11 Ways To Turn Your Camera Into A Money-Maker This Holiday Season

11 Ways To Turn Your Camera Into A Money-Maker This Holiday Season


Photography Business Institute
Photography Business Institute

The holiday lead-up can often be the busiest time of year for a portrait photographer. With families gathering together and everyone looking for great gift ideas, there are plenty of opportunities to finetune how to make money with photography. Here are 11 creative and effective ideas to try out this season:

1. Holiday Themed Portraits

Creating holiday-themed, styled portrait sessions for your clients can add a special touch to family portraits and create more demand for family photography this holiday season. Lean into festive decor with a seasonal backdrop or props, or take it further by offering Santa sessions. Limit the number of holiday sessions you take on and the dates you offer. These limitations will help you manage your workload and seasonal stress while creating a sense of urgency for your clients to ensure they get a spot.

2. Holiday Cards And Design Services

For portrait photographers, the holiday season often means seasonal greeting cards. However, greeting card-only sessions can make for a lot of work and stress for you. Ensure you require a minimum investment by offering these as an add-on item. It’s an added benefit for them, plus another purchase for your business.

Use photography marketing templates and create a mock-up to show and sell them on the card design. Once they see it, it’s hard to resist, especially since it’s a step up from what they could do on Shutterfly or similar holiday card websites. The mockup also allows them to proof names and layout. It’s important to keep each client down to one round of changes. After all, you’re a photographer, not a graphic designer.

If you have spare time or are looking for more cash for the end of the year, you can create mockups from clients’ sessions earlier in the year. Reach out and ask if you can drop by with something to show them. Often when they see it, they will want to have it. This helps them get more use out of their portraits while you get exposure to more ideal clients as your photography will be in the homes of whoever they send the holiday card to.

Don’t forget to:

  • Include your logo, small, on the back of the card like Hallmark does.
  • Use a quality lab like White House Custom Colour for printing your clients’ cards
  • Send clients home with envelopes for their cards

3. Prints Or Canvases As Presents

Portraits of the people you love make wonderful gifts. This fact is a great reminder to your clients during the holidays. Consider offering framed prints or canvases for the perfect ready-to-gift products. When marketing your photography business holiday sessions, include prints and photographic gift options.

4. Holiday Themed Products

You don’t have to stop at prints when offering holiday photography products. Consider designing ornaments, calendars, and other gift options that show off your client’s holiday family portraits. We recommend using these as value-added incentives that are available as a gift when a client invests over a certain amount.

5. New Years Portrait Sessions

Why shouldn’t other holidays have their own photography sessions? New Year sessions can be a unique take on holiday portraits, especially for those who don’t celebrate other holidays during this time of year. The chance to do things differently may be an exciting idea for your clients. Again, limiting the number of New Year sessions you take on will keep up demand and keep the sessions unique. Set the scene with sparkles, gold, and glamor.

6. Pet Photography

For many, pets are a big part of the family. People love to spoil their pets during the holidays and decorate their houses with art reflecting their furry friends. When booking holiday family sessions, consider offering holiday pet photography. A framed print of a labrador in reindeer antlers makes a special seasonal holiday portrait families can add to their decor.

7. Seasonal Artwork

Some people really go all out on holiday decorations. Consider offering personalized sessions in your clients’ homes. Having family portraits taken in front of their trimmed tree, fireplace mantle, porch covered in lights, or garland on the staircase can add a cozy personal touch to seasonal artwork families only pull out during the holidays.

8. Offer Gift Certificates

Offering holiday gift certificates is a wonderful way to bring in cash at the end of the season and guarantee work for the following year. Your clients will love that you’ve provided the perfect thoughtful gift for them to give to friends and family, and you’ll quickly expand your clientele with the gift certificate receivers.

9. Client Appreciation Party

Bring everyone into the spirit and let your clients know you appreciate them by hosting a holiday party. Bring clients together with drinks and refreshments, and make holiday shopping fun by inviting them to place any orders they may need for prints and gifts.

10. Social Media Marketing

When you’ve decided what sessions, products, and services to offer this holiday season, it is not enough to post the news on your website and expect the bookings to follow. Finding photography clients and booking sessions will take careful planning and marketing. Use your social media accounts to showcase examples of the holiday sessions you offer, card design examples, pet photography, and more. Be sure to educate your clients on what is different about your photography business and the portraits you create.

11. Offering Photography Basics Workshops

So many parents with cameras would love to learn how to use them from a professional. Why not offer a photography basics workshop? If you’re too busy to hold a workshop during the holiday season, consider selling tickets as gifts and stocking stuffers to your clients and their families and friends. Then, host the workshop in the new year when your workload has slowed down. This is the perfect gift to go along with the new camera going under the tree this year.

Start planning well before the holidays, outlining what you want to offer. From festive portrait sessions, print and product offerings, personalized holiday card design, pet photography, gift certificates, workshops, and more, there are plenty of opportunities for portrait photographers to bring in more money throughout the season.


11 Ways To Turn Your Camera Into A Money-Maker This Holiday Season


During the holiday season, portrait photographers tend to experience a surge in business. Check out this infographic that outlines eleven creative and effective ideas to try this season.

11 Photography Holiday Gigs Infographic

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