3 Ways to Earn Extra Income in Your Off Seasons

How to Earn Extra income During your Slower Seasons

While the warmer summer months will keep you busy with your photography business how can you keep your business going when the season starts to slow down? Most photographers will fail to keep their business running simply because they do not consider the many options they have to make a profit even when they aren't booking regular clients every weekend. As a photographer, you want to implement ways you can keep a steady stream of income coming into your business.

  1. Have a mini session event.

Mini sessions are short photo shoots that last from 20 to 30 minutes. They are short and quick which means you can book a number of clients in one day. While you may not charge a lot for these shoots they can easily bring you in some extra money and new clients. Some of the best ways to use mini-sessions during the off-season is to create themed session such as a pumpkin patch them for the fall season, a kids Holiday theme, a Happy Valentines Theme or consider holding a mini session specifically for holiday cards.

  1. Teach a basic photography class.

There are plenty of people that probably want to learn the basics to shooting and using their DSLR camera but don’t want to take a class at the local college or university. Teaching a basic photography class can be ideal in your off-season. While you can offer the class to everyone also consider narrowing down the demographic and teaching a moms photography class or an after school kids photography club.

  1. Shoot head shots

Finally, head shots are often a side income many photographers utilize. Consider setting up a shoot that focuses on your social media following by offering a Facebook Friday or Social Media Saturday event where people can have professional images taken for their social media accounts. Also, reach out to other businesses in your area where the employees would most likely need a professional headshot such as real estate agents or accountants.

Adding these three income options during your off-season will not only allow you to earn an extra profit but are all great ways to network and expand your market.

Themed Mini Session Ideas and Inspiration

Themed Mini Session Ideas and Inspiration

Mini sessions are a great way to get new photography clients, add to your existing client base and earn some extra income during the slow seasons. Any time of the year can be a great time for these sessions, but summer is especially nice to get people outdoors. And if you're looking for ideas and inspiration for a themed mini session, check out these images below. 

Watermelon Mini Session

(Photo below by Hot Shots Photography by Kelly Starek)

Watermelon Mini Session

Duck Mini Session

(Photo below by Andrea Martin Photography)

Duck Mini Session by Andrea Martin

Head in the Clouds Mini Session

(Photo below by Azure Photography )

Head in the Clouds Mini Session

Truck with Flowers Mini Session

(Photo by Susan Barlow Photography)

Truck and Flowers Mini Session

Sparklers Mini Session

(Photo below by Whitney Pentecost)

fourth of july mini session

Motherhood Mini Session

(Photo below by Kristen Nichole Photography)

Motherhood Mini Sessions

 Patriotic Themed Mini Session

(Photo below by Melissa Willis of Through My Lens Photography)

Patriotic Themed Mini Session

 

Mermaid Mini Session

(Photo below by Rayne Drop Photography)

Mermaid Photo Mini Session Inspiration

 Sunflower Mini Session

(Photo below by Brittany Givens)

Sunflower Mini Session Photo Inspiration

All American Mini Session with Ice Cream

(Photo below by Mandi Wilmoth) 

Coca Cola Americana Mini Session

 50th Cake Smash Session

(Photo below by Tracey Allen of Golden Eyes Photography)

50th birthday cake smash session

American Flag Session 

(Photo below Intimate Images. Photography by Kristina Co.)

American Flag Session Photo

Mommy and Me Mini Session

(Photo below by Jess Crowshaw)

Mommy and Me Mini Session

 And to keep your creative juices flowing try mixing video with your photos for an enticing promotion.  This one below was created by Jenn Hoffmann Photography

 

 

Thank you to all the wonderful photographers who contributed to this post! 

Tips for Getting Your Photos Published

Having your photos published brings a level of prestige and can give your studio the edge among discerning clients. It can also help you stand out among your competition.

Here are a few tips to get started: 

Start with Blogs.

Because they’re updated daily—and often even more frequently—and incur little or no cost for publishing pics, blogs are a good place to start.

Think Local.

Local and regional magazines don’t have the kinds of big budgets national publications do, so you’ll have an easier time getting editorial pick-ups. 

Submit as a Photographer.

Many outlets are wary of submissions from vendors, mostly due to potential copyright issues. However, as the photographer you own the images and have shared permissions from the subjects, making the publishers’ lives easier.

Stay current—and real!

Keep this in mind especially if you’re submitting wedding images.  Wedding guides need to be up on the latest trends, and are particularly interested in real weddings. Share amazing, relatable photos and gorgeous detail shots—the shoes, table settings, bouquets. Don’t send black & white.  A publisher can easily convert your color shots, but can’t convert back to color.

The hows of submitting: Most publishers have an email or online submission process, but you should still be mindful of what you’re sending. If it’s a number of huge files, for example, don’t clog up their inbox and, instead, send a customized CD or flash drive. No matter how you submit, make sure everything is labeled, including your name and contact, and that there are no watermarks. And remember, be sure to check any exclusivity clauses and issue close dates.

Write if you can.

A writer/photographer is a huge asset for smaller publications. If you can deliver a polished, professional article or post to go with your work, then do it!

Get on the list.

Most publications keep a running list of photographers to whom they reach out for editorial submissions—get on it! Try coming in as an advertiser and leveraging your buy for editorial inclusion. Or reach out to the junior editors and assistants who can add your name to important listservs.

Share, share and share. 

Once you’ve been published, post it to Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and your blog. Send tabbed copies or emails to those who are in the published photos, including the venue and vendors. For national publications, develop a press release and submit it to local outlets. And be sure to include all published work on your website in a section clearly labeled “PRESS.”

Remember, ask about shared permissions: Let your clients know you’re frequently published, and make sure they’re comfortable with any shared permissions. Most of the time they will be happy to see their photos in print or online and—bonus!—you’ve found a way to tout that you’re an accomplished, published photographer. But respect clients’ wishes not to be published: While copyright laws heavily favor the original creator it’s an emotionally charged issue and you’ll likely wind up with negative reviews or, worse, a lawsuit should photos be published without permission.

Now get shooting—and start submitting!

 

5 Types of Blog Posts Every Photographer Should Be Writing

If you’re looking to drive more traffic to your photography website, developing a blog is one of the best ways to do this.

By blogging on a regular basis you can provide new and existing clients with additional value plus it gives them a reason to keep coming back to your website.

If you’re wondering what you should be writing about, here are a few ideas to help you get started.

  1. Client Education. Educating your clients on what to expect from specific photoshoots will help them feel more comfortable and will ensure the shoot goes a lot smoother too. Give them tips that are easy to action such as how to prepare for a shoot, what to wear and what they need to know about working with you.
  1. Client Resources. Providing your clients with relevant resources is a great way to offer them extra value as a photographer. If you shoot weddings, give your brides some of your recommendations for hair and makeup artists, venues and florists. Specialize in newborn shoots? Tell moms where they can find great outfits for their little one. You could also take things one step further and throw in a few posts that aren’t necessarily related to photography but that your specific target audience would find interesting and valuable.
  1. Q&A. As a photographer, you’ll more than likely be asked the same questions over and over again so it helps to have this information available on your site. Pick a few frequently asked questions and write a blog post on each of them. Add a few tips relating to each question to make it even more useful for clients. By having this content available on your site, you can simply send new clients the links to your blog posts if you happen to receive that question again via email in the future.
  1. Round up posts. This is a good way to showcase some of your best work. If you’re coming to the end of the year, create a blog post about your best images for that year. If you’re a wedding photographer you can create a few posts about your favorite wedding dress shots, first dance or first kiss shots. These types of posts can be used for any genre.
  2. Top photo locations. Clients are always looking for photo location ideas, whether it’s for a wedding, an engagement or even a family photoshoot. Create a few posts about some of your favorite locations and why you love them so much. Add a few images to make your posts more visually appealing. Keep in mind you don’t have to have shot at a location before to recommend it to your clients. If you know of a few places that you would love to shoot at or a wedding venue you would love to shoot for, write about it because it just might land you a contract at that location.

The Do's and Dont's of Managing Your Photography Blog

If you want to get the most out of your photography blog, here are a few guidelines to follow.

Be Consistent.

Create a blogging schedule and stick to it, even if it means adding one blog post per month. Blogging at least once a week is better though. You could be writing the very best content but your audience will lose interest if you’re only posting something every once in a while. Be realistic and create a schedule that you know you can stick to.

Don’t Just Post Photos.

As important as it is to always showcase your latest work, successful photographers also provide their clients with additional value in the form of advice, tips and interesting information. If you must blog about a shoot, write about the location, the setting and why it was a great shoot.

Be Conversational.

Photos are personal and when a client decides to work with you it’s because they love your work and they feel they can communicate with you. It’s for this reason that it’s important to use a more conversational tone in your blog posts so that you don’t come across as cold, technical and too formal.

Don't Just Blog for the Sake of Blogging.

If you don’t have anything interesting or useful to share with your clients, then don’t blog. Each of your posts should add value to the lives of your clients and benefit your business by showcasing your expertise and knowledge.

Provide Value.

The more you can help solve a customer’s problem by answering their questions, they more likely they are to do business with you. If you find that you’re receiving certain questions more often than others, create a few blog posts about them as this is evergreen content that will benefit you well into the future.

Don’t Forget to Capture E-mail Addresses. 

This one I believe is the most important for growing your photography business. An email database can be one of your most valuable marketing tools as a photographer. Once you start building an email list, you have it for life and can use it to successfully market your business and engage with your clients over and over again. Have an opt-in or something engaging to make them "want" to give you their e-mail address. Consider giving them something in exchange whether it is a discount, a what to wear guide or simply a welcome guide. 

 

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