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Photographing Families: Tips for Capturing Timeless Images by Michele Celentano

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7: Building a Profitable Family Portrait Business

Now that you are an expert at creating amazing family portraits, now what? It might be easier to take beautiful portraits than it is to build a truly successful family portrait business, but it can be done. First you need to figure out what makes you special and exactly what you are selling. In today’s world, everyone is a photographer. Cameras are easier to use, mobile phones take better pictures than my first professional digital camera did, and everyone can use a computer to manipulate and edit photos. Mobile phone applications such as Instagram make even basic phone camera images look like works of art. So, how exactly are you going to sell your photography? Here is a tip: You are not actually selling photography. You are selling yourself. You are selling your expertise, your experience, and something many moms can’t do for themselves — create a family portrait that she is part of.

A common struggle when creating a profitable photography business from a hobby is to actually run it as a business rather than use it as a way to boost your ego. It has to go beyond the fact that people like your “pretty pictures.” You have to remove yourself from the emotional attachment you have to your photographs. Let’s face it: we are artists and we take it personally when a client doesn’t like an image we created. In this chapter, ...

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