If you’ve got a camera, skills, and a burning desire and passion for photography, you’ve probably thought about starting a photography business. If you’ve got the previously mentioned things, you are well on your way to getting that business going. What you’re missing is the business structure, website, maybe some gear, and, oh yeah, clients.
To get the right clients, photography entrepreneurs should focus on their target market. A target market is the group of people who will most likely pay for your services. Knowing them makes it easier to customize your marketing efforts. Also, it makes it easier to know what kind of packages to offer. But who exactly should you be targeting?
Determining who you should zero in on and focus on in your photography business is like unlocking the secret to capturing the moments and hearts of community members.
Understanding the Photography Industry
Before we get into the target markets for a photography business, let us take a look first at the current photography industry. According to Zenfolio’s 2023 State of the Photography Industry study, almost 20% of photographers surveyed in Q1 of 2023 reported that their business had increased from a year ago.
In fact, photographers who were making at least $100K saw an uptake in revenue versus 2022. There’s clear visibility that there will be an increasing interest amongst consumers to avail of photography services for themselves. However, to be able to succeed in this sector, it’s crucial to be able to pin down the right target market. In this article, we will look at some of the top target markets for a photography business.
Couples Getting Married
The first and one of the most well-known target audiences for photographers is the wedding market. Last year, the wedding industry was valued at $20 billion. It’s estimated that it will reach nearly $40 billion by 2030.
It’s all about capturing love, laughter, and countless beautiful moments. If you have the interest and knack for freezing those magical moments in time, then the wedding market is one of the best opportunities in photography.
There are tons of couples on the lookout for a visual storyteller, not just for a photographer. If you can narrate their love story through your lens, then you’d want to focus on this target market. Keep in mind that this market is saturated. This is completely understandable since this sector of photography is one of the most popular and well-known.
Because of this, a photography business that wants to pursue this market should specialize in working weddings. Wedding couples typically prefer a photographer who has the experience and talent to handle weddings specifically as opposed to a photographer who juggles weddings and other types of events.
Before Targeting This Market
Before launching your business, make sure to create a portfolio showcasing your ability to capture candid moments, tender glances, and joyous celebrations. In fact, setting a portfolio should be on of the goals for any type of photography business. Once you’re able to share real love stories you’ve captured, you’ll easily be able to emotionally connect with your potential clients.
One of the best ways to do this is by issuing a model call. A model call is when a photographer advertises a free session for a model to help build and solidify their portfolio. Having a portfolio of wedding photos you can publish on your website or social media may help attract your first paying clients.
Individuals Needing Family, Newborn, and Maternity Photos
As a family portrait photographer, you have the power to capture and freeze those special moments – birthdays, anniversaries, or even just a day at the park. Make sure to position yourself as the memory-maker, the one who turns fleeting seconds into timeless treasures.
The demand for a family photographer isn’t as high as the demand for wedding photographers. However, the number of individuals looking for someone to capture their families is increasing. The same is true for people needing newborn and maternity photos.
Specializing in newborn and maternity photography allows photographers an opportunity to be part of those early moments of a family’s journey. Emphasize your ability to create a comfortable and nurturing environment, ensuring timeless portraits of these precious beginnings.
Newborn and maternity shoots require a sense of patience, creativity, and care. If you’re looking to bring the first memories to life, then this is what you need to get into.
Share behind-the-scenes stories of your newborn sessions, highlighting the care and patience you bring to each shoot. You can also offer package deals for maternity and newborn sessions to attract expecting parents and encourage repeat and loyal customers.
Photographers looking to capture these families who are already interested need to be creative. They may want to offer theme sessions like “A Day in the Life” or “Keeping Up with the Generations” to appeal to diverse family dynamics. Showcase the warmth and connection in your portfolio to really resonate with families seeking genuine care, authenticity, and creativity in their selected photographer.
Corporations Needing Branding
Yes, you read that right. It’s about bringing professionalism into focus now. In the corporate world, image is everything. If you love bringing professionalism to life, then this is the market you should focus on. Help businesses put their best foot forward by offering corporate photography services.
This can include executive and employee headshots, office culture shots, or even product photography. Show them how your lens can enhance a brand’s identity, professionalism, and even storytelling. These are essential factors considered by many small, medium, and big enterprises today.
Work on a portfolio that highlights your capability to capture the essence of a brand. Craft and offer package deals for businesses looking to refresh their online presence with professional imagery.
People Needing Social Media Photography
There is a growing demand for a fairly new type of photographer called a Social Media Photographer. This is a type of photographer that focuses solely on taking photos for social media content. This could be for a corporation, small business, or brand. However, it could also be for individuals or even influencers.
While social media is still trending towards video, image-based marketing is still very effective. As a social media photographer, you may be able to sell packages from about $500 to $2,000. Most photographers who target this market work primarily on Instagram photos. Often, influencers and brands will hire photographers on a monthly or quarterly basis because of the constant need for content to publish.
This market is very particular so professionalism and quality work is very important. Photographers don’t need formal education in this area. However, additional training may help attract this target audience who may be corporate clients.
Event Organizers and Planners
Whether it’s for a conference, party, or cultural celebration, capturing the essence of occasions is a vital part of a successful event. As an event photographer, your lens now becomes the eyes through which people can relive those significant occasions and moments. You can position yourself as the documenter of moments that matter.
You’ll also have a chance to market yourself during events. You must try to make the most out of every event that you cover.
Partner with agencies that mount a lot of client events, so that you have a steady stream of projects month after month. You can also showcase your versatility by displaying a range of event photography, from corporate to gatherings to cultural festivals. Highlight your ability to capture the energy and atmosphere of diverse events.
Finding your Photography Niche
Each photography niche will require a specific set of skills, visual storytelling techniques, and a genuine connection with your subjects. As you go through the ropes of launching and sustaining your photography business, remember that your lens is a storyteller. It can weave narratives, capture emotions, and freeze moments that become cherished memories for your market.
You can also group and diversify your target markets into similar ones: those seeking family portraits with newborn and maternity shoots. That way you’re more inclined to create lasting memories and capture those precious moments filled with emotions, joy, and laughter. If you’re still unsure how you can zero in on your target market, read about how to identify primary and secondary audiences to help your business flourish further.
One of the most important aspects of having a successful photography business is having happy clients who rave about your work. Word-of-mouth marketing is powerful in the photography industry. Find your ideal clients and wow them. This will not only help you build your portfolio, referrals, and positive reviews, but it can also help your business’s bottom line.