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A Photographer's Guide to Making Money on Valentine's Day

By Des Sinkevich on February 12, 2024

Canon camera on background of red foil hearts.

Holidays are always the perfect time for photographers to make a little more money! People want custom photos for gifts or cards, meaning you could potentially have a packed calendar of appointments if you do it right. Before and during Valentine’s Day, there are plenty of opportunities to find more business and take fun, creative photos that you can add to your portfolio. Here’s how to make the most of the day!

4 ways to find and book new clients for Valentine’s Day

1. Take advantage of opportunities in your community

Around holidays like Valentine’s Day, local restaurants, bars, and other attractions often create uniquely decorated spaces to attract customers and get extra holiday buzz on social media. Some may even have decorations designed specifically so that customers can get portraits taken! Scope out what’s happening near you on social media and don’t hesitate to follow the business and drop your name (with a link to your website or Facebook page) in the comments offering your services to interested couples!

Woman posing in front of red wall with love written in white several times.

2. Market your services

If you’re a professional photographer, you should have a business Facebook page along with a website to display your work and generate clients. Leading up to Valentine’s Day, start creating more targeted social media posts that focus on couples, sharing images you’ve done from engagement shoots to weddings to show off your work! If you’ve done fun Valentine’s Day themed shoots before, don’t forget to share those. If you can, it can also help to offer a discount to couples who book by a certain time – say 14% if you want to be in on the holiday hype.

Additionally, make sure you’re easy to contact! Whether someone sends you a direct message or a text, you should be willing to respond as soon as possible so that the potential client doesn’t decide to book with another photographer.

Two men embracing holding red heart shaped balloons.

3. Offer fun sets or props to stand out from other photographers

If you have your own photography studio space, one great way to attract more clients around Valentine’s Day is to set up an eye-catching, themed set. You can decide what vibe you want to go with, whether it’s romantic, whimsical, or silly! Make sure to take photos of the set – or sets, if you’re ambitious – and share them on your social media pages, in photography groups you’re a part of, and anywhere else that’s relevant.

Read more:5 Tips for Romantic Portraits

Heart shapes hanging from fishing line.

4. Don’t forget about Galentine’s Day or singles

A lot of photographers may focus on couples when offering and marketing Valentine’s Day shoots, but single people love a great photo opportunity, too! And we can’t forget about Galentine’s Day. While it’s a holiday that is based on a TV show, it’s grown over the years, and best friend photos are always a blast. As a photographer, if you broaden your audience to include these folks, you may find yourself with more appointments – meaning you can potentially make more money.

Two women in front of wall with red hearts and signs.

Read more:How to Take More Emotional Portraits

Planning your Valentine’s Day photo shoot

Even before you start booking clients, it’s important to have some sort of plan in place. Obviously, plans can be flexible and change based on your client’s needs, but having a framework can help you stay on task during appointments.

It’s a good idea to have a checklist of what equipment you’ll need, an estimate of how long the appointment may last, and a backup plan in case you’re shooting outdoors and the weather takes a turn!

As a photographer, you likely have your own vision of how you’d like the photos to come out but as a businessperson, it’s also a good idea to be aware of trends and offer several options to clients.

When offering Valentine’s-themed photo shoots, make sure to be prepared with props like hearts, candy, and lots of pink, white, and red. Neon signs are also trendy right now, so it doesn’t hurt to have some cute ones available to include in the photos.

Read more:How to Set Up a Photography Studio Outdoors

What about when Valentine’s Day is over?

Once all your shoots are finished and your clients have been delivered their photos, it’s never too early to start planning for next year. It’s always a great idea to have a directory of your clients with contact information so you can follow up with them in the future! That way, if you want to do another seasonal ad to shoot holiday card pictures come December, you can contact these customers and give them a heads-up to book theirs early.

Get more photography tips from NYIP

Want to learn more tips and tricks to grow your photography business? Are you a new photographer looking to learn more about the equipment you need and how to find clients? Check out our blog, which offers advice and fun ideas that can help you take your work to the next level!