Growing your business (PS EP-86)

We all love small portrait sessions: Families, seniors, headshots

Benefits to this kind of session:

  1. You get to be creative
  2. You get to know your clients
  3. You build personal relationships with people that appreciate your talent as an individual
  4. You are an artist

Drawbacks to this kind of session:

  1. You constantly have to find new clients
  2. You have to explain the value of what you are doing
  3. Often times clients will have quite limited budgets
  4. To do this full time you have to be constantly marketing

Another option that can be used to bring in larger amounts of income with comparatively little time investment: Step and repeat Portrait Booths at events

  • Not talking about the often cheesy “hold up a moustache on a stick” photo booth
  • Not pre-made kibox kits that is self directed that print off little 2×2 prints right then and there.
  • Setting up a booth to take nice portraits that people can step in to, work with you for a minute and leave.


  1. Often dealing with larger organizations that have budgets for events.
  2. The hours are often relatively short (2-6 hours)
  3. Easy editing
  4. Don’t need to have nearly as many clients coming in to pay well.
  5. Often times a way to get you in contact with a lot of clients.


  1. It is Boring uninspiring work
  2. You don’t get to interact with clients in a personal way
  3. It often times takes more coordination before the event
  4. A need for a bit more gear.

How it is done:

Physical Booth:

  • Usually about a 10’x10’ space
  • Need 1-3 light
  • Often times a backdrop
  • Maybe a themed prop
  • Place 1 light in the corner of the booth boomed as far in as possible while still being easy to navigate.
  • Tripod centered
  • Gaff tape line to direct the flow of traffic
  • Best to have some sort of card with information on how to get the photos after the event
  • 1-2 assistants to direct the line and hand out card/answer questions about receiving photos.
  • You should spend about 20 seconds to a minute with each person/couple/family/group and take 2-3 photos of each.

How to get clients of this sort:

  • FIrst, make a list of holidays and or times of the year organizations tend to throw parties/employee outings/community events
  • Second make a list of Organizations and businesses that are likely to hold these kinds of events. (Hint: Look for companies that often are medium sized businesses with around 100-500 employees that could feasibly afford one of your in person sessions, but not so much that they would look down on the offer of a photo booth, i.e  banks, construction companies, office parks, etc.)
  • Third, cold call to set up an appointment to inquire about any yearly events and activities in which you might be a welcome attraction.
  • Be sure to follow up.
  • If this isn’t their first year doing the event they likely have an idea of attendance levels. Build an estimate considering around 50%-75% of families in attendance wanting photos at a cost ranging from $3-$10 per.
  • This price can either be paid for entirely by the hosts of the event, entirely by attendees (less preferable, you will do less work in these cases) or a hybrid (same as other)
  • Lighting is the same for each shot so you can sync across the whole event of shooting with only minor adjustments to exposure and occasional cropping.
  • Deliver either to the organization for them to make available to attendees, or have your own link made available.
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