from the blog

Social Media Marketing TIPS for Senior Photographers

Sep 19, 2021

WHY is social media marketing SO hard for photographers? 

Knowing what to post, when to post, how to post.  How to connect authentically with Gen Z audiences.  Knowing how often to post, how to make reels that are engaging, how to reach out to teens without seeming creepy. Figuring out a multitude of apps for editing and constantly feeling like your content just isn't as good as other photographers.  

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It's enough to drive a person insane, am I right?  

WHY does it have to be so hard??? 

The truth is that it doesn't have to be.

You don't have to spend all your time stressing about it, creating content, and figuring out how to use multiple platforms.  

But you DO have to market.  Clients do not just show up automatically.  Yes, a good word of mouth client base is worth its weight in gold, but that will not get you a steady stream of clients - especially Gen Z clients. 

These clients are savvy.  They need a...

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What's On Your Director's Cut?

Aug 09, 2021

We're movie fanatics in my family ...

we don't just watch movies, we critique them.  We discuss them.  We rip them apart

It's part of being married to an actor/writer/director and all-around super creative person. My husband's brain NEVER stops, so when we watch movies, we go deep.  

Why am I telling you this and what does it have to do with photography marketing???

I'm getting there ... stay with me.  

Last night, we were watching the bootleg cut (director's cut) of Almost Famous.  You can only get it on Blu-ray as part of its 20th anniversary - released last year.  It's hands down one of my favorite movies of all time - it's truly a work of art.  And right in the middle of it, as I was losing my mind watching the scenes that were cut from this masterpiece, I had a revelation.

A director's cut is the entire vision of the director and in this case, also the writer.  It's the whole story - all the little nuances that add to the...

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How To Use That Reflector And Why :: Renee Bowen Photography Coach

Jul 31, 2021

I just purchased a reflector - now what?

People always ask me about my lighting so I wanted to share a little bit about my process ... it's pretty simple

I use a 40x60 reflector 90% of the time! It's always with me - here's one that like from Amazon: 

Neewer 5 in 1 Portable Multi 40"x 60"/100 x 150CM Camera Lighting Reflector/Diffuser Kit with Carrying Case for Photography

I don't buy expensive ones because I like the ease of folding one as opposed to using something like a CA Sunbounce (those are awesome but I don't need all that and if you don't need it, don't buy it!)

My philosophy - in general - is keep it simple.  I don't like carrying around lighting; even when I DO use OCF, it's the small Profoto A1X.  It's not cheap but it's small and super powerful.

But in general, I will use a giant reflector for 90% of my sessions - only the silver side because I like to retain facial features and not "flat light".  We saw a LOT of that in the early...

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Do You Need More Photography Clients?

Jun 16, 2021

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       Where's the lie? 





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…. 

  • giving away all the digitals or charging VERY little for them
  • shooting for free
  • starting a model team with NON-ideal clients
  • spending HOURS editing ONE session
  • asking other amateur photographers how to shoot, post and edit

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 trun a business.

Heck, MOST photographers feel sick to their stomach just thinking about charging actual money for their work. 

Can you relate?

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I want you to hear me when I say that you deserve to have...

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How To Start and Run a TEEN Influencer Model Team

Jun 03, 2021

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...

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Why would you want to shoot prom sessions anyway? Renee Bowen :: Senior Photography Coach

Apr 29, 2021

Why would you want to shoot PROM sessions anyway?

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...

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Optimize Your Photography Brand on Pinterest :: Renee Bowen Photography Coach

Apr 25, 2021


Ok, you have a business Pinterest account...


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 -->

  • Use the name and username field on your Pinterest profile for branding so people can find you by name.
  • Include your top keywords...
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Prom & Pinterest LIVE Zoom Class!

Mar 29, 2021

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...

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LEVEL UP Your Senior Photography Business :: Renee Bowen Photography Coaching

Mar 17, 2021

Here’s your unsolicited 𝗿𝗲𝗺𝗶𝗻𝗱𝗲𝗿 that you don’t have to have it all figured out right now

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

Guess what?

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,...

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Senior Photography Makeup Guide + Video :: Renee Bowen Photography

Feb 24, 2021


Make sure your clients are 100% prepped and ready for their session with you! 


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. 

Educating your client is KEY - a prepared client is a confident client!



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...

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