Episode 53: What Your Photography Clients Actually Want

Episode 53: What Your Photography Clients Actually Want


Photography Business Institute
Photography Business Institute


If you could only read your photography client’s minds, am I right? Well, with a few easy tweaks to how you talk about what you do as a photographer, you’ll not only know exactly what your photography clients want, but you’ll find it gets easier and easier to book them for sessions and sell your products too.

As boutique photographers, it’s our job to educate and tell stories. It isn’t to be pushy and tell people, “Oh, you should buy this,” or, “You should buy that.” As consumers, we want to be educated. We want to have help solving our problems and making a good buying decision. This is what our photography clients want, too. They want to be educated, and they want help making a great buying decision.

Here are four things you can do to help your clients get what they want, which is gorgeous artwork of the people and the animals that they love to decorate their home. Even if they’re not aware of it! This ensure you can get what you need, which is revenue to keep growing your business and allowing you to put family first.

#1. Love What You Sell In Your Photography Business

If I were in charge of selling something as simple as sea salt spray for your hair, I could totally do it because I love it. I would ask everyone I know, when I look at their hair, “Do you have curly hair at all? Does your hair get frizzy? Do you like soft beachy curls? Then oh my gosh, you would love this new spray I got.” I’m finding people who have the same need as me and sharing my love of this product that I can’t live without.

You can do this too in your photography business. If you want to be a boutique photographer, do you personally love giant artwork to hang all over your home? Are you using every holiday or gift buying occasion as an excuse to give large pieces to your best friends, your spouse, your grandparents, your parents, your family members, anyone you know? If not, go back and find that love for what you do. It will make it so much easier to talk to people about how to decorate their homes with fine art photography when you’re gushing on how you decorated yours.

I know that may seem obvious, but I can’t tell you how many photographers I work with when I ask them if they have this artwork in their home…. and they tell me, “No.” Again, selling artwork is so much easier to talk about when it’s something you’re making a priority to invest your money in artwork of the people you love.

#2. Educate Yourself On Portrait Photography Products

In your photography business, it is so great when you can educate your clients on things they don’t even know they don’t know. I educate my clients on how to properly pick artwork the appropriate size for their home to fit their space. One of the ways we do that is we use software to show them what this finished artwork would look like, whether it’s framed or unframed, in their space. We do all of this before they make the buying decision because it gives them so much confidence. They can see it, and they love it. Why would they not want it? I even hold their hand through the framing process because I know that’s often a hard one for people too. I keep them from making a decision with the fear that they’ll make the wrong decision.

If I even need to go to a client’s home to help them and take frame corners, I’ll absolutely do that. Because remember, we are boutique. We have to be educated on every part of our process from the labs we use and why their products are better, to what the final product is going to look like in our client’s home. Your photography clients will appreciate working with you because you are the expert, versus just a salesperson who’s just there to get paid a paycheck so that you can go home.

#3. Talk About Your Photography Artwork In Benefits, Not Features

In our photography businesses, we want to help people understand that we’re not just selling photography or a piece of paper. We’re going to talk to them about how portraits of their children on their walls in their rooms build their self-esteem through all of those ages. It shows you, “Oh my gosh, my parents love me. When I’m missing my front teeth and new ones are growing in and I look gawky, I am still loved and adored.” Especially going through the pandemic and how everyone’s struggling from a mental health perspective, feeling loved, feeling good about themselves.

A lot of us have put on extra weight. We aren’t feeling at our best and portraits that make us look amazing and show how our family is brought together feel like a big hug. That framed artwork hanging around our house is what I feel like wraps our arms around that house and gives it a big giant hug. Think about a broken family or a family where each parent has their own kids from another family, and then they have kids together. It’s about helping those stepchildren not be like stepchildren anymore when there’s a giant family portrait with everybody in it over the mantle. Anybody can benefit from having themselves celebrated with beautiful artwork in the family’s home. That is a benefit of what we do.

Potential clients don’t want to know just a feature of the kind of paper images are printed on or the archival glass, etc. Those are features. We want to talk to people about how this artwork makes them feel when they come home exhausted after a long day. And they see the dimple of their little bitty baby hanging on the wall with those little eyelashes and juicy little cheeks. It just puts a smile on their face, and it’s exactly what your portrait photography clients want.

#4. Be Okay If People Disagree With You On Portrait Photography Products

In our world, not everybody wants portraits of the people and pets that they love hanging in their house.

Some people would never hang it if you gave it to them for free. Some people have another photographer they already work with and they’re happy with. That is fine. There are so many people out there struggling to decorate their homes in a cute way. Or people whose families are hurting right now and they have no idea how to provide some space for their family and some healing by creating this experience as a family and hanging the giant beautiful artwork to celebrate that experience with the people they love. They don’t even know that exists. That’s what we are here for. And look, I get it. Talking about what you do may send you into a spin of stress and anxiety. You think that what you need to do is be pushy, and yucky, and salesy.

But, the reality is great selling is serving your clients. Being able to answer your clients’ questions and explaining what you’re offering and why it will thrill your clients for years and years. That’s all you’re doing. And if it isn’t for them, that’s okay. This is what my photography students do every week in my Peak Performance coaching program. They learn how to do these things and then they practice them over, and over and over again. Getting good at this skill is so important. And if I seem passionate about our coaching program, just like I’m passionate about my studio clients investing in photography, I am. Creating this program that helps portrait photographers succeed at building the career they love and being able to put family first. Not everyone wants that. And I’m okay with that.


My hunch, since you’re still here today, is that something inside you wants you to be confident so you can serve your clients at such a high level. You want to have them pay you what you’re worth and gush on you. I want you to ask yourself, what have you been waiting for to come and join our coaching community so that we can pour into you and you can pour into your clients? I’m inviting you to chat with one of my strategy coaches on my team. They are here to see if you would be a good fit for our programs. So if you haven’t, schedule a call with one of our strategy coaches today here.

Look, I want you to fall in love with what you do. I want you to get rid of the shame and guilt over talking about your products and your prices like you’re selling watches out of the inside of your coat pocket. Your right-fit clients want to be educated. They want to have artwork in their homes that give them goosebumps when they look at their walls every night when they open the door to their house. They want an ongoing relationship with a photographer who helps them decorate their homes over a lifetime. This is something that your best clients will want. So be okay saying no to the wrong clients and keep focusing on serving the right clients, because this is what they want.

Episode 221 – What #FamilyFirst Really Means

Family first is our credo, our motto, one of the three pieces of our framework at the Photography Business Institute, and the reason I have taken so many risks in my career when I could have had a nice well-paying, safe job that came with golden handcuffs to my desk....