Interivew with Tim Kelly On His Photography Business


Photography Business Institute
Photography Business Institute

Portrait Artist and Master of Photography, Craftsman Photographer, Fellow – American Society of Photographers, Tim Kelly was one of the 28 amazing speakers during our Joy to the World Websummit, read more about Tim in our Interview below!  And if you haven’t yet, you still have time to checkout Tim’s awesome 3 part CD/DVD product at Photography Business Institute. It’s only available until 11:59 pm on 1/1/10 so be sure to check it out!

Q: What do you wish you would’ve known when you started your photography business?

A: That ultimately I could be practicing of a niche market of my own choosing. It usually takes years for one to discover what specialty they want to practice.  Maybe I didn’t have to do 2,677 weddings!

Q: What is one interesting fact that people don’t know about you?

A: I was born to be an artist, and photography just happened to be a taste I acquired as a pre-teen. I could have ended up doing almost anything in the art realm. I was plucked out of the fifth grade and placed in a high-school art program. Can you say “Doogie Howser?”

Q: What is the best advice you have ever been given regarding your business and by whom?  A: My earliest mentor was my boss, Bob Bundy, in a large New Jersey studio. While he was responsible for nearly all of my first decade of technical training, he also imparted to me the importance of business practices and policies. Most of the ones that helped me today have not changed since his original instruction. For example; when running any kind of “special”, you must stick to every rule and restriction created for the event, otherwise, once compromised, you will be forever “negotiable.”

Q: If you weren’t a photographer, what would you do for a living?

A: I definitely would have been a music producer. I spend a lot of time in recording studios, in fact I own one – and more than playing, I like calling the shots.

Q: Who are some of your mentors?

A: Besides the aforementioned Bob Bundy, I’ve also had the privilege of studying with probably 100 great photographers, many of whom are gone now. Most influential probably, Irving Penn, Arnold Newman and Dean Collins.

Q:Please share anything else you think would be fascinating to help photographers market their business:

A: Just one of my experiences that produced a lesson never forgotten was spending $10,000 (back in 1989!) on a single high quality mail piece which netted nearly no calls. Subsequently, since I had just spent all of my money, I created a low-cost campaign of multiple pieces that was designed by me instead of a high-priced graphic artist. It was printed at Insty-Print and mailed to my small client mailing list. The results were exceptionally good. Moral of the story for me was that multiple hits to a clientele that knows you was better than any high-priced “cold call.”

The Joy to the World FREE Websummit has ended, but you can still grab all 14 hours of the recording, plus action steps from many of our speakers and transcripts of the event for $124 here! Photography Business Institute.  And we’re inching closer to our goal of 100 smiles for PPA Charities. We’re halfway there.  Learn more about how you can make the difference for a child in need at


3 Ways to Market Your Photography Business Without Spending Money

A marketing plan is vital for any business, but as portrait photographers, some of the most successful marketing strategies don’t require big investments. You can watch your business grow by getting out into your community, talking to people, connecting with other...

Why Portrait Photography Is the Perfect Stay-At-Home Mom Side Hustle

While being a dedicated stay-at-home mom is a job all on its own, some moms (and dads) are also interested in finding flexible ways to earn extra money for their families. However, adding a new career to an already busy life of managing a house and caring for children...