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I’m an emerging photographer. Will you work with me?
- Yes. The emerging photographer clients who I work with are not only talented but, more importantly, they are proactive. They know that learning the business side of their career is more than half of what creates a successful photography career. They’re willing to invest in learning how to effectively market their photography; it’s as important as investing in your hardware (maybe even more so!) as you can rent lenses, but you can’t borrow someone else’s marketing plan. Each person is unique and has something unique to promote.
- It’s also very important for emerging photographers to understand Baby Boomers’ buying behaviors since there are still many people who are in the position to hire photographers who are over the age of 45. They often have different communication preferences than younger, emerging photographers. I decode the mysteries and help translate cross-generationally.
I’ve been in business for 20 years but my business has taken a downturn. Can you help me?
- Yes. Many seasoned photographers have been so busy working with existing clients that they have not ever really had the time to create an updated and comprehensive marketing plan. You may have done some marketing–e.g. you’ve sent out emails and postcards but not with any regularity or strategic plan. When existing clients retire or move on, seasoned photographers often don’t have a system in place to replace them with new clients.
- You may have an outdated portfolio because you’ve been too busy to shoot new portfolio pieces. Your work may begin to look dated and unappealing to younger art buyers. Often what’s needed is a fresh portfolio edit and coaching on how to use new marketing channels. Clients are finding photographers in different ways than they did even just 5 years ago. More than half my client roster is made up of seasoned pros.
What happens in a portfolio review?
- In a portfolio review, I will look at your presentation with the viewpoint of a buyer. I sold my photographers’ services via in-person and online portfolio presentations. But since it wasn’t my photography that was being reviewed, buyers gave me very candid feedback. I learned what they liked and what turned them off when it came to photographers’ presentations. Most buyers would never share that info with a photographer because they wouldn’t want to hurt the photographer’s feelings.
- In a portfolio edit I remove the dead wood, bring your best images to the fore, and sequence them in a way that shows your best self. I might also suggest subjects to shoot to broaden or deepen your portfolio to be in alignment with current market needs and trends.
Does a portfolio review have to be face-to-face or do you work with clients remotely?
- I work with clients mostly over the phone and on Skype. We’ll edit your work remotely through back-end access on your website, via shared web galleries, or simple lists and communication.
Do you work with people outside of the U.S.?
- Yes. I have helped clients in Canada, New Zealand, Australia, England, Sweden and Brazil.
I shoot weddings. I also shoot fine art. Can you help me?
- While my primary work is helping business-to-business (B2B) photographers, in the past year, I have also been working with a number of business-to-consumer (B2C) photographers.
- The primary difference between a B2C and B2B photo business is the length of the purchasing timeline. In B2C, the photo buying decision is usually made by one or two people. In B2B, there are teams of people involved in the photo buying decision (e.g. ad agencies, design firms and corporations) and it usually takes much longer to get hired.
- B2C can include wedding and fine art photographers. It’s fundamentally understanding how to target a market and build effective marketing materials to reach your target audience whether your client is a B2B or B2C buyer. For example, I help wedding photographers make sure that the value of their unique wedding photography approach is clearly articulated in all of their marketing materials.
Does it work?
- Yes, but only if you work it. I teach photographers how to effectively do for themselves what I used to do for them during all my years as a successful artist rep. I pull back the curtain and show them the tips, tricks, and secrets of photography sales and marketing. These are the effective mindsets and strategic thinking that allowed me to get work for my photographers for over 3 decades and safely get through the three previous “worst recessions ever!”
- Read what some of my clients have said about working with me here.
Does consulting ever not work?
- Yes. When a photographer fails to keep the agreement to meet regularly and lets weeks–and sometimes months!!– go by between our sessions, it does not work. Admittedly, at first glance, marketing seems less exciting than shooting. So sometimes someone might not hang in there long enough to reap the rewards of implementing their marketing plan. The results of implementing their plans will happen over months and years– not days.
- If a photographer doesn’t embrace the process of learning marketing and sales, effective negotiation, and how to manage their mindset, they will soon be out of business and not have the chance to be paid to shoot. There is no magic bullet. It takes work, but the rewards are worth it. Consistency is foundational to successful marketing. Consistency in working with me also must occur during your program.
I’ve worked with other consultants and they haven’t helped. Why are you different?
- My practice is based on over 30 years of landing gigs for photographers. I worked on straight commission–my whole repping career. My advice is extremely pragmatic–not just theoretical. You get more than just a pretty portfolio edit. You get solid coaching on how to be your own best sales rep and marketing director.
- I do custom tailored marketing plans based on your unique skills, ability, personality and resources. There are no cookie-cutter plans in my practice. Every photographer is unique and has something individual to offer. I take the time to identify those unique qualities, go deep to find out what is unique about you, and how to leverage that.
Is Carolyn always available to accept new clients?
- While I only work with a handful of clients at a time, I’m always available to schedule a “vibe check” to see if we would be a good fit for one another. As my clients “graduate” and finish their 10-session programs, I regain availability.
Where do I start?
- Start by scheduling a free, 20-minute, no obligation “vibe check.” I want to make sure I’m able to offer you exactly what your photography business needs. Call or text +1.312.560.6400 (or send me an email) to schedule your free session and we’ll see if we’re a good fit!