071: Valerie Jardin – Making a Business out of Street Photography

French born and USA based photographer, Valerie Jardin, is our guest for today's episode. Valerie is a well known and respected photographer, author, blogger and occasional photography podcast host who has made a business out of street photography. In her own words, she really is living the dream by travelling the worlds cosmopolitan cities and shooting exactly what she likes.

Of course, making a living from street photography alone is not a realistic proposition for any of us, just as it isn't for Valerie. It's the workshops, article writing and constant work to stay in the minds of potential attendees that make street photography a way to make an income.

Although Valerie is well known for her street photography, you'll discover in this interview that she has shot many genres and is a damn hard worker when it comes to generating work, bookings, writing gigs and workshop attendees and earlier in her career, commercial and portrait clients.

Here's some more of what we cover:

  • Discover what Valerie is busy with and how she manages to make a living while living the dream of being a paid photographer
  • Why having a great work ethic and being open to new ideas can save your photography business
  • Learn why you should learn the different genres of photography before knowing what your true calling is and what you are good at
  • Why you don't have to and shouldn't be trying to create a photography business shooting a genre you don't enjoy
  • When someone throws something at you that you've never done before, learn how you should react and what you should do in order to succeed
  • Never saying “no” will open doors you never imagined in your photography business
  • From wedding, portraits, product, food and interior photography, Valerie has been through all of it – learn what her secret is in fulfilling her passion in photography and improving her skill
  • Why personal projects are imperative when starting your photography business and throughout your life
  • Valerie's advice on how to survive as a photographer when placed in a tight financial situation
  • Why is it important to diversify with your photography and avoid placing all your eggs in one basket
  • How to start your photography workshops if that's something you want to pursue
  • Tips on how to get more clients no matter the genre you're shooting
  • The importance of constantly looking for new business even when you feel you son't have time for more work
  • Learn the value of visual push-ups and how to use them to develop your photography skills

Valerie attributes much of her success in photography to shooting personal projects and the idea of doing “visual push-ups” to keep learning, growing and creating. Have you ever set yourself a personal project? How did it go, did you feel your photography advanced as a result? If you have any experience with these style of projects, I'd love to hear your thoughts, ideas and advice for other listeners looking to start one.

Valerie Jardin Photography Podcast Interview

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 implementable content from where we dive deeper into some of the earlier topics plus some new ones that I pushed hard for that include:

  • Building a social media presence and strategies to gain more followers
  • Rules of street photography and the advantages of “following” them
  • Street photography and how to approach people for their photo
  • Why you need to reach a wider audience, tapping into the international market, when selling photography workshops and what you can do to succeed

Valerie Jardin Photography Podcast Interview

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.

If you have any questions that I missed, a specific question you'd like to ask 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 Valerie your thanks, and support for the show at the same time, click the link to create a tweet and automatically let him know you're listening: https://photobizx.com/tweet

Valerie Jardin Photography Podcast Interview

The Resources Page

Remember the ever expanding resources page that has a listing of products, programs, hardware, books and directories mentioned in each episode of the show. If you’re looking for something that a guest has mentioned on a previous episode but just can’t remember who or what it was – you’ll find it listed in order on the resources page.

Get your “selfie” on Instagram

You've told me how well you know me by listening to the podcast and I feel somewhat the same way, especially with listeners that have emailed, tweeted, commenced or subscribed as a premium member… but let's take it a step further! I'd love to see you and introduce you to other listeners of the podcast by sharing a selfie on Instagram.

Just take a selphie wherever you are listening to this episode and use the hashtag PhotoBizX in the comments – #PhotoBizX

Go on, it'll be fun!

iTunes ratings, reviews and Shout-Outs

Each week before recording the podcast I check iTunes for any reviews and each week I'm excited to see what you've had to say about the podcast. This week I was blown away to see five fantastic reviews! Thanks you so much to:

Tracy Maisch of Tracy Maisch Photographers

Sincerely, thanks so much for your ratings and reviews, I appreciate the time you've taken and it's a big help for the show. It's these 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.

Valerie Jardin Photography Podcast Interview

Don't feel your comments have to be long, involved or gushy, an honest opinion is all I ask. Don't be shy about leaving your business name in the review either – that way I can add a link in the show-notes and show my appreciation with a proper thanks and a Google loving back-link to your website.

Get in Touch or Leave a Voicemail Message

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!

Valerie Jardin Photography Podcast Interview

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






Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/valeriejardinphotography

Google Plus: https://plus.google.com/+ValerieJardin

Twitter: https://twitter.com/valeriejardin

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/valeriejardin

500px: http://500px.com/valeriejardin


People / Projects mentioned

The Arcanum – http://thearcanum.com

Trey Ratcliff – http://www.stuckincustoms.com/

Digital Photography School (DPS) – http://digital-photography-school.com

‎This Week in Photo (TWiP) – http://www.thisweekinphoto.com/

Frederick Van Johnson – http://frederickvan.com/

Chandi Kesler Photography – Portrait Photography Referral Program with a  cash incentive



Fujifilm X100S 16 MP Digital Camera

Canon EOS 5D Mark III

Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 STM Lens

Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II Camera Lens

Sony Alpha a6000 24.3 MP Interchangeable Lens Camera

Valerie Jardin Photography Podcast Interview

That's it for me this week, hope everything is going well for you in life and business!

If you've been enjoying the podcast, I'd love for you to tell another photographer about it – it could be in a Facebook Group you're a part of, a photography forum, with a photographer friend or on twitter.

If you do have a twitter account, simply click here: https://photobizx.com/tweet or use the share buttons below.

Thanks and speak soon Andrew

By | 2017-02-13T17:28:54+00:00 June 22nd, 2014|Podcast|16 Comments
  • I’ve heard Valerie for a while now on the TWiP Podcast where she is a co-host from time to time. However, I must say that hearing her this time was so much more pleasant because when she’s on TWiP Frederick Van Johnson simply will not stop talking about himself enough to let Valerie come alive like she did in this here episode. So I really appreciate hearing a new side of Valerie in an environment where she sounds so much more relaxed and free to get a word in edgewise.
    Biggest takeaways were always have personal project and always be seeking new clients.
    Joey Joner

  • Ugh, okay so I don’t think I’ve EVER left a negative comment, ever. Im not a negative person. I really really tried to find something to love about this episode and I could not. I found it so boring. I mean OBVIOUSLY you should be doing personal projects or you’re just going to get burnt out on doing stuff for others all the time. And if you truly have a passion for photography you aren’t only going to shoot one thing anyways, likely that camera will be on you all the time, so I don’t think that’s relevant to any real photographers that are passionate about building their businesses.
    I’m so sorry Andrew, I honestly think Henry had more info relevant in the episode you pulled. I do LOVE her story, I mean I do, but got absolutely nothing out of it worth value or that isn’t common sense to someone that truly has a passion for this industry.
    Best wishes to her and her business and passion and I appreciate the time everyone put into making the episode. These are just my humble and honest opinions and takeaways that you ask for. Be blessed and Be inspired

    • All good Tara, everyone is entitled to their opinion.

      A takeaway for me though is just how much Valerie has scrambled to make her photography a business. It never once sounded like an easy process and not once did she give up. I believe if other photographers had the same work ethic, it’d be difficult to not succeed.

      • No it didn’t, but every successful photographer out there has done the same. Some, like myself have had some HORRIBLE times during it as well to deal with such as harassment from others, a literal stalker, I mean its been awful. I just don’t think it was very interesting though, but Im glad others got some great takes from it 🙂 and I really seriously wish her well in all she does in the future. But for THIS show I don’t think it fit very well for improving my portrait or wedding business.

  • I found this interview very interesting. It’s fascinating and motivating to hear about Valerie’s journey.
    Thank you for this great interview.

    • Thank you Anais, glad to hear you enjoyed the interview 🙂

  • Interesting interview, you can learn from everyone if you are open to it I suppose. Not really nice to tell someone they are boring, oh well.
    I like the idea of personal projects. I’m a bit of an odd ball, I hardly ever shot for my self, just for clients. I love my portrait work don’t get me wrong. I just don’t seem to think about shooting side line projects. I really think it is a good idea. I do love taking my camera out when I think of it, kinda funny really. My wife doesn’t get it either!
    I think it shows you one more cool way to make a living with a camera, keep on having fun Valerie!


    • I really didn’t mean to leave a mean comment, just as a premium member I like to have very very interesting and insightful stuff since I am paying to get the content. So I think leaving honest opinions does help Andrew in the future with knowing what people liked and did not care for so much.
      She herself certainly is not boring, I think her photos and her story are great, I was just referring to in general what creative person does NOT do side projects or have their own things going on besides working for clients? I don’t know any true artists that do not.
      I just did not personally find the episode helpful to building my portrait or wedding business and that is what this podcast is for. I am sorry again if I offended anyone, I have never left a negative comment, I just thought my opinion and giving it honestly as Andrew asks for is helpful 🙂 Be Blessed

    • What’s your reason for not shooting outside of work Jerry… too much like the day job, not inspired to or something else?

  • To funny I just left and see an email that Creative Live is having a program: Create Powerful Photo Essays
    & Personal Projects.

  • My take away message from this episode was to try everything. My business is fairly new, but I have taken a similar approach to find what I like. I have done baby, maternity, landscape (including a gallery exhibition), real estate, commercial, family portrait and wedding photography. This is all part time. It has helped me realise what I like and don’t like and as Valerie mentioned, by trying everything, you learn a lot and feel like you can take on anything.

  • Still traveling and just catching up with the comments regarding my interview. Tara, sorry you didn’t get anything useful out of it. I’m sure many other excellent interviews led by Andrew will be more relevant to your field and I wish you great success in your career.

    An interview is always candid and quite short. I tried to give little nuggets of info that many could benefit from. Photographers of all levels and experience listen to such podcasts. Some may be wedding photographers today, who knows what their next area of interest will be… Also, I am not a portrait or wedding photographer and have no interest in that at all, but I’ve listened to many of Andrew’s interviews because we share a passion for the same craft and there is always something to learn, no matter which genre of photography it is.

    I learned a lot in the past few years to make a successful business for myself. As we all know, we learn most from mistakes, not from successes. My goal is to help people learn from my experience and not get stuck in a rut if they are not happy doing what they are doing.

    Joey, Nicholas, Jerry and Anais: I’m glad you enjoyed it.

    Valerie Jardin

  • @Valerie : How do you handle model release when shooting random people on the street

  • In most countries, as long as you are in a public place and you only use your images for editorial or fine art, no model release is necessary. Street photographers don’t ask for model releases (it would really kill the moment.) But you would need one for commercial use.