As a wedding photographer, I’m constantly working with new clients who have just started their families. They may begin their journey as a family of two (or three or four if you count fur babies!), but often, new additions to the family are just down the road. The arrival of a newborn opens up a whole host of opportunities to continue documenting their journey! That’s what makes adding portrait sessions to your wedding photography business such a lucrative way to diversify your income. Your former wedding clients are warm leads who know and love you, so they’re more likely to book you for a maternity session, newborn session, and beyond if they know you’re offering them!
The best part is that these “warm leads” will multiply as you book more weddings. By diversifying, you’re building a sustainable business model. Ultimately, this will allow you to hop off the hamster wheel of booking wedding after wedding without another reliable income stream.
If you’re in that place now, I can relate. I was there not so long ago! But after learning how to diversify my business and establishing not just one but FIVE income streams, I’m never going back. And I’m using what I’ve learned to teach other wedding photographers to do the same thing! If you’re new here, I recommend starting with part one of this series, which covers increasing your photography revenue with wedding add-ons. Then, you can dive into diversifying even more by adding portrait sessions to your services menu!
Opportunities to Book Portrait Sessions
As a couple begins their life together, there are endless opportunities to mark milestones and special occasions (or just the magic of everyday life!) with beautiful, professional portraits. Here are a few examples:
- First-year milestone session for baby
- Annual family photos
- Mother and baby portraits around Mother’s Day
- Wedding anniversary portraits
Your former wedding clients want to document these occasions professionally so they’ll have heirloom images to cherish forever. You’ll incentivize them to choose the photographer they’re already comfortable with (you!) by expanding your business to include portrait sessions!
What About My Crazy Wedding Schedule?
I hear you! If you’re already busy with weddings and don’t want to add too many individual sessions to your calendar, mini-session dates may be the answer. I offer several dates in the spring and fall that I strategically market to former clients. Usually, this looks like a slate of mini-sessions on one day at one location. This approach streamlines the process and reduces the number of additional working days (a huge plus for me since I’d rather spend time off with my family!).
I like to keep these mini-sessions simple, at 25 minutes. However, you have total creative control of yours! You can choose the session length and location that works best for you and offer back-to-back slots for as long as you’d like. A platform for Session or Calendly is best for booking so clients can see the number of spots and time slots remaining.
It’s also wise to set specific expectations by advertising a set amount of images with the opportunity to purchase more (plus prints and albums—more on that to come!). For example, a 25-minute shoot could yield 10-15 images or more with an additional deposit. Allowing your clients to purchase more images with you is a great upselling opportunity, so don’t neglect it! In addition, remember that the time of year can also make a big difference when booking these sessions. I always offer a couple of mini-session dates in the fall because families love to use these images for their holiday cards.
Learn How To Diversify With Portrait Sessions
Are you interested in learning more about how I market portrait sessions to my clients? Reach out to me for business coaching! I’m passionate about helping fellow photographers build profitable, freedom-filled businesses, and I would love to hear about your goals so we can identify the pathway to reaching them together.