If you’ve been a photographer for any amount of time, you know that there are ebbs and flows in the business.
This is true no matter what kind of photography you specialize in, but it’s especially so for portrait photographers and wedding photographers.
There are busy seasons for this type of photography – spring, summer, the holidays – with periods of downtime that can really impact your bottom line.
The question is, how can you even out those ebbs and flows and fill in that downtime without getting overloaded?
Here are three unique ways you can make money when your schedule is a little thin.
Enter Photography Competitions
I know that initially, entering photography competitions might not sound like a very lucrative approach to making money, but just hear me out…
There are all manner and sort of photography competitions, from small, local events to international competitions with prize money in the tens of thousands of dollars.
Sure, there’s more people vying for the prize money, which makes this far less of a guaranteed income as something like QikPix.
Nevertheless, if you’re out with your camera on a regular basis and find you have a weekend here and there to work on a competitive project, photography competitions can be a means of making a little money on the side.
Perhaps the best workflow is to use a bit of your downtime each day – say, 30 minutes or so – to search online for photo competitions.
Once you’ve identified a number of possibilities, read the entry requirements, send in your application, and get to work!
Even if you don’t win the top prize, taking part in photo competitions can still help you make more money.
You can use the experience of working on the competition projects to improve your portfolio and learn new skills.
That, in turn, means that you have more to offer prospective clients, which only increases your chances of booking people for your services.
It’s a win-win!
Focus on Getting Customers to Come Back Over and Over
When you think about it, photography is a business that is perfectly suited to repeat business…
There’s births and weddings, birthdays and anniversaries, graduation parties, holiday cards, school photos, kids’ sporting events, you name it!
In other words, the possibilities are endless for you to start working with a client when they get married and then continue working with them as their family grows.
Oddly though, some photographers don’t think of their work as a funnel like this.
Instead, they might focus solely on photographing weddings and engagements. And though there is nothing wrong with specializing like that, if you want to create a variety of possibilities for generating income, it might behoove you to think about extending your services to events across the lifespan.
One way to do this is to remind your clients each time they come in for a session that they’ll need to come back and see you in a few months’ time.
For example, if you take maternity portraits, be sure to give your clients a reminder to book their newborn session once the baby is born.
Then, once the newborn session is over, schedule your clients for a shoot at the 6-month mark and the 1-year mark.