Having a successful portrait photography business didn't happen by accident for Tania. Success came with business coaching, displaying and having the right products and analysing the figures.

Tania Niwa made the conscious decision to move away from wedding photography because the numbers just didn't add up. Concentrating on portraits and commercial work, attracting the right clients and using multiple business coaches to propel her business forward, she has never looked back. In this interview, Tania shares what she's learnt along the way and what you can do if you'd like to remain profitable in a changing market.

Tania Niwa Photography interview for Photo Biz Xposed Podcast

Reducing weddings and shooting more portraits made perfect financial sense for Tania.

Introducing Tania for this episode of the podcast, I imagined playing a word association game and the name Tania Niwa came up. Here are the first words to come to mind:

  1. Photographer
  2. Business woman
  3. Successful
  4. New Zealand
  5. Proud

Tania is a Grand Master of Photography, hails from New Zealand, and has a photography business on the Northern Beaches of Sydney Australia. One of the fascinating things and what turned out to be a great aspect to explore is Tania made the decision to move away from wedding photography because the numbers just didn't add up – shooting weddings was draining the profits form the business.

I always thought business sense was something that Tania must have been born with  – that's always been the vibe I've had. In the interview, Tanya reveals that when starting her business it was bleeding money and going backwards fast. Good promotions in the wrong areas meant that she was attracting the wrong clients.

A shift in her promotion targeting to a more affluent area and the influence of more than one business coach saw dramatic changes in her business and she's never looked back. Since those early days, Tania has employed the services of business coaches and mentors every few years. Listen in to the reasons why and the results she's had.

Here's some of what we cover in the interview:

  • Why move away from weddings?
    Tania Niwa Photography - podcast interview

    Most of Tania's clients are from neighbouring suburbs with a higher financial demographic. That didn't happen by accident.

  • Running a photography business by the numbers
  • Business Coaching
  • Running workshops – with clients and for your clients
  • Adapting to a changing market
  • Using a data base in your business
  • Cost of sales
  • Why use a mentor?
  • Getting involved in your community
  • How to find your target market
  • Cancellations
  • Shopping centre promos
  • Email Marketing
  • Selling Software
  • Staff in your business
  • Self belief
There is no doubt that Tania is an amazingly talented photographer but in reality, that means nothing if you want to make a living from your photography. The beauty of Tania and her business is that she really has it all sorted. She's profitable, she shoots the way she wants after developing her own style, she attracts the right clients all year round and there is proof that it's all working… in the numbers.

A couple of shout outs

The support and encouragement from all of you has just been fantastic and I truly appreciate it. In this episode, I wanted to make mention of the following photographers and say thanks for leaving great reviews and ratings in iTunes.

Photography Business Exposed Testimonials

I wanted to make special mention of Justin Castles for the fact that he recently joined the membership area of the site and is enjoying the extra info. I recently reviewed Justin's website to give him a little feedback and encourage you to check it out – I love the honest approach he's taking, even if it may upset a few full time professional photographers.

Also, a big thanks for your emails David from David Rook Photographer, whose message I butchered a few episodes back – thanks for your support.

Lastly, Rob from Rob Jenkins Photo – thanks for your very encouraging email. It's been great chatting.

If you'd like a shout out or want to leave a review or rating in iTunes and I'd love you to, head to the Photo Biz X page in iTunes here: www.photobizx.com/iTunes.

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

Tania Niwa Photography Website

Tania Niwa Photography on Facebook

Tania on Twitter

Tania Niwa Photography - photography podcast interview

Pets also play a big photographic part in Tania's business.

Paul Gauguin

Celebrity Apprentice Australia

Graham Munro – GM Photographics

Anne Geddes

Darcy Nicholas


John Crawford

Steve Sapporito – The portrait studio doctor

Tony Hewitt

Mail Chimp – Email marketing software

ProSelect – portrait sales software

Adobe Lightroom

Capture One – RAW converter and imaging software

Download Tania's Database Spreadsheet

 Right click here and choose “Save As” to download the XL spreadsheet Tania uses in her business.

What's the premium content?

Tania openly states that it really doesn't take too long to learn how to become a technically good photographer today. With the abundance of online tutorials available, instant feedback with digital cameras and unlimited inspiration with every photographer displaying so many images on Facebook, their blogs and websites. How to discover and develop your photography style without following other photographers is another matter entirely. Hear what she recommends you do in the members area.

Want to get in contact?

I'd love to hear from you if you'd like to give some feedback, make a suggestion or just to say G'day and let me know you're out there. You can use the comments area below or shoot me an email: andrew@photobizx.com – OR even easier, click the voicemail tab on the right side of the page and talk to me. If you have a question or feedback I can use in the show, I'll be sure to play your message.

That's it for me this week, hope it's an awesome one for you.

Chat soon