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Building Your Photography Business for under $3,000

Lesson 9 of 41

What is Your Photography Style?


Building Your Photography Business for under $3,000

Lesson 9 of 41

What is Your Photography Style?


Lesson Info

What is Your Photography Style?

So, gather your 10 favorite images and really study them. Lay them all out in a grid in front of you and ask yourself what do these images have in common? And be as detailed as you can as you answer that question. How would you describe those to somebody else if you were describing them to someone who couldn't see the images, what would you say about them? Are they bold? Are they soft? Are they subtle? Are they vibrant? What's the subject matter? What are the colors like? Are they black and white? What do they have in common? Look at them as a body of work. Okay? And then, the really important question is, who would appreciate this type of work? That's the ultimate question because as you think about your audience and your consumer, they're the end result, you have to always have them in mind as you're thinking about these things. Let's do this. Here is a group of images. And at first glance, they're all very different, right? They are different sports, they're different settings, some...

are dark, some are bright. Is there something that these images have in common? When you think about this, I just heard someone say adventure. When you look at this, it's obvious, right? There's a theme here in these images. Skateboarding, ice climbing, biking, camping, snorkeling, skiing, there's a common theme in all of these images. What else is common in these images? Is there anything else that resonates? They're all outdoors. They're all outdoors, there's not a single studio image in the bunch, so we've got adventure, we've got outdoors. What else are you seeing in the images? There's dramatic colors, they're very bold, bright. They're bold and vibrant, they're bright. There is a consistent feel to all of the images. Is there anything else that you see along these images? They're all humans interacting. There are people in all of the images interacting. Even the one where you don't see anybody, there's the implied person in the shot inside the tent. Absolutely. Okay, so as I'm thinking about this group of images, there's some words that I can use to describe these. Outdoors, adventure, vibrant and bold, people. These are my words for my business. When I communicate with my clients, that should be obvious in everything that I do and say with them. Okay? As I'm thinking about my style and my body of work here, the next question is, who's going to appreciate this work? Is it going to be the person walking down 5th avenue that carries a dog in their shoulder bag? (audience laughing) Probably not my target client, right? They would have plenty of money to spend on my images, but they're not going to appreciate them, right? The person that shops at the Patagonia store and buys $150 jacket every season, that's my client, right? The person that's out hiking every single weekend. The person that goes traveling to wild and remote places. That's my client. They're going to appreciate my work. It's not the person that has the money, it's the person that does these types of things and has expendable money to invest in photography. Those are my clients, okay? As you're thinking about style, and what your style is and who your client might be, these are really important questions to ask. Let's look at another group of images and let's talk about these images a little bit and be sure to grab the mic if you have an idea. What do you see in this group of images? It's a totally different group. Relationships. Relationships. There is interaction in every one of these images of the subject matter. Okay, so relationships is a good descriptor for this group of images. What else are you seeing as you look at all of these images? Is there anything else consistent? Authentic expressions? Ah, authenticity. So, as you're looking at these, there's not a lot of staring at the camera. These people are authentically interacting in an environment, great, great. What else are you seeing in these images? Are there other words that describe this body of work? We've got relationship and authenticity. Dramatic lighting. Dramatic lighting, the bold and dramatic. This is also our client. But if I showed this group of images to the same people that appreciated the other group of images, are they the same? That's the question that you have to ask yourself. This group of images are also all outdoors. No studio images. This group of images also shows people in dramatic and daring environments. It has a feel of adventure even though it's not as obvious in the other group of images, right? This group of images also has that authenticity, that realness to it. It has the bold, bright, vibrant colors. I'm gonna go back so that you can see them one more time. Do you see a consistent feel between this group of images, who has an obvious target, and this group of images? And honestly, they have the same appeal. It's still the person who goes into the Patagonia store and buys outdoor equipment, okay? These people also like to be outside. They also probably go on adventures when they're not get married or having a family portrait session. Same kind of appeal. Same target audience, different application. This is more of a personal, private client. This one is more of a commercial client. We do the work the same way. We're gonna market it a little bit differently. It appeals to the same kind of person. As you look at your body of work, maybe you have a couple of different groups that are distinctive as well for the types of images that you're creating. Step one, lay out your body of work and write those descriptors, okay? Step two, think about who's going to appreciate it. It's gotta be somebody that has money that can invest in you, but that's not the big, determining factor. That's a huge pool of people. You need to start narrowing it down a little bit on specifically who's going to really appreciate this type of work.

Class Description

When starting a new business, you will make hundreds of decisions, and many of those can be costly and affect the future of your business. Most photographers have little direction available on how to take these critical first steps to set themselves up for success.

Kathy Holcombe and her husband Peter have built multiple photography businesses over the last 15 years. Kathy will share what they have learned so that you won’t waste time, money and resources trying to find the perfect formula.

You will learn how to:

  • Define your brand
  • Set up social media channels and a business website to support the vision of your brand
  • Develop an effective strategy for marketing to your ideal client
  • Develop a product line and profitable pricing structure
  • Develop a sales strategy to maximize your time and sales average

This class is for anyone who is standing at a crossroads, wanting to start a photography business, but not sure exactly how to go about it. You’ll not only learn how to get you started but also how to turn a profit through your photography in your very first year of business. Skip years of trial and error and invest your precious startup dollars in strategies, tools, and equipment that will immediately start making you money.


Amanda Beck

Kathy was a wonderful instructor. She was engaging and someone who was precise and incredibly helpful. We have a full time photography business and are always looking for new ways of running our business. Her information was insightful and forced us to have conversations about our business that we have haven't had in several years. She is fantastic and someone who has the information needed to help you start or expand your business. Thank you for a wonderful class!!


Thank you Kathy for yet again another very thought provoking class. You are such an inspiration, teaching us the right questions to ask ourselves so we too can be brilliant photographers / entrepreneurs. I was a fulltime RVer for seven years, traversing 44 states and seeing some of the most beautiful places on our planet. It gave me a great opportunity to meet some extraordinary people and to hone my photography skills. Now I have put down roots in Stapleton - Denver, CO and am soon to launch my own Family Lifestyle Photography business. Your course has definitely given me the courage to just charge ahead and go for it!

Tristanne Endrina

I am VERY impressed with this class! The structure of the class is well done. Each segment was thorough and backed up some knowledge from the previous segments. Kathy breaks everything down into understandable knowledge and also makes it very enjoyable to watch. I HIGHLY recommend this class if you're unsure about what to do to start your photography business. $3000 may sound like a lot of money, but you'll going to find yourself in a determined state to raise that money if you're REALLY passionate and serious about starting your photography business. Thank you, Kathy & Creativelive, for this class. I'm excited to get the ball rolling and build my photography business.