It’s time to work smart with portraits ~ Part 1

Feb 15, 2009 | Business, Studio | 3 comments


Are your portrait bookings down? Promotions becoming increasingly less profitable? The good news is there are several ways to buck the trend and here is one such system.

Chase existing demand with more vigor.

As the media will have us believe that the vast majority of the country seems to be wallowing in doom and gloom, my research has shown that specific pockets of portraiture are bucking the trend and are both in demand and on the way up. Boudoir, Pregnancy, and Cherish / Trash the dress to name but a few. It’s no use chasing a market that is in decline. Chase one that is in growth. Rather than advertise portraiture services in general, be specific. Fill your ‘shop window’ with one genre and really go to town with it.

If you are a portrait photographer and these growth genres are not currently on offer in your product portfolio you might be feeling that you’ve missed the boat. The reality is that these products will be hot for quite some time to come and are targeted at affluent women. To succeed in this marketplace you need a great way of packaging the customer experience and a beautiful end product. Once you have those two key ingredients you can start a very targeted marketing campaign.

There is absolutely no point competing on price and the good news is you won’t have to. You just need to become your local expert at that genre. In the case of boudoir photography, why not target a piece in the editorial pages of your local glossy magazine with your boudoir pictures of the editor, or a top features writer perhaps, each magazine has a few freelancers on their books. I’m sure they would be up for ‘the boudoir experience’ if it is done well. 

To pull it off, you will need to have:

• Integrity, professionalism and a positive persona.

• A luxury pampering experience to offer the client.

• An ability to take great photographs and make women look beautiful.

• A great portfolio of ways your clients can enjoy their pictures.


It’s survival of the fittest right now so it’s time to shape up.


  1. Eirwen Rogers

    Great article love the idea of targeting a local glossy, had not thought of that as a way to promote the concept.



  2. pat

    Great article Damien.

    Boudoir is the route that I’m following and to add to your advice I would recommend hiring models to build up experience and portfolio.

    Initially you will need to pay models but once your portfolio is building you may be able to get models on a TFCD/prints basis. At least this has been my exprience.

    I have also noticed that my website often gets more hits for boudoir related photography than weddings.

    You may find this artilcle about what boudior photography is:

    I look forward to Damien’s next installment :-)

    Inner Beauty Photography

  3. bob rhodes

    Thanks Damien, another little gem of advice, as a male tog, I’m a little apprehensive about ‘boudoir’ but I’m gonna give a go I think. I’ve had a couple of enquiries along those lines without advertising it, so there’s definitely a market for it.


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