Special Series: How to Bring In More Photography Clients [Step 3/5]

How to Mine Your Current Network and Get Paid to Book Your First Ideal Clients

The time has come... now that you've laid your foundation for finding clients by selecting your specialty and creating your niche, you're ready to prep to bring in those clients!

Today I have a video to help explain this process:

-Scott Sylvia
Founder, Hobby to Pro Photo

Building trust by building your portfolio

In order to bring in your first well-paying clients, you must FIRST build a portfolio that displays several different models.

It’s okay to start with a small portfolio, but you will need to showcase more than just 15 photos of your children!

Having different models in your portfolio lets potential clients know that you have experience working with clients like them – it helps to build a sense of trust.

So, the purpose of this step is to build up your portfolio to the point where you feel confident enough in your body of work to start charging full-price.

When you’re just starting out, your first photography models will likely be your children, friends, etc.

That’s how I started out; Simply photographing my loved ones and friends for practice, just trying to capture something special to hang on to!

Again, it’s great to start with your immediately family, we don’t want our gallery to just display 50 images of our children. So before you wear out your family, let’s think of some other ideas of people who would be happy to model for you as you build your portfolio…

Mine your network for client possibilities

First, write down your specialty (you should have chosen this in the pre-course videos)

For this example, we’ll use Children Portraiture. Let’s assume you are a parent of young children for this exercise (modify the following connections to suit your specialty)

How can you branch out to build your portfolio?

  • Friends of your children - do they have playmates whose parents you can ask for permission to photograph their kids?
  • Nephews and nieces, and extended family members - Give your siblings or in-laws a call and set something up. For example, when I started out, I called my second cousin and asked to photograph his son
  • How about your neighbors’ children?
  • Are your kids involved in sports, dance or other activities? Perhaps you could speak with the instructor about setting up a time to come photograph the students
  • Friends of friends - Ask your friends if any of their other friends have children that would make good models
    • Ex: I photographed the children of a college friend. I asked if he knew anyone with children that would make good models, and he referred me his wife’s best friend’s children.
  • Current / previous co-workers
    • Ex. After I lost my job when the company closed, I reached out to coworkers who had children
  • People that your spouse (or sibling / cousin / parent / friends) works with
    • Ex: My sister’s circle of friends and coworkers provided many solid opportunities for photography

In most cases, your family and friends are happy and honored to help out, even if they have to pay for your services, so don’t be shy! Make use of your network…

This is the lowest-hanging fruit and an excellent way to build your client acquisition and communication skills.

Next steps to bringing in clients so you can get your photography business off the ground:

Here's my challenge to you!

Now, it’s your turn! Use the example above as a guide, but replace the specialty with your own…

Ex: If your specialty is pets, then replace the word “children” in the examples we just went over with “animals.” If weddings are your specialty, plug in the word “engaged women” – even recently married women may be willing to put the dress back on for a photo shoot!

Get creative- maybe you can do a shoot of brides at a beautiful location nearby, or a portrait of a couple dressed casually on the beach for engagement samples.

Stay tuned... tomorrow, I'll email you the fourth step of the process to finding more clients!

One more thing:

Now that you have a foundation created, are you feeling a bit more confident in getting ready to launch your business?

Don't be afraid to take your time with answering the questions above. This is important stuff and if you put the effort in, you're going to find that it makes a big difference in bringing in more clients who are actually willing to pay a premium for your work!

Once you take action on this, I'm willing to be you are going to want more! There's still one more piece to this series for you this week., but if you're one of the small percentage of new photographers who are really serious about bringing in clients consistently so you can launch your own successful photography business, I have something you might really like:

It's called Passion to Profits Roadmap, and it's an online course that will take you through every step you need to know to get your photography business off the ground and set up for serious success.

If you'd like to find out more, just click here for all the details!

Chat soon,


Let Us Know - What's Your Specialty?