Three women sitting at a table looking at magazines and smiling at each other.

Let me guess. You want to know how to become a personal brand photographer who has prospects desperate to get on your calendar. 

It’s been months. Maybe even years. And you still haven’t quite been able to build the momentum in your photography business you’ve been longing for. 

Maybe you’re just making ends meet as a personal brand photographer. Or maybe you’re just eager for higher months — so you can finally book that vacation to Bali to sip margaritas on the pure, white sand. 

I feel you!

San Diego Women sitting at desk with laptop

No matter where you are on your journey, after this article, you’ll leave with tangible steps to incorporate into your business so you can get more raving fan clients. And make more money, magic, and impact

Everything I’m sharing today are tips I’ve learned the hard way along my journey. I’ve made tons of mistakes that I want to stop you from making in your photography business. Because they seriously held me back from the potential I knew I had.

The good news is… all it takes are *slight* adjustments that can make ALL the difference in how happy your clients are, and how many of their friends they send your way. 

Having happy clients and constant referrals are key to staying in high demand. 

So if you’re ready to find out how to become a highly sought-after brand photographer by making just 3 simple shifts, keep reading. Let’s catapult your demand!

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Become an In-Demand Personal Branding Photographer by Making These 3 Simple Shifts

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  1. Upgrade Your Client Experience 

Think about the customer experience from their perspective. From the booking to the final delivery of photos and everything in between. Are you creating a seamless experience for your ideal clients? 

As a personal brand photographer, you’re typically photographing other business owners, so naturally, they’re gonna have high expectations. You need to make sure you bring your A-game when it comes to everything

Make sure you have simple, repeatable systems in your business that make it easy for clients to pay you and work with you. If you don’t, you’re going to miss out on money. 80% of my leads come from referrals. And it’s because I make sure my clients’ full experience is mind-blowing from start to finish. You can do the same. 

Here’s how to improve your client experience:

  • Don’t overcomplicate things. Keep your process simple. If your process is confusing and overwhelming, you’re gonna lose clients. Make it easy for them to pay, and easy for them to know what to expect when they work with you. 

Pro Tip: Use CRMs like Honeybook or Dubsado to help clients pay and sign documents, send a welcome email to answer all their questions, etc. It’s also easier for you to do everything in one fell swoop. 

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  • Collaborate and plan your client’s photoshoot together. You should take the time to collaborate with the client to find out exactly what type of photos they’re looking for. It takes A LOT of your client’s time and attention to get the photo shoot they desire. So, the more you help them plan, the easier you make the experience for them. Set up a planning session with them far in advance. This is where you talk about props, wardrobe, and locations so you can have everything squared away before the shoot. This eliminates back-and-forth emails and makes the experience stress-free for everyone.

Pro Tip: Send a brand questionnaire in your welcome email with a calendar link to schedule the planning session. Depending on how long your photo sessions are dictates how long your planning sessions will be.

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  • Make your clients feel special and confident AF. Let’s be real. Nobody feels perfectly confident on camera. But if you can help your clients radiate confidence, their photos will come out looking stunning as ever. If there’s a body part or an angle they don’t want to show up on camera, you should know this. Ask them upfront. And don’t forget to give as much direction as you can during the whole photo session so they get the best end result. The #1 reason people don’t go back to previous photographers is because they didn’t get enough direction in their session. I know this because I ask my own clients who left a brand photographer they weren’t happy with, and that is ALWAYS their answer. 

Pro Tip: Share a sneak peek of their photoshoot on Instagram and tag them. Your client will feel oh so special, and the best part? You’ll get tons of new leads coming your way. Be sure to ask your client for permission beforehand. 

  1. Improve Your Product 

Yes, as a personal brand photographer, you do offer a product. I know sometimes you probably view yourself as more of a service provider, which makes perfect sense. You do offer a photography service. But, at the end of every session, you deliver a final gallery of images. That is your product. And those images should reflect your client’s vision, not yours

This is a mistake I used to make. I would have my own vision in mind and base my photo session on that. But remember, it’s not about you, it’s about them

Make sure your clients are obsessed with their photos at the end! 

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Here’s how to improve your product:

  • Always get feedback. This is the best way to improve your business and your end product. Make sure you’re sending client experience surveys. Take the time to find out how satisfied your clients are after their experience with you. It can even be a quick 2-minute survey. It doesn’t have to be long. Just make sure you’re taking the feedback, and making positive changes based on the responses. 

Pro Tip: is one of my favorite sites for creating surveys. It’s easy and free for less than 10 questions.

  • Create a key shot list prior to the session. This is super important. If you’re not yet doing this, implement this immediately. This is how you can make the final product more in alignment with what your clients are expecting. The whole shoot will be more organized, and in turn, you’ll be able to get all the amazing shots you wanted out of the session. Again, collaborate beforehand with your client on what they want. 

Pro Tip:Know where your clients are going to use their photos and keep this in mind when photographing them.For Instagram, photos look best in a square crop. Or if you know your client needs a photo for their website banner, make sure to include a photo like this in your key shot list. 

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  • Have your clients send you a Pinterest vision board. Have them put together photos from other personal brand photographers they love or would want for themselves. This helps you visualize what they’re looking for. Don’t worry. Having them look at other brand photos does not take away from your own creativity. It’s just for inspiration. 

Pro Tip: Ask them what they liked about the pictures. Is it the pose? The expression? The outfit? And use that to inspire you for their brand shoot. 

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Woman sitting in an office, talking on the phone and smiling.
  1. Enrich Your Mindset 

If your mindset is not in order, you’ll never propel forward. Be honest. Do you make a lot of excuses as to why you can’t get the clients you want? Excuses like… “I’m not getting the clients I want because of where I live,” “I don’t have enough time to build my business,” or “I don’t know how to market myself.” Whatever you’re telling yourself to get out of becoming successful, you need to shift your way of thinking. Even if you have everything else in order, if your mindset is self-defeating, you’ll never get to the income of your dreams.  

Here’s how to improve your mindset:

  • Think like an entrepreneur rather than a freelancer. Here’s the difference. Freelancers trade time for money. They’re constantly busy and working with clients. Entrepreneurs work with clients as well, but they spend more of their time on growth activities for their business. You want to be the latter because you want to always be improving your business. Spend more time on growing your business, rather than all of your time working with clients. 

Pro Tip: The higher your rates, the more freedom you’ll have to work on your photography business. That doesn’t mean taking advantage of your clients but charging appropriately.

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  • Don’t let a poor money mindset hold you back. Price according to your dream lifestyle. In other words, reverse engineer your pricing based on what you want your lifestyle to look like. I like to work only 40 weeks out of the year and take 12 weeks off to travel and have time for myself and my family. So, I base my prices to fit that dream lifestyle. You should do the same. Think about what makes sense for you and how much you want to work, and price your rates based on that. Not what you think your clients will pay. 

Pro Tip: Remember that you may need to raise your prices to create the service you want to give to your clients and take care of yourself.

  • Realize that the more money you make, the higher impact you can make. If you’re like me and like to give back, you can make even more of an impact if you have a higher income. You can donate to charities, run contests, and anything else you can do to give back to society. This is huge! As a personal branding photographer, you can make a difference in the world. 

Pro Tip: Remember that making more money does not make you a bad person, as some of us are taught from a young age. If you make more money, you can make big changes in society.

You’re Ready to Crush Your Personal Brand Photography Business!

Now that you’ve gotten all of my tips on how to become a high-demand personal brand photographer, go out there and get those higher-income months you deserve!

Can’t wait to see you on the beaches in Bali. I’ll bring my own margaritas. Promise. 

And if you’ve ever thought about offering brief mini-sessions so you can take on more clients in one day — check out my $13K Mini-Session Day Toolkit. Inside, I show you how I went from booking $97 mini-sessions to booking a $13K + day. 

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© Meg Marie Photography. Located in San Diego, CA. Personal Branding Photographer.