Brett Stanley of www.brettstanleyphoto.com started his underwater portrait photography business about six years ago after being a land-based photographer four years prior.
After launching the underwater photography business, some of his images go viral – underwater pole dancers and circus performers – which brought him into the spotlight.
Since then he's been working with people all over the world, teaching them how to pose and look amazing underwater while creating beautiful, unique images for them.
He says… “An underwater photoshoot with me is more than just sitting in front of a camera and smiling, it’s about stepping out of your comfort zone into a weightless world where the simplest movements can look amazing.”
Most people are surprised to learn, a large portion of his incredible underwater work features normal, regular people! Not models or anyone with underwater experience.
Based in the US and originally from Australia – not far from where I live in fact – Brett has carved out an underwater photography business that delivers everything he needs from his passion; creativity, travel, an income and time to not have his business consume every waking hour.
In this interview, Brett shares how to build a successful underwater portrait photography business. From lead generation to scheduling, planning and shooting to sales. If you have ever considered the notion of underwater portraiture as a business idea, this is your episode!
Here’s some more of what we cover in the interview:
- How Brett developed his business to underwater portrait photographer
- Brett's successful transition from one photography genre to another
- How to monetise your business and capitalise when an image or series of images go viral
- Brett's pricing and inclusions for underwater photography sessions
- Why Brett prefers to keep his prices relatively low
- Brett's average number of shoots per day, week and month
- Brett's planning and shooting process for underwater sessions
- Using organic social media and referrals to organise and book underwater portrait sessions
- How to use Facebook and word of mouth as the number one driver to generate bookings
- People prefer posting on social media over print purchases
- The importance of other photographer's work when finding and developing your own photography style
- Reaching out to region-based Facebook groups to announce future destination shoots
- Brett's booking process
- Client challenges when doing underwater photography
- Brett's post photo session process
- Working with clients who do not want their photos shared online
- The extensive paperwork needed before any underwater photography sessions
- The difference between renting pools in New Zealand/Australia vs the U.S.
- Safety issues involved with underwater photography
- Client's waiting time after paying for digital prints
- Brett's definition of success
- Why Brett prefers to shoot in open water or in a natural environment over swimming pools
- Using underwater sets for underwater sessions
- Lighting and equipment needed for underwater photography
- How to deal with the clarity of water when shooting underwater
- Underwater shooting techniques to get clear shots
- Brett's go to lens for underwater photography
- How to best give posing advice for clients
- Looking through the viewfinder to capture the perfect shots
- Insurance costs
What’s on Offer for Premium Members
If you’re a premium member, you should have received an email with links to your version of this interview – the full length and more revealing version where you hear the absolute best tips and advice from every guest.
If you’re on the fence about becoming a premium member, join with the $1 trial today and get access to the FULL interviews each week, get access to an amazing back catalogue of interviews and ALL future interviews delivered automatically to your phone or tablet.
Underwater is so chaotic and it's so hard to predict. It is hard to guarantee if you're going to get good shots of someone. – Brett Stanley
Plus special member-only interviews.
You'll also receive access to the members-only Secret Facebook Group where you can connect with other Premium Members and interview guests to help, support and motivate you to take ideas you hear in each episode and put them into action. There are also FB live video tutorials, role-play interviews and special live interviews happening in the group. You will not find more friendly, more motivated, caring and sharing photographers online.
Joining a Mastermind Group (encouraged by Andrew) has been incredibly valuable and fun, I look forward to connecting with my group members every week. Jina Zheng, Premium Member and Melbourne Children photographer.
Seriously, that's not all.
In addition to everything above, you'll get access to and instructions on forming or joining a MasterMind Group with other premium members. These groups are super motivating, make you accountable and build friendships with other pro photographers with similar motives to you – to build a more successful photography business.
What is your big takeaway?
Following this interview, I’d love to know if you're taking anything away from what Brett shared. Is there something you heard that excited or motivated you to the point where you thought, yeah, I'm going to do that! If so, let me know by leaving your thoughts in the comments below, let me know what your takeaways were, what you plan to implement in your business as a result of what you heard in today's episode.
I'm not driven by the dollar. – Brett Stanley
If you have any questions that I missed, a specific question you’d like to ask Brett or if you just want to say thanks for coming on the show, feel free to add them in the comments area below.
iTunes Reviews and Shout-outs
Each week I check for any new iTunes reviews and it's always a buzz to receive these… for a couple of reasons.
Firstly, it's confirmation that I'm on the right track with the interviews and that they really are helping you improve your photography business. That's awesome!
Secondly, iTunes is the biggest search engine when it comes to podcasts and it's your reviews and ratings that help other photographers find PhotoBizX. More listeners mean more interviews and ultimately a better show.
If you have left a review in the past, thank you! If you haven't and you'd like to, head to https://photobizx.com/itunes and you can leave some honest feedback and a rating which will help both me and the show and I'll be sure to thank you on the show and add a link to your website or blog if you let me know the URL of your website and your name.
Alternatively, if you've left a review for PhotoBizX and are looking for more backlinks to help your SEO, leave a review for the new Photography Xperiment Podcast and email me your keywords or keyword phrase and where you'd like me to link to.
Another great way to get a backlink to your site is to send a video testimonial. It doesn't need to be fancy and your phone will be perfect. Click record and tell me how PhotoBizX has made a difference to you and your photography business.
Links to people, places and things mentioned in this episode:
Thanks again for listening and thanks to Brett for coming on and sharing his thoughts and ideas on how to build a successful underwater photography business that satisfies his soul by giving him the opportunity to create, experiment, play, make a living, travel and be the artist he is.
If you have any suggestions, comments or questions about this episode, please be sure to leave them below in the comment section of this post, and if you liked the episode, please share it using the social media buttons you see at the bottom of the post!
That’s it for me this week, hope everything is going well for you in life and business!
Thanks and speak soon