Summer is a favorite season among professional photographers to shoot events. The warm weather and longer days are more conducive to outdoor occasions, with plenty of interesting backdrops and natural light to capture special moments and create beautiful, lasting memories.
But the trick to ensure you get the most out of your summer season, is to start preparing well in advance. And by well in advance, we mean… winter!
There’s a very logical reason for this, namely that large-scale events take a long time to plan. Venues often need to be booked many months in advance, and event organizers start researching every aspect of their (or their clients’) big day well in advance to ensure they can secure their favorite vendors and ‘lock them in’ for their summer event.
So, for industrious event photographers, winter is certainly no time to hibernate. Rather, if you want a booked-out summer schedule, winter and spring are exactly the seasons you should be promoting yourself most heavily.
Here are 8 ways professional photographers can book more clients for summer gigs:
1. Maintain a portfolio of your best work: Showcase your best work on your website or social media accounts to attract potential clients. Make sure to include a variety of images from different events and locations so that potential clients can get an idea of what you’re capable of. Also, keep up with the latest photography trends and styles and update your portfolio with relevant photos, so that potential clients can see you’re a pro with a finger on the pulse of ‘what’s new and fashionable’ in event photography.
2. Reach out to local businesses: Contact local businesses in your area that may be hosting events this summer, and offer your services as a photographer. This is a great way to get your name out there and build relationships with potential clients. It can also open the door for cross-promotion opportunities, and help establish you as the go-to event photographer in your area.
3. Network with other professionals: Connect with other professionals in the industry, such as wedding planners, event coordinators, venue operators, event equipment suppliers, wedding dress designers, hairdressers and makeup artists, and even other photographers. These connections can help you find new referrals and opportunities for work.
4. Offer discounts or packages: Consider offering discounts or packages for multiple events or services to attract more customers this summer season. This could be anything from discounted rates for multiple events or packages that include prints, digital files, albums, etc., at a discounted rate.
5. Advertise on social media: Advertise your services on the main image-driven social media platforms, like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, etc. to reach potential customers in your area who may be looking for a photographer for their summer event. There’s a lot of competition on these platforms, so make sure your ads stand out with your best photos. If you have the option to include a series of photos, make sure you include at least a few with a summer vibe, to help potential clients visualize what you can do for them at their own events.
6. Participate in local events: Attend local events such as festivals or fairs where you can meet potential customers face-to-face and showcase some of your work in person.
7. Create promotional materials: Design promotional materials such as flyers or postcards that you can distribute at local businesses or leave at popular venues where people may be looking for a professional photographer for their summer event. Don’t forget to include your most important contact details – particularly your website URL – so people can find you easily.
8. Reach out to past clients: Past clients are a treasure trove of potential new business. Reach out to them via email or social media and let them know about any special offers you may have available this summer. Even if they’re not in need of an event photographer themselves, they may well know of someone who is. And as everyone knows, word-of-mouth is one of the best ways to get new business!
Finally, remember that the most important tip for booking more clients for your summer season, is to get organized and be proactive about filling up your schedule well in advance. If you only start promoting yourself once summer arrives, you’ll find that many event organizers have already locked in a photographer long ago… Good luck!