Dani Diamond, a NYC-based fashion photographer, is on the show today to talk about how he answers the question, “Should I become a portrait photographer?”. He has some great advice for new and established photographers to help you run your photography business profitably.
Here are the highlights, but you can watch the full conversation below or listen to the complete episode on the Momentum podcast.
Should I become a portrait photographer?
As a photography educator, Dani gets asked this question a lot. His answer is brutally honest and typically goes something like this:
“With the market so saturated, it’s very difficult to build your name and career, no matter how good you are.”
Many people become photographers because they love photography… but they have no idea how to run a business and often don’t treat their business like it’s a real business.
You can be absolutely amazing at what you do, but beautiful pictures will only get you so far. You have to be willing to hustle — to market, build connections, and make smart business decisions from day to day.
If you don’t do these things, you might earn a little money, but it’ll be difficult to earn a living.
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How to Handle Slow Season
Part of running a photography business is learning to be productive in your slow season. During Dani’s busy season, he shoots four days a week. In his slow season, he might only have one session every two weeks.
He uses his slow season to market and build his business (or work on carpentry).
Marketing isn’t something that you say, ‘I’m going to do for one hour today’. Marketing is something that you have to do all of the time. By marketing well, you’ll be able to make enough money to get through the slow season and enjoy a little downtime.
In some ways, because of how oversaturated photography’s become, marketing has become more difficult.
In other ways, though, marketing’s become easier. Platforms like Instagram make it easier than ever to connect with people and market your business.
But Dani doesn’t just post his work and hope for likes. He uses Instagram to talk to people. He responds to every message and comment and answers questions. People appreciate that and will remember you. And… even if they never need your services, they will recommend you.
Dani’s goal isn’t to bring in new clients every month. As a fashion photographer, his goal is for clients to come back every few months for new images. To make this happen, he provides outstanding service. Emails are replied to instantly and proofs are shown right away.
Great service keeps people coming back.
If you’d like to learn more from Dani, he offers in-person workshops and 1on1 online mentoring.
He is also a regular contributor on Fstoppers.