Make More This Holiday: Win Mentoring or 1 Year Subscription to Photo Business Tools

This season, why not try a few extra things to add a little more fun and revenue to your photography business?  Here Photo Business Tools shares 4 quick ways photographers can increase their photography income during the holidays.

  1. Offer new and creative sessions to your clients.  We are all doing mini sessions already, but why not try offering Santa Sessions or Pajama Sessions through the month of December where you come and snap a couple of priceless memories of your clients kids around their Christmas tree?

  1. Offer Gift Certificates!  This is a great one for the guys!  Contact the men in your circle of friends, family and clientele, and help them do their Holiday shopping with gift certificates for photography with you.  If he’s smart, he’ll know it’s a much better gift than electronics!
  1. In addition to offering Holiday cards, add a few Holiday products to your sales.  Maybe personalized jewelry, or accordion books.  You could even sell personalized iphone skin covers, calendars or books.  Choose something that you love, be sure that your pricing includes your time and profit, and share it with everyone! photography jewelry
  1. Create fun contests on your blog through the next few months and share on Facebook to increase your exposure.  Why not do a cutest pajama contest, or best cookie contest.  Design it so that your fans can enter through your blog and then they can have extra entries by sharing with friends through Facebook.  This is a great way to use inbound marketing and get your images in front of more people at the same time!

Could you get excited about having access to free contracts, forms and even templates to help you grow your photography business?  Would you love some help boosting your business with marketing and sales education?  PBT is giving 2 photographers their choice of either a year long subscription to the Photo Business Tools site, or 1 hour of business mentorship and we want you to win!!

holiday tips for photographers

Here is how you can enter:

  • Leave a comment on this blog post, (not on Facebook Wall or Notes section).  In the comment share one “hiccup” that you are having in your business that you would like a little advice with, and one part of business that your great at.

For extra entries:

  • Spread the word through Social Media.  Post about this contest in any social media site like Facebook, Twitter, Blog,  Stumble Upon, Pinterest, Google+, etc.   For each social media site that you share on, come back and leave one separate comment (up to 5 extra entries), with a link sharing where you did this.  You may use this statement;  “I hope I win the @photobusinesstools giveaway on @mcpactions blog!”
  • Please like us on Facebook.  Make sure to “like” MCP Actions and Photo Business Tools on Facebook.
  • Add the MCP Actions banner (or a text link to our site) on your blog.  Please use the text “Photoshop actions for photographers” and link to our site.  For the banner, grab the code from the sidebar.  Once you add this, leave a comment and let us know you did.

Rules and deadlines:

  • Winners will be picked at random by tomorrow (Tues., Nov. 22nd) morning and announced on this blog.
  • To increase chances of winning, participate in the “extra” entries.
  • This contest is sponsored by MCP Actions and Photo Business Tools.
  • No purchase necessary.
  • Good Luck!   We hope your a winner!!

Amy Fraughton and Amy Swaner are the founders of Photo Business Tools, an online site offering business resources and education for photographers through blog posts, podcasts and downloadable forms.

photo business tools


MCP Actions

Write for MCP! This post was written by a MCP Guest Blogger. If you would like to write a photo editing tutorial, blueprint using MCP Products, or photography tips on the MCP Actions Blog, check out our Guest Writers Wanted page for details.

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  1. 1

    Meagan Thompson says

    New to the business and no direction. Ok got some but packages, pricing, ect. Where to get it all together?

  2. 2

    Kristy Galicia says

    Being a new photographer into the business every little bit helps. I am more into the pictures and the creativity into them. So all business tips are helpful! :)

  3. 3

    Erik K says

    the hiccup: starting the price for new business, if to low, will hard to raise it on next deal, but if too high may make customer got away.

  4. 4


    People say they love my work, having trouble getting them to pull the trigger. They can clearly see the quality I produce, tell me how much they enjoy it, but seem to be shy about booking

  5. 5


    I have my own photography business called “s.parks photography” and would love some extra help on getting the word out more, and marketing my business some more. I could definitely use the extra “push” that this subscription would offer! thanks for the chance to win! :)

  6. 6


    — I forgot to mention what I like about my business – I like that I am very organized and love my edits and natural passion for candid photography as well – it adds the raw emotion that a lot of photos these days lack!

  7. 8

    Jennifer D. says

    I am also new to the business and looking for help with pricing options and best ways to market without blowing my budget. I also need help with the wording in contracts and forms that best protect me and my clients. I am working really hard to create a strong brand recognition. Thanks for the opportunity!

  8. 10


    My bag of tricks and tips seems to have run dry and almost empty. The business aspect of photography is so complicated- but I know it’s because I am not using the right marketing tools. I love people and I know that my client relationships are strong. I have a great camera and great glass, but when it comes to business I feel a very unconfident. Need all the help and resouces I can get my hands on! Thanks for the opportuniy!

  9. 11

    Robin says

    I am building my business slowly (still part-time) and feel like I am progressing but my hiccup would be standing my ground on things. I find my self letting people talk me into or guilt me into things I don’t necessarily agree with. I need to get policies and business ideas set in stone.

  10. 12


    I am terrible at the business end of photography in general :) I do an excellent job marketing myself, and have a large base of people interested in having me photograph their children/families. Therefore, I could really use the stuff you are giving away! Hope I win :)

  11. 13

    Carol C says

    I am starting my business and I am not sure on how to attract new clients and also about the pricing…I have done free mini sessions for some friends to get my portfolio together but I still need more people and to start having some income

  12. 14


    I think I am great with my people skills, but I really lack having a backbone! I need to learn to learn marketing and strategy, instead of being way too overly ‘nice’!

  13. 17


    Hey there – Love love LOVE the idea of pajama sessions – the footie kind would be xtra cool! Major hiccup in my business right now is that I utilize my FB page as a tool and since the recent change I found out that if my fan base isn’t consistently responding or Liking my posts I fall off their feed. Any ideas around this?

    As far as the great part of my business is that I help people feel comfortable during our photoshoots – best compliment ever!

  14. 20


    My hiccup is rounding up some “real” business now that I’ve gone live with my “real” business, LOL! I am great at making sure my customers feel appreciated and taken care of. :)

  15. 22

    Amanda says

    Hiccup: I offered a “portfolio building” discount and now I’m afraid that people/clients won’t pay my “REAL” prices after paying the discounted rate. Also, SEO for my website…TOO confusing!

  16. 23


    My hiccup would be that my business is still in its beginning phases and I’m having a block as to how to market myself, especially in a saturated area like the city I live in, where there are so many other photographers. I need more confidence and I need some clarity as to how to get my name out there! Thank you for the opportunity. :)

  17. 26


    My area is so saturated! My prices are super affordable, and yet there are others cheaper – and clients don’t seem to know the difference between good photos and crap ones. Just having trouble getting business.

  18. 29

    Becky Tate says

    I think mine would be that I live in a highly saturated market and would love direction in ways to ‘stand out.’

  19. 33


    I am starting this business part time and I teach for the other part. I am not putting the time and energy into a website or blog. I am a wee bit overwhelmed at how to start that.
    I am really good at my time management and getting things to clients in a timely fashion

  20. 34


    My struggle is with being able to do it all. I really just want to take pictures, but I realize that there is more to owning your own photography business than just the photography!

  21. 37


    I would like help determining a competitive advantage in a saturated market. I’m really great at keeping records (I just don’t know what to do with it all, lol).


  22. 39


    My hiccup would be that I was getting lots of business at my lower prices right out of photography school a few years back but I need to figure out how to transition to higher prices since I keep getting referrals but am out of their price range. I am great at the photography end of things just needing a little help with the business end.

  23. 45


    I would love help and advice on posing larger families and getting the setting correct where they are ALL in focus! I don’t really think I’m great at anything but I guess I’m good at making younger kids comfortable!

  24. 50

    Lynn Molanders says

    I am such a newbie to all of it, the photography, the editing processes, photoshop cs5, lightroom, all new animals to me, then add in the business side…I am really lost. Someone came to me not to long ago and asked me what i would charge to take photo’s of her child. I quoted her a price and apparently she did not like the price as she never got back to me. So, in these cases do you as the photographer/business owner contact them? I need help in all areas!! By the way, I love your site and all the great information.

  25. 51

    Anne Jeschke says

    I’m just starting and would love a personal mentor, I’m thinking one of your prizes would guide me down the right path. I love photography and am striving to purchase the right equipment and take tack sharp photos worthy of purchase.

  26. 52


    My “hiccup” I’m having right now is saying NO and/or asserting myself and sticking to my price sheet. It’s really hard when everyone is expecting a deal. I am really good at communicating with my clients before the session, however, and hopefully getting them the end product they desired.

  27. 55


    I have a hug hiccup: I am really soft when people tell me how expensive everything is. I will always feel bad and give them a deal. I need to stop giving my tallents away. One part of the business I am good at is making people feel comfortable during the session.

  28. 58


    I have my photography degree which is super helpful for the technical parts and color editing but, not so much for starting a business. I just recently strated by business and so far its going well, I just don’t know how to market myself. I have a full time job to help supplement bills and student loans, so marketing is hard. Word of mouth has been ok, but I would like to reach out to clients more. I am great with clients once I actually book a session and pay close attention to the details!

  29. 59


    Great ideas!!! My secret hiccup is marketing… the word of mouth marketing aspect is great, but I’d feel more confident if I was in more control of bringing in clients. On the upside, I think my personality fairs really well with my clientele – I’m up-beat, personable and animated!!! =)

  30. 61


    Would love to win. I struggle with balancing it all… motherhood, wife, business owner, editing, etc. I have ideas to increase my business and love some of those here, but some days don’t feel like I have it in me to do any more… even if it means getting more business.

  31. 63

    Jacquelyn theisen says

    Strength:ability to emotionally connect with clients and pull those emotions in pictures
    Hiccup: what to do next?

  32. 73


    Struggling with being too afraid to do any actual selling. I just post my photos online and let clients choose. I’m best at my service to customers (presentation, responsiveness, service).

  33. 75


    One hiccup is pricing for profit, and selling. I put my photos in an online gallery and I feel like I don’t have the confidence to do in-person sales. One think I feel good about is my connection with clients and the relationships I am building with them throughout my process. I think I have them right up to the sale! Then..I flop!

  34. 76


    Great ideas and Great giveaway! I’m really good at getting business but I’m not so great on DOING business. I need to start treating this as a business and start making decisions based on business not emotion.

  35. 77


    I have experienced several learning moments in the past few weeks, probably the greatest came when I lost a 30 minute photo session. This is connected to my need to create an effective work flow (I use Lightroom 3 and have a MacBook Pro). For awhile I felt I had used all the memory on my computer, but through this experience, learned of hundreds of RAW files that were on my computer that I had no idea were there. So greatest hiccup right now is workflow.

    I feel I am great at capturing emotion. I have had several people tell me they felt so comfortable during my photo shoots, that it felt so “natural.” In my other life, as a Marriage and Family Therapist, I know the importance of being real, authentic, and present in the moment. I make my clients, kids too, feel at ease enough so that they can be themselves.

    I would love the wisdom, help, anything! that I would get from your publication. Being new to photography as a business (lifelong love for taking photos), I realize I can use all the help I can get.

    Thank you!!

  36. 86

    Ashley says

    My ‘hiccup’ is believing in myself enough to stand my ground when a customer wants something I am not wanting to do (though I am getting better and turning down clients when I know it is not the direction I want to go with my business). My strong point would be connecting with my clients – getting to know them as a friend, not just a client.

  37. 88


    Biggest hiccup with me is probably client meetings. I always feel like a complete doofus talking to people. I end up saying all kinds of stupid things. It gets easier as I go along, but I’m still a nervous chatterbox.

    I do customer service great, though. I respond quickly and thoughtfully and do my best to efficiently meet any client requests. I also feel I’m pretty good about setting expectations and working with my couples for best results on their day.

  38. 92

    Chasity Weeks says

    I am having problems getting people to come to the sessions after they make appointments. Canceling at the last minute.

  39. 100

    Alex White says

    I’m having trouble attracting new customers! I live on a little island in the Pacific and I don’t have as many resources as photographers stateside have. It’s frustrating, but I make up for it by providing an excellent experience for my customers. I always have so much fun during the sessions that I hardly realize I’m “working”.

    I have liked both the pages! Can’t wait to see who wins :)

  40. 101


    I haven’t marketed myself very much because I have small children and didn’t want to be too busy, but now no one knows I’m out there! I need marketing help. Cheap marketing help. What I’m good at? I’m a very social person, so it’s easy for me to connect with people on a shoot and get them laughing and relaxing.

    Thanks so much for this giveaway!!

  41. 105


    My hiccup is how to close the sale at the end of the sales session. I know there is really just one hour to get them to order what they wish, but how do I do this? Sometimes it works, but other times they ask for more time. Please help!

  42. 108

    Deana says

    Hiccup: Ready to start but I have no idea where to begin other than to just shoot pictures.
    I am great at doing pics of children and just letting them be theirselves to get the shot that shows just who they are.
    Thanks for the contest.

  43. 109


    I just started my new photography business so anything right now would help. I have package and prices put together along with a somewhat decent website but still need some major help! This would help tremendously!

  44. 115


    My biggest challenge is staying on top of things. I went back to school when I had no business to improve my skills as soon as I did that I’ve been booking 3-5 sessions a month. Also not letting my friends and family take advantage and stretch out their ordering or get stuff for free. I atleast need to be compensated for my time. On the other hand, I’m starting to get clients to see beyond the 5×7 and 8×10 mindset and go with larger wall art or atleast a wall of prints.

  45. 116


    Hiccup: Is working a full time job and doing photography full time also. All of my free time (and late night time) is tied up in editing. AND – posing! gah I am a bad poser.

    I am good at: Photographing children.

  46. 118


    My hiccup is my own lack of imagination. I love coming in to find ideas from other photographers and mosying around the internet for creative settings.

  47. 119


    My biggest challenge is keeping up with the organization of everything from paperwork to form and finding the best most time efficient way for it all. The other challenge i struggle with is wording things simply, straight to the point. Oftentimes, i get too wordy on explanations to the point it is drawn out.

  48. 121

    Margaret Schwartz says

    Oh my word, which hiccup do you want to hear about? :) I am learning in all areas. I enjoy shooting older kids. I like to try and bring out their true personalities.

  49. 122


    Hiccup: pricing… we have changed our pricing like 3 times in a year and we are still struggling to get clients to pay what we are worth.

    One thing we were good at: photographing seniors!

  50. 125


    Hiccup: Trying to figure out a price structures for different shoots, I have a very hard time with this!

    I’m Good at: Communicating and getting kids to have fun while getting their pictures taken, from little kids to High School Seniors!

  51. 126


    My biggest challenge is pricing and being firm when it comes time to collect the payment! My heart breaks for a story and I’m quicker to discount than I am to collect :( And then I am left feeling resentful and broke but still continue to do it. I need a firm business plan that will help me to feel morally good about what I’m doing and still make a little bit to be comfortable!

  52. 127


    The “Hiccup” would be my attempts in marketing and getting the name out there. I’ve tried but just cannot get the call backs from people.

    My photography work I am pretty happy with, and having 20 years experience dealing with people and the public has helped especially with the irate.. =)

  53. 130


    Oh…the things I need help with. :) I would say right now I need help in the marketing department. The phone just isn’t ringing enough!

    I think I am good at photographing newborns. Now if I could just get my hands on some.

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  54. 132

    Barb says

    Currently working through another photographer, but would love to have more of the actual business knowledge so when the time comes I could go out on my own. I shoot a lot of landscapes/nature shots, but don’t know if there’s any money in that. I hope so because that’s my passion.

  55. 133

    Linda Grant says

    My biggest challenge is getting clientele. I have a facebook page and some likes, but it seems as though there are more people out there who are cheaper than I am. I think the part of business I’m good with is taking the photos and dealing with my existing clients.

  56. 134


    My biggest hiccup is getting people through the door in the present financial climate! I have had three boudoir shoots this week (which is the first time Ive done them, but my “Bellies to Babies” is not going anywhere!
    Im loving photography and its what I do, but sometimes its such a struggle that it sometimes feels like it would be easier to give up!

  57. 135


    When I saw this contest I wasn’t really interested. But then when I read the article I realized that it was just what I needed! I am just getting off the ground with my business. Next year I will be pushing my business hard and being able to have this source would be SO helpful!

    I am not good at ALL with numbers… I have a hard time calculating pricing and let me just say that filing taxes scare me to the point of not even wanting to start up a business!

    I feel like I am good with getting to know my clients and making them feel comfortable. I feel like I find the right angle and shot. I love taking pictures.

  58. 136


    My big hiccup is getting my business started up over the next 12 months, figuring out a name, branding, marketing. On the plus side, I have a good sense of the client I want to reach and the area in which I want to specialize (seniors). I just need to get all the functional aspects in place to get there.

  59. 139

    Amy Flemming says

    My biggest problem is getting paying customers! I need portfolio building, but when I offer a free session (with editing) the people (moms mostly) want all the images on a CD so they can print them at Walmart. I do post them on Smugmug for pro printing, but the people say that they don’t want to pay that much for photos. Now I know that these people are the clients I want. But sheesh – It has me bumbed out! I am great at “seeing” portraits and what I want. I just need to be more creative. I so want to get better at the business part of it . . . .

  60. 140


    My biggest hiccup is finding locations and knowing how to seek permission to use it. I see so many great places but don’t know how to begin finding out who I can ask for permission! On the other side, I think that I work well with clients and am extremely organized considering I work full time and do photography in addition to that. Plus I’m a mommy to two little kids!

  61. 146


    I don’t know how to sell myself or really generate extra interest in my blog. I guess marketing and pricing are my weakest points. I love bringing out the best, most flattering angles in my clients. I love photographing woman, and teens and showcasing the unique beauty each one is. I feel these are my strengths.

  62. 147

    Jordana G says

    I REALLY need this!

    Hiccup: I have no clue how to get people to hire me to photograph them!

    I am great at editing and child photography, I am also very personable.

  63. 150

    Caitlyn says

    My business is just starting out and I would have to say my biggest hiccup is getting everything legal figured out!!! =S

  64. 152

    Lauren says

    Hi, I would LOVE to win this!!!!

    My Hiccup is not knowing how to generate business year round, I get busy for the holidays & then…crickets…

    I am very customer service oriented having been in that field for over 10 yrs & will do a lot to make my customers happy.

    Happy Thanksgiving!

  65. 154

    Kristen H says

    Would Love to win this. I’m having a tough time trying to figure out how to work my plan for clients. I need to figure out best vendors for proofing,printing,products for clients. I need to figure out how I should run my pricing and packages for my prints and also best way to market myself. So basically getting started with my business. My favorite parties shooting and using that creative side to myself again. I feel likea new person when I’m behind my camera again!!!

  66. 156


    I have been in business for 4.5 years, trying to handle this business and working full time in such a challenge! So that would be my hiccup! I would love to learn more about budget and marketing. I think my strongest or what I feel I am good with is making a relationship with my customers and the pictures fitting their type of style or personality.

  67. 157

    caitlin m says

    Hiccup: time management skills SUCK! My lack of organization is appalling!
    I do well: Design and treating each customer uniquely.

  68. 158


    Our biggest challenge is closing the deal – we get more inquiries than bookings and would like to even up this number! What we’re good at: customer service! We work as a team and are always available to our clients.

  69. 159


    I’m great with the clients, photography & post production of shoots. My hiccup is in the BUSINESS SIDE of the business: marketing and selling my services at high-end prices.

  70. 160


    I’ll start with the positive – I am good at knowing what I want my business to be. I know my target client, I know the type of services and style I want to have. The hiccup I’m experiencing is sort of related to pricing/marketing myself. I’ve started on the lower end (at least what I feel is lower end) of the scale in my area, and I’m encountering some people who feel that it’s still too much. I also have a hard time with “selling” myself or closing the deal so to speak. I hate feeling like a pushy salesperson. Whew! That came out longer than I expected! :-)

  71. 161

    Wendy says

    I’m just starting my photography business and could use the photo business tools to do better in everything, but I could really use advice on posing people and pricing.

    I’m creative and have a good sense of composition and design.

  72. 163

    Shay Ch says

    Being a great photographer has been my dream for about 7 years, but I can’t seem to get out of the “random” picture zone. I really need help learning to turn my hobby into a business.

  73. 164

    Tiffany McMichael says

    thanks for the giveaway! Only one hiccup… well I guess the biggest one right now is figuring out my branding..I’m alittle indecisive. :)

  74. 171


    Let’s start with the good. I am really good at working with people and I always give 110%. I love people, have patience and can always make people smile. But with the good comes the bad…I know I need to work on marketing and getting my name out there. I started under a year ago and I have LOTS to learn.

  75. 172

    Greg Pyle says

    My hiccup is marketing. Even after many years in business that is my weak point.
    My positive is that when my clients view my images they have a difficult time narrowing their choices down because, to use their words, “the photos were all SO GOOD we couldn’t decide! We want them all!”

  76. 173

    Ewa Nybom says

    Really valuable information for me as a beginner in photography business! I’d just LOVE to win this great giveaway! And I also like MCP and Photo Business Tools on Facebook :)

  77. 175

    Melanie H. says

    Oh, how fun to win this! My hiccup is that I don’t have a website!! My one thing good is I am doing well in the portfolio building stage!

  78. 178


    I would SO love to win this!! My biggest hiccup is my pricing! I feel like I’m working for pennies an hour, but the area I live in looks for these prices. My one good thing would be that I am really good at getting my clients to relax and enjoy the experience.

  79. 180

    Susan B says

    My one area needing assistance would be marketing my abilities. The area I am best in is photographing performances. I seem to have a great ability in capturing stellar moments of the show. Thanks for the chance to win.

  80. 181

    meghan says

    hiccup: I’m ready to start but not quite sure how to begin, since I need to continue my day job to pay the bills until I have enough business built up.

    great: The products I offer and the style of shoots I do is unique to my area.

  81. 182


    I would love to win!

    Hiccup: Closing the deals! I meet with the couples, they seem very happy, but I haven manage to close deals?

    I am good at Portraits, plus I like people!

  82. 183


    My little hiccup is trying to advertise. I am trying to get my business to grow, but don’t really know how to expand my market. I would LOVE help with that!!

  83. 185

    Emily says

    Would love to win this! I am only in the beginning stages of trying to start my business and so my hiccup would be not knowing where to start! It’s all so new to me I’m not sure what to do first. Any advice would be hugely helpful.

  84. 192

    Bob says

    I’m presently using a trial version of Lightroom 3 and would like to win a copy for continued use. I have yet to use any MCP presets or other products. I currently receive Facebook posts from MCP since I have “liked” you in the past.

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