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I’m sensing that this is a busy week for everyone. So instead of asking you to read a post, I thought I’d do a (gasp!) video so you could listen while you’re finishing up fall orders or making Halloween costumes. The topic? How to get clients to do what you want them to do! Give […]

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  • Michael - Always a joy to read, and listen! Thanks for the 14…ReplyCancel

    • Jenika - Thanks Michael! I appreciate you leaving me a kind word. 🙂ReplyCancel

  Have you ever waffled a little about buying something – – only to later be SO GLAD you got it?  Maybe in a way that you couldn’t even anticipate at the time you bought it? It could be something small.  Like, there’s this book of Van Gogh’s letters I almost didn’t buy because it […]

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  • Ceci Flanagan-Snow - Due to an imminent death in my family I am unable to do this right now – but I know it will work, later. Excellent advice.ReplyCancel

  • Kath Scott - Jenika! I always open your emails without question. This is a fantastic way to illustrate something that I’m really passionate about. You always give so much to this community. Thank you.ReplyCancel

  • Veronica - This is total confirmation for me to start my blog like I had the thought to do earlier this month. This is the very reason behind why I want to begin the blog for my photography site. Great post and thank you!ReplyCancel

Are you up for an adventure?  (Picture me wearing a cape and extending a hand out to you, it makes it more exciting.) Here’s your challenge: Pick two past clients who you know were happy with their experience. Select as far back as you are able – preferably 12-24 months, but if you don’t have […]

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  • Victoria Anne Hershman - I just read this blog post!!! For some reason I didn’t get this email, but I received the one finishing up the challenge. So doing this today then I’ll read part two tomorrow! I love this! I can’t wait to see how this ends!!ReplyCancel

Did you know that it’s almost our anniversary? Blush. Well, in a sense.  This blog went online October 18th, 2011 – so I’ve been sitting on my virtual sofa here, quietly teaching about psychology for almost five years. And I do think of this as a quiet space.  There are plenty of glassy, loud, flashing […]

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  • Allison - We’re not strangers! I really enjoy reading your thought-provoking writings, and I’m happy you’re on a (semi) regular schedule again, for my own selfish enjoyment.
    I just announced a major price hike to go into effect in January, and I’m worried that I’ll need to start completely from scratch with my marketing strategy in order to reach another audience. I’m assuming my current audience won’t pay the higher prices. I can’t tell yet for sure, it’s been terribly quiet in my inbox since my announcement.
    Should I worry, or keep marketing the same way? And by worry, I mean come up with a new plan, of course.ReplyCancel

  • Natarsha - Hi Jenika, Im Natarsha from Brisbane, Australia. I photograph newborns and families and have just introduced new premium grade print products into my work. The biggest thing I wish I could communicate to my clients is the importance of high quality print products vs getting all their photos on USB and printing them at Kmart. Everyone just wants the files, so I feel I have to offer them or miss out on bookings, but I also want them to be respected and printed with dignity, specifically via my labs. I struggle talking about this without sounding preachy or like Im trying to justify the associated prices.ReplyCancel

  • Belinda McCarthy - Hi there, I’m Belinda and I’m based in Dorset in the UK. (Where is that fabulous shot of the pretty country cottages taken, by the way?)

    I’m a wedding photographer by trade and have an established business of around eight years standing, but I’ve just set up a portraiture studio in a truly gorgeous country setting. And yes, it’s a bit terrifying, as no-one is going to come along and beg me to take their photo – I have to get out there and pay the rent, all of a sudden! So I’ve started women’s business networking groups in the area… and am trying to think of other ideas to spread the word. I’m a big Sue Bryce fan and am following her education plan at the moment. I’m looking to connect with other businesses in the are that appeal to women and gift them experiences, so that they can then talk about it to their clients… and even pass on gift vouchers. It’s EARLY days though…. it almost doesn’t feel real yet!ReplyCancel

  • Laurence - Another photographer from the UK – Laurence from Warwickshire. Those country cottages in the pics are near me in the Cotswolds, I’m guessing.
    Jenika, I like your blog a lot. For me, sometimes I’d like you to get to the point sooner though. I sometimes scroll down through layers of squishy stuff to get to the meat. Maybe it’s a bloke thing.
    My clients are families & business people. They love the photos, but when I’m taking them I’d like to be able to put across my creative vision in an easily understood way. So when I say “Oooh that’s going to look amazing on your wall” they get a little of the why – without showing them the back of the camera.ReplyCancel

    • Jenika - 😉 Thanks for your thoughts. I gotta tell you, I don’t know if it’s a bloke thing but it is definitely a style thing, as there’s a robust segment of people who glaze over with posts that are all business (myself included). Some of us need business to come into our world in the language that makes sense to us, rather than constantly feeling like we have to conform to a different culture, which is what most business blogs feel like to me. It’s cool though, there is and should be a place for everyone. Hope you can find what you need here and use it. Thanks for de-lurking!

      And yes, that’s Arlington Row, I was there last summer and found the whole region exquisite.

      I wish you luck finding succinct ways to communicate your creative vision! I’ll see if there’s anything that I can come up with to help. ReplyCancel

  • Bronwyn - Hi. I’m Bronwyn from South Africa.
    I’m a photographer specialising in birth, newborn and family photography.
    I struggle to get started with writing and telling people about what I do and why they should work with me.ReplyCancel

  • Carol - Is this where to post about de-lurking? I’m from North Georgia and have a very humble architecture photography business. It’s growing faster than I can keep up so I have brakes on any and all marketing. I started a year and a half ago and keep finding places where my work is published so I know my work is doing its job. Is everybody this busy when running a business??? I haven’t taken off real break time for months…but I do take the dog mountain biking twice a week for exercise -his. We’re suppose to go to Moab in 2 days but I’m so busy thinking of canceling.

    God bless all of you carving a living out of selling portraits and shooting weddings. I attend seminars, watch videos, had 2 years in college of portrait stuff but it’s big buildings and the women and men who build them that I love. Their pride in authorship is infectious…. I want to celebrate their work. .. Love Jenika’s posts. Love her sample appreciation letter from one of her series. It helped put words into what was in my heart and I reached out to an old friend who was in a sad place and it lifted them up. Thanks Jenika. So cool. Still don’t want to write about myself. While being self employed is very lonely, it’s kind of comfortable and cool being anonymous and an inegma. Hubby travels. I have a Nice dog and so every day is filled with love.ReplyCancel

  • Scott - Not much to be able to “de-lurk” about today (totally unplanned).

    Having spent the day at Nuremberg airport and then the night at Munich airport, I found myself wandering the streets of London sweaty, tired, hungry (nothing open in Munich until after the first flight out, and the only fare offered on the plane was a revolting sandwich – known to be revolting because I did try it), in clothes I’ve worn for two days (and slept in, although I’m loath to call what I experienced “sleep”), in need of a pee (I am an old man, after all), battery on my phone nearly depleted (and my spare long gone dry), with no hotel room to retire to and no access to my suitcase for a change of clothes should I have a hotel room in any case.

    Perhaps I’m well on the way to adopting (or being forced by fate to adopt) a hobo lifestyle.

    Lucky for me, then, that I discovered a while ago a very hospitable church in the core of London, where I now sit in the bowels of its crypt, with a full stomach (a wonderful, inexpensive cafeteria in the crypt), an empty bladder (a clean, free access loo just off of the crypt), fully charged laptop and phone (baseboard power at the corner table) and am connected to the world still (free WiFi in the crypt).

    And it’s a wonderfully calming environment. I guess my point is, it always pays to prep for the worst and to keep an eye out for useful places / things / tools – kind of like Psychology for Photographers! 🙂 – because you never know when it will come in handy!


  • Cat - Hi Jenika!

    I only discovered you about a month or so ago (through shootproof emails i think) and I LOVE your blogs. They feel homely, friendly, cosy and warm but full of great advice.

    My name is Cat Beardsley and I am a wedding photographer based from Herefordshire, England. I am only in my second year of activity and so far I haven’t targeted a certain type of client but I am overwhelmed with the amount of info on this subject saying you must do it. Trouble is, in the first few years you are still finding your style, and it changes a lot, so it’s hard to know very clearly what you are about. I guess I am trying to define my stile before I can communicate it but I’ve got the feeling, just by writing this (so thank you!) that it might be in the little things that we communicate that we show our style, and everyday actions, it’s not a big bang reveal we have to make. I am finding what I want to do more of, slowly 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Ellie Cotton - Hello! Delurking day – what a fab idea. I’m Ellie based in North-West england, near Manchester. I’m a natural light family, newborn – and now also – birth photographer. I wish my clients knew I existed I realise that my marketing is not getting the word out there, and after a few breaks in work due to having my son and illness this year I am finally getting up and running again but getting the word out is slow slow slow. I feel like I’m missing lots of opportunities but not sure what they are. Part of the problem is no doubt that I need a clearer brand and message for my clients but the more I develop my photography the more confused I am about which direction and style I’m going in. It’s a fascinating journey nonetheless though!ReplyCancel

  • Victoria Anne Hershman - I love your blog, and have for years!! I do believe I remember the last de lurk day as well. ?? I love your thought provoking posts that don’t just lead me to re-evaluate, but teach me how to better myself.

    So. I’m Victoria, owner of The Storytog. I’m a birth photographer stationed north of Nashville, Tennessee (and I said that in my head as Southern as I could). We are a military family with about a hundred different changes happening over the next year.

    As much as I love documenting births, I’m trying to turn more towards documentary maternity and baby sessions. I’m currently homeschooling my son and have a two year old daughter and our life is chaos. With births it’s something just so out of my control that it’s causing anxiety in me. I also don’t have a very supportive community here (almost no babysitters and no one to trust at 3am) so it makes it hard.

    I am switching to a print based model of business, which is where in the last six years my heart has always been, but trying to get clients to see the value in prints when they’ve always received free digitals is hard!! I have a hard time telling them they’ll only receive x amount of digitals because in my head the fee I charge isn’t worth it without the digitals. That I can only charge top dollar if I include digitals.

    I’m also exceptionally wordy and I’m sorry!!! I really like to talk. ??ReplyCancel

  • Lilla Gyarmati - Hi Jenika

    My name is Lilla, currently located in London, UK, originally from Hungary.
    I am a Portrait photographer, with a few years of experience behind my back. In the past I have always worked for someone else, it felt safe, I was great in promoting that other business, and – by looking back – I just can’t believe how great salesperson I was! And now, here I am, with shaking knees, stone in my throat, sweating hands, lost voice, starting my own photography business, building it up from scratch. Well, almost, because over those years I have learnt a lot of how a business works, how to manage a studio, and how to persuade clients and keep them happy the same time. Those years were invaluable in my journey, I have not only learnt about the business, but I have learnt a lot about myself too. But I’m here for a reason:
    It is still so so so difficult to stand up for myself, claim my prices with confidence, or just to answer requests!
    I did all these without batting an eyelid while working for other companies! I guess I have to think about my own business as it was someone else’s, ha? 😉

    I am so grateful, that You spare your time giving advice to photographers who feel a little bit lost! You give us so much insightful information, perspective, and transform our mindsets, I am so happy I’ve found your blog! You don’t know, but You have helped me a great deal already 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Ardath - Hi – my name is Ardath. I am into photography on a very PT basis with a 5-yr plan to be full time. I just “opened” my doors and I am finding it difficult in a couple areas – charging friends & family and finding my niche. Actually I think I did find my niche but I am worried it will limit me as I enjoy more than just my niche. And to your last question, I just wish I had a large client and audience base so I need help getting there. I find your articles very helpful and they help me think of things I did not even consider – such as the article on packages. So helpful! Thank you for your articles. I really enjoy them!ReplyCancel

  • Kirk - Been busy with learning a new gig for the last 18 months… sales engineer for a software tools company. I have had the opportunity to speak at several conferences and providing presentations. After 18 months my anxiety level has been drastically reduced when doing my presentations and I am learning on how to engage my propects.

    As far as my photography, it is still moving forward slowly. I mostly focus on corporate and non-profit events since I have a team of photographers I work with to help with that. Have not made a full effort to get my photography business going but am happy with the small advances we are making.

    My interest has now also been peaked by motion as well so I am spending time with filming now too.

    Good news is I am working to post regularly on instagram and I am slowly building a following @kirkfrancis

    Hope you and your following are doing well. Keep the posts and emails coming, I enjoy reading your material, it helps me. Thank you!



  • Karen - Hi, I’m Karen and I live in SW London near Kingston. I’m a documentary family photographer and I’m trying to build my business. I’ve just learned how to write my 3-line bio, so I’ve got that going for me :). I really wish my ideal clients knew I existed and how much they love having their photos in hand after a session. I also wish they realized how happy they will be once they just go ahead and book a photographer. Okay, and now I’m off to meet others de-lurking today too 🙂ReplyCancel

    • Jenika - Congratulations Karen – you are the winner! I will email you to see about scheduling our call!ReplyCancel

      • Karen - Eek! I’m so excited! I just saw your email and thought I’d pop back over here to make sure it was true :). And I was just raving about your site to another business friend of mine! Looking forward to talking with you, Jenika!ReplyCancel

  • Jennifer - Hi Jenika! What a great way to connect. Thank you! I am a fine art photographer specializing in family and children portraiture. I also found you through Salesographer 30 Day Challenge emails. I love what you share. Ive been in business 15 months, starting IPS right out of the gates. Currently Im working on narrowing down and defining my style, as well as not being afraid to remove niches from my website to shoot what I love and want others to be drawn to. I look forward to your emails because I feel you are so genuine, and don’t use cheesy email headers to get me to open your emails! I also want to help my clients realize the potential their images have to offer, and how to really enjoy them. Being able to identify and confidently share why their family rocks and the investment is worth it is important to me, and you help me do that! I struggle with preconsults; my confidence, and how to go over my Investment Guide. Thank you for sharing your wealth of knowledge with the community!ReplyCancel

  • Leah - Well, since it is officially de-lurk day I guess I have to say something!
    I enjoy your blog and love your insights.
    My family and I just relocated from Texas to NW Indiana and I have put my business on “sabbatical” until we are settled in. I have been surprised with how much I like life without my business and I am currently rethinking the whole thing! I really want to start an educational blog that focuses on creating, photography would be the overarching theme but I could branch out to other interests as well…
    I’m excited for the change but nervous about what this will do to income!
    Thanks for your dedication to your blog and us!ReplyCancel

  • Maureen Cotton - Hello! My name is Maureen Cotton. I’m a photographer north of Boston. I’ve been shooting weddings full time for 8 years. In recent years I got “a call” to be with people at the end of life a.k.a. Become a hospital chaplain. So I went to seminary and started in-hospital training. I’m currently working on making my family photography the more significant part of my business (just started IPS). I believe I can continue serving people as a Portriat photogReplyCancel

  • Maureen - Hello! My name is Maureen Cotton. I’m a photographer north of Boston. I’ve been shooting weddings full time for 8 years. In recent years I got “a call” to be with people at the end of life a.k.a. Become a hospital chaplain. So I went to seminary and started in-hospital training. I’m currently working on making my family photography the more significant part of my business (just started IPS). I believe I can continue serving people as a family photographer (and I love it) alongside chaplaincy. The weddings is like to phase out over 3-5 years.

    My biggest challenge with new family clients is rescheduling. No matter how much I assure them the shoot will be amazing even if it’s not a “perfect” day but new clients want to reschedule for bad hair cuts, scratches, after tiring weeks, etc. I should say once they are a returning client this is never an issue. Additionally, with my approach and philosophy I really like starting the shoot at home. This adds an additional layer of people wanting their house to be clean and can cause stress. I’ve tried to address this in my FAQs and am currently trying to encourage client testimonials to address it. It’s a real problem because I feel like a very strict rescheduling policy could feel like I don’t understand family life (for most of families both parents work) and things do happen. I *want* to be flexible. But some of this stuff is not as much of an issue as they worry about. But it can be hard to help them see that the first time around. It’s extra hard this time of year in New England when everyone wants peak foliage and every rescheule or cancellation is really a hassle! That’s what on my mind right now! Thanks Jenika!ReplyCancel

  • T H - Photography is my hobby, and has been firs some time. I’m one of those introverts who for some reason fell in love with taking pictures of people. I’ve had tremendous difficulty doing so, as fear has had such a hold on me for years. I’ve begun to understand that fear though, the not-good-enough, don’t-know-enough feelings, and had what was for me, a breakthrough portrait shoot with a friend. I had specific goals for the session, and was able to approach it without anxiety. When I looked at the photos later, I was able to not dismiss the ones that worked and call myself a total failure because some didn’t.

    I am not a young woman, I’m in my 50’s. But age doesn’t mean we have it all figured out, obviously. I’m looking forward to trying again.

    Thank you Jenika, for your insightReplyCancel

  • carlos - Hello Jenika
    My name is Carlos Lancha and live in the south of Spain, Europe.
    I had had a decent bussines until the begining of the great recession and now I am struggling to survive.
    I am sure that the alternative and only way to succeed is to become and expert in the world wide web but I have not begun until recently to use social media. I think it’s maybe becuase I am 52 yo and do not feel as comfortable with social media as the younger generations who enjoy using them. For me it’s just an obligation that enables me to keep on working.
    Anyway I find your work inspiring and pretend to follow you in the future and of course I am planning to buy your products which I find very interesting.
    I am sorry because my english is far from perfect.ReplyCancel

  • Misty Westebbe - I love reading your emails! Always gives me new inspiration and insight into this ever changing business. We have a home studio on 2.5 acres close to Nashville TN. Thank you for your wonderful blog!!!!ReplyCancel

  • Joanna Reichert - Joanna Reichert – across the lake from Chicago

    I’m a photographer.

    I wish I could distill down my photographic interests and vision to something marketable, so I could get going already and be creatively satisfied while working for myself. I’m finding that question incredibly difficult to answer. And because I can’t answer that question, I’m having a hard time connecting with clients in an authentic manner, to start that wooing process.ReplyCancel

  • Brett Alison Steiner - Hi there,
    I’m Brett Alison, based out of southern NH. I love love love your blog, so much so that I bough Irresistible Words and Irresistible Website. I have to say I hate writing so much, even though I bought Words a couple years ago, I still haven’t finished it. Ugh. However, I consumed Website over the course of one morning, did all the homework and started making changes right away to my website. I have to say your prompts on the “ideal client” and what goes into serving them has been the most helpful one I have seen (and I’ve seen a few in over 10 years in business). I made a few changes to the website, and I feel like it is much more efficient and easier to navigate with what I learned from you. So, thanks!!… As to what I wish people would know about me – uh, that I’m a unique special snowflake that they should definitely hire because I’m awesome! Ha.ReplyCancel

  • Stefanie Morris - Hey There! I’m Stefanie. I own sMm Photograph & The Hospitable Welcome in Charlotte, NC. I love reading your blog because I love marketing and the psycology behind serving customers well! Recently, I read on your blog about ‘marketing changes to sell more albums’ and I loved all of the reflective questions you asked in that post– it spured me to adjust some marketing efforts and start others.ReplyCancel

  • Jennifer - Hello – My name is Jennifer and I’m from northern Utah. I am a family and event photographer. The events I shoot are not weddings (more power to the wedding togs – not something I could cope with though I tried). I love my beauty pageants and Broadway musicals and all the other musical events I cover. I struggle with writing and with getting out to market to new people. And I love your blog – it is one of the few I read as soon as it lands in my inbox.ReplyCancel

  • Sarah N. Case - Good morning!

    I love, love, love your blog! I found it 3 years ago and have used it for my photography business since then.

    Recently, I have created a community for mother’s that validates who they are and their different parenting styles. I’ve been able to use the knowledge I have learned from my other business for this, too!!

    I’m based in the Washington DC metro area (slightly south of the city now in Virginia).

    For the new business, I want to create authentic content with an authentic voice that doesn’t hold anything back, bit I’m curious how far is “too far”. Do people truly want to read about the “realness” of life or do they sometime appreciate the glorified and sometimes staged life/posts?ReplyCancel

  • Heather - Hi! My name is Heather and I live in Northern California. I am a documentary photographer at heart and have been in “business” for about 5 years. I am a natural introvert and I have a hard time getting “out there” and meeting people or businesses to stay connected to the community. I wish people could understand this and just realize I need to be behind the computer when connecting so it was easier to do it! I feel like I am a good writer and I can blog pretty easily even if my grammar bites the dust sometimes. But I love everything about this business and I won’t give up- regardless of how little business I get and how little money I end up making. I love love love reading your posts and I feel like each and every time you are talking to me and it makes me feel like I am not alone in this world of crazy. Thanks!ReplyCancel

  • Sanmari Marais - Hi Jenika!

    Thank you for the great blog – it’s refreshing to read and learn about photography, business and psychology from a different perspective.

    I’m slowly but surely making the transition to becoming a full time photographer – I’m really just getting started.

    I’m a qualified Graphic Designer and have been practicing my trade since graduation. However, I’ve always wanted to be a photographer deep down inside. Recently I decided I needed to follow my dream and just go for it. I have quite a bit of experience as photography has always been a part of my life, having it as a subject while studying, going on courses, and I work for The South African State Theatre full time and get to flex my photo muscles here quite a bit as well taking pics of the theatre shows. However, I’m having a bit of trouble deciding what kind of photographer I want to be. At first I though Commercial/Product seeing as it might be a natural progression from being someone who works in a marketing department. But I find the photography I enjoy most is Fine Art and abstract photography. Can one make a living from doing this kind of photography? Maybe I would like to apply my fine art interpretation to wedding photography? I’ll just need to attend some weddings to practice!

    Thanks again for the blog!

    Greetings from South Africa!ReplyCancel

  • Rick - I look forward to getting your emails and reading your blog so much. As an event and portrait photographer, I found my bookings increase this year after I implemented what I learned in Irresistible Website. You are a breath of fresh air compared to most of the advice givers out there trying to sell me “The Way” to success and riches as a photographer.

    A little about me – I took up photography after I retired from my main career and wound up loving it so much, I started my own small photography business specializing in shooting high school sports and senior pictures. I am not super ambitious about building my business since I don’t need the money to live on. I just want to earn enough to finance doing what I love (equipment is expensive and I am somewhat of a gear head) and to have a little left over for travel and other fun stuff.

    Thank you for all the insight and help you provide.ReplyCancel

  • MaryAnn Luedtke - Hi Jenika,

    I’m peeking out from behind the camera to “de-lurk!”

    Am new to your blog, though I thoroughly enjoyed reading your piece on “How Clients Make Decisions About Money.”

    I’m a lifestyle photographer located in North Carolina – Happy Autumn 2016!ReplyCancel

  • Mabyn - Hi Jenika,

    I’m Mabyn from Statesville, NC. I’m mostly a wedding photographer with some portraiture on the side. I’m always looking for ways to enhance my customer’s experience. I love making them feel special and understanding how their brain works is very helpful so thank you for all of the information you provide here! My biggest struggle in my career has to be how to bring in more of my ideal client. I’ve relocated in the past 3 years and my business went from plentiful to scarce very quickly. The clients I get are AMAZING and I love them to pieces, but getting more of them is the hard part. Not sure if that’s something you can help with or not, but every little bit you give here helps me to love on the clients I do get. So thank you again! 🙂 <3ReplyCancel

  • Moira du Toit - Hi Jenika

    Moira here, I’m from a small village in the Western Cape of South Africa.

    I’m a photographer, focusing on the connection between people and their pet.

    I wish my potential clients knew what a committed person I am and that they are safe with me, I will do my utmost to give them images that show the beautiful connection between them and their pet which will be such a comfort to them when they are having a bad day and also when their pet returns to spirit. I have a hard time telling them that because I’m not sure how to say it and I’m terrified I won’t be able to capture images that make good on my promise.

    I’ve been following you for some time now and I love all the wonderful practical advice you give. Thank you for your generosity.ReplyCancel

  • Adrienne Maples - Jenika-
    Do you ever have BAD ideas?!
    I’m thinking no, no you don’t because THIS is brilliant. If I ever get my blog working again (technology- arrggh!!) I think I’ll have my own ‘De-lurking Day’. It’d be nice to know people actually read the blog, but how do you convince readers to comment?

    I frequently go back to your tutorial for inspiration (esp when I’m stifled by the thought of my in-laws reading my blog!)

    About me: I’m Adrienne Maples, born and raised in South Georgia. I sought a Bachelors degree in Fine Art photography from the Savannah College of Art & Design before launching my business in 2002. In 2005, I hid my Southern accent & re-launched my studio in Kansas City. (Of course, I’ve learned that Midwesterners LOVE a southern accent!)

    I shoot people- for money. The last 14 years have given me an amazing client base. This year I began my first personal photography project since my college thesis. I used my grandmother in the first piece & my clients ‘ohhh & ahhh’ when they see it in hanging large in the studio. I often reflect on your writings to help me put my thoughts into words.

    Now, if I only knew how to fix my broken blog… technology… the paradox of progress…ReplyCancel

    • Jenika - Haha, why, I just had a bad idea this morning when I tried to cook an entire ham before 9:30am. Have I mentioned that I’m not a morning person? 🙂 I think people will comment when you ask specific questions and show you truly care. It doesn’t hurt to throw something in for them, as a token of gratitude and also to nudge people who might pass on by otherwise.

      I visit Kansas City almost every year to see extended family! Love me some BBQ. Also, Jamesport.

      As for broken blogs, well, I just hire Chris Aram for stuff like that. Here’s my referral link for him –

      He’s one of those people who just takes the broken things, makes all the problems go away, and then texts you when it’s done. Best money I spend all year. For real. Thanks for commenting!ReplyCancel

  • Joe Ehrhart - Hi Jenika, I am Joe from Shrewsbury, PA. I am presently retired but am looking at opening my photography business up again, as I want to do something to get out from under my wifes feet. And the money would not hurt either,ReplyCancel

  • Jeff McDonald - Hey Jenika, Jeff here from Calgary, AB. I shoot mostly portraiture and unique body art / special effects fantasy characters. I also cover events from time to time.

    I’ve been lurking the blog for a few years now…and I think I’ve sent a few more lurkers too ?. I appreciate your posts and am trying (really really trying) to work some of your great ideas into my business. I’m struggling with getting my services noticed by the right clientele. I’ve joined a few professional groups to network, but am not seeing huge benefits.

    Heading back to the shadows now…


  • Miriam Haugen - My name is Miriam Haugen. My husband and I have had a portrait studio in a small town (Monmouth) since 1977. We have weathered a lot over the years: recessions, upswings, starting new businesses, transitioning to digital and social media. It has been an interesting ride. I am a woman in my 60’s but I still love doing custom portrait photography. I have gotten discouraged about marketing, though. How do I get the message, that a Haugen’s portrait is “so worth it”, in a way that is effective? What do I wish they knew? That a quality professional wall portrait created by a master photographer (me) is worth a major investment?ReplyCancel

  • Sarah Lake - Hi!! I’m Sarah, born a Michigander, but living in Southern Arizona (a small military town a stone’s throw from the border). I photograph families, seniors, and am specializing in Newborns. (I sometimes think I’d better nix seniors if I TRULY want to specialize in newborns, but I just can’t! I LOVE shooting seniors!). Anyway, I love your blog, Jenika. You’re a gifted writer- something I appreciate a great deal! I guess I wish my clients knew how much time I spent working “on” them… that a great deal of time is spent away from my family to give them the very best service possible. (Obviously, that’s responsibility of me- the business owner- but I would love to be able to convey how seriously I take that responsibility!). 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Tove - Hello! I’m Tove and I’m an American living in Newmarket, England. I’m a graphic designer turned photographer; just starting out my photography business. I am absolutely enamored with documentary photography and birth photography. I would love my clients to know 1) that I exist since today is my 1-week anniversary of launching my business and 2) that I am serious and committed to creating an experience and images that will last through generations. I’m new to your website but finding it to be an incredible resource already. Thank you for sharing your knowledge!!ReplyCancel

  • Astrid Piepschyk - Hi! My name is Astrid and I’m from Melbourne, Australia. I don’t earn any income from my photography, but I want to, so I came to your blog to learn more about how to be a better communicator so that when the time comes to launch my photography career, I’ve already got a good start.ReplyCancel

  • Kate - My name is Kate & I’m a family photographer located in Boston! I wish that there was a way to say, “these are the type of people that I love to work with!” without making the people who don’t fit that mold feel excluded.ReplyCancel

    • Jenika - a-ha! that’s an excellent question. stay tuned.ReplyCancel

  • Maria - Hi, I am Maria from Mexico City. My husband and I own a portrait studio, and also do some social and school portraits. We wish to specialize in portraits only, but it is hard for people to value and pay for that kind of work. I would like to be able to find those clients that really love photographs and value them. I love your writing, and also I love that your blog doesn’t feel like a constant attack trying to sell you something, which keeps me reading every mail I get.ReplyCancel

    • Teresa - Hi Maria – I’m from Mexico also. I live in the US (GA) and i understand the market that you have in Mexico, its very difficult people want to hire a photographer just to do some fall pictures, ester pictures, etc. I wish you the best and good luck!

  • Stephanie Woodward - Hi! I’m Stephanie from Salt Lake City, Utah. I run a part time documentary photography business. I absolutely love your blog and have learned so much! So thank you!!

    I’m not sure what I want them to know about me, but I would love to know how to write/ speak in a way that draws in my ideal client without putting others down. I also would like to do better at teaching them why the type of photography I do matters. Why they should hire me. 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Dot - Hi there, Born and bred and living in Edinburgh, Scotland. I’m a wedding and portrait photographer in my “spare” time (I work full-time as a Gymnastics Coach).
    I wish I could tell and convince my customers that, although I’m not full-time, the service I provide is still professional. I always feel embarrassed about.
    I have unsubscribed to so many blogs and email lists but PFP is one I love and have stuck with because you provide such brilliant info and support. Thanks.ReplyCancel

    • Jenika - Edinburgh Scotland has such a special place in my heart. How lucky you are! Thank you for doing me the honor of letting me into your inbox. I do appreciate it. And thanks for letting me know – that’s an interesting dilemma I will consider.ReplyCancel

  • Gina - I’m Gina in Sioux Falls, SD – I am a personal editor for photographers. I’m at this blog because I love how you write and communicate – it’s always fun and interesting. My biggest challenge is writing material for emails, blog and website that is interesting – communicates me and what I’m like – that I’m nice and easy going, very good at what I do. Everything I try to write sounds like an ultra-formal resume cover letter, it doesn’t sound like me at all, but stale and dull and formal. And if I’m writing an informational/instructional blog post, it just comes out too focused on the actual task and not any part that’s enjoyable to read, or easy to read – maybe too much to the point. I don’t know…maybe it does sound like me, I just really hope I’m not really that dull. =(ReplyCancel

  • Liz H - Hi! I emailed you a LONG time ago (maybe like 4 years ago?) and was like “I’m too scared to put myself out there – I want to start a photography business, but I just can’t!” And you gave me some awesome advice. Your words have stuck with me. And one year ago, I finally did open a business and it is doing awesome and bringing in real income for my family. So THANK YOU! And I love your emails – I read every one! Keep up the good work! Something I wish people understood: If you want your pictures to look like the photos I have on my website, you need to do what I tell you: go to locations I suggest, at times I suggest and wearing clothes that I suggest. If you have other ideas, that’s fine, but the pictures won’t look like the pictures on my website. I need to be more clear in explaining that/ making it not an option for them to insist on their bad ideas.ReplyCancel

    • Elyse - yes! I also struggle to explain why if I give them what they (think they) want, it won’t really get them to where they want to be!ReplyCancel

    • Teresa - Hi Liz – I feel so identify with your story. I’m in the dilemma to start a photography business but I cannot find the confidence to do it. Any advice is welcome. Also, how did you overcome your fears?

  • Ayesha - My name is Ayesha & I’m in Stone Mountain, Georgia. I am a photographer specializing in children & babies. What I wish I could tell my potential clients is that I am here. ? I’ve gotten better at this, but still not as good as I need to be.ReplyCancel

  • Sarah - Hi Jenika!

    I’m Sarah and I’m a wedding and portrait photographer based in Essex, UK. I also recently started a blog giving advice to photographers on the non-technical side of photography, what goes on behind the camera, talking more about the heart and soul of photography. I started this with a view to develop it into more of a mentoring program but it’s still a work in progress at the moment!

    The thing I really struggle with is how to get my message out to the right people – my “ideal clients”. I know all about working out who my ideal client is, what they do, what they like and the kind of places they hang out, but I struggle with where they might be searching for someone like me (on and offline) and how to put myself in front of them. And then, even if I think I’m putting myself out there in the right places, I’m not really sure I’m relaying my message and attracting them to me. Converting enquiries to bookings is a real struggle for me and I suspect it’s something I’m doing/not doing or saying/not saying that’s putting them off! I have tried a huge variety of marketing methods, spending money I can ill-afford and yet I am still struggling with bookings. It’s something I could definitely do with some help with.

    Thanks for the awesome blog by the way. I’ve been following for a long while now and I love your posts!ReplyCancel

  • Justina - Hello! I’m Justina, from Calgary, Canada. I am a full time educator, professor, and run a yoga business. I host yoga and photography retreats around the world, and have just visited my 81st country 🙂 SO much fun! I don’t have an immediate answer to your question about what I’d like my clients to know about me, but your blog is fantastic. I look forward to continuing to read it. Thanks!ReplyCancel

  • Khürt Louis Williams - Hi, Khürt Williams; husband, father of two teenagers, and avid photographer. I live in Skillman, New Jersey, a rural ( we have a rodeo ) suburb on the edge of Princeton.

    What kind of business are you in – or what are you working on? (What brings you here?)

    I’m an independent cyber security consultant. I help my clients stay out of the national headlines. I’m here because I’m curious.

    What do you wish clients / your audience knew about you – and why do you have a hard time telling them?

    Er … I’m more valuable than what’s on my resume.ReplyCancel

  • Leni Moretti - Hey there, I’m Leni Moretti from Berlin, Germany, an intimate lifestyle family photographer. Your blog is one of my favourites, because every single post brings new insights and I have used lots of your advice for my own business. Sometimes I’d like to be more open and authentic to my clients about the struggles of becoming a full-time family photographer, but then I fear it might come across as weak and unprofessional. I use the slogan “authentic family photography” a lot and sometimes feel that I myself should be more authentic, but then – how much authenticity is too much? Thanks for all the valuable content, you are one of a kind, and I love your photography, too.ReplyCancel

  • Kenneth McNay - I’m Ken, and I stay mostly located around Morrisville, NC. I’m trying to prepare a launch of portrait and lifestyle snapshot photography. I’m a generalist, but I’m confident I’ll narrow down into a niche after some period; for now, I’m a generalist interested in couples and families as a client base.

    I’d like to get the content written to develop the business plan. I’m behind the schedule to get a description of services and products.ReplyCancel

  • Laine Torres - Hi, I’m Laine Torres and I am a Brazilian living in MN. I’ve been here a while.

    I am a pro photographer who provides headshots, family and HS senior session. I have been working on taking my business to the next level and have some hefty sales goals. I love learning from you and often refer other people (non-photographers) to your site because the info you share is so valuable.

    I wish my clients knew that they will LOVE to work with me. That their photos will look amazing, they will receive great customer service and that I am definitely worth the investment. How can I say that without sounding “salesly” or conceited? That’s one of my challenges.

    I had already come out of the shadows, but I am de-lurking again! Thanks, Jenika! I look forward to your next posts.ReplyCancel

  • Kim Perdew - Hi everyone. I’m Kim and I’m giving a shoutout from a suburb of Columbus Ohio. Just my lil corner of the world where I have dreams of leaving the corporate world and pursuing my passion for photographing women. To make them feel like the beautiful and lovely ladies they are. The one thing I want my clients to know about me is that I struggle too as a woman. Am I this enough or that enough or even GOOD enough. So they aren’t alone feeling timid or enough of something to deserve beautiful pictures taken of them. So that’s my story!!!ReplyCancel

  • Maggie - This is a great idea! I would love to this on my blog too, but fear my only commenters would be my mom and a few friends who always comment, ha! I am a writer and photographer, but my writing is mainly journalism. Most of my career has been with agriculture clients—mainly farmers and ranchers—telling their story in magazines and agriculture publications. I absolutely love it. I’m a farmer’s daughter and married a cattleman so this lifestyle is completely a part of who I am. We live on a cattle ranch in Idaho now. I started out photographing livestock and landscapes because I provided editorial photography for my writing assignments. After my first daughter was born I started photographing people. Yes, I’m a mom with a camera, but I’d like to think I’m much more than that. My background in storytelling has influenced how I photograph people, and I shoot a more lifestyle/documentary style. However, I love learning about all aspects of photography, including studio lighting. I have a lot of interests and sometimes feel like a jack of all trades, master of none. I have a hard time talking about myself on my blog because I don’t really like calling attention to myself. I don’t know how to strike a balance between being braggy and being confident. I don’t really know what to say to set myself apart from others either. I just want my clients to trust me, know that I will create beautiful images, and design an amazing album for them. Finding my ideal client who values my time/talent/products I want to sell has been a big challenge. I have always enjoyed your writing and perspective. Thanks for sharing!ReplyCancel

  • Elyse - Elyse from Florida
    Not a photographer at all. I think I stumbled upon your site searching for “how to write an about page” or something of the like. I am super slowly trying to build a little business teaching piano for girls/women who love to sing and want to play and sing along. Because of my target culture group,it is a small niche and I do struggle to find prospective clients. I am just starting out though. Also struggle to maintain balance with my busy home life (ie find any time to work on my business – my family always wins).
    I enjoy your blog. Thanks for all the great insights!ReplyCancel

  • Jessica S. - Hi Jenika!
    I can’t remember when and where I found you, but oh so glad that I did! I am a newborn, children, and family photographer in northern Virginia slowly finding my way into the market. Like any photographer or creative for that matter, I’d like to relay to my clients that I’m not a commodity. That my services and products are worth it. I’m still trying to figure out a way to say to them (as quickly as possible) that I’m worth it. In a market that’s so saturated here, I need to find a way for me to stand out in the crowd.
    Love your articles! Thanks for giving us so much to think about!ReplyCancel

  • Teresa - Hi Jenika – I just found your website a few months ago and since then I have been reading it.
    I’m Mexican and move to the US (GA) a few years ago. I’m a System Enginner who quit her corporate job to take care of my 2 young children. Photography was always a passion. However, now I want to start a photography business, first for my self…I love photography and second to generate an income. I’m very scared to take the next step. My husband support me a lot, however I’m afraid that no-one want to hire me as a professional photographer. I want to focus on portrait family/children photography. I’m building my portfolio, i have been taking several courses and read books, i think I’m ready but I haven’t take action. I hope I can find the strength to move forward very soon. I struggle with the editing and have consistency style on my pictures and I would love to find a mentor. Thanks again for your blog, it has been very helpful.ReplyCancel

  • Camella Wade - Hi! My name is Camella (pronounced Camel-La) and I’m from St Charles, AR.
    I juggle a few things in my business : 1st and foremost I’m a stay at home mom to a 3yr old and an almost 1 year old. 2nd I do portrait photography, but am just getting going. 3rd I have two personal photography projects I’ve been working on over the past few years – Downtown, AR & Rubber Duckies. My husband works with me most of the time.
    My family is the most important thing in the universe! They will always come first. Sometimes I doubt my devotion to my business because my devotion to my family is so great, and I get scared that if I’m more successful at work I’ll be less so at home.ReplyCancel

  • Pauline Clark - Hi:
    I’m not a photographer. I’m a freelance writer, mostly doing blogging and social media for others these days. I also have a home-based scrapbook store and host retreat weekends.

    My website is a work in progress (not live currently!).

    My goal is to get more confidence that my writing skills, and my lengthy experience makes me an expert. I sometimes have a hard time bragging about myself when I approach others to write for them. But I do write well and I do understand the world of social media. And that’s what I need to tell people.

    I find your blog posts inspiring and informative and while they are often slanted to photographers, many are also very pertinent to my situation (and could be to others in other fields as well).


  • Dani - Hi! I’m Dani, I live in Indiana, United States. I’m primarily a portrait photographer, but I also enjoy shooting performance photos of plays, dance recitals, marching band, etc. My business isn’t huge right now but I’m starting to slowly get my name out there. Working with clients and bringing in new leads are the biggest things I’m working on right now. I’m awkward about “selling myself” and having rules about getting paid and setting prices and such. I get inquiries and I’m bad at turning those into actual bookings. I really like your blog! My sister is a psych major and psychology is so interesting… and especially when you apply it to photography!ReplyCancel

  • Rebecca Rottcher - THANK YOU so much for all of your words of encouragement, so often feel as if you speak directly to me, that , and Im so glad Im not the only person on the planet with ” issues” be that speaking about myself, workflow etc.

    To answer your questions:
    Im based in South Africa, on the east coast 🙂 I live in an affluent area ( Google Ballito Kwa Zulu Natal if you are really curious and have nothing better to do!) and I love documentary style photography. I feel no one really knows much about the genre here- which I treat as an advantage. All my “competitors” do stiff and posed. I am often complimented on my use of Natural Light- which Ive learnt is what inspires me most.And if I could just do that, I would be happy. That said I would like to educate people about what I do- the lifestyle / documentary genre. As soon as I mention “In home” – I get screwed up faces.And then ” Oh no we just want to go stand in a field.. do you do that”.

    The other thing, is my area is SUPER saturated ( which you probably hear all the time!). I have had it explained to me by an established pro and friend that the local photographers are very closed because the market is saturated. There is only so much business around so the “vibe ” I get from most photographers here is very negative. I find this a complete BS attitude and am so GRATEFUL for the international online community who are nothing but embracing- SO THANK YOU( again) your mails mean more than you know. Maybe my question here would be how to reach out to fellow photographers. Seems like a dumb question BUT I think creatives need community.
    Keep up the blog, I look forward to hearing from you and love your refreshing perspective!ReplyCancel

  • Sarah - Sarah Delwood – San Jose, CA

    I am a natural light/outdoor portrait photographer

    I wish they knew how much effort I put into photos and that they would actually post on their facebook pages the images I share with them.ReplyCancel

  • Shannon - I’m a fashion and boudoir photographer and when I’m not on the runway, I can be found residing in charming Charleston,SC. I’m here weekly for the fun and easy to read, thought provoking tidbits that encourage me to ponder all things business. I wish more clients knew that based on costs, I’m not expensive, everyone else is cheap…lol. I guess my clients get it, which is what matters but maybe helpful for them to have a better understanding of why there is such a wide range in pricing between photogs.ReplyCancel

I was thinking about you guys while I was cleaning the bathrooms a few weeks ago. (This’ll make sense in a minute.) For reasons passing my understanding, the builder of my house decided to include 4 bathrooms.  The house is not that big.  I have no idea who would think it needed four toilets, but […]

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  • David Spiers - well that rings true, I do (have) tried to shoe horn the way I do things to how others do things, and I do spend too long watching cat videos (thanks for letting me know about Maru – that’ll really help :))
    But seriously good ideas to try out, at least if I find a better way for me to do things, I can maybe spent less time (or more time – but productively doing what needs to be done.
    I don’t have 4 toilets in the house, but there is still lots to do

    Thank youReplyCancel

    • Jenika - Hahaha, I know, I’m a bad influence, right? (I did read some research once about how cat videos actually are de-stressing, so it’s not *totally* a waste…) 🙂

      I hope you can find some things that work for you + shed ideas that might make working feel frustrating, annoying, or scary. Speaking of which if you do a search for “avoidance” on this site there are a couple things that I have a hunch you might find interesting – it’s a psych term for something that I myself deal with. Just a thought! Thanks David!ReplyCancel

  • Claudia - Excellent post as usual! Things just keep lining up right for me. First, I embarked on decluttering not just my house but my life via the KonMari method. Second, I’ve been documenting my journey via my blog. Third, I’ve been exercising more, which has helped my recent bout with depression. Why did I mention all this? Because I’ve noticed amazing changes since, and then this post comes along and helps tie things together even more. ? Gotta love perfect timing! Thanks again for providing such great content! Definitely bookmarking this since I’m relearning the right way of doing things instead if what I should be doing. ?ReplyCancel

    • Jenika - I love it all, Claudia! It’s awesome when the universe brings us truths we need to hear in the right timing. Keep going!ReplyCancel

  • Jo - This is so me! Great post.ReplyCancel

  • Dawn - Thank you for the extremely good post which comes just at the right time. It’s only been a matter of a couple of weeks where I haven’t tried to do bits of things (sometimes all at once) – like most solopreneurs I have a lot of ideas which I need to immediately get on the table and end up just continuously writing lists of all I have to do, instead of actually doing them. I now do one thing at a time and because I’m concentrating on this one thing, I don’t give myself a deadline, but persevere for as long as it takes. After I’ve completed the task at hand I reward myself which a simple task like cleaning the bath 😉ReplyCancel

  • Moira - Brilliant advice as usual, thank you and thank you for introducing me to George Ezra, he’s fab 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Elisabeth - This is really validating. I keep reading and hearing about how I “should” be approaching marketing and I just don’t want to do it that way. It makes me feel …well, icky–a bit slimy. That’s just not me. I haven’t had any help and have struggled since I started my business to figure out how to make it work MY way. I think I’m just on the point of getting there but it’s hard. It means sharing myself and that’s hard for me. Anyway, thanks for this post!ReplyCancel

    • Jenika - A lot of people feel similarly to you. (There are lots of posts here about marketing without feeling pushy – search away, hope they help too). You can find things that work for you! I’ve found that the best things nudge me a little out of my comfort zone while still feeling true to my values.ReplyCancel

  • Vanessa - Hi Jenika,

    I have been a silent, hiding-behind-the-curtain reader of your blog for over a year. You are a brilliant writer! I am not a photographer, but I am a small business owner with a penchant for psychology. I just love how you write and I am always inspired after reading your posts. Today was no exception.

    I am always beating myself up because I don’t work in the same way as my very impressive and hard working husband. He is seriously a productivity machine! He has figured out how to work well, and I am always comparing myself to that.

    So, this post was very eye opening, and I am going to spend some time today “cleaning out my mental fridge” so I can learn how to be productive on my terms.ReplyCancel

    • Jenika - Well hello there Vanessa, and you are most welcome here! Thanks for the kind words and yes, I hope you’re able to examine yourself and find the best rhythms that work for you! The most productive people I know do have good habits but they also know themselves well and which of the many productive habits work for them. Take care!!ReplyCancel

  • Cat - How very true! thank you for this! I also prefer to work for longer on a task, I need to listen to that more! I enjoyed it (just this once) when I sat down and wrote & scheduled 4 facebook posts in one go, much more than thinking about sitting down every 3-4 days to do it for 5 minutes! Why did I not do it again? Well, I will. Thank you Jenika!ReplyCancel

    • Jenika - Yesssss….every few days for 5 minutes, for me, is like poking bike tires with tiny holes, I can’t deal with time leaking everywhere…cool if it works for others though. Good for you for getting things done in the way that works for you!ReplyCancel

  • Kim Eichelberger - Oh my goodness, this is so me! I am a marathoner – once I pick something up, I can’t put it down and nothing else on my list gets done that day.
    I keep reading all this stuff about “give yourself an hour for this, hour for that” and I think: man, I’ll never get the hang of this!
    Thanks for giving me permission to do one task all day until it’s done. That’s what works for me, so why fight it?ReplyCancel

    • Jenika - Good for you, fellow marathoner! It’s a real strength you have and I hope you have FUN figuring out how to take advantage of it!ReplyCancel

  • Rayleigh Leavitt - I love this article because back when I had a day job, I had a boss who got after me because I would usually spend most of the day working on one particular task until I got it done and then I would move onto the next task but my boss said that I needed to work on a little bit of everything every day. So I did it my bosses way because that’s what you do when you have a boss. And it always felt so inefficient to me. Since then I’ve thought about that incident a lot (yeah, it’s been seven years and I need to move on with my life, but it really bothered me) and most of the time I felt like my way of doing it was right, but I sometimes wondered if maybe I was wrong since my boss seem to think he was right. Now I know that we both were right for ourselves. Too bad my boss didn’t know that at the time.ReplyCancel