Minimal editing. Resulting session bookings. The snag here is that schools are dog eat dog and not easy to get into. Start with your own kids’ school and it might grow from there.

So that’s it in a nutshell for me. Making a small/reasonable amount of money from many different sources. When one area dries up for a season, you have the others to keep you going!

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Elizabeth Halford
Elizabeth Halford

is a photographer and advertising creative producer in Orlando, FL. She wrote her first article for dPS in 2010. Her most popular one racked up over 100k shares!

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