Marketing for Photographers - Image of Camera with long lens
Family Portrait Studio Ideas for Marketing

3 Amazing Family Portrait Studio Ideas for Marketing Your Business

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Are you a professional photographer who is looking for ways to attract new customers?

If so, you are in luck! In this blog post, we will discuss some tips and tricks that you can use to bring more people into your photography studio.

Many photography studios struggle with attracting new customers, but with the right marketing strategy, you can overcome this obstacle.

Why is it important to learn marketing in your photography business?

In order to be a successful photography studio, you need to have a steady stream of customers coming through the door for family portraits.

If you are not marketing your business, then you are missing out on potential customers who could be using your services.

By learning how to market your photography studio, you can bring in new customers and keep your business thriving.

Let’s take a look at some marketing ideas that you can use to attract new customers.

Family Portrait Studio Ideas for Marketing – Idea #1 – Do a shout out for Models

This is what I call the “I have an emergency and need to fill my studio next week plan”. You shouldn’t do it often but it is a great way to get some potential paying customers into your studio and gives you a chance to refresh your portfolio.

family portrait studio ideas - black and white profile of a family

Get Social with your Family Photos Call for Models

Here’s what you do. Put a post out on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, etc saying that you are revamping your portfolio and that you are looking for families/kids/babies (whatever is your best-earning genre in the studio) to model for you for a great family photoshoot idea that you have in the studio next week.

The criteria is that they are:-

  • Available during the following week
  • Available to come back and see the family pictures the week after
  • They haven’t had a family portrait photoshoot with you before
  • If you are doing a family photo shoot offer, they must be a “family” i.e. parent and child minimum

In return for modeling for you, you are going to give them:-

  • A free photoshoot valued at ( $x / £x – whatever you normally charge for a photo shoot)
  • A free framed desk print of their favorite image from the shoot (Again show the full value of what you would normally charge for a small desk frame)
  • You will also offer them a 10% discount on your normal price guide for wall art – but don’t let them know that until after the photoshoot

Now, if you haven’t given away free photoshoots before, this may seem alien to you. But trust me, 90% of these clients will spend money with – and they will match your studio average.

So if your business has taken a little downturn and you need to get clients in fast to get the cash flow going again, this is the best way to do it. At the time we did this, we were the only family portrait studio near me doing this and it was great for business.

Family Portrait Studio ideas - Baby in the basket always works well

Family Portrait Ideas

Just remember, like any family portrait shoot, make sure you focus on a variety of different family portrait poses and ask them for any family photo ideas they might have. Family portrait photography works great when you involve the family in the creative process and can maximize your sales.

Don’t forget to take individual portraits of each family member as well, as these can increase sales. Mom and Dad and always reluctant to sometimes get in the photos, but tell them if they don’t get in the family photos their kids won’t know what they looked like when they were young LOL.

For family photography to generate a good income, you need to keep the session fun, involve all the family members and create some amazing portraits. Make sure your portrait session has loads of variety and try to get the children’s portraits done early to stop them from getting too bored. Keep them having fun, and involve them by showing them pictures of the family members on the back of your camera.

Family Portrait Studio ideas - Mother and Son

Family Portrait Studio Ideas for Marketing – Idea #2 – Run a Monthly Competition

This strategy is awesome.

I personally filled my studio with 30-40 bookings a month using this marketing method and if you are looking for a long-term marketing strategy for your studio that works this is it.

I will qualify that this does depend on your studio model. Our portrait studio model was not a “high-end” model. We were providing a good product that the average family could afford and our studio average spend was around £500 / $700.

For portrait photographers, business can be very seasonal. For example, the pre-Christmas weeks can be a boom time, as well as other regular holidays and family-themed events – Mothers Day, Thanksgiving, Valentine’s Day, etc

But as portrait photographers, we know that things can change very very quickly indeed.

Certain times of the year always lead to a lull in portrait sessions and if you are not prepared for this, it can have a serious impact on your business.

Well, the prize draw competition model is the easiest and simplest way to fill your available studio slots.

Family Portrait Studio ideas - cute Kid looking over chair

The concept is simple:-

1. Devise a prize for the winner – this is usually a photoshoot and a nice piece of wall art with a retail sales value before discount of about £500

This is definitely something that should be attractive to most families.

2. Devise a “runners-up” prize of a fixed amount of FREE studio shoots and a framed desk print – the value of this shoot would be worth whatever you charge for a shoot (say £95 / $150) and what you charge for a framed 7” x 5” print (let’s for argument just say £75 / $95).

Therefore. your runners up prize is worth £170 / $245 and your main prize is worth £500 / $700 – so if you offered 25 runners up prizes, that’s a total prize value of £500 + (25 x £170) = £4750 or $700 + (25 x 245) = $6825

That’s a BIG prize fund and something worth making some marketing noise about.

3. Next we need to create an input form to capture your prize draw entries. We used the wonderful LeadPages product – if you are going to invest in one product for your business this year this is THE one – Leadpages is amazing!

You can do so so much with it – we integrate it with Mailchimp to create a prize draw entry landing page prompting the customer for exactly the data we need from them and without any distractions for them to click onto other pages and leave the site.

4. Next think about what information you are going to capture when customers complete their entry form. Make sure the form gives you the information YOU need – knowledge and data is power!

Here are the questions we ask on our input forms:-

Family Portraits Competition Form

Name

Telephone number (to contact them if they win) – we give them a reason why we want that number

Email address ( to acknowledge their competition entry)

If they won a photoshoot who would they include?

If they were to win, when would they be available for a shoot (Anytime, Evenings and Weekends, Or Weekends only)

For marketing reasons, when was the last time you have a professional photoshoot done?

Now THAT gives you a lot of marketing insight into your client basis. Knowledge is power and this information can be very useful to you in the running of the competition. For example, most working professional families will only be available on Weekends – can you now see why we ask these questions?

Family Portrait Studio ideas - Classic Happy family portrait

5. Now you have to do some real Social promotion – Get posts onto Facebook, TikTok, Pinterest, Instagram, etc announcing the prize draw.

If you can afford it, invest some marketing spend in a Facebook advertising campaign to get the word out there – and don’t forget to ask people to share your post! You want this campaign to go viral.

6. Once our competition entry period has closed, we need to get all those names in a hat, pick the winner and pick your runners up – make sure your competition is legal obviously and follow any local bylaws and guidelines.

7. Publish the details of the winner – make a big splash about it.

8. Contact all the winners and runners up – tell them they must claim their prize this month and must be booked into the studio this month. Create some excitement and urgency in your email – this is a prize that must be claimed before the expiry period.

9. Sit back and enjoy a nicely filled studio diary.

10. Count up the new studio shoots, multiply that by your studio sales average and pat yourself on the back.

Family Portrait Studio Ideas for Marketing – Idea #3 – Run a Pet of the Year Competition

This strategy is great for coping with seasonal periods when family portraits can be quieter (e.g. when the kids are all back at school, or just after Christmas).

What do parents love most after their kids? Yes, it is their pets.

Family Portrait Studio ideas - Pet photography

So run a Pet of the Year competition offering them a free 20-30 minute mini-photoshoot for their pet and a free entry into the Pet of the Year competition.

You can even involve your local pet supplies store to be the judges and donate a small prize.

This is also a great vehicle for free marketing and you could involve your local newspaper as well. Newspapers love great photos and this is a great idea to get them on board with and provide them with some fun shots.

This type of shoot will not get you the same studio spend as a family shoot. So, you have to structure your pricing to ensure you can provide them with an irresistible offer to ensure they will actually spend money with you.

So what I did was find out what special offers my print lab had on at the time and structured my price list around the best value offering.

So in my case, a lab I was using at the time offered a 20×16 canvas style frame for just 20 quid. I priced that frame at 295. So potential gross profit on it was 275. This is for a 20-30 minute mini-shoot remember.

However, when you create your special price list you have to use the same classic decoy pricing that your local cinema uses with popcorn.

So my price list would be as follows:-

Small Wall Art Photo – 8×10 – Priced at 145

Medium Wall Art Photo – 12 x 10 – Priced at 275 < === Decoy price

Large Wall Art Photo – 20 x 16 – Priced at 295

This pricing strategy makes the 20×16 Wall art price so attractive to the buyer as it is just 20 more than the much smaller 12×10 piece, so they have to go for it.

Family Portrait Studio ideas - Decoy Pricing

Using Social Media to increase the reach of your marketing

As we have already said, you need to get your family photos and prize draws onto social media in a way that encourages people to share the information about your competition. Tell them to get their family members involved as the more entries they have, the more chance they have of winning and getting some great family photos as a result.

You can use all of the major platforms such as Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and Instagram to promote your family photography ideas. However, if you want to really connect with people in a fun way then consider using TikTok as well.

If you have been locked in a cupboard this past couple of years and are not familiar with TikTok, it is an extremely popular video-sharing social networking service.

The social media platform is used to make a variety of short-form videos, from genres like dance, comedy, and education, that have a duration from fifteen seconds to up to a minute typically.

If you use these videos creatively (mix some of your family pictures with eye-catching text and music) you can really make an impact.

These are Amazing Family Portrait Studio Ideas for Marketing that JUST WORK

So that’s three amazing family portrait studio ideas for marketing that you can implement today.

Got some amazing marketing ideas of your own? Let us know in the comments or come join us at our private Facebook Marketing Group.

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About the Author

About the Author

Alan Hutchison runs a very successful Photography studio alongside his wife Morag in Scotland. As a former IT Director, Alan is also an accomplished SEO specialist and Marketeer. For Alan's latest training and speaking engagements, please visit www.alanhutchison.co.uk

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