Eye on Business | Five Tips to Amp Up Your Winter Bookings

October.  Autumn.  Fall foliage.  Fall festivals.  Pumpkin spice lattes.  Perfection.

October : photographer :: April : accountant.  Not to send you back to the SATs but is that analogy the TRUTH or what?! October has always been a popular time of year for us ‘togs.  You more than likely have plenty of sessions this month because everyone is vying to get the fall colors in their images.  You may have even just come off of a busy summer season thanks to all the lush beauty that warm weather brings.

And, then comes November, December, January, February…

If you live in a region that actually has four distinct seasons, you may be anticipating the drought through the winter months if you don’t have a studio.  Bare trees, cloudier skies, earlier sunsets, and colder temperatures can all contribute to folks packing up and heading indoors as if we live in Siberia.  I have had my fair share of seniors who have gone to another photographer who could “fit my son/daughter in during warmer weather.”  “Oh, they really want to shoot when it is warm outside.”  I hear this primarily from the parents of seniors who often have that picture in their mind that there must be some sort of foliage in the background.  It’s understandable.  I came from that line of thinking until I decided that was ridiculous.

Without launching into my “put your big kid pants on and suck it up if it’s cold” speech, here are five tips to consider when trying to prevent the cold weather lull:

  • Show your clients all of the possibilities of a cold weather session.  If you don’t have portfolio images from the winter months (or locations that can be used) then, by golly, get out there and shoot some!
  • Think outside your norm.  Start to pay attention to everything BUT the lush greenery and fall foliage.  There’s a lot more out there than the expected.  A stack of wood or a field of golden cornstalks can add amazing textures.
  • Try scouting some new urban locations.  I live in the middle of Sticks, West Virginia.  If I can do it, you can too.
  • Evergreens.  If someone has their heart set on having lush nature in their images, seek out evergreens and bushes that can serve the same purpose.
  • Go inside.  WHAT?!  You don’t shoot indoors?  Me either.  Until it gets cold.  It can only help your business if you bust out of that “natural light photographer” mode and start finding that sweet light from the inside out.

Remember, we must educate our clients on exactly what we can deliver.  Make a point this week to post a cold weather image on your fan page or blog.  Write a small blurb that will encourage your clients to embrace the cold weather!  Plus, bribe them with the hot chocolate you’ll buy if they rough it through a winter session!

Join me over on FACEBOOK to see a few cold weather images in the next few weeks!  I’m ready!