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What is the Most Effective form of Marketing for Photographers?

By Pye Jirsa on July 22nd 2015



I have had the blessing and opportunity to meet and make a lot of wonderful friends in this industry. These friends are not only incredible individuals, they are also amazing photographers who teach and inspire me on a daily basis. My desire for SLR Lounge is to be the ultimate source in quality education and information from those that are working as professional photographers. So, recently I asked them “What is the most effective form of marketing for you and your business?” From my experience, each of their answers are spot on and should be quite insightful for all of you. Here are their answers:

Most Effective Forms of Marketing Tip 1 | Phillip Van Nostrand of Phillip VN Photo

Follow Phillip’s work on his website and Facebook pages.


“The most effective form of marketing for me is doing a same day slideshow during the reception with a 24in monitor and business cards splayed out in front, as an iPad is going around with the same images to guests who have just finished eating their meal. I give the iPad to my favorite mother or bridesmaid or groomsman.” – Phillip Van Nostrand

Most Effective Forms of Marketing Tip 2 | Julia Franzosa of Julia Franzosa Photography

Follow Julia’s work on her website and Facebook pages.


“The most effective form of marketing for me is building authentic relationships and friendships with other industry vendors. People want to work with others that they trust and know will do a great job for their clients – their referrals are golden but so are the amazing friendships I’ve made in the last couple years!” – Julia Franzosa

Most Effective Forms of Marketing Tip 3 | Bud Johnson of Common Spark Media

Follow Bud’s work on his website and Facebook pages.


“The most effective form of marketing for me is… making the moms lose their minds. I can’t tell you how many moms cry over the same-day-slideshows, like every single sneak-peek, share the blog posts, and comment on every photo update. Sure they forget to tag us, or misspell our company name on Facebook, but I get a call every week from someone saying, ‘I work with your last bride’s mom and she won’t shut up about your photos, and I can see why. Let’s talk.’ ” – Bud Johnson

Most Effective Forms of Marketing Tip 4 | Renee Reece of The R2 Studio

Follow Renee’s work on her website and Facebook pages.


“Creating a very distinct “R2 family” Our clients are all very close. They bond over having R2 as their photographers. It’s kind of like a gang. Only certain people can get in but once you’re in you’re in. So the word of mouth within these circles just go crazy because our past clients want their friends to be in the family and other couples who find us elsewhere have already heard about our tight knit group and want in.” See More” – Renee Reece

Most Effective Forms of Marketing Tip 5 | Charmi Peña of Charmi Pena Photography

Follow Charmi’s work on her website and Facebook pages.


“…spoiling my clients. Making them feel special and valued with little things like well thought out packaging, checking in during planning, a welcome gift to thank them for booking, and more. They end up talking about me for years to come because they remember those little things and the relationship we built through them!” – Charmi Pena

Most Effective Forms of Marketing Tip 6 | Cassandra Bradley of BlueSky by Cass Bradley

Follow Cassandra’s work on her website and Facebook pages.


“My greatest form of marketing is…wait for it… (hint: its not sexy) Consistency. To me, there is no ‘magic bullet’ and we can debate all day long on things like print ads, bridal shows, etc. But when I am CONSISTENT-as in: the day-in/day-out mix of spoiling clients, blogging, networking with vendors, a bit of direct advertising and submitting to publications…I see momentum (and revenue) build. (oh–and wine. Pretty much all of my clients and vendor friends have shared a glass of wine with me.)” – Cass Bradley

Most Effective Forms of Marketing Tip 7 | Jason Marino of Imagine Photography

Follow Jason’s work on his website and Facebook pages.


“Our most effective form of marketing is us. We want people to fall in love with the idea of us. Our persona, our vibe, our aesthetic. We treat ourselves as a brand, and that brand extends to our company. We want to be seen as chic, fun, fashionable, and slightly dangerous ….like the guy you dated in college that your dad hated but your mom always said was ‘kinda cute.'” – Jason Marino

Most Effective Forms of Marketing Tip 8 | Rich Yodsukar of Rich Chris Studios

Follow Rich’s work on his website and Facebook pages.


“…networking! Not only with industry vendors but with your current and past clients. We’ve gotten so many commercial jobs from past clients because of the work that THEY do. It’s also important to network with fellow vendors of within the same market/price range you are in/want to be in. As you move up in price, your network should also move up.” – Rich Yodsukar

Most Effective Forms of Marketing Tip 9 | Julie Wilmes Smith of Julie Wilmes Photography

Follow Julie’s work on her website and Facebook pages.


“We create long lasting friendships with our clients that goes beyond their wedding day, most of our clients really become our friends and so they are quick to recommend us down the line. We do cookouts, group dinners and more to keep that group of friends strong. It’s not just a ploy though because we only contract with people that we could realistically be friends with down the road, and in turn we get the right kind of enquiries because of it. Everyone loves to feel wanted so we find that welcoming our clients into our lives benefits us ten-fold in the marketing department.” – Julie Wilmes

Most Effective Forms of Marketing Tip 10 | Jamie Ivins of Jamie Ivins Photography

Follow Jamie’s work on his website and Facebook pages.


“”One of the most effective forms of marketing for me is my constant communication with clients. I work very hard to make each individual client feel like they are always my top priority, whether through email, phone calls, gifts, or a hand written note every now and again. This continuous communication always keeps me at the front of their minds and the tip of their tongues, leading to more quality referrals and leads with the types of clients I want to work with.” – Jamie Ivins

Most Effective Forms of Marketing Tip 11 | Callie Beale of Callie Beale Photography

Follow Callie’s work on her website and Facebook pages.


“The most effective form of marketing is establishing a genuine, purposeful connection with my clients and loved ones prior to the wedding day. I want to build trust and let them know that it is a privilege for me to be present and excited about capturing their precious memories. It is my goal to get to know them so well that I can best anticipate their wants before they even have an opportunity to ask.” – Callie Beale

Most Effective Forms of Marketing Tip 12 | Christina Blanarovich of Christina Zen Photography

Follow Christina’s work on her website and Facebook pages.


“The most important form of marketing for me has been straight up hard work. My couples and their families can see how hard I work on their wedding day. They know I’m everywhere, but never intrusive. They count on me to do whatever needs to be done to ensure that I not only get them the best photos that represent their day, but that I also do whatever I need to to ensure they HAVE the best day. Going the extra mile, before, during and after the wedding to make the experience smooth and easy for them is what makes them talk about me. My business has become mostly referral based and those referrals all reiterate the same point – the extra hustle always pays off in the end.” – Christina Blanarovich

Most Effective Forms of Marketing Tip 13 | Jenny Nguyen of Studio Simplicity

Follow Jenny’s work on her website and Facebook pages.


“The most effective form of marketing for me is being transparent. From the business to personal – I am an open book. The more the clients know about me and how I work and play, the more they feel comfortable and can relate to me. It also helps attract YOUR ideal clients who’s a perfect fit! They in turn will become some of your biggest cheerleaders!” – Jenny Nguyen

Most Effective Forms of Marketing Tip 14 | Jihan Cerda of Jihan Cerda Photography

Follow Jihan’s work on her website and Facebook pages.


“My most effective form of marketing is being myself and showing my passion through my work. Not only do I want my clients (and prospective clients) to look back at their images and experience their day all over again through photographs, but I want them to forever feel the love I shared to capture their day as if I’m more than just “the photographer.” My sister describes me perfectly….’After someone meets you, its like you’re their best friend in five minutes.’ ” – Jihan Cerda

Most Effective Forms of Marketing Tip 15 | Timothy Eyrich of Timothy Eyrich Photography

Follow Timothy’s work on his website and Facebook pages.


“I have found the most effective form of ‘marketing’ for me is being able to remember the names of the parents both sides and all the bridal party, and in some cases know them before I even show up. They are always blown away when I use their name to give direction for the photos etc. ” – Timothy Eyrich

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Founding Partner of Lin and Jirsa Photography and SLR Lounge.

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Q&A Discussions

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  1. bastiaan van Dijk

    Nice! i really love all those ideas about the effective form of marketing! Let’s Do This!

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  2. Behailu Gebremicael

    it is one of the best tips I ever read .

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  3. Jamie Ivins

    Wow. Some really awesome tips in this article! Phillip Van Nostrand and Bud Johnson’s same day slideshow tip is fantastic!

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  4. Paul Empson

    Aim to make the current or next assignment your best work yet… I’m always striving for this as the majority of my work, especially weddings, are via recommendation..

    It’s tough when we have no control over venue, location and especially weather… and time… however it’s often remarkable what having a positive – can do – attitude can enable you to achieve.. so there are two marketing’ish tips from me.. ;-)

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  5. norman tesch

    im retired from the military after 20 yrs.i have lived in this small town for 4yrs now. how do you market for that. i shoot models in bigger cities. i have even shot a girl that was on the runway at fashion week in new york. . but i am lucky to get 2 seniors. i stopped shooting sports when i did all the sports this last year put them on fb (low rez) for the kids to see my work and they still hire others to shoot the team and individual pics. the most common thing i hear is “we dont know you.” i literally get more buisness driving anywhere from an hour away or more. i couldeent even get into the local gallery here they went as far as to do a background check on me because they thought i was a sex predator.

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    • Pye

      Hmmm, that’s no good Norman. Seems like being more open/transparent may help? Not sure why they would get that impression.

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    • Daniel Thullen

      Norman makes a good point. All of the suggestion made will work if you have an existing client base. I’ve also shot a lot of local sports, high school and younger, and receive great feedback on both Facebook and my website, but it results in fewer purchases than I would expect. Granted I was originally given the advice: “Post everything that isn’t out of focus on your web site. You never know what people will buy.” Not the best advice.

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    • norman tesch

      pye, they only met me once. this is a place that unless you have 3 generations of family here you are basically considered a tourist. the kids at the school prefer me because of quality but the parents keep hiring the same people. and then each time complain the photos are bad. imagine this in a larger area. 20 couples for prom and 3 mo later the kids still dont have their pics.

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  6. Ernesto Gonzalez

    Number 1 is great and a very similar approach to my way. Kudos to all who shared!

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    • Pye

      On behalf of all of them I will say thanks Ernesto! =)

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  7. Rich yodsukar

    Nice!! Love all the tips!

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    • Pye

      They are quite insightful! Thanks for being a part of it Rich!

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