It's all fun and games until you have to figure out how to make a living at it, am I right?
Trust me, I have made my fair share of business mistakes….
I got to the point where I wanted to burn it ALL DOWN.
I mean, I was making like $2/hour when averaged out!
I started with NO money, NO training, NO clarity. 100% bootstrapped
And now I make over 200k/year
The truth is that most photographers do NOT know how to run a business.
Heck, MOST photographers feel sick to their stomach just thinking about charging actual money for their work.
Can you relate?
I want you to hear me when I say that you deserve to have...
If you've followed me for a bit, you know that I talk a lot about how different Gen Z is in terms of what they want from a senior team or senior portrait experience. I have tons of info out there about why this is and how to ensure your Gen Z clients feel seen and understood, including an entire Style Guide that will help get them prepped for their session - and I'm always updating info in my Facebook group for senior photographers.
We will be serving Gen Z clients for a while, so I highly encourage you to make sure you're well versed in what they are looking for in a senior photographer because this generation is SO specific and vastly different from their millennial counterparts.
That's not the topic of this blog post, though - TEENS are. And by teens, I mean younger than high school seniors. Now, you may be thinking, "Renee, aren't they still Gen Z'ers?"
Yep, they are! But younger teens are historically more excited to shoot and SHARE...
We’re all at different stages in our senior photography businesses - some of you are just starting out and have never run a prom session, while others have been doing it for years but you may not be sure how to do it without driving yourself absolutely crazy.
Reasons why you might want to take this on if you are a newer photographer:
Use prom as a lead gen + to get more senior clients for the following year
Great way to get your brand in front of a LOT of people all at the same time
If you are a seasoned photographer:
Great way to serve the team and clients you already have
Prom is always amazing marketing because the images will be posted all at the same time far and wide
Here are 5 tips for your prom photography:
1. It’s really important to get really CLEAR on why you want to do this - whether it’s exposure, money, added value or all of the above. Make sure you outline your intention here...
If you're like me, you created a Pinterest account years ago and used it for curating recipes and crafts ... but did you know that it is considered a super powerful search engine?!
Yep, and you can harness its power to ensure you are bringing in consistent high-quality leads who are already primed to buy from you.
If you want to increase profile visits from a qualified audience (those likely to buy from you) and convert them into followers, and ultimately customers - you NEED to optimize your Pinterest profile. The power of Pinterest's SEO is undeniable, but in order to reap the rewards, you need to make sure you're doing these things to appear at the top of search results for your target keywords and phrases when users search for new accounts to follow -->
There's been a lot of chatter in my Facebook group & in my Clubhouse chats recently about PROM :: how to shoot minis, how to charge, how to market for these - how to put on your own prom session for your team or clients who aren't able to have prom this year (like mine).
Make no mistake, prom sessions can be AMAZING for your marketing, even if no proms are being held where you live this year.
I've run prom minis just about every way under the sun over the years and there is definitely a science to it - in order to make money, anyway.
Whether you are just starting out or a seasoned pro, prom is a great way to add value to your client base AND capitalize on some killer organic marketing.
Holy crap, you guys …. if you're not incorporating Pinterest into your organic marketing, you are truly missing out.
Your posts on Pinterest – aka “Pins” – live up to 1,600 times longer than on Facebook or any other...
I know it feels like you 𝘴𝘩𝘰𝘶𝘭𝘥 because you’ve been on social media a lot today and you’re feeling
𝙡𝙚𝙨𝙨 𝙩𝙝𝙖𝙣, 𝙗𝙚𝙝𝙞𝙣𝙙, 𝙤𝙫𝙚𝙧𝙬𝙝𝙚𝙡𝙢𝙚𝙙
1. NONE of us have it figured out
2. YOU can 𝗰𝗵𝗼𝗼𝘀𝗲 to shift right out of that
Anyone who tells you they’re 100% on all the time - or that they live in flow 24/7 is either on a really amazing psychedelic or they’re lying
I had to claw my way to the business I have; it was NOT easy
I had 3 littles to raise & a dream of my own photography biz that would afford me freedom + money to be there for them
Did I have help?
Yep - but I had to 𝗰𝗵𝗼𝗼𝘀𝗲 to seek it, 𝙥𝙖𝙮 for it & then 𝙞𝙢𝙥𝙡𝙚𝙢𝙚𝙣𝙩 it
You can learn a lot from google - it’s true 𝗯𝘂𝘁 𝘄𝗵𝗲𝗻 𝘆𝗼𝘂 𝗶𝗻𝘃𝗲𝘀𝘁 𝗶𝗻 𝘆𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝗯𝗶𝘇 - 𝗵𝗲𝗮𝘃𝗶𝗹𝘆 - 𝘆𝗼𝘂 𝗵𝗼𝗹𝗱 𝘆𝗼𝘂𝗿𝘀𝗲𝗹𝗳 𝘁𝗼 𝗮 𝗺𝘂𝗰𝗵 𝗵𝗶𝗴𝗵𝗲𝗿 𝘀𝘁𝗮𝗻𝗱𝗮𝗿𝗱
And you take 𝗮𝗰𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻
And you do it 20x 𝙛𝙖𝙨𝙩𝙚𝙧 than you would alone
Bad days happen,...
If you include pro makeup in your session, use this guide and video to show your clients what to expect. If you don't include makeup, you can use this guide and video to either train a makeup artist you want to work with, send to your clients to let them show a makeup artist they hire on their own - OR send to your clients to show them how to do their own makeup.
This can be customized based on however you run your senior business.
Jami Cox (my amazing makeup artist) and I created this senior portrait makeup guide - along with the accompanying video - to help our clients get completely prepped for their senior sessions. We've worked with teen girls for the last fifteen years and have always included makeup in all the senior sessions I...
I know ... that's a bold statement. But I don't say that lightly.
The reason I know this is because I've seen it happen first hand - not just with my own clients - but also with senior photographers all across the country.
It started in 2017 for me. I'm in SoCal, and although senior teams weren't even a thing when I started my business (and my first team) in 2007, they very much are now. Running a team jump-started my senior business and it is the heart and soul of what I do as a senior photographer in my area.
Nobody knew what the heck senior portraits even were when I started - I had to build it all from scratch.
And by 2014, my business and my model team were exploding. I had tons of applications for the team every year, I was making over 100k shooting seniors only and I had parents begging me for a spot on the team for their...
If you're a senior photographer, chances are you are using some form of a "What to Wear" or Style Guide that you send your clients prior to the session to make sure they are 100% prepped for their session with you.
I mean..... I hope you are!
But the problem with most of the style guide templates that have been around for the last few years is that they were created with millennial clients in mind - or worse, parents.
And that, my friend, is not going to convert for your Gen Z clients.
This is the generation that doesn't even use the emoji anymore and .. *gasp*.. judges us old peeps for wearing skinny jeans & having a side part .
So, first of all, if you aren't speaking to your Gen Z target client in your marketing, that is a problem that I can help you with. I've been researching this amazing group of change-makers for the last several years so you don't have to. I got you.