Home » Articles » Business » How to get more photography clients: 8 best tips

How to get more photography clients: 8 best tips

by David Em
Last updated:

Portraits Refined may earn a commission on purchases made from links on this page. For more information, read Affiliate Disclosure.

Whether you’re a beginner or professional, learn the most effective tips to get more photography clients to grow your business.

Person smiling and holding a camera.
Photo courtesy of Unsplash.

After you sharpen your photography skills and build a portfolio, clients are the next step for a photography business.

While it can be a challenging aspect, clients are essential. To build a sustainable and profitable business, you need paying clients.

There are several marketing methods that you can use to attract clients. Some are free, while others cost money.

Before you start marketing, understand your ideal client. When you work with an ideal client, the session will be enjoyable.

Ideal clients are also easier to book, happy to pay your rates, and lead to high-quality referrals.

Once you understand your ideal client, you can target your marketing to book them.

The following are the most effective marketing tips and techniques to get more photography clients.

1. Create and grow your social media accounts

Hands holding a tablet.
Social media provides many opportunities to showcase your work to potential clients. Photo courtesy of Unsplash.

According to Pew Research Center, 72 percent of adults in the United States use at least one social media platform.

The results also found that people go on social media platforms at least once per day.

Social media is a key part of your photography business because it helps build your brand.

Create social media accounts for your photography. It’ll lead to more exposure and potential clients.

The following social media platforms are the best for photographers:

If a platform has a business account feature, enable it to see your analytics and understand your audience.

Also, be sure to regularly post to your social media accounts and curate the content to show what you want to shoot.

2. Add resources to your photography website

As a photographer, your website is your portfolio and digital business card.

Whether someone finds your website from a web search or you send them a link, you have a potential client.

Your website needs to show your best work in a portfolio, have a page about you, contact information, and how to book a session.

To get more photography clients, become a resource.

Add resource pages or blog posts that answer questions potential clients may have.

You can also share poses and different themes for inspiration.

The resources can appear in search results, which gives you organic leads. Also, other websites may link to your resources.

By adding resources to your website, you can attract more potential clients.

Related: 32 creative graduation photoshoot ideas

3. Local search engine optimization (SEO)

Person typing on a laptop.
If you work with clients in a specific area, local SEO is a must-do. Photo courtesy of Unsplash.

When a potential client searches online for the photography services you offer, your business needs to appear. If it doesn’t, you need to optimize your SEO strategy.

Local SEO is essential if you work with clients in a specific area.

With an optimized and quality website, you can appear near or at the top in search results.

The following are the best local SEO tips for photographers:

  • Localize your keywords.
  • Create a Google Business Profile and Bing Places listing.
  • Get links and exposure from local businesses by gifting a framed photo.
  • Add your photography business to directories and consider joining your local chamber of commerce.
  • Get online reviews.

It may take time to rank well in search results. By optimizing your website with local SEO tips, you can become an authority in the services you offer.

Paid advertising is an excellent way to get exposure to your ideal client.

But, you need to do it well and avoid common mistakes, such as targeting the wrong client.

For photography, Google, Facebook, and Instagram are the best platforms for advertising.

Each one offers great insights and allows you to target specific categories, keywords, and locations. Also, they’re pay-per-click (PPC) ads and inexpensive.

Screenshot of examples of PPC ads on Google.
Example of paid advertising in Google search results. Screenshot by David Em/Portraits Refined.

If you specialize in wedding photography, try The Knot and Wedding Wire for quality leads.

With paid advertising, create a fixed budget and review the results. It allows you to see what works best and stop what doesn’t.

Also, your ads need to have a compelling description and eye-catching graphics.

Advertise with images of what you want to shoot and include a call to action.

5. Volunteer to photograph events

While free photoshoots aren’t ideal, volunteer as a photographer at events.

The event needs to align with the type of photography you want people to do.

As a volunteer photographer, you’ll provide a service to an organization. It may lead to paid jobs or referrals. Also, attendees may need your services.

It’s great to volunteer at events, but make sure you don’t invest all your time into them. You still need to book paying clients.

If you don’t book any clients after several events, consider other marketing methods.

6. Incentivize referrals

Person holding a camera.
Give people a reason to refer their family and friends. Photo courtesy of Unsplash.

Previous clients are the best for high-quality referrals.

When you provide an exceptional experience and photos, previous clients are more likely to tell their family and friends.

To increase the likelihood of referrals, offer an incentive.

The following are ideas for referral incentives:

  • Gift card
  • Free print
  • Discount
  • Free mini-session
  • Redeemable points

Referrals and word-of-mouth advertising are excellent marketing techniques.

Also, you’ll receive more qualified leads without paying for social media or search ads.

7. Keep a client database

A client database is essential and valuable. Photography is a people business.

The experience you provide and the connections you make go a long way.

You can create a client database in a spreadsheet or customer relationship management software.

Include information that helps you remember the session.

The details include your client’s names, contact information, date, and a short description of the session.

Then, check in with your clients every quarter and nurture the relationship.

You can also use it to book mini-sessions or offer incentives for new bookings.

Create your client database as soon as possible. Use it when business is slow and to have returning clients.

8. Attend networking events

Networking events are excellent for connections and referrals.

While you shouldn’t try to book sessions at the event, focus on meeting new people and exchange contact information if you connect well.

Before you attend a networking event, prepare an introduction. Keep it short, effective, and make eye contact while you introduce yourself.

Also, focus on active listening. Ask questions and be sincere.

The people you meet can become your new clients or refer new clients.


Clients are a requirement of a successful photography business. After you try different marketing methods, use the ones that are the most effective. It’ll keep your costs low and increase profits.

Related articles:

Featured photo courtesy of Unsplash.

About David Em

David Em.

David Em is the founder of Portraits Refined. He’s a published portrait photographer dedicated to helping photographers develop skills, capture incredible photos, and build successful businesses.

About Portraits Refined

Portraits Refined (PR) is a media company that publishes the latest expert-backed portrait photography tips, in-depth camera gear reviews, and helpful advice to grow your photography business.