Mark, Marketing

76 Best Ways to Super Charge Your Photography Business Immediately

5 Jan ’14
North-Carolina-Wedding-Preview053

It’s a new year and here are 76 Ways to Super Charge your photography business. BOOM. We’ve booked more weddings than ever for 2014 already, and we’re getting ready to fire up our Internship Program again in the Spring. So yeah – we’re a little excited to start working again and we’re sure you are too. Our team spent some time coming up with 76 of our best tips for super charging your photography business this year. Immediately. NOW.

If you know anyone who could use any of these tips – please feel free to share it with them! (!)

Side note: If you’re frustrated with your photography business – maybe we can help!

  1. Meet new people IRL (In Real Life)

    A Facebook like or Twitter follow will ALWAYS be trumped by a real life interaction. Meeting people in real life has a greater impact as we all connect more often online and only through an electronic screen. Make it a point to meet more new people in real life this year. Photography marketing advice focuses so much on marketing online and almost no one focuses on marketing in real life. You also have to meet 10x more people than you think you do – but don’t worry, it all adds up.

  2. Realize that you can be very different and still succeed

    There are 8 or 9 different ways to succeed in this business and there are 9 workshops presented by 1,000 photographers willing to show you how. Please realize that you don’t have to do what they say. You can do the exact opposite if you want to – as long as you figure out how to make that work for you. That’s the key. Make it work for you. You can and should learn how everyone else is doing it – how they’re succeeding – but then you must take it further and figure out how to apply that to you, and your situation. You may not be rockstar outgoing, or sorority-like, or Christian, or LGBT, or that sickening cutesy photographer-couple, or lineup with any other worn out photography-marketing angles. Don’t worry. You can be very different and still succeed. Don’t give up. Keep working. Keep being yourself. MORE.

  3. Get rid of gear you haven’t used in a year

    That lens you thought would be magical but just never used, that tripod with the broken latch you’re keeping just in case, those 4gb sd cards you outgrew 3 years ago – purge it all. If you haven’t used them in over a year then you probably won’t use them this year and they’re just taking up space and cluttering your desk. Watch an episode of hoarders, look around your studio and purge.

  4. Decide what your brand really wants to say

    Does your brand say you are everything to everyone ? Or does it say you make these types of photos for a specific type of client that wants YOUR PHOTOS? Decide what your brand says or else it probably doesn’t say anything – or worse – it just confuses people. Take a stand on something and make everything you do, say, and write work in that direction. Pick a message and stay on-message. If you want to say that you’re the best photographers in the area, then f*cken say that you’re the best photographers in this area. You don’t have to be rude, or offensive (like me) but you do have to make it known that you’re saying that. Not we think, or we’d like to be. We ARE. (Read this book – Different by Youngme Moon)

  5. Experiment with your website

    For most of us, our website is our storefront that must be absolutely perfect ALL OF THE TIME. Any changes must be thoughtfully considered, and we must also consult 10 different people and multiple photographer forums on what they think before we actually change the color of a link on a page buried 5 levels deep. Why? Because you might make a mistake? Have you seen how often Facebook makes changes? All the time. They’re always testing different changes trying to see what works and what doesn’t. So does Amazon, so do most of the biggest websites in the world. Don’t be afraid – experiment and try something new with your website. Test it out. If it doesn’t work you can always change it back.

  6. Stop being shy about your photography

    You might be an amazing photographer. Heck you might be better than many out there but no one will ever know if you don’t share your work – and share it with more than your own circle of friends and family. You want new people to see your photos because they’re the ones that will be new clients. So stop being shy, stop being timid – and put your work out there where the most people will see it.

  7. Increase your rates – it’s 2014!

    Charge what you should be charging and stop discounting yourself. Finally.

  8. Write about what you like to write about

    Nine-six percent (96%) of all photographers blog only their finished work. Other than only showing finished photos, their writing is akin to a game of MadLibs. “This wedding couple is the _________ (insert adjective) I’ve ever worked with.” or “This baby is the _________ (insert adjective) ever.” Repeat. Repeat. Vomit. Repeat. Your blog doesn’t have to only show your finished photos. You can write about whatever it is the f*ck you want. Just make it interesting. You want to build your audience and your photography on its own (no matter how great) won’t cut it in the year 2014. SAY SOMETHING INTERESTING.

  9. Cut ties with petty photographers

    Photographers are insecure artists. It’s true pretty much across the board. Some of us can’t handle your success – at all. So we’ll tear you down every chance we get, while still pretending to be your friend. Let those people go. You don’t need them or their negative energy ruining your awesomeness.

  10. Create a promotional partnership

    Find complimentary business partners. Do you know a childrens fashion designer that you could work with on a project? (If you don’t – maybe GO FIND and MEET ONE.) What about the owner of a clothing boutique? Think you can come up with a project that would be beneficial for the both of you? And that’s just clothes. There are gazillion other businesses that you can work with – you just have to be creative – and willing to go out there and meet them. Of course, it’s up to you to come up with the brilliant project idea that will convince them to work with you. (Read these books – Outrageous Marketing; Getting Everything You Can Out of All You’ve Got.)

  11. Change up what you offer

    Have you been wanting to add albums to your packages? Or canvas prints? Maybe take out a few items from your standard packages. DO IT.

  12. Make friends with a new vendor

    We’re all in this together so to speak – so any vendor that’s been in the business for a while understands that we can always use new friends to help us out. Be that friend.

  13. Read a business biography

    You’re bonkers for starting and running your own business. Read about other people who were just as bonkers and succeeded! You know your job isn’t always full of fame and glory and it’s comforting to learn that even the most successful people had to get down to serious work to get where they are. You’ll probably gain a few insights on your own challenges as well. More importantly though, you will also see how business persons are always having to be different in order to succeed and it’ll help you embrace how you are different. (Jerry Weintraub. Steve Jobs. Richard Branson. Business Biographies.)

  14. Try a new technique

    You already know how to do many things. Go learn how to do more. Try the Brenizer Method, or Off-Camera flash, or Painting with light. You probably intellectually ‘know’ these things, now is the time to go actually try and DO them.

  15. Redirect 10% of your work time

    You’re a busy person, I get that. But how much time do you waste ‘working’. Sitting there and hanging out on Facebook, or Twitter, or Pinterest. What wasted time/effort can you cut out permanently so you can redirect that time to something else? Meditate. Deep dive into a subject so you can come up with brand new ideas. Revolutionary (to you) ideas. Or spend that time with your loved ones. Your dog. Whoever. Whatever. If you’re always working then you’re probably wasting time that you don’t need to be wasting.
    LeahAndMark.com | Atlanta Wedding Photographers

  16. ReWrite all of your website ad-copy/text

    You wrote your about me, your ‘investment’ page, and everything else on your website with what you thought was good information. Basically you looked at another photographers website and rewrote what they wrote, for you. Which means that you probably rewrote ad-copy from someone that didn’t know what the heck they were doing. Try Psychology for Photographers. BOOM. Your mind will be blown. You’ve been doing it ALL WRONG.

  17. Rent some gear and PLAY

    Can’t afford to drop $3,000 on that new piece of gear? Go rent it! And don’t just rent it for a specific job. Rent it so you can PLAY with it and try out new ideas, new shots, new everything. New Toys! Time to PLAY. (We use Aperturent.com – use the code LeahAndMark10 and get 10% off your order (it’s the code that all of our Interns use when renting gear.)

  18. Update your portfolio

    You’ve been busy all year photographing clients, and marketing. Too busy to take a moment and update your portfolio? Do it now. Look through your best photos from the past year and compare them to your current portfolio. Has your style changed? Do you feel like showing a slightly different presentation? Do some photos in your portfolio not meet your current standards? Maybe they just don’t tell the same story you want to tell with your work. Now is the time to make those changes.

  19. Update your business card

    I know you still have 4,754 cards from the last batch you ordered. But maybe they don’t make the impression you wanted, or even the impression you NOW want to make. Don’t keep using them just because they still exist and you spent money on them. If they’re not effective then there’s no point to continue using them. Update your business card and instead of ordering 5,000 up front, order a smaller batch run of a couple 100. Then you will be forced to update them more often and even test out different designs.

  20. Send a letter/email to all of your booked clients

    It’s the start of the new year! If you photograph weddings like we do then you might not need to see your clients until their wedding in August. Why not drop them a line to say hello or wish them a happy new year to keep in contact. There’s a lot of time between now and their wedding and except for their planner, they probably won’t hear from any other vendors until closer to their wedding. Be a nice surprise and consider even sending them a snail mail letter.

  21. Drink more coffee

    Don’t be a quitter. Now is not the time to quit drinking coffee. DRINK MORE COFFEE. It’s like magic. It’s like cocaine. (Okay not really.) Technically speaking, coffee doesn’t give you anymore energy, it just blocks those receptors/sensors in your brain that tells you you’re tired. And if you’re not getting enough sleep (see above) THEN YOU’RE TIRED. Oh – and learn to drink the stuff black. It’ll save you some calories. Oh AND don’t drink those frozen ice-blended coffees, those will KILL YOU.

  22. Learn to CLOSE

    We literally booked half of 2014 in the last 3 months. How? Because I finally focused on my in-person meetings and CLOSING THE DEAL. Boom. Not only meekly showing my work, going over the wedding day and somehow suggesting they hire me. Or ‘leaving it up to them’ or asking them to ‘let me know’. Those are WEAK. Without freaking them out – I started knocking their F*cking socks off during the meeting, leading them through my sales process and basically WINNING THE DAY. So much so that on the off chance that they did meet with another photographer – that person had a hell of a time connecting better than me, being more of an expert than me, and basically if they got the contract then they really deserved it on a that-client-is-truly-meant-to-be-with-them level. Our booking ratio was something like 4/5 once we started focusing on the in-person meeting, our sales process, and CLOSING.

  23. Send a letter /email to all of your past clients

    You want to be the photographer people think of whenever they have a need for photography. You also want to be the photographer they think of whenever their friends need photography. Sometimes we need to remind people that we exist. It’s not that they mean to forget us! But it’s our job to be remembered. So do your job and drop them a simple note. Email works but regular mail makes an impression.

  24. Get new headshots

    We’re photographers for a reason- we like to be BEHIND the camera, not in front of it. So we’ll use the same headshot forever, since it’s the only one we like. Even if it’s four years old. Time to update your profile photo and show people how beautiful you are NOW.

  25. Write down what you want your business to be like in 2014

    If you haven’t taken a few moments to plan ahead for 2014, now is the time. You know all the reasons why you should do this and now you just need to DO IT. Make it fun though and see how far you can take it. Being realistic is a drag. Don’t only write down what you think your business can be like this year, write down what you REALLY WANT it to be like. Dream. Big. BIGGER.

  26. Put Vacation days on the calendar RIGHT NOW

    If you’re American then I can correctly assume that you don’t take enough time off. If you’re an entrepreneur then I KNOW you don’t take enough time off. The only way to make sure you take breaks away from work this year is to schedule them just like everything else. You schedule meetings and jobs – and you never miss those – so schedule vacation time. NOW. Don’t wait for a break in your schedule, MAKE the break in your schedule. Your family will appreciate it.

  27. Plan a middle of the year or quarterly planning session

    It’s too easy to get caught up in running or working in the business to actually do any work ON the business. Especially deep dive planning and mapping. But without making the time to step back and plan you’re always in a reactive mode, being directed by the latest email or problem that comes up. It doesn’t need to be a whole weekend, heck you can even make it a single focused day – just make it a real scheduled event that can’t be rescheduled, moved, put off. Include your team or most important partners. Oh – and do it somewhere you would consider ‘offsite’ for a change of space.

  28. Sign up for a workshop

    You’ve been doing this long enough to know a few things that you don’t know. Go find a workshop and learn a few new things. You’re running a photography business and no one’s making you get your continuing education credits. The industry is moving forward and you need to keep up.

  29. Identify what publications you want to be in and find out HOW to get published

    If your work hasn’t been published then this is the year that you decide to GET PUBLISHED. If your work has already been published then it’s time to find new publications. Don’t think there are any? Then you’re not looking hard enough. Or wide enough. Think in terms of over-lapping audiences. You think people interested in photography only look at photography blogs? Or people getting married only look at wedding blogs? Parenting blogs can always use posts with tips for parents on how to take better photos of their children. Heck, finance blogs can probably use a post about budgeting for wedding photography. You just have to think wider about where you want to be published. Sure you can use Two Bright Lights but these days it’s like the old ‘Writer’s Market‘ book for writer submissions. Half the ‘publications’ don’t ever respond and the other half aren’t worth submitting to. Go find publishers you can build a relationship with.

  30. STOP looking at your regular list of photographers for a month

    You follow your favorite photographer on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and you get updates to their blog the minute they’re posted. Turn it all off. Take a break from being a super-fan for at least a month. Don’t worry, they’ll go on without you and you’ll get a chance to create anew without their subconscious influence on you (or your own envy to stop you.)

  31. Create an editorial calendar for your blogging

    If you want to blog on a schedule – then create a schedule. Not just “I’m going to blog every Friday”. Turn pro and approach it like a publisher. Install an editorial calendar plugin and map out what blog entries you’ll post and on what dates. If your blog is a major piece of your marketing then you need to treat it like your job. Because it is.Atlanta-Wedding-Photographer-LeahAndMark-0024

  32. Stay off Pinterest for a while

    You already know what’s out there. Give it time to sink in. And cut off the flow of new ideas from outside sources all together so that you can process everything on your own. You don’t need a constant flow of inspiration. There’s TOO MUCH input these days and you can’t possibly process it all. Take a break. Give your subconscious a chance to make magic on its own that’ll float up to your conscious frontal lobe.

  33. Photography field trip

    You’ve been so busy WORKING that you haven’t had time to play. Don’t just turn an already planned trip into an excuse to practice your photography, take a trip specifically to practice your photography. Pick a location to take new photos. Interested in street photography? Go find the busiest corner in your city and spend a day taking photos. Interested in landscapes? Pick someplace half a day’s drive away and go. Make it an overnight trip if you want.

  34. Watch a movie

    Don’t just watch a movie. Watch it with photographer eyes. Watch it and pay attention to the composition, to the coloring, to every aspect of the image. Pick a movie to watch and study. A few suggestions? Blade Runner, Citizen Kane, Pina, Old Boy, Sukiyaki Western Django, Exiled.

  35. Get some sleep

    I’m not arguing that you can get a lot a done when you don’t sleep. I’m just saying that if you don’t really need to work, or if you’re not as productive as you should be at 1am, then just go to bed. The one hour of extra sleep will do you much more good than getting barely any work down at 1am because you’re dead tired. You maximize your efficiency when you’re not dead tired, not when you’re struggling to work while you’re dead tired. Get more sleep this year. Go to bed.

  36. Introduce yourself as a photographer

    When you meet a new person do you introduce yourself as a photographer or whatever it is you do for your day job? Introduce yourself as a photographer. Don’t say I’m a photographer but I still work at the bank, or as a programmer, or whatever. You’re a photographer, period. Of course if they ask further, don’t lie – but put your photographer job FIRST and up front.

  37. Clean Your Gear

    It’s hard to keep gear clean. What with all that lying down in the grass, and chasing children/dogs/brides that we do. And unless you ONLY change lenses in a clean room at the CDC, you probably have some spots on your camera sensor. Go get your camera bodies and lenses professionally cleaned. It’s like brushing your teeth. Sort of.

  38. Do your taxes early

    Power through it (or hand it all off to your accountant) and get your taxes done. And then you can leave 2013 fully behind you.

  39. Buy a new lens

    You’ve been eyeing that new lens for a new long time. Maybe a short time. Pull the trigger and get it. Promise yourself that it’s worth it. Because it is. It’ll be your new secret weapon to making new amazing photos. Do it. Feel good about it.

  40. Get a brand new bag

    I’m not talking about another one of those black gear bags that look like PHOTOGRAPHY bags. Get something modern, adult, fancy, and coooool. You don’t need to carry your entire studio to every job, and you don’t want to look like you’re going camping while you’re photographing a black tie gala. (Kelly Moore Bag; ONA Bags; Copper River Bags.)

  41. Find new meeting spaces

    Are you still meeting at the same four Starbucks locations around the city? If you don’t have your own studio then find some new places to meet clients. Not that Starbucks is bad, but for your own sanity find some new spaces for a change of scenery. You can always fall back on your four Starbucks anyways.

  42. Redefine your perfect client

    Did you get some clients that just weren’t exactly what you were looking for? Did you discover that you take on everybody and ANYBODY? It’s time to narrow down your clientele and start being a little more selective. You want the clients that want you for YOU and at your rates. Not just everyone and anyone. So you need to decide and write down who exactly IS your perfect client. At least so that you can identify the people that aren’t the type of client that you want (thus avoiding many problems down the line.)

  43. Clean your desk

    A messy desk can mean you’re creative, sure. Cluttered is fine, dirty is just gross. Clean up your desk.

  44. Update your contracts

    Maybe you ran into some instances where a tighter contract would have helped you in the past year. A longer delivery deadline, or a change-fee for rescheduling sessions. Maybe you just have no idea what is in your contracts anymore. Review your contracts, see what you have in there, and update as needed.

  45. Find new client sources

    Did all of your clients come from only a few sources last year? Maybe half of them were referred to you through one wedding planner. That’s a lot of your business dependent upon a single person other than you. That wedding planner basically turned into your biggest client by-proxy. What if that relationship turns sour, or that wedding planner’s business turns sour? There goes half of your income. Identify where all of your business came from this past year and find new additional sources. New wedding blogs, new publications, new referral sources.

  46. Order test prints from new printers

    Printers are vendors too and you should regularly be trying out different vendors. Don’t be so quick to jump ship from your current printer, but learn what new vendors have to offer and try them out. Maybe they’ll supplement your current printer or you’ll have a new backup printer on deck.

  47. Find NEW PHOTOGRAPHERS to follow

    You usual list of photographers are still making their usual photos. Go find new photographers. Find strange ones. Even photographers that make photos you would never want to make. Seek out new influences and new influencers.

  48. Consider outsourcing editing

    You may think that your editing is special. That it’s uniquely you and no one could ever possibly edit anywhere nearly as good. You’re wrong. There’s a whole industry that does just that. You think wedding photographers that shoot 30+ weddings a year edit all of their own photos and still have time for marketing, operations, sleep, and having any kind of a life? Chances are that they’re outsourcing their editing. Don’t worry – we were all scared at first, but after not spending 10+ hours editing every wedding, we decided that we LOVE outsourcing our editing.

  49. Help another photographer

    You’ve learned a lot over the past year(s). You probably received some help from other photographers, and they probably offered it without asking for anything in return. Do the same for someone else. You’ll always gain something when you help someone else. It’s a universal truth. Just like drinking coffee makes you super human.

  50. Support a cause

    It’s easy to think that all of your energy and focus needs to be on your business. You’re wrong. You can always carve out a little time and effort to give to a needy cause. You don’t need to devote money, or commit for a year – but sign up to help out/volunteer/participate. There are an endless number of organizations you can work with so pick one you’re interested in.0018_LeahAndMark_Ojai_Wedding_1

  51. Identify your core business

    You don’t need to photography EVERYTHING. Do you like to photograph weddings but not newborns? STOP photographing newborns. Or family portraits. Or Weddings. If you’ve been doing this long enough to know what you don’t like, then stop doing what you don’t like. Announce it, make it official – free yourself.

  52. Cut out the things you don’t like to do

    Outsource everything you can (editing, print fulfillment, etc.) or cut it out altogether. Do you not like to make albums? Stop selling albums. Do you not like meeting clients at all hours whenever it’s convenient for only them? Set specific hours when you can meet clients – and schedule meetings during only those hours. Maybe you don’t like mailing DVDs of digital files – switch to a download-only delivery business.

  53. Join a gym

    You know exercise is good for you. Think you’re too busy? If the President can find time to workout regularly then YOU can find time to workout regularly. Ten hour wedding days should not be your only ‘workout’.

  54. Turn off the internets

    You don’t need to watch Facebook. Or Twitter. It’ll be there whenever you want it to be there. And it’s taking away all of your focus. Turn off the internet for a little while and get to work. Or read a book. Or watch a movie. Or do ANYTHING without the interruption of the internet.

  55. Only watch TV on your schedule

    If you can’t stop watching TV altogether then don’t watch tv whenever tv wants you to watch it. Don’t spend 30 minutes looking for something to watch. Make your own tv watching schedule – and do anything you can to skip commercials (or miss them altogether.)

  56. Find a team of photographers

    Like many art forms, photography can be a lonely job. You don’t need to be so alone. You can find other photographers to work with. You can find other photographers that think like you do. You can find other photographers that will support you and your crazy ideas. Go find them.

  57. Be curious

    Remember that you don’t know everything. And you definitely don’t know everything about everything. Be curious. Be interested in something and let yourself follow it down the rabbit hole. And I’m not just talking about being lost watching an endless series of youtube videos. Remember when you were interested in dinosaurs? Or WWII battles, or sharks, or volcanoes? I’m talking about that type of curiosity. Let yourself go. And learn the hell out of a subject. Like seahorses.

  58. Make some bad photos. Really bad

    The problem with always trying to make good photos is that you already know how to do that. You know what mistakes not to make, and in fact you’re doing everything you can to not make ANY mistakes. Which also means you’re not doing things you’re not sure about. In short, you’re playing way too far on the safe side of the tracks. Remember that scene in Fight Club where they show how hard it is to get people to FIGHT YOU? Because we’ve been told all our lives to not get into fights. Same thing with bad photos. I’m just trying to break you out of some the same old photography routines you’ve been using for the past 3 years. Of course – some of you don’t need any help making bad photos ;-)

  59. Scout a strange and new location

    The busier you get the more you go into auto pilot mode. Meetings held at the same four Starbucks locations, same poses for every wedding, every family, every baby – and you’re always photographing in the same 2 parks. Find some new locations! They don’t even have to be super-secret brand new locations, they just have to be new locations TO YOU.

  60. Find a networking meet up group

    The thing about networking events is that too many people still attend them with the mindset of ‘power-networking-meet-as-many-people-as-possible’. They hand their cards out like candy and often times don’t even ask for yours. Don’t worry – there are many people just like you that aren’t interested in these power-networking events either. Take some time to dig a little deeper and you’ll find some. One thing to remember – networking with other photographers will only take you so far. You need to meet other business owners who are more like going to need photography services at some point.

  61. Sponsor an event

    You’d be surprised how little money or effort it takes to be listed as a sponsor for charitable events. Pick a cause you like – and get your name on the signage/t-shirts/marketing materials. Sure the promotional worth takes a dive once the event is over but you get the benefit of being a big time sponsor – something many small business photographers don’t ever think about doing. AND you don’t only have to donate/provide photography of the event. Get creative. Maybe trade for company headshots on another day so you can be listed as an overall sponsor. Don’t limit yourself.

  62. Enter a competition

    There’s something exciting about the possibility of winning – ANYTHING. I know you’re constantly telling yourself that your photography is for YOU, but we all know that’s bull honky donky. Your photography is for your clients, or at the very least for the viewer (whoever that maybe). Enter a contest and see how you do. For more excitement, pick one that actually exhibits your work in a gallery setting. If it’s local you can bring your family and friends and feel like you did back in the day during your 5th grade art show. Let your friends and family gush over your work and bad mouth everyone else’s sloppy, 45 degree tilted ‘artsy’ photos.

  63. Teach someone

    You’ve learned a lot over the past few years. Teaching someone will help you breakdown exactly why you do certain things that you don’t think about anymore. AND you just might realize that what you’re doing is completely wrong or at the very least, can be done better. Chances are that you learn 99% from someone else and not just ‘on your own’. A book, an online video, a few tips from another friend. Share what others have shared with you. You’ll get much more in return.

  64. Write down a list of things you DON’T know

    One of the biggest problems with some of my past Interns was that they never knew what they DIDN’T know. So they didn’t know what gaps in their knowledge they had to fill. Find the gaps in your knowledge, and training – and write them down. Find out what the best out there knows that you don’t.

  65. Create a Google+ page, or a Pinterest, or a Twitter account

    Basically – finally get on that social media platform that you haven’t tried yet. And see if you like it. See if it sticks. If it doesn’t – you’ve at least reserved your name address for later (and before someone else takes it!)

  66. Review your successes

    Hey! You’re not so bad. You’re probably pretty great. And if you’re still doing this photography business thing then you’ve definitely experienced some WINS. Great job! How about you not forget that okay? Remember those families that loved their photos. Or that wedding client that realized how much you made their wedding day a fun and stress free event. So take a moment and write them down. Read them aloud. Take a picture, it’ll last longer ;-)

  67. Join PPA or another professional organization

    You’re a PRO now. Join a PRO organization. There are professional benefits – like insurance and training, and a huge knowledge bank to pull from.

  68. Make room on your computer

    You’ve been so busy shooting and editing all last year and now your hard drive is 95% full. MOVE those files. Get rid of the non-selects, make sure you have at least .jpg copies of everything and then MOVE THOSE FILES. Buy a new hard drive, upload to the cloud, whatever – just make room on your computer for all of the work you’re going to be getting this year.

  69. Work harder

    I know that several items on this list seem like they’re saying WORK LESS. But really it’s all about working as efficient as possible. So when you’re working – GET TO F*CKEN WORK. And WORK HARD. You think you know what hard work is when it comes to your photography business? YOU DON’T. You have it in you to work HARDER. You know what’s hard? Doing more work in the same amount of time. Doing more work, smarter. Doing more work, that is MORE effective. THAT’S WORKING HARD.

  70. Identify core problems – and solve them

    Stop putting out small fires. Stop being reactive all the time. If you have a problem that keeps coming up – fix the real cause. Clients keep complaining about your late deliveries? It’s not that you can’t get the photos edited, it’s that you’re at the point where you HATE EDITING for 10 hours. Stop trying to make your workflow ‘better’ or more ‘efficient’ – just outsource the bulk of your editing. Take the hit on the expense and take the benefit of HAPPY CLIENTS. Your photos suck not because of your gear, but because you HAVE NO IDEA WHAT MAKES A GREAT PHOTO. Go fix the actual, core problem.

  71. Study film composition

    Essentially the same subject as ‘photography’ composition – except taught through the medium of movies. And we ALWAYS learn better with movies right? Ha. RIGHT. You’ve been watching movies your entire life and you subconciously know the difference between a ‘beautifully filmed’ movie and one that’s just there. You also know that the way a movie is shot can affect your whole experience. Sound familiar? YES. Just like single-shot-photography. The way an image is captured makes all the difference which is why you and a guest at a wedding can take a photo of the same thing and yours ROCKS! Studying film composition will help you learn and look at composition in general with new eyes. (Read – The Filmmaker’s Eye.)

  72. Get geeky about something

    – Be a fan of something (again) or get into a new fandom – and don’t be embarrassed about it. You’re allowed to be nerdy and proud of it. It’s your thing. SO get back into it. Stop thinking you have to find the ‘middle’ of your personality and be bland so you can attract EVERYONE into being your client. There are enough bland people out there disguised as photographers.

  73. Learn a DIY skill (get crafty)

    Learn to sew, or weld, or solder, or knit, or just how to duct tape anything and everything together or into existence. Don’t just be that person that doesn’t know how to Macguyver anything together. Learning a basic repair skill will only serve you well and probably come in handy sooner than later. Strap on your leather camera bag tears? Sew it together instead of dropping another $200. Need a piece of gear/structure for a shoot? MAKE IT instead of buying something someone else just rigged together.

  74. Create a mailing list

    It’s the new thing (well, old now but still probably new to you.) RSS feeds are dead and people don’t read all of your blog posts the second you get them up. Plus you want to build an audience so create a mailing list, promising only to use it for good and only to send out YOUR BEST blog posts. You’ve probably seen it everywhere else already – now you just need to get off your ass and make one for your own blog.

  75. Make your clients laugh

    This is a real PRO TIP. You think your clients will remember all of your credentials? All of your amazing photos? Sure they will on some intellectual level that they’ll easily forget about. What will they remember on a deep down subconscious won’t forget level? If you make them laugh. If when they meet with you, they leave feeling good. Not only will they remember you, but they’ll connect with you and laughing together is one of the easiest ways to make that awesome connection with someone you just met.

  76. Stop beating yourself up over last year’s mistakes

    It’s a new year. Learn from your mistakes, work towards not making them again and move on. You’re free. Let’s GO.

 

Thank you for reading. Join our mailing list (see the sign up form over in the sidebar) and we promise to only send you OUR BEST posts about photography, photography business, and photography marketing.

You Might Also Like

  • Addy Choi 6 Jan ’14 at 3:05 pm

    Awesome list, Mark. And I love that you're sharing advice and tips to others who are potentially your competitors – all in the name of love for the art of photography and capturing people's special moments. Thank you!

  • Emilia Schobeiri 6 Jan ’14 at 3:25 pm

    Hell to the yes! Thank you for this :-D <3

  • Angela Stewart 6 Jan ’14 at 5:18 pm

    Fab and much needed right now, thank you !!

  • Tricia Duncan 6 Jan ’14 at 9:03 pm

    Awesome list Mark!!!

  • SGW Photography | Delaware County, PA Lifestyle Photographer 6 Jan ’14 at 10:10 pm

    […] reading an article from a photographer I look up to made me realize that I don’t have to think so hard about this. Just do what I want. I need to […]

  • Ziad Photography 28 Jul ’14 at 9:49 pm

    Sir yes sir!! i'm gonna buy that lens! > will be kicked out by wife in 3..2.. > make someone laugh today: done. > Sent from iPhone, on my way to a shoot, while dr