I sent an email a few weeks ago asking you what topics you are needing advice on when it comes to photography and entrepreneurship and there was an overwhelming response! I can’t wait to dig into all of the questions, but I wanted to start out with this one.
“How do I attract clients that want to have an outdoor ceremony or adventurous wedding?”
(First things first, if you aren’t on my email list yet I’d love for you join by clicking here. I like to think my email list knows me better than most, it's where I share more personal updates as well as free photography education, discounts and more!)
Now, let’s get back to the question.
If you’re a photographer who craves the adventurous elopement style, but you feel limited by the place you live, the couples that are inquiring, or your own experiences, this post is for you.
Unfortunately I don’t have a magic trick for getting your dream couples to slide in your inbox and inquire for an epic mountain elopement in an instant, but I do have years of experience on how to narrow down your niche and attract clients you want to work with. Today, I’m giving you the methods that helped me go from shooting large traditional weddings to shooting intimate weddings, elopements, and couples sessions that aligned more with my brand.
Set Up a Styled Shoot
If you aren’t getting opportunities to shoot the sessions you want to become known for, it might be time to create your own opportunity for fresh content by hosting a styled shoot!
I will be the first to say gathering vendors, booking models, finding a location, and running the show for a styled shoot can be a lot of work. However, if done well you reap the rewards of having connections with local creatives, and having content that is true to your style. The time and effort that goes into a styled shoot is almost always worth it in the end. (Plus, you can make it as simple or elaborate as you want! You don't need a styled table and invitation suite for it to be amazing. Keep your first few simple, with a couple models - or friends! - some awesome outfits, and maybe some amazing florals!)
The best part about creating your own styled shoot is being able to control the aesthetic you want to capture and in turn having content to share that aligns with it. Which leads me to the next tip…
Share the content you want to shoot more of
If your goal is to attract certain types of clients, it's crucial to portray THEM in your marketing. When potential clients land on your website or your social media pages, they want to envision themselves in your content.
If they notice your photos don’t reflect the niche or style they're into, the odds of them inquiring are slim. So, how can you incorporate content that is relevant to the couples you want to attract?
Here are a few ideas: ask friends to model for you, do a model call, take a session that might be a little below your price range if the vision aligns with your style, host a styled shoot, suggest locations that are on your bucket list, do a giveaway, be more selective with the content you share.
Before you focus on booking elopements or adventurous couples sessions, focus on shooting and thinking like an elopement or adventure photographer (or whatever style of photographer you're hoping to be).
Some of those ideas might require some sacrifice upfront, but you will make up for it in the expansion of your portfolio and experience. And. you'll find that when you start seeking out the work of your dreams, your creativity will light up, and your dream work will start coming to you.
Be Okay with a Slow Transition
Like I said before, there unfortunately isn’t a magic trick for switching clientele or styles, or instantly attracting your dream work (if you have one, let us know!).
Transitioning to a new photography niche isn’t always quick, but it’s certainly not impossible, so be okay with the time it takes to get there.
Having said that, ff your goal is to become an elopement photographer, you don’t have to stop shooting traditional weddings.
If your income is dependent on the sessions you say yes to, you don’t have to give up good opportunities. Over time you will be able to take on more of your “ideal clients” but in the meantime don’t feel like you have to abandon what is working for you.
You can also put your own creative spin on more traditional occasions. For years, when I was getting traditional weddings, where I felt uninspired and just wanted to shoot in wide open nature, I would seek out pockets of nature, and take my couple down the street to a field or patch of trees, and shoot there as well. Even when you feel limited, you can usually think out of the box and find something to offer inspiration.
I hope this blog was helpful for you as you navigate how to transition your photography style and attract your dream clients.
If you're interested in learning more about attracting your dream clients, marketing yourself on social media, or how to grow your photography business check out my online academy, Rise!
The biggest factor in finding success is consistency overtime. Keep chipping away and taking small steps toward the photographer you hope to be.