The Society of Wedding and Portrait Photographers
Foundations in Portrait Lighting
1st December 2015 GMT

The Dos and Don'ts of Portrait Photography

Starting a portrait photographic business, advice for photographers

Do always act and appear professional at all times. This means that you need a company name and logo, headed paper and a separate landline phone for your business calls so that there's no chance of one of your younger children taking a call from a client wishing to make a big booking.

Do invest in a strong and impressive website. This will help to sell you and your products, and if you happen to have a wedding side to your business you should have separate websites for all areas so that you look like a specialist in that field. You don't want to come across like a wedding photographer who happens to shoot a few landscapes or vice versa.

Do source good, original forms of presentation to differentiate your products from those of your competitors. Perhaps you could go for acrylic finishes, photographs printed on metal or a series of frames and albums that are unique to your business. You may also consider making your own picture frames, as a greater choice of moldings will give you flexibility and uniqueness. They will make you stand out and you'll be able to charge a premium for them.

Do look for forms of cost-effective advertising, perhaps competitions through the local newspaper, joint promotions with clothing shops or nursery schools, editorial coverage for any awards or achievements that might have had. To get the most out of the latter you'll need to learn the ins and outs of PR and how to write a press release! You will also have to put your efforts into creating competition-winning images.

Do join the Societies to maximize on your web visibility, access to educational material and training.

Don't try to shoot portraits in your home environment, invest in a space that you can call your own to create images for your portrait customers and a sales area to give a professional appearance.

Don't cut corners on equipment, get the right tools for the job.

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