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

By Michelle Ecker on February 18, 2020

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

If you’re a photographer, Valentine’s Day is a great opportunity to make money booking romantic photo shoots with couples in your area. 

If this is something you’d like to try but you’re not sure how to get started, check out these tips on making the most of this year’s Valentine’s season.

Determine How You Want Your Clients to Contact You

As a photographer, if you want to make more money and grow your client base, you need to consider how your customers are going to find you. Especially when opportunities like Valentine’s Day arise, if you want to make the most of your marketing efforts, having a website or social media profile is a basic first step. 

Do you already have a professional photography website? If so, make sure it gives potential clients clear direction on how to contact you. If you want them to email you, explicitly say that and provide the email address. If you would rather they call, say that and provide the phone number.

If you don’t have a website, maybe you want your potential clients to contact you through a popular social media page you maintain. The same rules apply here. Make sure your email address or phone number is in your profile biography with clear directions on how you’d like customers to use it. 

If you don’t have either of these things yet because you’re not sure how to make them, consider checking out NYIP’s Business Course for Photographers. This program is made for talented photographers who would like to make money through projects like this, but aren’t sure how to do things like make a website, do marketing work, or put together contracts. 

Get the Word Out 

Once you have a website or social media page where clients can reach you, you need to get the word out about your Valentine’s Day offer and drive people to that site to learn more and book their shoots. 

There are several different ways you can get the word out about the work you’re doing. For one, you should always reach out to your family and friends and ask them to promote you on their personal social media pages. You will typically find better results with this if you keep this outreach specific, and do most of the work on behalf of your family and friends. 

This Valentine’s Day, put together a pre-written post you’d like your family and friends to share, and make it specific to the work you’re selling. For example:

“Hey everyone! If you’re interested in booking a photo shoot with your significant other this Valentine’s Day, be sure to check out (Insert Your Name Here). This artist trained with the New York Institute of Photography and now shoots weddings and portraits throughout (Insert Your Area Here). 

They are offering a special Valentine’s Day offer of (Insert Your Pricing) for a couple’s photo shoot. Give them a call at (Insert Phone Number) to book yours today! (Insert Link To Your Website)” 

This is just an example of a great message worth circulating on the social media accounts of as many family and friends who are willing to share it. Be sure to include some details about who you are, the work you do, and maybe even a nice sample of your work- like your favorite photo from a wedding you shot last year (just be sure to get that couple’s permission to use it in your ad). Send this template, pre-written, with an image attached ,to your family and friends and urge them to get sharing! 

Another great option is to reach out to satisfied clients you’ve already worked with in the past. Whenever you have a successful shoot with a new customer, you should always be sure to keep their contact information in a directory with all your other clients- ideally their phone numbers and email addresses. That way, when opportunities like Valentine’s Day roll around, you can comprise a list of all those addresses and send out a mass email with a message similar to the sample listed above. You might even consider offering this list a special discount, considering they’re loyal clients. 

Plan Your Valentine’s Day Photo Shoot 

Once you have some clients booked, you need to start brainstorming the shoot itself. If you’ve never done couple’s portraits before, you should consider reading about fun romantic poses before you get started. 

If you will be working in a photography studio and you’re able to invest in props, consider picking up some red and pink balloons, Valentine’s sweets, or confetti. Your clients will always be excited to see that you went the extra mile for their shoot by bringing along some fun extras they can get creative with while posing. 

If you don’t have a photography studio to work in, ask the couple if there is a meaningful local place where they would like to be photographed. Maybe their first date was a picnic in the local park. Or maybe this couple got engaged at a restaurant nearby and they’d like to be photographed there. Shooting portraits on location is always a simple way to add meaning to a photo shoot, especially for a couple. Find out what places are special in the eyes of this pair, and plan to recreate those memories for them with their on-location Valentine’s shoot.

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. As we mentioned before, the first thing you should do is make a careful directory with contact information on every couple you successfully worked with this year. 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. 
If you want more help learning how to make money with your photography through work like this, check out the New York Institute of Photography’s online Business Course for Photographers. This program is taught by professional, New York-based photographers with years of experience in the industry. You can complete the coursework online at your own pace as you study how to make the most of your photography business. For more information on how to get started, click here or call 1 800-583-1736 to speak with an admissions advisor.