How to Set Up and Run a Busy Portrait Studio From Someone Who Already Has! - part 1 of 1 2 3 4 5

by Jonathan Coleman Published 01/02/2014


You want to use your photography to start a business, full- or part-time, but how do you go about it? So many ifs and buts. But what if you could plug in to a photographer who has been there, made the mistakes, and built a large studio business, and then tap in to all his tried and tested knowledge?

In this series of articles, I will cover all aspects of running a portrait studio bringing together what we know works after 23 years in the business. No theory - just practical advice with the pitfalls to avoid.

As a Portrait Photographer, What Are You Selling?

Welcome to the second in this series of articles looking at what it really takes for you to build and grow a viable portrait business, either full- or part-time.

Everything you read here is borne of practical experience over the last 23 years, much of it hard earned!


You may remember, from last time, that your business, any business, is like a Three-Legged Stool. You have your Product, your Marketing, and your Sales.

If any of those 'legs' are weak, then your stool, your dream, could fall over! It is your job, therefore, as the business owner, to make sure that each of them are as strong as they can be.

The First Leg - Your Product

Now this may seem blindingly obvious, after all, you are a competent photographer, otherwise you would not be reading this article. There is, however:

A World of Difference between Shooting for Show or Shooting for Dough

As we touched on last time, if you want to sell your work, you are not just taking pictures. If that were so, then your clients would go out and buy a nice DSLR for the price of one of your larger wall portraits and shoot it themselves!

What your clients are buying from you is your ability to capture the fraction of a second when they or their children look better and more natural than they have ever done before in pictures, and that is PRICELESS!

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