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Find Your Niche and Build Your Family Photography Business

Lesson 2 of 24

Marketplace Analogy for Family Photography

Julia Kelleher

Find Your Niche and Build Your Family Photography Business

Julia Kelleher

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Lesson Info

2. Marketplace Analogy for Family Photography

Lesson Info

Marketplace Analogy for Family Photography

So I ask you this as artisan photographers, how will you move your families? Because what we're doing is so critical and important and having grown up with a mother who wasn't that great, but now she's gone, and I have these images left. Wow, what a stepping stone for me as an artist, and literally in the course of these last 49 days or so, my work has changed. Very drastically, as a matter of fact. So we have to understand that the people around us move us in ways as artists, and you need to ask yourself as a family photographer, how are you going to move your families? How the art is going to move them, how the product that you walk away with it out of is going to move them, and how your originality as a creator is going to move them. So as we talk about niching in your family business, we're gonna dive into these topics very heavily. The art, the product, the originality. And of course, we're gonna talk about business and how to make us as artists thrive in what we do and profit, bu...

t for the most part, it really comes down to emotionally moving the people you work with, and how are you gonna to do that in your art, your product and your originality. Uniquely you, authenticity. So I want to start off by talking to you, kind of telling you who this class is for. It's for people who maybe kind of feel scattered in their work a little bit, you know, need to focus on one thing, but you're not quite sure what to focus on yet. It's, we all go through it, so if you're just starting out, it happens to everybody. I went through it, and it will change as you go through your career, you will change this, so don't be afraid of that. Perhaps you've been photographing families for some time, but you kind of feel like it's time to up your game, things are stale, you want something different. You're currently photographing newborns or babies, and your families are growing up and requesting sessions, right? So you're like, oh no, I need to offer this or they're gonna go somewhere else, right? You want to keep your current clients as repeat business with new, focused type of session. You wanna just dive down into your niche. You understand that you need to niche, but just not quite sure where to go. You love families, of course, this a class that's great for photographers who love families, and you wanna add this niched product line into your business. And we're gonna really dig in to what it means to niche today, okay? Perhaps you have a studio and you wanna offer a unique commercial look that's different from the typical natural light on-location sessions that are popular these days. We want to differentiate ourselves and be unique, so perhaps studio work is something that you're interested, a direction you're interested in going towards. You're in the right place if you know family sessions are profitable, but you're just not comfortable posing a lot a people. Two hands, two arms, two legs, but times, like, five. That's intimidating, isn't it? So we're gonna do a family of four today, and we're gonna talk about how to add on people should we need to. So posing is gonna be big. We also, you're in the right place if you want to solidly define a product line and shoot for a product, and this is a concept that is an advanced concept in business. So often when we get into photography, we shoot and burn, right? Why? Because it's easy and it's a great way to start out, right? It's like you don't have to focus on the product, like I'm just gonna shoot the images and give them a disk and that's how I'm going to start. Awesome. There's nothing wrong with that. Starting out that way, it's simple, it gets you flavored into business and then you can grow from there. But oh, wait a minute, then you get to a point in your career where you're like, this isn't working. This isn't working or it's really unfulfilling, and you're like, I have no idea what's happening in these images. They're just staying buried on their hard drive, which we all know is true, right? And we're like, I want them to print, how do I get them to print? Right? Ultimately, it is about the print, as I showed you from the quick iPhone pictures I took of my mom's ratty, torn up pictures that she managed to keep after 75 years of life. So you know, shooting for a product not only differentiates your business, but allows you to profit more, and I know a lot of you know that and you're at the point in your career where you're like, okay, I wanna take that next step, how do I do it? You're in the right place if you have no idea how to market for families and you feel your brand is a little bit disorganized and a little inconsistent, okay? So what will we cover in this course? Look at my little peanut? Oh, I got mommy glasses on right now. Oh, he's so stinkin' cute. This chair, I have to, there's a little story behind this chair. I went to, on of my idol's is Vicky Vergara. Do you guys know who Vicky Vergara is? She's an Australian, kind of fashion photographer, she's absolutely amazing, and she came to the U.S. for PhotoPlus in October, early October, and she did a workshop in San Francisco at Bambi Cantrell's studio. Do you guys know who Bambi Cantrell is? She's world-renowned, amazing photographer, and so I thought, I'm going to this workshop, you know I'm like, every year I try to do one thing to educate myself, and well, Bambi had this chair, it's a restoration hardware chair, and then they called it the Dr. Evil chair 'cause it looks like, you know, like you say you're Dr. Evil. And I was just sitting it in, and I'm like, this chair is so amazing. Bambi, will you sell it to me? She did, she sold it to me, and so, yeah, it's my favorite new thing. Okay, so what will we cover in this course? We're gonna cover a lot. We're gonna cover why niche, okay? This is a very important topic. I think a lot of you think you know the answer, but we're gonna go in deeper. But wait, why really? Okay? We're gonna talk about niching the right way. We're also gonna discuss creating a product within a product. What? Yeah, niching sometimes means developing a product within a product, okay? And I know that sounds confusing right now, but bear with me, it's gonna become much clearer and allow you to focus your efforts, your mental energy and your business into a specific direction that will keep you from feeling scattered, okay? We're gonna talk about prepping and shooting for a niched product. We're gonna discuss staying on brand and how to do that, and then of course marketing your niche and how to attract the right client. Everybody says that, how to attract the right kind of client. Well, what is the right kind of client? We're gonna discuss that and research how to find her and why you need to target only her. As scary as that may be, targeting one person is the single most valuable thing you can do for your business. Okay? Alright, so from here let's kind of dig into things a little bit, my keynote's a little slow on me, there we are, I must have to many returns. So let's talk about a little bit about what you'll walk away with from this class. You're gonna walk away, of course, with confidence in posing multiple subjects. We're also going to walk away with a highly profitable product niche addition to your business, okay? Knowledge of specialty lighting techniques that will kind of make you go, hmm, studio lighting might be for me. I love studio lighting. I can control the heck out of it. Natural light, everybody starts that way because obviously it's expensive to get into studio lights, but once you realize how easy it is to control studio lighting and how powerful that is and how much more professional it can look, not always, but it can look, natural light can look very professional too, but once you understand the power of controlling a single light source, it's hard to go back. We're gonna talk about dynamic family images, or excuse me, you're gonna walk away with dynamic family images that sell specific products and impress you clients, okay? Images that sell specific products. You can see how I'm going product within in a product, remember we're startin' to close in on the niche here, and we'll discuss that more in a minute. You're gonna walk away with, of course, a better connection with your families and a different look to your work, so we are giving away our pre-session questionnaire, which is one of the most critical things you can have in a family business, especially working with children. We're giving away our What To Wear Guide for families, which is a very comprehensive guide we send to our families. And then the Family Posing Look Book, which is in development, that's actually, you'll get it, it's gonna be towards the end of the week. It's a brand new product. We're releasing that. And then we're gonna give you a workbook that will help you audit your marketing, kind of figure out what you're doing right and what you're doing wrong. And then we're also giving away a coupon to our signature class that I offer through my education, which is called Market Like You Mean It. It's a nine week college level course for photographers on marketing. So all-in-all about a six hundred dollar value, so if you head to the course page, on Creative Live, you can download the freebie. So basically, the instructions look like this. Just head to that page and download the instructional pdf there on the course page after RSVPing, and then follow the guide to get that free access. You can get it pretty much instantaneously. Alright, you guys ready? Yeah. Let's rock and roll this town. Okay? What is a niche? Question number one. What do you think is? Like, this is just guess, take a gander, no answer is wrong, no answer is embarrassing. Okay, so I want you guys to learn what a niche is, and so let's kind of think about that and roll that around our heads. What do you think a niche means? And is it nich or neesh? It's like the age old universal question. Is it nich or neesh? If I had five cents for every time someone asked me that. I call it neesh. I think nich is correct, like when you look it up in the definition of the dictionary, they actually have both phonetic spellings. So, I think both are correct. What do you call it, neesh, nich? Neesh. Neesh, okay. Sounds better. I think it's more French, sounds more European, right? What do you think a niche is? Do we have the microphone up? I wanna hear, there, it's Annabelle, right? Annabelle has it, so she gets to answer first. What do you think a niche is? Oh, a niche is something that differentiate you from others, so it could be a pose that you do, it could be a location that you go to that's different from other photographers. Yes, exactly. I mean, she pretty much nailed it on the head. Let's kind of look at the actual dictionary definition of what a niche is. A niche is essentially denoting or relating to products, services, or interests that appeal to a small, specialized section of the population. Okay, that's the standard definition, okay? A place or position something in a marketplace, which I really liked definition because I thought, oh yeah, it is. Everybody says to me, oh, if I niche, I'm cutting out potential clients, right? Like, people think, if I specialize in something too deeply, then I'm turning away people who might hire me and make a profit from, right? That's what everybody thinks, oh no, I gotta shoot everything. Oh, you are so wrong. When you try to be everyone's photographer, you end up being no one's first choice. It's very true. Think of how many people are in the world. What are we at? Seven, eight billion almost now? It's a lot of people, okay? I can't even fathom that many people. Like when I travel and go to these big cities, I'm like, there's too many people, it's just like overwhelming, I come to Seattle and I'm like, Ah, there's too many people. There are so many people in the world who all have different needs, and that means there are, there is a large segment of the population who wants your niche. You can't possibly serve them all if you try to be a generalist. There's no way. But when you niche, you end up being someone's first choice, right? And that makes you more endeared to them, more desirable to them, which in terms makes you the perfect fit for them. We're gonna talk in the last segment about marketing and discovering your ideal client. Who she is, and writing her story, and getting into her head and figuring out her pain points, and when your niche or area of specialty can target that directly, it's kismet. You've found the soulmate for your business. It's like dating. Would you want to date every guy on the planet? No, you want the perfect one for you, right? It's the same with business. Do you wanna have every client out there? No, you want the client who's perfect for you and your business 'cause that is the, what's the word I'm look for, like the golden triangle. That's like the It thing because your business thrives, they refer you, they spend more, you're creating art that you love to create for you, not solely for the client, what the client wants, right? All kinds of things end up coming together that are magical.

Class Description

Now that you're consistently booking family photo shoots, it's time to create a business that stands out from your competition. Well-known newborn and family photographer Julia Kelleher will show you how to create a personalized "niche" for your photography that also offers its own product line.

In this class, Julia will show you how to:

  • Develop a solid, definable and recognizable brand
  • Attract your ideal client's to your business
  • Develop products that your clients will buy

By the end of this class, you'll be working on creating your own niche while growing and expanding your photography business to include new clients and larger sales.


Courtney Ranck-Copher

I own I think all of Julia's classes. This is probably my favorite. I will say that it's because its exactly the type of photography I have been wanting to focus on. So the information was extremely valuable to me. But I do love all of Julia's classes and you can learn so much from her as a mentor regardless of the type of portraits you shoot. Thanks Julia for a wonderful class I have watched it multiple times!


As always, Julia never disappoints! It has been so awesome to watch her work with such incredible intention, from concept to session to sales. Her energy and strategy are so motivational and very, very creative! This class rocks from start to finish, and is a perfect addition to my Creative Live business arsenal! Five stars all the way!!!!!

Amy Vaughn

My favorite part was seeing how Julia's business evolved over time and transformed into what it is today. Good tips for finding inspiration to develop a niche and practical marketing advice. I'm glad I took this alongside Tamara's business class - the two photographers had very different approaches to their business and shooting family photography in many ways, but it really illustrators how there's no one way to do everything. I learned so much from both of them.