How To Grow Your Photography Business With Bloggers

Whether you're an up-and-coming photographer or well-established in the industry, one of the most lucrative ways to grow your business is by working with other bloggers. Tapping into their blog traffic and social media influence is an easy way to expand yours, and as both a blogger and photographer, I’ve seen the mutual benefits of this relationship from both perspectives. So if you’re ready to take the first steps in collaborating with bloggers, here are few things to consider along the way, together with an email template to get you started.

queenhorsfall blogPhoto Via Queen Horsfall Blog


THE BENEFITS
  • When you work with a blogger, they will always mention your name and link to your photography website, with these back links proving beneficial for SEO purposes and helping to increase your overall search ranking online.
  • When your photography appears on a blogger’s site or social media channels, it’s basically free press and marketing, helping to attract new clients without you having to spend a cent.
  • As the bloggers you’re working with will be dressing and styling themselves, there’s no need for you to fork out the money for professional makeup and hair services.
  • Knowing that bloggers will generally want vertical full-body shots for their blogs, horizontal images for their social media and up-close photos of accessories, you can easily plan photo shoots so that you make efficient use of your time. After a short discussion about the shots they want, over the course of an hour you can easily come away with 6-8 photos that encapsulate each outfit, in the image style that is most useful to them. When compared to regular portrait sessions, blogger collaboration photo shoots are much simpler and faster!
  • Bloggers constantly need new images for their online posts, which means repeat business for you if a job is well done. Over time, other bloggers will also see your work online and look for collaborations, making it a business step that will really pay off.

CONTRACT OR NO CONTRACT?

While it may be sensible to create a contract to ensure copyright of images, bloggers will get turned off if they have to deal with long-winded paperwork. It’s best just to be flexible and gently state in your emails from the outset that while they are free to publish the photos to promote their blog, you will own the copyright to the images and must be given credit. If you’re working with experienced bloggers, then they’ll know exactly how things work and will automatically tag you on their social media sites and provide a link to your website. But when you’re establishing new relationships, it’s always good to make sure this is communicated, just so you’re both on the same page.


EDITING TURNAROUND

When you’re working with bloggers who post several times a week, the turnaround time between the photo shoot and seeing your images online will be as little as 1-3 days on average. This quick turnaround can be difficult to keep up in the beginning, but when working with bloggers it is one most important aspects to keep in mind. For your benefit, this means you don’t have to wait weeks or months to reap the marketing benefits of your hard work, which is often the case with regular portrait sessions.

BE FLEXIBLE

If cosmetic touch-ups or deep editing are not included in your editing workflow, do expect that some bloggers will re-edit your photos if there are aspects they are not comfortable with; for example, blemishes, dry skin, flyaways, trash, unflattering body parts etc. From my experience, almost 99% of the time, the re-edits by bloggers are reasonable and done tastefully. I would be flexible on this. However, if this a dealbreaker for you, you should communicate this with the blogger from the outset. 

HOW TO CHARGE

If you’re in the process of building up your portfolio, then you should consider offering your photography services to bloggers for free. This will assist you in building an online audience (without having to pay any marketing fees), then once you are more established you can start charging. There are a couple of ways to go about this - either charging per hour (regardless of how many outfits), per outfit, or based on the number of outfit sets. The rate you charge may also depend on your relationship with the blogger or the size of their online following, with prices typically ranging from $60 (up to 3 outfits) to as high as $250 an hour. Please keep in mind that these are ballpark ranges in California. It may be lower or higher based on your location, your experience and the blogger you're collaborating.

EMAIL COLLABORATION PITCH

So if you’re ready to start approaching bloggers for a collaborative photo shoot, here’s an email template to help you out. Remember, keep it short and sweet, with links to your portfolio so they can get an idea of your photographic work and style. Feel free to copy our template below and customize as needed. Good luck and happy collaborating!

Subject: Photography Collaboration

Hello [Blogger Name],

My name is [your name] and I'm a lifestyle photographer (website name) based in [your city]. I really love your blog and style, and wanted to see if you would be interested in collaborating on some outfit shoots. The sessions would be complimentary for you, and all I ask in return is that you provide links to my photography website and handles on your social media and blog when you post the images. You can check out my portfolio at [website] to get an idea of my work, and I look forward to the possibility of working together in the near future!

Cheers,


Are you a photographer looking to share your knowledge or experience with a wider creative audience? Email us for opportunities to guest blog on Dreamy Presets.

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