Today's guest is San Diego photographer and entrepreneur Cole Joseph of Cole Joseph Photography AND Cole's Classroom – a business focused on teaching Lightroom to photographers and making you a better photographer. Cole has rapidly gone from weekend warrior to Lightroom guru.

In 2008 Cole gave up his career in corporate finance and randomly decided to try photography as a way to make some money on the side.

Doesn't sound real good does it!

5 months after buying his first camera he photographed his first wedding…

Looking back, Cole readily admits he was a “weekend warrior.”

7 years and over 130 weddings later, he owns and operates a thriving photography business, and teaches photography to over 60,000 photographers each month through Cole’s Classroom.

Here’s some of what we cover:

  • Using a photography business as an easy way to make extra money on the side
  • Using money as a motivation for a successful photography business
  • Timing the start of your business
  • What it takes to be a wedding photographer
  • The difficulty in securing second shooting gigs
  • What older photographers fear about younger, newer photographers
  • How to approach other photographers to learn from them
  • Balance a day job and a new and growing photography business
  • How Cole started to get bookings despite the competition
  • The importance of building your portfolio
  • Utilising Craigslist, classified ads and directory listings to promote your business
  • Identifying your goals and targeting the right market to reach them
  • Observing and analysing your competition to come up with your pricing
  • The importance of knowing your worth
  • When to increase your prices
  • Why you need to be networking and connecting with like-minded people in your community
  • Hustling to succeed in your photography business
  • How to get your name out there
  • The importance of knowing where your prospective clients are
  • Why Cole doesn't have social media buttons on his site
  • Facebook advertising
  • Blogging
  • How to win in a crazy competitive environment
  • Is it more important to be better or be different?

Cole Joseph Photography Podcast

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 episode where you can hear lots more content from where we dive deeper into some of the earlier topics plus some new ones that I pushed hard for that include:

  • The importance of being specific with your niche
  • Who is Cole's ideal target audience?
  • How Cole attracts the client he wants to get
  • Why you should put more of yourself out there
  • Why you should not be afraid to go personal on your blog
  • Personality is huge in attracting the type of clients you want
  • The best thing Cole has done for his business
  • How to establish personal connections with clients
  • What Cole does to get better at business
  • Workflow

If you're on the fence about becoming a premium member, join with the $1 trial today and get access to the FULL interview with Jonathan, get access to an amazing back catalogue of interviews and ALL future interviews delivered automatically.

What is your big takeaway?

Following this interview, I’d love to know what your biggest takeaway is – what is the one thing that you’d like to implement or learnt from what was shared? Let me know by leaving your thoughts in the comments below.

The harsh truth is that there's a lot of seasoned photographers that don't want to help new photographers – Cole Joseph

If you have any questions that I missed, a specific question you’d like to ask Cole or if you just want to say thanks for coming on the show, feel free to add them below.

If you’d like an easy way to show Cole your thanks and support for the show at the same time, click the link to create a tweet and automatically show you’re listening:

Cole Joseph Photography Podcast

Smokin' Deal on Cole's Crisp & Clean Presets

Here's a message I received from Cole following the interview;
“I am going to give your peeps a smokin deal.  My best presets – The Crisp & Clean Presets Collection has never been this low (and you can tell your audience that….).  They are currently marked down to $59 on my site, for PhotoBizX listeners I'll give them at only $39… but the deal will only be good for 7 days. Till Monday 29th June 2015.
So….as a % I guess that is 34% off….pretty good if you ask me!

Here's the link, no need for any promo or discount codes, it's already been added.

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 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 means 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 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 your website URL.

Cole Joseph Photography Podcast

$1 Trial for the PhotoBizX PremiumMembership

If you're a regular listener to the free podcast, you definitely know you're missing out on a ton of good content that could be the difference in you speeding up your success in this business or working things out yourself… slowly.

If you've wondered what you get for $20 per month with the membership, will it be good value for you?

The best way to use social media is let people into your personal life to know who you are, why you love what you do and can relate to you – Cole Joseph

Now you can trial the Premium Membership for a measly $1 for the first month! Here's the link to go check it out and stop missing info that will impact your photography, your business, your life:

Any questions or hassles, email me or leave a comment below – hope to see you in the membership area shortly.

40% Off for 10 Days Only

Make sure you capitalise on the amazing offer from Jonathan in last weeks episode and get 40% off either or both his business guides.

Find: Biz Guide – discounted link to shopping cart

Find: Ohana Means Family Guide – discounted link to shopping cart

The special price on both guides will only be available till Thursday 25th June 2015 and is available to all listeners!

Cole Joseph Photography Podcast

From DSLR to Mirrorless Camera – what was I thinking!?

If you're looking at making the move from DSLR to a mirrorless system and you haven't made the jump yet, my post will probably help. It should answer any questions you may have, particularly if you're considering a move to the Fuji XT1 cameras.

I cover the bad and the good things I've learnt and discovered since changing and working full-time with the new cameras. It's by no means a rosy, sugar coated appraisal of Fuji… far from it.

You can find the article in the NEW blog area of the PhotoBizX site or here.

If you want the short version, I just had a message from a fellow photographer and friend, Dean Dampney, also a Fuji convert who summed up his thoughts and mine perfectly:

They're smaller and lighter and don't work quite as well but I love them more than any gear I've owned – Dean Dampney

Book More Portraits Than You Ever Thought Possible

After first talking about the ebook for portrait photographers almost a year ago, it's finally done and you should have a copy (or how to download a version of it) in your email by now. It's free and I'm hoping will help you generate a stack of portrait sessions if you follow the instructions.

The email I'm referring to went to all Premium Members and anyone on my email list. If you haven't received a copy and would like one, head to, add your details and you'll have it in minutes.


Shotkit The Book

I like to think I’m not a gear freak but there is something very cool about this new book from Mark Condon – the founder and curator of the website,

The eclectic collection of shooters is fantastic and although I don’t normally drool over camera equipment, I found myself zooming in, clicking, swiping, checking details and reading why one photographer chose one product over another. The book and bonuses are the perfect addition to the Shotkit website and like everything Mark does, it’s been perfectly executed.

The book is priced at $15  – you can see and learn more about it at Shotkit – The Book

Go Your Own Way

Regular listeners know I'm a super fan of Kristen Kalp and her life changing book, Go Your Own Way. Following the interview with Kristen, I've “preached” about the book and what it can do for your business but always advocated printing the book to get the most out of it rather than trying to complete the questions and worksheets digitally.

Printing the book, although a bit of a hassle and cost was definitely worth the trouble.

Well… now you don't have to! Kristen has made the book available in printed form through Amazon and you can order it here: Go Your Own Way: free yourself from business as usual

Links to people, places and things mentioned in this episode:

Cole Joseph Website

Cole Joseph on Facebook

Cole's Classroom

Cole's Classroom on Facebook

Cole's Classroom on Instagram

Cole's Classroom on  Pinterest

Cole's Classroom on Twitter

Similar Web

Book More Portraits eBook

Find: Biz Guide – discounted link to shopping cart

Find: Ohana Means Family Guide – discounted link to shopping cart

Shotkit – The Book

Go Your Own Way: free yourself from business as usual


Nikon 50mm f/1.8D AF Nikkor Lens for Nikon Digital SLR Cameras

Nikon 35mm f/1.8G AF-S DX Lens for Nikon Digital SLR Cameras

Nikon D300 DX 12.3MP Digital SLR Camera (Body Only)

Cole Joseph Photography Podcast

Thank you!

Thank you again for listening to the show and thanks to Cole for being a fantastic and thought provoking guest!

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