from the blog

How to Create a Successful Senior Rep Team

Sep 08, 2022

Model Teams are Dying! 

That's probably not what you wanted to hear, right?  I promise I'm not trying to scare you - I'm just being direct; there's enough fluff in our senior photography industry.

We can't do what we've been doing because it just doesn't work for these younger Gen Z clients.

The truth is that you need to attract more of your target Gen Z clients with a rep program that is aligned with who they arenatural content creators.

As a senior photographer, you've been told that offering a model or rep team is the best way to ensure you have lots of year-round word-of-mouth clients. 

In fact, one of the most asked questions I hear in my Facebook group is "HOW do I run a successful senior rep program?"

                               But most of you are doing it all wrong.

You're spending tons of time on elaborate team photoshoots only to...

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10 Tips for How to Market Your Photography Business

Apr 11, 2022

Are YOU ready to step into the role of CEO in your biz? 

I mean like seriously - are you ready to finally nail this strategy down once and for all and tackle all the blocks that come up as a result of doing this work?  

Oh yeah, there will be blocks - that's what happens any time you redirect, reframe or rewire underlying limiting beliefs. They'll rear their ugly heads up and try to stop you from moving forward.  

"Why would I self-sabotage like this, Renee?"  I know - I can hear you asking this, friend. 

Well, you're not doing it on purpose, of course.  You're over here actually trying to make some real changes in your biz - and you should pat yourself on the back for that! 

The truth is that the stronger the desire to change, and the more you take action on that - the louder and more intense that sabotaging voice can be!  

It's your unconscious mind trying to keep you safe - that's it.  All that "fear" people talk...

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What's REALLY Stopping You?

Feb 03, 2022

Real talk:

What's stopping you from ____________? 
Fill in the blank with whatever it is you have been wanting to accomplish. 
And I mean aside from the "logistical" roadblocks (like tech or not actually knowing a skill set yet that is needed yet, etc.).  That's just surface stuff ... excuses actually. 
I'm mean why are you really NOT taking action on it? 
I'd like you to consider that it might be coming from something you either ignored or pushed away ... something from your past or from that place inside of you that holds all the secrets (and key to your success) - your unconscious. 
I talk about this a lot in my coaching - this idea that our unconscious thoughts create our reality ... that our beliefs are what we eventually manifest. That's why it is so important to rewire limiting beliefs, right?
Taking that a step further, I want you guys to consider that you will actually LOOK for proof of ...
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Gen Z Marketing Strategies for Senior Photographers :: Renee Bowen Photography Business Coaching

Nov 05, 2021

The business of senior photography has changed a LOT over the last five or so years. 

If you've been around for a minute in this industry, you probably know this.  Maybe you've noticed the subtle differences in how your senior clients use social media now ... how they consume more than they create most of the time.

Maybe you run a model team and have noticed that your team just doesn't share or post the way they did in the past - even if you "require" it.  (By the way, requiring them to post doesn't really work; I'll go into that in just a bit.)

If you haven't seen these changes yet, there is a really good chance they're coming; this just all depends on where you're located. I started noticing these changes back in 2017 because I'm in Los Angeles; we tend to see trends a little sooner in general.  But you can be sure that all high school senior photographers will see these changes because of the combination of the pandemic and how popular TikTok...

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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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