It's so easy to get stuck in a rut and not make the time needed to actually implement change. But, often stepping out of our comfort zone is the only way to elevate our business and be true to our vision. In this blog post, the courage of 10 seasoned family photographers show us how we set the rules as creative entreprenuers to make our business work for us.

11 Family Photographers Share Their Game-Changing Business Moves in 2023

11 Family Photographer Share the Best Changes they Made to their Business in 2023

About a month ago I had the idea for this blog post. I put out a few asks in different photography groups that I belong to and kept my fingers crossed that someone would respond! I wasn’t really sure what I was expecting, but as the emails started rolling in, I found myself completely inspired and empowered by what the following family photographers share.  In the ever-evolving realm of family photography, staying ahead of the curve is not just a desire but a necessity. It’s so easy to get stuck in a rut and not make the time needed to actually implement change. But, often stepping out of our comfort zone is the only way to elevate our business and be true to our vision. In this blog post, the courage of 11 seasoned family photographers show us how we set the rules as creative entreprenuers to make our business work for us.

1. Julie Hamin of Sacred Sage Photography

“One of the biggest (and best) changes that I made in 2023 as a Family Photographer (along with newborn, maternity, senior…) was decreasing the number of images I give in my packages. I set out this year to shoot with much more intention, and focus on creating each image with more thought and love for my clients. It decreased my stress load by eliminating the feeling that I was just producing images, and instead I created artful moments that I couldn’t wait to get home and edit! ”

Sacred Sage Photography

2. Desirea Corbett of Desirea Corbett Photography

“The best thing I added to my lifestyle newborn photography business in 2023 was learning how to use flash in a natural way. I no longer feel nervous about the weather or encountering a dark house when I head to a newborn session. I know I will always be able to create the light I need and deliver a consistent product to all of my newborn clients. ”

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3.  Amy Dangerfield of Amy Dangerfield Photography

“In 2023 I made the decision to stop taking new lifestyle family photo clients and only focusing on documentary photography and teaching. I believe that our lives might not be pretty all the time but they surely are the most beautiful. I am passionate about preserving individual and family histories in the most honest way hoping that collaboratively, we can have a more accurate societal history recorded. As an educator and speaker, I love guiding others to lean in to each artist’s identity and passion to become an authentic storyteller.

Ever since I fully embraced who I am and what makes my heart sing, I have been presented with so many new opportunities. Because what I offer as a documentary photographer is so different from what people are used to seeing. People are always curious and curiousity leads to the opportunity for me to rally people to stand behind my mission of honoring and celebrating real life. As a result, I gained more loyal clients who truly believe in waht I do. Also, due tot he fact that I dared to be different, I was invited to teach about my approach both in artisitc and business marketing.

It’s what’s proven that by doing what you love, you have a better chance at getting really good at what you do. When inititally I had left some “easy” money on the table by leaving the lifestyle game, in the end, the reward both financially and mentally, have been so worth the change.”

Amy Dangerfield Photography

4. Rachel Mostofizadeh of Rachel Elizabeth Photography

“The best change I made for 2023 is offering only my full package on Saturday evenings September through December. This way I didn’t miss any of my son’s hockey games or family time for less than $625.”

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5. Miranda Melton of Miranda Melton Photography

“Thinking about this question has been such a fun exercise for me as I’ve realized there are a handful of changes I’ve made this year that I think have really updated my business for the better. The three that stand out most for me right away are:

  1. Invest in a marketing expert: I joined a group-coaching marketing membership focused on building out core marketing systems, and it has been an absolute game changer for my business this year. I’ve gained so many skills in streamlining systems for batching content, creating sales funnels, and automating nurture sequences, just to name a few. Working on all of this with other business owners outside of the photography space is the cherry on top – it keeps the inspiration flowing with ideas outside of what we so often hear floating around in our own little bubble.
  2. Leverage video content to communicate with clients: I started using Loom this year for a variety of client communications and it has been amazing! There are countless ways you can use screen recordings to enhance your business, but one of my favorites has been to include a screen recording instructional walkthrough for how to order images once an online gallery is sent. I’ve also used it for things like responding to questions and emailing info on a new product or service launch. It’s been a great way to be informative while also letting clients see my face, and I can’t wait to lean into it even more in the years to come.
  3. Leverage Canva to create content: I used to get so bogged down thinking about the time it would take to create graphics for my Instagram carousels, email newsletters, blogs, etc. (which I used to DIY in Photoshop). I invested in Canva Pro this year and will never look back – it has saved me hours of time and countless headaches.”

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6. Kristine Esposito of Kristine Esposito Photography

“The best change that I made to my business in 2023 was investing in learning SEO and getting my website/blog totally optimized. Now I feel so much less reliant on social media and have had tons of clients finding me on google– many more ideal clients.”

KEsposito

7. Charis Kauffman of Charis Elisabeth Photography

“The best decision I made for my business in 2023 was learning OCF (off camera flash). As an OKC lifestyle newborn & family photographer my sessions are held in clients home. Learning OCF has up the quality of my work as well as opened up the ways I can serve clients during the session. It also allows me to go into each photo situation with confidence and not being afraid of not getting quality, consistent work. I use it to enhance window light and love that it still gives a shadow and light feel but with beautiful photos.”

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8. Ann Grocholski of AMG Photography

“The best decision I made in 2023 was to establish a styling service and client wardrobe that serves women of all sizes from XXS-3X.  It has allowed me to provide clients with a completely hassle free newborn session experience in which I am able to take care of all the details for them and their family so that they do not have to worry about what to wear.  One less thing to do and one less worry allows moms to be truly relaxed and enjoy the experience.”

Miller Family

9. Susannah Treadway of Susannah Raye Photography

“I added a detailed questionnaire to my booking process to help me get to know families before their session. This was such a great change!
My sessions look a little different for every family because of this – Instead of trying to force every family into a cookie-cutter mold, I’m able to adjust to what’s important to them.
One family, for instance, wanted a lot more specific guidance and encouragement. Another family wanted a more documentary approach and for me to let their son explore freely. Being able to know this ahead of time helps me to approach each session better equipped to serve every unique family dynamic, and helps my families to know that I care about what is important to them!
I include questions asking about the children’s names, ages, personalities, and interests, as well as favorite family activities, hopes for the session, any specific photo combination they are hoping for, and (if they’ve had photos taken professionally before) what they have liked or disliked about their experiences.”

 

 

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10. Robin Litrenta of Robin Litrenta Photography

“Maintaining top of mind awareness with my clients is paramount for me. Creating a monthly newsletter has helped with early and more consistent bookings, referrals and generating the all important website clicks. I use a light-hearted, friendly approach offering clients helpful tips on anything from getting camera ready with wardrobe selections to showing samples of beautifully printed albums and wall art. Early booking access is always announced via my newsletter and clients appreciate the opportunity to schedule ahead of the crowd. ”

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11. Lindsay Herkert of Lindsay Herkert Photo Co

“For years I have wanted to create a business course teaching family photographers how to set up a profitable and sustainable photography business. Coming from a marketing background and building my photography business twice due to a move from San Diego to Austin, I knew I had a lot of insight to share that would be helpful to other photographers. But, I was completely overwhelmed in trying to figure out the logisictics of how to implement this successfully. Earlier this year I made the difficult decision to invest in a coach to teach me how to put my idea together in a way that was effective. There were a lot of challenging moments throughout the year and I think I would have given up if I had not made the investment in a coach. I particularly struggled with learning new technology and getting in front of a camera and comfortably communicating my knowledge. There is a reason I’m a photographer – I prefer being BEHIND the camera! But, by creating the course and pushing through the uncomfortable moments and challenges, it actually had an effect on my business I wasn’t expecting – it forced me to get really organized and implement changes I had been avoiding. It forced me to do the important, but not urgent things that are so easy to put off. It also filled me with a new purpose to stay on top of industry changes and implement new ideas in my business so that I can teach them.”

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I hope what was shared in this blog post might just help you discover the spark that ignites your own creative revolution in your family photography business. What idea have you been putting off?

Cheers to a courageous and successful 2024!

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Hey there! I'm Lindsay, blog author, lover of outdoor adventures & baking! Running and hot yoga fuel my soul, and I live for all the board sports - wakeboarding, snowboarding, surfing, and skateboarding. My hair is always a mess, but that's part of the fun! A Marketing Director in my past life before having kids, I'm now a passionate photographer. I love documenting life through my lens and teaching other photographers how to succeed in the photography business.

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Fun Facts:

Favorite food:

Chocolate Chip Cookies

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One Republic

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Chai Tea

favorite book:

Creativity, Inc.

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Lindsay is an award winning, published, natural light photographer with over 10 years of expereince. Based in Austin, TX she specializes in photographing brands, families, maternities, and newborns. Lindsay serves the greater Austin area.

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