Skip to main content

Creating Your Ideal Photography Business

Lesson 41 of 48

Who is Your Ideal Partner?

Kathy Holcombe

Creating Your Ideal Photography Business

Kathy Holcombe

Starting under


Get access to this class +2000 more taught by the world's top experts

  • 24/7 access via desktop, mobile, or TV
  • New classes added every month
  • Download lessons for offline viewing
  • Exclusive content for subscribers

Lesson Info

41. Who is Your Ideal Partner?


Class Trailer
1 Class Introduction 07:01 2 How To Price Your Products 05:01 3 Which Products Will You Offer 13:14 4 Methods For Pricing 10:38 5 Mark Up Factors On Products 05:46 6 What Is Your Per Hour Figure 04:45 7 What Is The Feasibility Of A Product 11:28 8 Target Sales Average 08:04
9 Session Fees Pricing Strategy 09:48 10 Minimum Purchase And Incentives Pricing Strategy 05:53 11 Bundling Pricing Strategy 25:47 12 Pre-Design Pricing Strategy 10:33 13 Album Pricing Strategies 10:33 14 Example Pricing List 17:33 15 Business Basics Overview 07:07 16 Tracking Product Lines In Your Business 14:01 17 Track Your Session Counts 07:19 18 Know Your Sales Average 06:41 19 Importance Of Data Analysis 10:14 20 Overview Of Costs 13:46 21 Professional Photographers Of America Benchmark Survey 18:57 22 Creating A Vision For Your Business 08:25 23 What Do You Want To Accomplish 13:31 24 Take A Leap Of Faith 20:19 25 Refine Your Vision 12:44 26 Products That Sell 07:48 27 Identify Pricing Strategies 03:03 28 Portrait Pricing Strategy Example 15:57 29 Album Pricing Strategy Example 09:21 30 Online Pricing Strategy Example 08:21 31 Fine Art Prints Pricing Strategy Example 05:54 32 Packages Pricing Strategy Example 12:39 33 Sales Strategies Overview 05:45 34 Portrait Sales Session Overview 05:34 35 Sales Strategy for Portrait Sales 22:56 36 How to Present Images to Client 23:03 37 Sales Strategy for Wedding Sales 09:49 38 Album Pre-Design 18:51 39 Marketing: Define Yourself 12:55 40 Who is Your Ideal Client? 05:12 41 Who is Your Ideal Partner? 03:27 42 How to Start a Partner Business Relationship 08:29 43 Marketing Strategies that Work 17:10 44 Product Lines: Business Plan Part One 09:07 45 Workload: Business Plan Part Two 08:23 46 Sessions: Business Plan Part Three 16:06 47 Expenses: Business Plan Part Four 11:14 48 Clients: Business Plan Part Five 05:29

Lesson Info

Who is Your Ideal Partner?

In our business we have a very, very small marketing budget. There were years when we would buy an ad in a wedding magazine for $5,000, and get no return. And, we learned that that is such a painful lesson. Do you know how much $5,000, in our checking account, our personal checking account would be? That would be wonderful. And so, we learned right away that shotgun marketing approaches weren't really great for us. Buying ads, anytime somebody had to call me, and ask me to place an ad, generally those marketing dollars weren't a great investment on our part. When the schools called and said, hey place an ad, it'll support our school. That's great, but it never sent me any business. If I'm gonna give a school money, I'm just gonna give a school money. That's a gift, instead of an investment, in my marketing department. Okay? So, how do you find the right partner? You go back to where that ideal client is. But, here are some guidelines. You look for a company, or a business, that has a s...

imilar culture to what you have. So, outdoorsy, athletic, adventuresome, organic, natural for my business. So, look for somebody that has a similar culture. Look for a business with a similar level of integrity. How are they supporting their client base? What are they doing for their clients? Are they active in the community? Do they help in community events? Are they out there? Are they doing the same things that we're doing as a business, in our community? So, what kind of integrity do they have? Is this a hardworking business? Because Peter and I give everything, 110% of our energy and time and attention, and we wanna work with a company that has that same intensity in serving their clients and serving their community. And so, we wanna make sure that all of that is in mind when we look for an ideal partner. If I walk into a store and nobody greets me, within a couple of seconds, I'm not interested in partnering with that business. That's not the kind of service that I want to work with. I don't wanna be like that. Do they have similar interests to us? Do they have a similar client base? Do they have a similar product offering? Do they have a similar look and feel? Are they similar to us? And then, we're a high quality business, so we only wanna partner with businesses that have high quality services and products. And, ideally we wanna work with a business that has a really big client base. A business that has the dollars to invest to bring clients in. Then we just help them serve those clients because we don't have the big dollars to invest, to meet those clients. That's how we can collaborate together. And then, the healthy marketing budget, so they can reach out and get new clients. If we can find one business that has this, and add that to our network of people that we partner with, every six months, or every year, it will exponentially grow your business so quickly.

Class Description

Join Kathy Holcombe as she shares techniques and strategies to develop the photography business you desire. Whether you’re making the leap from part-time to full-time or starting your very first business, the amount of work can be overwhelming. From what products to offer, how much to charge, how to pay yourself or the legal considerations - startups often sink before clients are even booked. Kathy will show you the ways to grow your business from the start. 

This class will cover: 

  • Defining what product you are selling and how much you should charge to make a living 
  • Photography business basics and how to track your income compared to other businesses 
  • How to write and create your business plan 
Kathy Holcombe and her husband Peter built one of the top wedding portrait studios in Colorado, then jumped in an RV with the entire family and began traveling the country full-time, and added a successful commercial division. Together they have built multiple successful businesses and have honed in on the important factors that every photographer should consider when building a business. 



I started my business a year ago with little formal technical photography education. It's hard to admit but I've been winging it, figuring out each small task that goes with photographing a session, editing one, and working with clients as I go. I may be doing things backwards, but now that I feel like I'm more comfortable in those small, specific parts of business, I need to figure out how to make this business sustainable and profitable. Kathy's class felt perfect for this time in my business to take a step back and look at the bigger picture of what I want to focus on and where I want to go (and how much I want to pay myself!). She uses realistic, specific numbers: something that's SO helpful and I feel like I rarely see in the photography community. And she breaks everything down in an organized and easy to understand way. The classes were easy to follow along with and Kathy's positivity and patient manner is inspiring and motivating. The fact that she used to be a school teacher is clear. Thank you so much Kathy (and the rest of the Holcombes)!

Jenny Farrell

I am so glad I was able to attend this course in person and receive all the wonderful and practical information Kathy shared with us. I also really enjoyed the connections with other audience members and side conversations with Creative Live peeps as well as the Holcombe family. What an inspiration this family is--lots of practical info, but also a great pep talk to not sell yourself short and get out there and do what you love, but use sound business practice while doing it. Thanks so much for these incredible two days.


Fantastic course! Very helpful instruction and how-to guide for anyone considering starting up a photography business. Kathy was an excellent instructor, with a wealth of knowledge and experience. I gained a good understanding of the practical everyday aspects of running this kind of business, and how to create my own vision.