How to Make Money as a Photographer in the Slow Season – 4 Tips

canvas print on wall produced by adoramapix

Spring is the time of freshness and renewal.  You’re coming out of the cold darker days of winter, but it may not seem like your business is hopping again yet.  Now is a great time to reassess your business, your policies, your pricing and the décor of your studio, but it is also a time to get creative with marketing and promoting your business in new and unique ways. Here are four tips on how to make money as a photographer during the slow season.

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1. Get Creative with “Artist Sessions”

Often when your business is in busy season, you can fall in a rut with your photography and fall back on shooting images you know sell.  In the spring, when you have more time experiment, do model call for creative sessions that allow you to try new concepts.  Maybe you want to play with developing a new style, maybe you want to try a new location, or play with a new lighting concept.  Doing a shout out for people to model for you will bring in clients that trust your artistic vision and are like-minded in style.  It will also enable you to try some new things without the pressure of a “real” client shoot, and maybe even freshen up your portfolio or your studio samples with some new looks, all while refreshing your creativity.

headshots collage

2. Get Social with Happy Hour & Headshots

Team up with a local boutique, hair salon, or children’s clothing store and have a night out for Mom’s.  Collaborating with a woman-owned business and using both your mailing lists will bring in a fresh group of qualified customers that are interested in both your product lines.  Women travel in groups and will bring their friends, sisters, and mothers for a night of socializing.  Photograph great headshots of the moms for a glamorous new headshot for social media, because let’s face it, moms are always taking the photos, they are never in them!  It might be a great idea to have a hair and/or makeup stylist to give touch-ups before photographing.  Get social and connect with all these new potential clients, and don’t forget to bring info on your family and children’s sessions and maybe have a discount in place for booking a session on the evening of the event.

wall portrait by adoramapix

3. Run a Large Print Special on Older Sessions

Take a look through your client archives over the past few years to see all the customers who didn’t order wall portraits for their sessions and run a large print sale.  This may not be something you do every year, as you don’t want customers to wait for a discount, but it is often a great way to add on some revenue to older sessions who may not have made the decision to go big in their homes on their last portrait order.  Sometimes clients may need a break between investments and may just need a little encouragement to do the large statement piece for their home.

4. Share your Knowledge with a Photo 101 Class

Your clients look to you as the photo expert and would probably jump at the change to get some tips from you on how to make their images better.   Simple things like how to find good lighting, what to look for when photographing on vacation, how to use iPhone filters,  or the basics of how to use their DSLR cameras are great things that you can teach.  Teaching a class will establish you as a resource that gives back to the community and may even show some people that they can use their own cameras for the day to day, but that you are the expert for the big moments.  You can also offer to professionally print and frame some of your student’s best images for additional profit beyond the class registration, or give students a session discount as a studio VIP member.

The main thing to remember is to keep active marketing your services during the slower months and you’ll be able to have more steady stream of income throughout the year.