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Portrait Photographers: Your Competition & How You Should Respond to Them

By Hanssie on November 14th 2014

Photography is a competitive business. Around here in Orange County, California, the wedding and portrait photography market is saturated. Any one who has a camera calls themselves a photographer – many of them offer sub $1000 unlimited wedding packages and Groupon deals for dirt cheap prices.

As a working photographer, it may be discouraging to be just one in the sea of hundreds of other photographers and try to make a living from the craft that you love, while your “peers” are undercutting your prices. Is there a way to differentiate yourself from the droves budget photographers and friends with a camera? The short answer is yes.



The following CreativeLive video is a clip of part of a 30 day Master the Business of Photography class with award winning photographer Sal Cincotta. In the 7 minute video, Sal talks about identifying your competition and how you as a portrait photographer should respond to them. Among them he points out The Picture People, a friend with a camera and Groupon as primary competitors and asks, “how do you in the portrait market compete with that?”

These companies offer free to cheap sitting fees, portraits, discs, etc that attracts the volume business, but how do you differentiate your brand and business and be able to charge $500-$1000 a portrait session vs. the $19.95 that the studio in the mall charges? One of my favorite things that Sal says in this clip is that “Price is a race to the bottom.” He goes on to tell us that he has never lowered his prices, instead he focuses on creating separation to get to the top of the market.

So, how do you get to the top of the market? One piece of advice he gives is not to “operate from a point of desperation” and start making bad decisions. We should be making the right decisions based on the right reasons which is to grow your business, grow your revenue and offer a superior product. As mentioned, this is only a short clip full the wisdom Sal is imparting in his 30 day class. He will be covering all aspects of the photography business and you don’t want to miss out. Plus, it’s free if you watch it live, so go sign up right now! (At the time of writing, they are only on day 4).


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Hanssie is a Southern California-based writer and sometimes portrait and wedding photographer. In her free time, she homeschools, works out, rescues dogs and works in marketing for SLR Lounge. She also blogs about her adventures and about fitness when she’s not sick of writing so much. Check out her work and her blog at Follow her on Instagram

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Sebastian Martin

    I am a huge bug of Sal’s teachings.
    Most of his ideas are basics of business and entraprenuriship and can be learned at business and marketing school. He’s a clever guy, and any new or struggling photographer should take the time to watch his courses. In my opinion, this is the stuff we need to learn before making our first photography dollar.

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  2. Robert Moura

    It seems a worldwide problem, all bells and whistles for a peanut.

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  3. Jamie Hosmer

    Looks like a great presentation. Would like to see the while thing.

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  4. Rafael Steffen

    Follow what Joe Bussinks says about Photography. It’s about selling yourself and not a picture.

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  5. Rafael Steffen

    Thanks for sharing this encouraging video on Portrait photogrpahy. Lowering price will not get you anywhere. Set yourself aside for better quality so that people desire your photography.

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  6. Greg Silver

    LOL – starting off with “WHY YOU WILL FAIL…” – ahhh – the glass is half empty.

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