I asked Jean Smith, do you really promote the sale of your digital hi res files to your portrait photography clients? Her answer, in a nutshell “Hell yeah I do!” This interview is one of the most refreshing you'll hear in regard to portrait photography sales, marketing and running a successful business and still maintaining a great lifestyle.

Jean Smith is a successful “on location” portrait photographer from Michigan with four children, a working husband and after being on the brink of throwing it all in after feeling inundated with work and pressure everything changed overnight with a new price list and a whole new appreciation for outsourcing.

Here's some of what we cover:

  • Two separate photography businesses operating in the same household
  • Raising prices, accepting less portrait sessions
  • Working out your prices based on the minimum you'd like to earn
  • Weeding out the clients that don't fall into your target market with high deposit
  • The importance of personal work
  • Not displaying a phone number on your photography website and why it can work so well
  • Why you don't need to attract every potential client, only the right ones for you
  • Returning client discounts
  • Of course you should be selling the digital files to your portrait clients
  • Mini sessions; when and how to use them successfully
  • Using mini-sessions to build your portfolio
  • Outsourcing to have a life plus a business
  • Using online galleries for sales – should you or shouldn't you?
  • Using price incentives to sell the products you want to sell
  • Social media for attracting portrait clients
  • Why you should never run too many specials
  • Only blog and Facebook the images that you want to be shooting in the future

If you're a photographer looking to build a profitable portrait business and still maintain some normalcy in your life there is no need to forge your own way forward, Jean has already done all the hard work and openly shares how you can do the same. I can't see any photographer coming away from this episode and not making changes to the way they do business.

Jean Smith Photography Business Interview

Premium Members

One of the toughest things to do as a photographer once you start charging for your work is maintaining, let alone building your creativity, staying inspired and shooting the way you want to with no regard for why your clients booked you in the first place. You become a slave to your clients, striving to provide them with the best imagery possible.

This week, premium members are privy to how Jean stays motivated, inspired and keeps the creative juices flowing. Plus, she explains exactly how you can and should be doing the same.

Unsure whether you need this for yourself? Check Jean's blog and ask yourself if you feel as inspired as she appears to be with her photography.

Jean Smith Photography Business Interview

What is your big takeaway?

Following this interview with Jean, I'd love to know what your biggest takeaway is – what is the one thing that you'd like to implement or remember from what she had to share? Let me and other listeners know by leaving your thoughts in the comments below.

If you have any questions regarding portrait photography that I missed or a specific question for Jean, feel free to add them below. There are absolutely no silly questions and chances are, if you're wanting to know the answer to something, other listeners will too. Get the conversation started by using the comments area below.

Jean Smith Photography Business Interview

Are you taking action?

It was great meeting Andy from Kiss and Tell Photography and speaking to Robin Penfold of Robin Penfold Photography this week and it was conversations with them that led me to remind every listener that to take your photography business (and ability) to the next level, it's important to keep making changes, taking action, implementing.

It's only through action that any of us see results. No amount or procrastination, planning or good intentions will lead anywhere if we don't take action.

What changes have you made in your business this week?

iTunes ratings, reviews and Shout-Outs

Four terrific iTunes reviews this week and a massive thanks to:

Anders Kjondal – http://luxe.no
Eric Williams – http://wattpakstudio.com
Mark –  http://bentinmarcs.com
And Mike Biboudis of http://www.biblinoimages.com who copped an $800 traffic fine while listening to the Photography Business Exposed podcast and ignoring the road rules… Ouch!

Jean Smith Photography Business Interview_07

It's the iTunes reviews that make a big difference to the podcast being ranked well and found in the iTunes store. If you have the time and are happy to leave an honest rating and review, head over to iTunes. Don't feel your comments have to be long, involved or gushy, an honest opinion is all I ask.

Also, a few shout-outs to photographers/listeners that have made contact via email or social media this week:

Warren Knower – http://volarephotography.com.au who has recently started interviewing local businesses to help promote his business by getting known and through SEO.

Shane Jackson of Perfect Pictures Professional Photography  – who is about to start recording interviews and videos following the recent podcast interview with Gabriel Machuret in episode 34.

Joey Joiner – a big thanks for your concern about the recent fires in NSW Australia. Thanks mate, it truly is wonderful to know that my path has crossed with thoughtful and caring people like you as a result of the podcast.

Lisa Easter – who suggested Jean Smith as an interview guest with the following message:

Jean Smith: she does an excellent job of telling the story in a creative way.  Every week when she sends her blog and I open my email, hers is the first one I check.  It is like Christmas morning, I can't wait to see her images.

Thanks everyone, it's been great chatting and hearing from every single one of you this week. If you'd like to get in touch, ask a question or make a suggestion for the show, you can email me andrew@photobizx.com, find me on twitter https://twitter.com/andrewhellmich or on Facebook at https://photobizx.com/facebook – I'd love to hear from you!

Jean Smith Photography Business Interview

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

Jean Smith Photography

Jean Smith Blog

Jean Smith on Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/jeansmithphotography

Jean Smith on Twitter – https://twitter.com/jeansmithphoto

Jean and Travis Smith's Workshops

Fotofafa – Outsource your photo processing

Align Album Designs – http://alignalbumdesign.com

Shoot Q – client and studio management software for photographers

Pick Pic – online proofing

Adobe Lightroom

Mozi Magazine – http://www.mozi-mag.com

I Heart Faces – Photography Blog/Tutorials

Chic Critique Forum – Online photography resource for women


That's it for me this week, hope everything is going well for you in life and business. I'd love for you to leave a comment below about your biggest takeaway from this episode.

Speak soon