I have thought long and hard about using the word “conscious” in an industry that offers luxury services, but after a year of work, I still believe this might be the best way to define this new – or better, different – approach to business.

So let’s begin by defining what “conscious” means.

Simply put, “conscious business” is a way of seeing business as a human matter (and experience) because the reality is that every interaction with our clients – from marketing to sales – IS an interaction between two human beings.

Yes, the very same way we claim that our clients forget there is a human on the other side… we also often forget our “clients” are human, going through our same worries, fears, stresses and doubts.

But why does this matter?

In the words of Brené Brown:

“All I know is that my life is better when I assume that people are doing their best. It keeps me out of judgment and lets me focus on what is, and not what should or could be.”

Brené Brown

Now if we see business as a human matter the choice for us business owners is simple: we can choose to make every act of business, or interaction with our clients (from marketing to sales, remember?) one that enriches our clients’ lives and fosters trust and respect or choose the opposite instead.

But pay attention: I am not suggesting you let others take advantage of you – in fact, setting strong boundaries and clear business practices is one of the 3 pillars of conscious business.

The 3 pillars of Conscious Business for Photographers: Ask for permission

One of the most common mistakes I see in marketing and sales is to just assume that everyone who contacts us asking for info is doing so because they want to buy from us (or book) there and then, and because of this we are entitled to chase them, follow up, and then consider them “time wasters” if they don’t take part to this fast and furious exchange.

Think about your own experience entering a shop.

Do you prefer being given a little time to look around and compare, and ask questions, or being followed around by someone who won’t let you go unless you explicitly tell them in 4 languages that no, you are not ready to buy?

A simple way for you to address this when people contact you is to… ask.

Especially when running ads, I strongly invite you to ask a simple question “I’d love to send you more details for your specific request, are you looking into booking a session as soon as possible or simply gathering information?” (now this is very formal, so adapt it to your style).

Other questions you might want to ask:

“I need to talk with my partner”

“Of course, no problem! Would you like me to get in touch next Tuesday to remind you of the deadline for this offer?”

or

“Of course, no problem! Would you like me to get in touch next week to check if you are interested in booking a session then?”

Silence in reply to this question is an answer.

Boundaries


Yes, assuming people are doing their best does not mean excusing their behaviour, not holding them accountable.

At the same time, trusting people does not mean allowing them to take advantage of us.

Brené Brown (Dare to Lead) explains this perfectly when she says that the most compassionate and generous people are also the most “boundaried”, but that most people struggle to set clear boundaries.

You can read more about boundaries and how to set them in this articlebut I will give you another practical example.

In your contract, you most likely have some clauses or terms that you absolutely want clients to know about: cancellation terms, delivery times, or simply opening hours and how to contact you for business-related matters.


Well, having them in your contract is great – but even better is pointing those terms out to your clients ALSO in the email that accompanies the contract asking if there are doubts or questions. 

This means you are not only “legally” protected, but you have also shown your clients that you are clear and firm about your terms – and not scared to enforce them.

It turns out that we assume the worst about people’s intentions when they’re not respectful of our boundaries. It’s easy to believe that they are trying to disappoint us on purpose.” 

What if everybody in the marketplace did the same?


This has always been my guiding principle for creating my own ads, but it works for most business practices.

When you are in doubt about doing something, in marketing or business, ask yourself: what would happen if everybody in my industry did the same?

Think about Venture (and they are not alone): they have forever affected negatively the way some people think and view newborn photographers, making your potential clients more sceptical and difficult to deal with.

The examples, unfortunately, are endless.

Offering “free downloads” just in order to harass people with salesy newsletters, free calls that are sales calls, etc… etc… etc…

As you can see, Conscious Business is nothing complicated – or particularly new.

As I always say, it simply is a way of treating every business act as an act of care.


The Shift: Conscious Business for Photographers” is one of the 4 core programs of our coaching, together with the Marketing Mastermind for Newborn Photographers, the Perfect Pricing Blueprint and Pathway to Creation: Creative Marketing for Photographers.

To learn more about our hands-on approach to marketing that works to get you bookings, visit www.growyourphotographystudio.com

5 years ago, when I took my first photography client on board, I felt like I was going back in time.

So many tools and strategies that were well known and widely used in other industries were not only unknown to photographers but were also rejected and dismissed whenever I mentioned them in photography groups (and my gratitude goes to Maddy Rogers for trusting my words before anyone else).

Despite my frustration, I knew those strategies were going to be very much present in the future of this industry… and I could see that from my clients’ results.

My “marketing life” was so easy back then.

Then, 2020 and lockdown arrived… and I remember waking up the morning after the announcement more determined than ever to keep everybody focused, to help everybody be ready for the next steps.

The moment lockdown began, I knew marketing would change forever and I wrote so everywhere.

I knew social media and ads were the easiest and fastest go-to tool for businesses to sell, so I knew “fast” marketing would become harder.

I also knew that there was no “going back to normal” because those unable to work due to restrictions would want (and need) to catch up when reopening.

Of course, what I could not foresee were a war and recession and so here we are, 5 years later, surrounded by trainers and photographers who have now discovered the tools and techniques my clients have been using for years.

Am I worried?

No, because to me, that is the past of marketing. That age is gone forever, and photography is not the first industry going through a shift of this magnitude.

That’s why my priority for the last 6 months has been defining what’s needed for us all to succeed in the next 5 years.

There has not been a day where my brain has not been processing and observing, and then processing some more.

Feedback from photographers, other coaches, and trainers, mixed with my own perception and experience.

And now things are clear.

There are four things needed for us to stay sane, ahead of others and profitable in the next 5 years:

1 – More unique and new FAST strategies (and yes, this includes social media and ads)

With so many walking on the path we have paved, the “usual” won’t keep working forever.

And for sure, you don’t want to end up fighting over a £20 session fee with every photographer around you.

This is why the Marketing Mastermind will always be a big part of the coaching.

The Marketing Mastermind for Newborn Photographers is a 1-to-1 marketing coaching with 3 unique characteristics:

  1. It offers hands-on help to get you bookings. From advertising to writing posts and landing pages, we do the work together
  2. It is 100% tailored to your studio. We don’t copy and paste strategies because we know that every business is different.
  3. It uses marketing that feels good. No pressuring, pushing people, no dancing in front of your phone just because “reels are the future”.

2 – The ability to connect with our clients on a deeper level 

… trust me – we are all fed up with being sold stuff every moment of every day.

I see it from data, that “tricks” don’t work anymore. Our clients know that if they spend enough time looking around, they will find amazing quality at an amazing price.

So, if you think what makes you unique is either of these things… we have a problem.

Connecting with clients simply means better, more meaningful content that truly shows your clients who you are.

Why? Because that makes you irreplaceable.

But I know creating great content is not easy, especially when writing is involved, and that is why we are introducing “Pathway to Creation: Creative Marketing for Photographers.”

This is all about using your creativity, and photography, to create meaningful marketing content.

We’ll develop creative photography projects, visuals and any format of media that comes naturally to you and we’ll bring it to life for your audience to see.

I won’t be alone in this journey, you will be helped by other coaches, trainers and our partner labs.

3 – Tired yet? Time for a story

When I was in school PE for girls was volleyball. Every week.

Now, if you have ever met me in person, you know there is not one cell in my body engineered for that. Not one, and I don’t even like it.

So, every week was a nightmare, every Tuesday I would try to escape the torture. A whole hour of feeling inadequate and hating it all. Just let me do something else, ANYTHING.

But no, you’re a girl, volleyball it is.

That story, and many more similar ones, are what life feels like if you are not engineered for the mainstream.

And if you enjoy working with me… you are not.

Whether it’s “too short,” too tall, too big, too sensitive, overthinking, too shy, or too much of an introvert.

That’s why alternative views, paths, and ways of doing business matter so much to me, and why the world needs them so desperately now.

But here’s the thing:

No matter how good and needed these “alternative paths” are, if the world doesn’t know about them, if they are not sustainable (mentally and financially) for the ones carving them they cease to exist.

That’s why I am introducing The Shift: Conscious Business for Newborn Photographers.

From how to deal with business when you are highly sensitive to boundaries and kinder, warmer strategies to convert clients… The Shift combines my marketing background and experience as a certified Human Factors Trainer.

4 – And now something most of you already know, the Perfect Pricing Blueprint.

This, too, is here to stay and it continues to help photographers get more conversions and sell MORE without pushing and pressuring people.

So, there you have it, welcome to Grow Your Photography Studio v2!

Want to know more?

Book a 30-minute FREE DISCOVERY CALL


Hi, I am Giulia (weird, uh? It sounds like Julia – but it’s written with a “Gi”) and I am the founder of Grow Your Photography Studio.

I am known for my no-BS, hands-on approach to helping newborn photographers get more clients and grow a business they actually enjoy running. I believe marketing should not be a “necessary evil” and that taking action is the first and most fundamental step toward success.

Thinking about our Marketing Mentoring programme? Read this first

We don’t do sales calls, but if you feel we might be a good fit you can book a free discovery call to work with me for an hour and see how that feels.

Christmas Minis are quick and easy sessions that should sell themselves, right?

Not necessarily, especially this year.

With so many newborn photographers now doing Christmas minis using a very similar pricing/formula, competition is stronger than ever.

In addition to this, almost nothing these days can be sold without a solid marketing plan and without investing enough time and resources, especially if you are not already well established and can count on a solid client base.

I THOUGHT THESE WOULD SELL OUT, BUT… THEY DIDN’T!

Ok, first of all… you are not alone.

Also, there is still time.

So if you have not sold out your Christmas mini sessions do not despair, but keep in mind these 3 simple “rules”:

1 – Think out of the box

Christmas Minis (like most minis) are a real challenge when it comes to marketing to a new, colder, audience. Since your profit is lower than full sessions, you need to find strategies that will help you reach as many people as possible… for very little money, or for free.

For this reason, in our checklist, we will include some unusual advertising and marketing strategies that we would not necessarily use to get bookings for your newborn sessions

2 – Don’t alienate your audience

Christmas mini sessions

We get it, you really want this to work.

However, in a couple of months this will be over, and you’ll be back to bumps, babies and newborns… so please try not to overwhelm your audience with Christmas images and posts – especially since it’s still September!

Remember that posting content your audience doesn’t like will affect your reach because Facebook and Instagram simply will not show your content to users who have not engaged with you in a while.

So if you see low (or lower than usual) engagement on your Christmas posts, do yourself a favour and limit the number of themed posts. Instead, plan on using some ads (again, read our checklist for low-budget ideas)

3 – Think about your business as a whole

Especially if you have little time to spend on promoting your studio, make sure you are not only focusing on your Christmas Minis!

If you are far from your goal (sessions you want to sell), or have not even started selling them, please consider whether you can even afford to keep going. Is it worth investing more time and resources in promoting mini sessions?

In our blog post about biases we have discussed The Sunk Cost Fallacy, our tendency to honour already spent resources: we are more likely to continue with a project if we have already invested a lot of money, time, or effort in it, even when continuing is not the best thing to do.

YOUR CHRISTMAS MINIS MARKETING CHECKLIST

So here we go, our list is below and also available as a free download here (printable).

❑ Email your database of clients (need a mailing platform for this? Check out our list of Essential Marketing Tools for Newborn Photographers). If your list of clients includes less than 150 people, you’ll want to plan for some extra promo (for example ads).

❑ Make a list of your best 10-15 clients (with children in the right age range for your minis) and mail them a personal invitation (yes, by post!) or call them. Why? Because it’s personal.

❑ Consider creating a lead magnet to help you gather some new, qualified, leads. A lead magnet is a piece of content that you make available on your website for free and that people can download by giving you their email address.

Of course, you want your lead magnet to be Christmas themed and targeted at your audience.

Ideas are: a PDF template for a letter to Santa, a template for Christmas cards or other themed templates, etc.

The process you want to follow is simple: create a blog post to describe your lead magnet and include a mini form (only requiring name and email address). Ask visitors to fill out the form if they want to receive your file and, when you receive their contact information… well, email them the content with a little reminder of your Christmas Minis (and a few images!). All tools needed for this process are included in our Essential Marketing Tools for Newborn Photographers.

Your lead magnet could be promoted using a Traffic ad, for as little as £2 a day – or could even just be promoted with a boost on your Facebook page.

❑ Create a Facebook event with the goal of using it for Facebook Ads. Ads for events are not the best ads for conversions but you will be able to run them for as little as £1 a day.

Remember: you can’t message directly people who mark themselves as “Going” to your event, but they will read your updates on the event page.

❑ Create an Engagement Facebook ad for one of your organic Facebook posts. As mentioned above, we choose these ads over Conversions (which are the best ads for bookings and sales) to contain costs – since your margin on minis is much smaller than for newborn sessions.

Check out this video to see where to find Engagement/Event ads.

❑ If you don’t have at least 2k followers on each of your Facebook and Instagram profiles, and your database of clients is fairly small (less than 100 contacts) consider partnering with another local business with a stronger online presence.

❑ Create a promo video that you can use on social media – Animoto offers a few great templates in this sense, but you can use almost any tool.

Don’t forget to check these tips for creating promo videos for your studio (source: Facebook).

❑ If you have not done a model call, consider doing one and boosting the post to your local audience – don’t forget to use engagement as a goal for your boost. Also, don’t forget to record some behind the scenes footage (and take a few shots) that you can use for Instagram reels and social media in general


Hi, I am Giulia (weird, uh? It sounds like Julia – but it’s written with a “Gi”) and I am the founder of Grow Your Photography Studio.

I am known for my no-BS, hands-on approach to helping newborn photographers get more clients and grow a business they actually enjoy running. I believe marketing should not be a “necessary evil” and that taking action is the first and most fundamental step toward success.

Need more hands-on help? Book a marketing call with us

Thinking about our Marketing Mentoring programme? Read this first

Scheduling posts, sending questionnaires, email newsletters… getting your marketing in place can feel quite overwhelming.

However, as for all crafts, using the right tools can turn an apparently daunting job into a smooth and fast process.

So here it is: our list of essential marketing tools every newborn photographer needs.

Our list includes a few notes and a few free alternatives that are great when you are just starting out (and not only)!

A note about essential marketing tools for newborn photographers

The list is available as a free download here – no email address (or other data) required!


Feeling on the brink of burnout? Read our guide “Photographers on the brink of burnout

Thinking about our Marketing Mentoring programme? Read this first

Monday night, one of my early days in business.

There I am, slightly (errrr) overworked, slightly frustrated and anxious because… well, how is everybody else getting so many clients and charging SO MUCH MORE than I am?

Notification: new email.

It’s 9pm.

A client asking me to do something that is not really part of my job – and of course, taking for granted I’ll do it anyway.

The above, of course, is followed by a 45 minutes internal rant, performed while pacing up and down the living room whispering to myself “this is ridiculous” and angrily typing the whole story on my phone for my best friend to read.

Eventually, I decide that NO, it’s not gonna happen. I need to stand up for myself, set boundaries and stop letting people take advantage of me.

It’s a big NO, no no no.

It’s my business, my rules.

Or maybe…

… maybe I could make a little exception and DO IT, but make it clear that I would NOT be doing it again.

After all, I am not that busy and I want clients to love working with me. Right? Also, deep inside I know I am charging a lot of money… maybe too much.. What if she gets upset and starts complaining and wants her money back?

Come on, it’s gonna take 30 minutes max – surely it’s worth it if it helps me keep the client?

LET’S TALK BOUNDARIES

To quote Brené Brown:

“When we asked people why they hesitate to set boundaries, the number one answer that emerged from the research was, “I don’t want to make people mad, disappoint others, or make them stop liking me”.  

[…] What’s really interesting is that when we asked the same participants to describe or explain the consequence of not setting boundaries, the overwhelming response was resentment. Followed by anger. Followed by frustration.”

Failing to set boundaries can not only affect our mental and physical health but also eat away our ability to see our own business as an enriching and enjoyable part of our life.

But we all know that, right? 

And still, for most of us “setting boundaries” feels like a constant struggle.

“… when we asked the same participants to describe or explain the consequence of not setting boundaries, the overwhelming response was resentment. Followed by anger. Followed by frustration.

Brené Brown

A MATTER OF POSTURE

Ever caught yourself all hunched over your desk, and reacted by – inadvertently – tensing all of your muscles in an attempt to sit up straight… just to end up slumping forward again within 10 minutes?

This very much reflects how I used to deal with boundaries in my early days in business – alternating between collapsing and posturing.

Collapsing is giving in to all requests and it often comes from our desire of being liked, of feeling needed, and from our lack of confidence. Collapsing is compromising our needs and integrity out of fear (of losing a client, of facing uncomfortable conversation, of disappointing others…): we keep giving more, so that the person in front of us will appreciate us more, like us more.

We keep giving in, and giving more, even when that means sacrificing something that is important to us.

We keep saying yes, stretching ourselves and neglecting our needs until we eventually “snap”… and lean into the opposite, the “I won’t be a victim anymore”.

Frustrated and exhausted, we go from collapsing to posturing.

Posturing is all about force is our “as previously discussed”, “as per the contract you have signed” – it is overselling, acting superior and wanting to feel important

RIGHT… BUT I STILL DON’T KNOW HOW TO SET BOUNDARIES

So what is the alternative to all of this?

If you have ever had to work on your posture or practiced yoga, you already know the answer: force and tension won’t take you far, but finding your core will.

As a business owner, you find your core when what you do and how you do it are perfectly aligned with who you are, and deeply rooted into why you are doing it.

As a business owner, finding your core comes from choosing to walk a path you can truly own as yours.

“Stress is who you think you should be. Relaxation is who you are” (Chinese Proverb)

When our actions and decisions come from such place we become beautifully strong and equally flexible.

And so do our boundaries.

“Did you just say… flexible?”

Yes, I did. Make your boundaries and give yourself permission to make exceptions.

People have this idea that being “good” and valuing yourself meaning making rules and rigidly keep them – no matter what.

Truth is, the secret to creating proper boundaries is to ensure they are strong and rooted in your beliefs, in your core, but not so rigid that they easily break under pressure.

But how do you decide when to bend a boundary, when is it ok to make an exception?

The answer is simple: when it feels right to you.

Trust your intuition, trust that voice inside you.

If all that voice is saying is “don’t even think about it, you don’t even WANT to work with this person anyway” – STOP. Breathe.

“No” is the right answer. And one that doesn’t need to be justified or explained. 

And by the way, my favourite “no” answer comes from Shonda Rhimes: “I am unable to do that”.

It just feels right and complete to me. It feels good.

“…my favourite “no” answer comes from Shonda Rhimes: “I am unable to do that”.

AND WHAT ABOUT SAYING… YES?

“Yes” is also an answer that does not need to be explained or justified.

So when it feels right to you to bend your boundaries, just do it. Know that you don’t have to be ashamed or justify it – to your photography friends, to your favourite Facebook group or to your mentor.

After all… your business, your rules.


Feeling on the brink of burnout? Read our guide “Photographers on the brink of burnout

Thinking about our Marketing Mentoring programme? Read this first

For some of us, the idea of having phone calls with leads can be anxiety-inducing, and even if you have been doing it for a while you could still wonder whether you are “doing it right”.

There are two common traps we have the tendency to fall into:

1- We feel that the goal of the call is to convince our potential client of something: book the session, buy wall art, etc;

And

2 -As a result of the above, we often overwhelm with words the person on the other end of the phone.

If any of this sounds a bit like you, there are 3 steps you can take to immediately improve your approach, and these take us back to the idea that growing a business means building relationships (more on this HERE).

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE PERSON ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE PHONE

Before asking about the colour of their nursery, how they want to display their images, spaces for wall art, try to answer this question: “What is more important to your prospect when buying what you sell?”.

Knowing what is important to them will help you understand what to focus your conversation on, and also establish whether they are a good fit (see below).

Let me clarify with an example.

Baby’s mum and dad are both originally from France. Their families and friends, including baby’s grandparents, uncles, aunts, etc are all there.

This might even be the biggest motivation for booking a session: to have photographs they can share with their family and friends abroad to feel closer to them.

Now imagine you spending most of your phone call talking about wall art for their home, while your competitor (having discovered what’s important to the client) chose to focus on extras like additional personalised USBs they could send home, digital slideshows or even albums and other products delivered to the grandparents. 

Who do you think they would instantly love?

Who would make them more excited?

And who do you think would be more likely to get not only the booking, but a bigger sale in the end?

Now, the easiest way to understand what is important to your leads is to simply ask them.

“Over the years I have learned that parents have different ways of thinking about their session, some envision beautiful wall art they can show to family and friends, some are doing it to create memories for the baby and so on… can you tell me more about what is important to you?”

Of course, you don’t need to use these exact words. Make it yours, and you will see how easy it is to connect with your people once you have the answer, as opposed to trying to sell your clients something without knowing exactly what they are looking for.

ESTABLISH WHETHER OR NOT YOU ARE A GOOD FIT

Going back to our previous example, you might be thinking “Well I don’t want to sell digitals, so they would not be my ideal client anyway”.

Great, it would be even more important for you to discover that information and let the client know that you might not be the right person for them.
If you have ever worked with someone that really was not your client, you’ll understand how important this is.

SET BOUNDARIES AND CLARIFY WHAT HAPPENS NEXT

We all hate chasing clients, and clients hate being chased. 

Before ending the call, define exactly what is going to happen. Here are a couple of scenarios you might find useful:

  1. “I’ll speak to my partner and let you know”

    “That’s perfect, I will email you now and then try to call you next Tuesday. 

    Can I please ask you to email me back, should you decide not to go ahead? I want to ensure I don’t keep trying to contact you again if you are not interested”
  1. If the baby has already arrived and you have a very limited time to get the family in the studio.

    “Ok, if Wednesday 10:30am works for you I will hold the date for 48 hours to give us time to get you booked in.

    I am about to email you a recap of what we have discussed, so you have all the info in writing. I will also send you a second email with the contract, and invoice for your deposit/session fee.

    Should I not hear from you within 48 hours I will only contact you once again to let you know I am closing your enquiry and cancelling your reservation.”

When I first started in business I had a 6-page script to follow for my calls. A perfectly designed tool for sales.

And I hated it.

Fast forward to today, I can unequivocally say that the non-scripted approach I have taken after using my perfect script less than 5 times has been an irreplaceable tool to learn who my clients are, what motivates them, what language they use and – ultimately – to make selling a genuine and easy process.

Ever experienced “Editing procrastination”?

You KNOW that session didn’t go as planned and now you are just DREADING the idea of looking at the images. 

Never mind editing them.

But editing procrastination might not be the most dangerous syndrome for a newborn photographer.

Pause for a moment and think your business.

Are you avoiding business or marketing tasks that you struggle with?

Maybe you avoid following up on enquiries because you just DON’T KNOW what to say, and you feel like you are bothering people?

… or you keep putting off planning any adverts, as your mind goes blank when thinking up content?

Is your pricing all over the place but you have no idea where to start to put it right?

You are not alone!

IN BUSINESS AND MARKETING… EVERYTHING IS “FIGUREOUTABLE”

It’s fulfilling and enjoyable to spend time doing things we excel at, and easy to avoid tasks we aren’t so great at.

People tend to be scared of what they are not good at, trying and failing can make them feel inadequate.

We bury our head in the sand and brush things under the carpet, but that feeling does not go away. It keeps us awake at night. It gets louder every time the problem manifests itself again (and believe me, it WILL happen).

The good news?

In business and marketing, everything is “figureoutable”.

The BETTER news is that figuring things out and improving will empower you and boost your confidence.

Yes, because it’s that feeling of “I don’t know what I am doing” that is keeping you stuck and making you wonder whether or not you are “good enough”.

PRACTICE WHAT YOU CAN’T PLAY

As a former piano tutor, I would tell my students “Practice what you CAN”T play’ and this translates very well to the business world.

A dear friend tells her children they only find some school work difficult because they haven’t learnt how to do it yet. She tells them it’s a sign they need more practice and ultimately that they need to ask for guidance from someone who DOES know how to do it.

It’s the same in business.

It doesn’t mean you are BAD at something if you struggle, only that you require some help. 

It’s a bit like having a toothache. It hurts a little bit, so you ignore it to avoid the dentist and save money, then in six months it’s 10 times as bad and will cost even more to get sorted.

Identifying your weaknesses and looking for ways to improve, seeking outside help from those who DO know, will get you on the right path. Far better than ignoring them, knowing full well they are going to come and bite you on the bum somewhere down the line. 

Whether that presents itself as poor bookings, client issues or simply stress you do not need.

Once things click into place, you’ll find yourself enjoying 100% of your business, rather than just 75% and the rewards will be immense.

Part of being a good business owner is not only being able to delegate, but also to identify strengths and weaknesses, and be able to act upon them. 

As “the owner”, you aren’t answerable to anyone but yourself, so it’s easy to slip into a habit of avoiding tasks you are weaker at and playing to your strengths.

Eventually, however, your strengths will suffer because of this – you need the whole choir singing in tune!

For instance, if it’s your marketing you are having issues with, it’s no good being the best photographer in the world if your marketing sucks! 

Without clients, there is no photography business. 

Or if your pricing is your nemesis you could be working your butt off, producing incredible results, but getting nowhere fast.

3 STEPS TO A BETTER PHOTOGRAPHY BUSINESS

“Ok, I get it, so now what?”

No matter what you are struggling with, solving your problem requires 3 steps:

1 – Total clarity about the problem itself and what’s causing it

2 – A solid plan

3 – The ability to make decisions when things don’t work as planned: stick to the plan or adjust? This makes the BIGGEST difference.

Achieving all this on your own is hard.

Being too close to the problem can lead to you not being able to see the wood for the trees. Facing your issues head-on can be daunting, so don’t do it alone. Letting someone assist you with their metaphorical axe paves the way for smoother running business, instead of giving up and going back to old habits, which can be all TOO tempting. 

So before you immerse yourself and write the most sophisticated marketing plan the photography industry has ever seen… ASK FOR HELP. 

Sometimes some outside guidance and little tweaks can be your ‘light bulb’ moment and go a long way to improving your confidence, happiness and success in what you do.

Yes, it can be hard releasing your hold on the reins when your business is your baby, but similarly, your baby deserves you to be firing on all cylinders.

If you are ready to finally feel confident and in control of your business, this is the most important page you will visit today.

Book a free business and marketing coaching call using the button below and we’ll help you define exactly how to implement these 3 steps to a better photography business.

Some days it seems like our entire life depends on making “the right decision”: the success of our studio, our next sale, being happy, healthy, and even being in the “right” relationship.

From the moment we wake up to bedtime, we are constantly bombarded by millions of pieces of information. To make matters worse, the world we live in operates and changes at an incredibly fast pace. Think about these two examples:

1 – You are walking in a side street at night and in the distance we see two people talking animatedly. You can’t hear what they are saying, or see exactly what they look like. Are you in danger? Should you walk away? Or is one of them in danger, instead, and it would be wiser to call for help? Or are they maybe just two people debating animatedly about a trivial matter?

2 – You are now a pilot, it’s past midnight. You are flying a modern, highly automated, plane over the ocean in complete darkness. All of a sudden, you start seeing and hearing all sorts of conflicting alarms, each with a different sound, light, and tactile feedback: you are flying too fast, too slow, then too low, but your computer shows that you are still high above the sea. How do you know which alarm to believe? How do you decide what’s the best thing to do when you can’t see the whole picture?

Our brains are constantly required to construct meaning, to make sense of situations like the ones above. They have to do it fast and accurately, allowing us to make decisions that will impact our success, happiness and survival.

To achieve this our brains have had to develop strategies and “shortcuts” that help us:

  • Filter out information that it’s not important or relevant
  • Make sense of a situation and the world around us even with limited access to it; we fill in the gaps to create stories coherent with our experience and mental model
  • Avoid paralysis, make snap decisions and act fast
  • Decide what information is going to be useful in the future, and it’s therefore worth remembering

Sounds good? Not entirely.

These shortcuts, called Cognitive Biases, can also sometimes make us prone to errors.

Biases, in fact, operate without our consent: in an attempt to bring us to a conclusion, they sometimes disregard important and relevant information. Or give excessive weight to specific aspects of the problem distorting our perception. Sometimes, we jump to conclusions that are actually counterproductive.

To make matters worse, biases can have a significant impact on creativity and innovation, as we have evolved to instinctively seek information that confirms our beliefs, keeping us on a safe path.

The 5 enemies of decision making for businesses

Many cognitive biases have been identified (and it’s worth looking at the brilliant categorisation made by Buster Benson), but we have picked 5 that you really need to look out for when making decisions.

1. Confirmation Bias

A new client comes to the studio for a cake smash. Since the moment she has sent an enquiry, she has seemed very cold and not very engaged. She has not been particularly difficult during the session, but not very excited either.
After the session, you sent her a link to her gallery, she reads the message but does not reply.

All you can think is that she is difficult, hated the experience and does not like the image. You are bracing, thinking that she will reply complaining about the gallery – or will only order a couple of prints.

Maybe you are already preparing for a difficult conversation, for having to explain why you cannot re-edit the images in a specific way.

She really does not like you.
Or does she?

Confirmation Bias refers to our tendency to interpret information around us in a way that confirms our preconceptions, dismissing at the same time opinions or facts that disagree with our own beliefs.

Confirmation bias is one of the most common biases that sneaks into our decision-making process, at work and in everyday life. Controlling its consequences might be a tough job, but can also avoid you spending time and energies worrying about something that is NOT real.
One way of dealing with this bias is to force yourself to find and list at least 10 facts that disagree with your theory.

2. Bandwagon Effect

The bandwagon bias occurs when you adopt a belief because more people around you hold that belief. This can lead to groupthink, in which the desire for group consensus and acceptance is stronger than people’s willingness to express an unpopular opinion or critique a position.

The bandwagon effect is so powerful that its effects permeate politics and marketing and it’s critical to understand that the industry leaders have the biggest influence on the “followers” and the industry itself.

Industry leaders say you should charge a session fee? You will most likely feel like that is the right thing to do, regardless of your specific circumstances?

Same for marketing trends! SEO is THE most important thing. Have a newsletter. Have a blog.
Facebook ads, Google Ads…

So how do you control the bandwagon effect?
Become an observer rather than a follower! Learn to question everything and find YOUR OWN path to success.

3. Fundamental attribution error

Is the tendency for people to place more emphasis on internal explanations for behaviours observed in others, rather than considering the circumstances. In other words, we see others as “internally motivated” and responsible for their behaviour: a client being short (see above) might actually love our work and the experience in our studio… but have a different way of interacting with people compared to most of our clients! OR she might be going through some personal issues!

In business, the Fundamental Attribution Error is responsible for everything from arguments to firings and misunderstandings. While it can’t be overcome completely, one way of limiting its effect is to practice empathy (should we dare calling it emotional intelligence?) and ask questions before making assumptions about someone’s behaviour.

4. Planning Fallacy

It’s our tendency to underestimate the time (and effort) we need to complete a task or achieve a result. Coupled with our inclination to say yes to most people who ask for our assistance, this bias can contribute to stress, burnout and… overtime!

There are several strategies that can help dealing with this bias: consider setting your personal deadlines 2 days before official ones, add a time buffer to your appointments and most of all… learn to say no!

Organising your to do list in the form of an Eisenhower Matrix can help choosing what to say no to.

5. The Sunk Cost Fallacy

It is the tendency to honour already spent resources: we are more likely to continue with a project if we have already invested a lot of money, time, or effort in it, even when continuing is not the best thing to do.

This leads to misallocating resources based on information that is either irrelevant or not up to date. Clearly an enemy of efficiency, but not only. Examples of Sunk Cost Fallacy can be found in all aspects of life, from getting a degree on something we are not interested anymore to eating too much, to sticking to bad business ideas.

To reduce losses due to the Sunk Cost Fallacy, it is essential to review periodically your investments (in time and money) and your return on investment. This should be based on data, not hearsay.

Awareness is key!

Cognitive biases are one strategy used by our brains to ensure we don’t get stuck, unable to choose and make decisions. While they make it easier for us to navigate the huge amount of information we are faced with every day, they also create traps that can cripple our ability to make good decisions.

As always, awareness is the key: know your limits and never settle for “the first answer”.


Online advertising can be quite complicated… and launching campaigns without knowing the rules can be quite costly! Not to mention that you might not getting the results you were expecting.

To help you get started, we have created a simple 5-step guide. FAR from being a comprehensive guide to advertising for Newborn Photographers, this should help you avoid some of the most common mistakes… such as launching ONE CAMPAIGN with ONE AD and running it without tracking results.


Almost everybody has had this experience.

You go to a store to buy something. A pair of trousers, for example.
So your trip is purposed, you are leaving your house to go and buy something you need.

You enter the store, the customer assistant comes to you and asks “Can I help you?”

“No, I am just looking”.

In fact, this is our conditioned response to almost anything that can get us into a “sales process”.

We say no because we don’t want to be pressured into buying something.
We say no because we don’t want to have to explain WHY we don’t want to buy those trousers that apparently fits us perfectly and look good.


We say no because we want to be free to “think about it”.

You know why?

Because we’re supposed to.

Starting from childhood, we’re taught to be wary of people we don’t know and to never make a fast decision when it comes to buying something.

We aren’t supposed to buy at first. We’re taught not to do it.

So to expect our prospects to go against the very habits and beliefs is foolish.

Still, this is what most photographers and businesses in general try to do when it comes to promoting their services over the internet. And especially when it comes to paid ads.

We expect an immediate return, we expect “instant bookings”. For some reason, we are happy to spend hundreds of pounds or dollars in activities that don’t generate any return, but the moment we invest £10 in Facebook Ads or Google Ads we want to see bookings flocking in.

And for this reason, we mostly put out campaigns, ads and posts that sound more or less like:
“Give me X amount of money NOW to get Y”.

The bad news is that this message is exclusively designed to focus on the tiny percentage of prospects who defy human nature and buy quickly, and it ignores (and usually irritates) everyone else.

The good news is that there are massive opportunities for studios and photographers who do things differently.

You can start today by booking a free business and marketing strategy session below.