Shooting for Story: How to Make Your Portrait Sessions Tell a Complete Story by Katie Botel

I love shooting for, designing and selling albums to my family portrait clients (and then visiting their homes and seeing them proudly displayed on their coffee tables.)  In my third year in business, over half of my clients opted for an album and many ordered “bundles” – multiple copies to gift relatives and/or leave at the office – and I anticipate those numbers growing.

I’ve been told that what made my albums such a hit is that they tell a story. As a former television writer, my scripts had a clear structure, bookended by “Fade In” and “Fade Out.” When I transitioned into portrait photography and found myself producing album after album, I realized that I needed to shoot like I wrote, and approach each session like a day on a television set to ensure that a clear, beautiful and loving story would be told.

I constantly hear from clients how much their …

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How to Make One Kid’s Year by Just Taking a Picture by Jeff Inglis

Jane Goodrich has a simple question: “Can I actually make one kid’s year just by taking a picture?”

Turns out she can – and you can help too, by supporting her work and sick children who need us.

Jane loves photographing children so much, she’s made a career of it. She specializes in portraiture of newborns and children. And as an identical twin herself, she particularly enjoys making images of twins. (Turns out parents of twins are often reluctant to have a photo session, fearing it’ll be twice as crazy as regular studio appointments; Jane makes house calls to help simplify things for families.)

Lately, though, she’s engaged in a project that has become almost as dear to her heart as her DNA-matching sister.

Jane had known for years that her grandmother (and namesake) died of lymphoma in the 1950s. (It’s a type of blood cancer.) In the late 1990s, the daughter of a …

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Giving Families a Slice of History: Make a Wish Foundation by Katie Botel

I didn’t get into photography for the art of it; nor did I get into photography for the passion of it (which isn’t to say I’m not passionate about my art).  I got into photography because after moving to Los Angeles to write for television, and doing that (and then not), I needed a job.  A steady one.  That I was in control of.  I chose photography, because I am passionate about family.  And about family history.  And about leaving a legacy.

I live and work in the entertainment capital of the world – where everyone is beautiful, where if the sun doesn’t shine every day of the year, it can be painted in, and where even the unglamorous seems glamorous.  I have delivered chicken soup to Aaron Spelling’s house as a gesture from his writing staff in hopes he would get better (and approve their scripts); I have dressed in black tie …

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How to Tailor Your Business to Newborn Photography by Stephanie Robin

Who doesn’t love sweet, cuddly newborn babies? It seems more and more popular to specialize in newborn photography, but how do you truly tailor your business to the newborn client? Read on for tips and tricks to do just that!

Show What You Love : My first tip is to show what you love. If you’re currently working with multiple markets but deep down want to specialize on one, begin by showing only work relevant to your specific target market (i.e. newborns). From your website to your business card and blog, your clients will hire you based on the content you show. If weddings and older kids just aren’t your thing, take them down and focus on your true passion instead. Building a strong brand in your chosen niche is the first step in attracting your target market and showing what you love is a big part of that. Build a Specialized Working …

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How to Stand Out In A Crowd of Child Photographers by Mandy Johnson

For a child photographer, it’s all about finding your way, finding your unique passion and running with it!

You can’t be everything to everyone. I chose to stand out in a number of ways, starting with offering a higher-end experience and a full-service studio in a beautifully historic, affluent part of town. At the studio, we pride ourselves on awesome customer service, catering to each client and their needs. From the first phone call, we are set up to ask prospective clients what they want from their session, and to identify their real needs. It’s high-touch throughout the entire process, from the initial inquiry to the moment when we deliver and install their finished pieces.

We also offer the best product line, and we do a lot of extras. I am always looking for fun little ways to make my clients smile! We host creative activities at our studio for kids and …

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A Lesson for Portrait Photographers: Keeping Clients for the Long Haul by Justine Ungaro

We all know that the world of wedding and portrait photography has become more competitive than ever. So how do we create a business that continues to thrive even in periods of economic downturn and industry turmoil? How do we win lifetime portrait clients by collecting and keeping them for the long haul? Not by continuing to beat the pavement year after year, constantly analyzing ROI based on old school advertising and traditional marketing, struggling for every new lead that comes our way!

This, my friends, is not how I want to live, not how I want to run my business. I believe there is a simpler way, one that I have been living for years. It sounds simple and it is.

Our businesses can thrive by collecting and keeping clients for the long haul.

Now if you specialize too much, this isn’t quite possible. If you say, “I only shoot weddings,” well then …

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The Story Behind Millie Holloman’s “Shoots & Ladders” Sessions by Millie Holloman

It’s happened to all of us.

You log in to Facebook and there is a status update from friends (who were once clients) saying they’ve added to their family with the arrival of a new child. To your surprise and sadness, they are posting photos of their little one taken by a large retail chain. Washed backdrops and cheesy props don’t match the quality of their wedding photos.

What’s a couple to do when the cost of living is significantly increased by the arrival of a new mouth to feed, future plans for college, and don’t forget diapers! Grandma & Grandpa aren’t footing the bill for the rest of their lives; they gave up that luxury at the altar.

Children grow fast, so it would be difficult to pay our usual session fee each few months to capture their constantly-changing expressions and sweet stages of life. To my amazement, I discovered many of …

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Lifestyle Baby Photography Part Three: Overcoming Insecurity by Amber Holritz

Real life is beautiful.

We established that in Part One of this series. But although this philosophy sounds wonderful, it can be hard to follow through with, particularly when it’s personal. In my last installment in this series, I explained that I believe there are two major barriers to overcome in Lifestyle Photography – ignorance and insecurity. I outlined ways that I work to combat ignorance by cultivating true relationships with my clients. Once the barrier of ignorance has been removed, and people become aware of Lifestyle Baby Photography, we are still left with their insecurities. Even if my potential clients embrace the concept that Real Life is beautiful, in a global sense, they have probably not truly grasped that their Real Life is beautiful. My job is to prove this to them. I have to help them see beauty in their own everyday experiences.

My clients are amazing customer evangelists. (Side note: …

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