Photographers dream of having a steady stream of clients who trust their artistic vision and value their work. In reality, we all want the freedom to select only the jobs that interest us while generating a profitable income. If you’re still struggling and wondering how to get more photography clients, there are specific steps you can take to do just that. More importantly, you can take steps to grow your clientele while selecting only those who love your work and see value in your prices. To help you move closer to running the business of your dreams, we’ll share five tips on how to get photography clients.

How to Get Photography Clients

  1. Understand Your Ideal Client
  2. Create a Website That Brings in Inquiries
  3. Understand How Clients Make Decisions
  4. Go Above and Beyond to Get People Talking
  5. Get More People to Hear About You
  6. Stay Top of Mind
  7. Refine Your Post Sales Process
  8. Ask for Referrals and Create Incentives
  9. Bonus: The #1 Mistake That Guarantees Your Marketing Will Fail

1. Understand Your Ideal Client

client persona for how to get photography clients
A fictional example of a client persona for target marketing (from the Business Photography Training System)

The more clearly you understand exactly who you want to work with, the easier it will be to get them to hire you. Put yourself in the shoes of your ideal client and think about their lives and answer these questions:

  • Where do they shop?
  • What are their interest and hobbies?
  • What websites do they frequent?

These questions represent a starting point. The better you can understand your ideal client and their lifestyle, the more effective your marketing will be. To increase your effectiveness, base your marketing strategy on your ideal clients.

What works for one type of client will be very different from what works with other types of clients. For example, how you market newborn photography should be entirely different from how you market headshots for CEOs because you are trying to attract two very different types of clients.

When you understand your ideal client inside and out, you can create a marketing plan that makes them feel like you completely understand their needs. This makes them much more likely to book you.

2. Create a Website That Brings in Inquiries

Your photography website is a helpful marketing tool that many photographers take for granted. It is your virtual storefront where clients form their first impression and decide whether they’ll hire you or someone else. You need to be intentional about how your website is structured so that it turns more visitors into inquiries. If you only blog client sessions, show your portfolio, and have a contact page on your site, you’re losing inquiries you could be getting otherwise. Luckily, many website builders available today are affordable and easy to use, and they include multiple features that will allow you to build a formidable online presence.


3. Understand How Clients Make Decisions

If you don’t understand how clients make decisions about who to hire, you may be unintentionally turning away clients that might have loved working with you. When you understand how clients choose a photographer, you can adjust your marketing message to make sure you’re giving them the information they need to make the right decision about working with you. You’ll attract the kinds of clients you really want to work with, and you’ll repel the kinds of clients that don’t value you and are stressful to work with.

For example, if you educate your client about what to look for in a photographer, they’re going to see you as an authority. They’ll be thankful that you helped them understand how to make an informed decision, making them more likely to choose you when they’re ready to select a photographer than someone else who hasn’t helped them in any way.

4. Go Above and Beyond to Get People Talking

When someone hasn’t hired a photographer before, it can be overwhelming to try and decide who to hire. People trust the opinions of friends and family, so they look to them when deciding on a photographer. People are much more likely to book you if they know that a friend or family member had a positive experience with you.


When you go above and beyond to create a remarkable experience for your clients, they’ll be happy to recommend you when they know someone is looking for a photographer. We reached out to our community of professional photographers for their thoughts on how to get more photography clients, and many pointed to using social media.

5. Get More People to Hear About You

Fantastic photos aren’t enough to get you clients if nobody sees them. Word of mouth advertising ranks high on the list of how to get photography clients, but it’s limited by the number of clients you have. You need more people to hear about your business so they can hire you.

Here are a few ways to get people to hear about you:

  • Optimize your website to show up in search results: Many people look for photographers by looking them up in a search engine. The better you understand how search engines display results, the more likely you’ll be able to show up at the top of the list.
  • Network: When you build relationships with vendors, businesses, and other photographers, you’ll be the person they rave about when prospective clients ask them for recommendations.
  • Tap into the power of social media: Social media is powerful if used in the right way. Each platform serves a different purpose, so you have to understand their differences and figure out what works best on each one. For example, you can use Instagram Guides as a key marketing tool to get more people to hear about you.
  • Know when to use paid advertising: Unless you know exactly what you are doing, paid ads are generally a waste of money. That being said, paid ads can bring in a lot of clients for very little money when you understand how to create ads that appeal to your client and how to make sure only your ideal client sees them.

6. Stay Top-of-Mind to Get More Photography Clients

If you want to get more referrals and get them now, then you have to be Top of Mind (this not only works with clients, but vendors as well!). The way you get Top of Mind (you and your business are at the forefront of someone’s mind) is by doing something for them and getting on their radar. Many times you don’t get referred by a past client or vendor because you simply haven’t done anything for them lately.

With current clients, stay Top of Mind by doing something for them every few weeks. It can be as simple as an email, call or note in the actual mail, or better yet, a perzonalized gift which helps them focus on their relationship (date night kit, anyone?) and is NOT about you and your photography.

Click below to hear us talk about a practical way to stay Top of Mind with vendors!

7. Refine Your Post Sales Process

If done correctly, in the post sales process, you can really separate yourself as a business person. This is your opportunity to get creative and think of spectacular ways to get referrals from clients. Word of mouth is 10x stronger than most marketing campaigns you can create using Facebook, radio ads, or whatever form you chose. On the unfortunate side of things, if someone has a spectacular experience with you, they are likely to only tell a few people to hire you. On the flip side, if they have a bad experience, they will be happy to tell ten people not to use your service within a day. Even with the numbers skewed against you, word of mouth is a powerful tool for photographers, and initially, it is the best way to launch your newfound business. This is why it is very important to focus on first performing remarkable work and secondly having a great system that makes it easy for clients to refer more clients to you!

8. Ask for Referrals and Create Incentives

Ask immediately after the sale. Mention to your client that your businesses runs mostly off referrals and would love to help out any friends, family or coworkers of theirs.  I have always been a personal fan of rewards. If you want me to refer someone to your business, reward me with something I want. If you do a reward system for referrals, then make sure you build that referral system with the client in mind. Really think about what would excite them to refer people to you.

Bonus: The #1 Mistake That Guarantees Your Marketing Will Fail

Computer and camera lens for how to get more photography clients

When you apply these tips to your business you’ll get better clients and more of them. You’ll be able to charge profitable prices and only work with the clients you really want. However, there’s one mistake that guarantees all your efforts will fail: not creating a marketing plan

It can be hard to find time to focus on marketing when there are so many other things to do in your business, but if you don’t take the time to actually do any marketing, you won’t see results. Creating a marketing plan helps to ensure you set aside time to put these marketing strategies into practice. The marketing plan outlines what you plan to do and gives a game plan to reach your goals. It helps you decide exactly when you’ll be doing each task so you can schedule time to work on marketing. To make sure your marketing plan attracts the clients you really want, it has to be customized to your ideal client and market.

More Info

If you need help creating a marketing plan or growing your business in general to get more of the clients you want, check out the Photography Business Training System. In this workshop, Pye Jirsa shares ALL of the strategies, templates, and workflows used over the past decade to build his photography studio