14 Respected Photographers’ Plans to Jumpstart Their Photography Business in 2013

14 Respected Photographers’ Plans to Jumpstart Their Photography Business in 2013

The new year might already be underway, but that doesn’t mean it’s too late to solidify – or start! – planning for 2013.

We were curious what plans photographers had in mind to help jumpstart their photography business, so we reached out to some of the folks who contributed to our Photo Business Bootcamp – our most powerful (and free) compilation of smart photography business advice.

Serious about generating more income from your photography business? Check out the inspiration below, and then download our free Photo Business Bootcamp.

We asked, “What specific tactics are you planning to help jumpstart your photography business in 2013?” Here’s what these business-savvy photographers had to say:

Tim Mantoani – Commercial, Advertising

“Launch a new and updated website and blog, e-blasts, direct mail, print advertising. Shoot more personal work for my website. See more people face to face. Reconnect with old clients. Shoot a documentary video project. Learn more, play more, shoot more!”

Kendrick Brinson – Documentary, Commercial, Editorial

“In 2013, I hope to step-up everything I’ve always done in terms of my photography business. I aim to shoot more, even if it’s just for me. I have plans for a new long-term project and hope to start that soon, as well. I aim to promote my personal work, as well as my commercial, corporate and editorial work more through blogging and newsletters. Most importantly, I am planning more interactions with my clients – in person, via email pitches, via mailers.”

Brian Smith – Celebrity Portraits

“Commercial photography is a delicate balance of art and commerce. After spending the last couple years focusing on art, I’ve resolved to concentrate on ways that art can best lead to commerce.”

Photo by Brian Smith

Steve Boyle – Advertising, Editorial Sports

“Efforts to expand my business in 2013 will begin in mid-January. I am coming off of a complete re-brand that launched in late November, created by the guys over at Primer. I unveiled a new logo, blog, website, promo materials and printed portfolio showcasing all new work. I sent an e-promo and direct mail out at the end of 2012, and will continue to send similar materials throughout the year. I am also working with a PR professional to further increase brand awareness.”

Ed Mulholland – Sports

“I’ve spent the last couple years concentrating on growing my web presence and SEO, via my online archive and blog. While that is constantly evolving, I have a strong foundation built there that it doesn’t take nearly as much time as it used to maintaining it.  With that said, I’d like to grow my business with a bit more personal touch and have recently begun looking into the production of some photo books. They have become much more cost effective in the recent year, and I’d like to introduce my work to a new group of potential clients through them.

“I’ve also began reintroducing myself to clients who I had worked with personally in the past. I had moved to an agency with my boxing work and lost that personal connection, now that I’m back on my own, it’s time to get that personal touch back. Email and social media are invaluable, but sometimes it’s nice to pick up the phone or put something real in a clients hands.”

Randy Santos – Fine Art, Stock

“Following this past year, I feel very positive and overly enthusiastic going into 2013.  I’ll continue producing specific imagery for my targeted market in order to gain new clients/projects – but also continue to broaden the scope of imagery I make available and market this work to create new opportunities within my existing client base. Otherwise,  I’ll hopefully stay on track with what seems to work for me – work hard, remain creative and productive, continue to educate myself and improve my skills, maintain enthusiasm, love my work, love my family, and harness the awesome power of severe ADHD.”

Photo by Randy Santos

Robert Seale – Advertising, Sports, Corporate

“I’ll be redoing my website, blogging more regularly (hopefully), trying to get out and show the portfolio more to a tight group of specifically targeted people I want to work with. After several years of doing this, I’m convinced that building long term personal relationships – not endless email blasting and postcard mailing – is the best way to develop long term clients.”

Ami Vitale – Photojournalism, Documentary

“Hire more help! At a certain point you realize in order to grow or even maintain your business, it’s a better use of time and resources to focus on the things you are good at and hire help with other tasks like running the office. This will give me more time to use my creativity and brain on bigger ideas and projects. I’m also interested in more collaboration. Rather than always being a lone wolf, there is much more strength in unity and collaboration.”

Craig Holmes – Commercial

“Well, 2013 is the year I start to focus on an area of photography I have ‘under-marketed’ for some years, namely food photography. Presently there are two main areas to the business – commissioned commercial photography (using the PhotoShelter site www.craigholmes.com), and our stock photography site (a second Photoshelter site at www.imagesofbirmingham.co.uk).  The focus this year is to have in place a new website – the third Photoshelter site at www.thepicturepantry.com – in order to market my food photography to both commissioning clients and also to stock clients.  I have always undertaken food commissions, and have photographed around seven recipe books (and won a couple of awards for them). Not only is the web site now in place, but it will be marketed via mail, and then via email moving forward.”


John Harrington – Editorial, Corporate

“So often when business is motoring along, you lose focus on the other facets of your business that are leveragable. I use my Photoshelter account for practically every client I work with; however, I need to re-establish and then expand on the re-licensing of my images after the initial assignment is complete. I also intend to grow my offerings to corporate clients looking for a cohesive series of office decor options. Both of these projects should increase revenue and increase productivity during idle periods.”

Darren Carroll – Lifestyle, Portrait, Action

“I’m planning on doing 4 specific things to improve business this year, all with an eye toward my overarching goal of getting my work in front of people through personal meetings. Don’t get me wrong – I love getting new clients just based on them finding me online, but  I’m a big believer in getting to know people I’d like to work with in person.

“The first part of my approach begins with a continuation of my monthly e-mail promos, which were very successful last year in procuring assignments. But this year I’ve developed a list of 20 or so people or places – magazines, companies, and art buyers – that I’d really like to get my work in front of. The second involves targeted bi-monthly promotional mailings (postcards) to the relevant staff members at all of the agencies, companies, and magazines in question. Third, I’m planning an even more targeted campaign, probably semi-annual, of Blurb books coupled with notes which builds on the previous two efforts, and finally (and perhaps most importantly), I’m making a resolution that instead of simply sending an e-mail asking or a meeting or portfolio review, that I’m going to pick up the phone and call. I think e-mails are too easy to either ignore or simply forget about. If I want to do a better job at building personal relationships with new or potential clients, I ought to make sure I’m taking as much of a personal approach as possible.”

Darren Carroll’s email marketing from 2012

Carli Davidson – Pets

“I am looking to get ORGANIZED! Like many photographers and business owners I have my hands in a lot of pots, so making a clear map of my priorities to monetize my photography has become a priority. I’m also rethinking traveling commissions as a small boutique offering to supplement my commercial work. It gives me an excuse to spend a block of time in New York and LA working on location, set up other beneficial meetings and shoot in new places while I’m at it.”

Martin Vargas – Industrial, Corporate

“In 2013, we will consolidate our marketing strategies. while continuing to work with Agency Access creating specific campaigns focused on key prospects in certain industries. For the Mexico and Central America markets, we will identify and target key industry players and do more research on them so we can better target their visual communication necessities. Our goal is to have one key company from specific industries as clients.”

Todd Owyoung – Music, Lifestyle, Portrait

“At the start of 2013, one thing that I’m doing right now is writing personal message to my favorite clients, photo editors, and contacts. It seems like a small thing, but so much of repeat business and referrals comes from these small touches of personal connection.”

Photo by Todd Owyoung

Jumpstart Your Photography Business!

Looking for a way to jumpstart your photography business in 2013, but not sure where to start? Think $15,000 in prizes could help? Then PhotoShelter’s Jumpstart Contest is right up your alley!

One grand prize winner will win exclusive one-on-one time with each member of our Dream Team Advisory Board, including Zack Arias, Brian Smith, David Hobby, Lindsay Adler, and more. The grand prize winner will also receive $5,000 in gear from Calumet Photographic!

The Jumpstart Contest is open to all PhotoShelter members who complete a short questionnaire about how you plan to build your business in 2013.

Not a PhotoShelter member? Not a problem. Get your FREE 30-day PhotoShelter trial and enter to win before February 28, 2013. Use code JUMPSTART.

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There are 20 comments for this article
  1. Jonathan Pow at 1:35 am

    There are so many comments in this blog post I can relate to. Organisation, sending letters and, most importantly of all, actually picking up the phone or meeting face to face with clients. All, at times, can be daunting, but are essential to our business and building valued relationships with clients.

  2. Pingback: How 14 Respected Photographers Will Boost Their Photography Business in 2013 I Photographer Blog
  3. Roy at 5:50 am

    Seems many of us photographers are doing the same thing in 2013. Its always a good idea to step back and examine what areas you can and should be doing better in. Thanks for the interesting post.

  4. Philip Holden at 11:49 pm

    2013 for me will be the lucky year of connecting with Galleries and hanging my limited edition range of prints. I aim to take the stock library out of the clouds and into the hands of buyers who appreciate my work.

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  6. keni koradiya at 2:53 am

    “Launch a new and updated website and blog, e-blasts, direct mail, print advertising. Shoot more personal work for my website. See more people face to face. Reconnect with old clients. Shoot a documentary video project. Learn more, play more, shoot more!”

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  8. robert mackin at 11:15 am

    Hello Photoshelter,

    Thanks for sharing all of this useful information. It work be interesting to see how much of these photographers business is through the sale of stock photos. Photoshelter may be the only option for many photographers, trying to sell their stock photos.

    Kind regards


  9. Chris Herr at 12:50 pm

    I love the web. You need an information and you will find it. Thanks for sharing this useful informations to all photographers. Well, i´m trying to start my business this year so this informations are very welcome.



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  11. Rajesh Pande at 12:18 am

    Great post, I quite liked most of the photographers listed by you guys…I have been a wedding photographer for almost a decade now, and sometimes things get quite myopic when we just focus on our field, but when you look at the work done by other photographers from different genres then its a real eye opener…I loved going thru the works of these photographers! Thanks 🙂

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