Hey friends! I am Abby Waller, a destination wedding photographer based out of Tampa and Atlanta! I started my business a little over 3 years ago when I was just 19 years old and a Sophomore in college! Just one year later I was able to quit college and take this dream of being a wedding photographer full time!
One of the biggest questions I get when I tell people this is, “How did you manage to go full time that quickly”, followed by, “I don’t even have a big enough portfolio to get consistent clients”. People always expect me to say that I had been a second shooter at weddings or that I had been shooting for years leading up to my business, but neither one of those are true! To be honest, I didn’t have a portfolio at all when I started! In fact, I had 5 weddings booked within 2 months of starting my business and I had never shot a single wedding day! (Yes, I was one of those crazy people who just dove in head first!)
I didn’t know a lot about photography nor did I know a lot about running a business, but I did know that in order for this dream to be successful I had to have a system in place! Here are the 5 things I did to launch my business forward with hardly any portfolio!
1. I told people what I wanted!
I know this may seem small, but you don’t get what you want without saying it! I know so many photographers who are dying to shoot weddings but I never see them say a word about it on their business pages! I would make post on my business pages all the time saying that I was offering wedding photography, then I would even post when I booked a wedding and would say how excited I was to be a part of another wedding day!
2. Your “About Me” page on your website needs to be strong!
Having a simple introduction on how you love what you do sadly doesn’t build the trust that you need when starting your business! You need to let your potential clients know who YOU are, then let them learn about your business from the rest of your website! Make sure your About Me page includes things like a photo of you looking at the camera, who you are as a person outside of your business, then follow up with some fun facts about yourself! This allows your visitors to connect with you on a personal level! – My brides can’t connect to the fact that I am a wedding photographer, but they can connect to the fact that I spoil my dogs on a daily basis!
3. Show your best work, not all of it!
When it comes to having a strong portfolio, small and curated is actually better than tons of images! I used a google drive folder with 50 images in it for the first few years and continuously updated that folder with the best images I took! I would then use those images to update my website and use them for social media content! I made sure to not let this folder get above 50 because I wanted to know that I was always putting out my best work!
4. Blogging is your best friend!
My blog was the main portfolio on my website for a long time! My potential clients loved looking through my posts and getting to seeing a variety of images from different shoots while gaining ideas on what they wanted for their own session! Plus, my current clients loved getting to share their blog posts with friends and family and their social media pages – which meant free advertising for me! Just remember, a curated blog post with fewer images is always better than a blog post with all of the images!
5. Consistency is key!
One thing that never failed is that when I was being consistent in my business my inquiries and bookings were always higher! Things like blogging and sharing on social media may take some time to catch on but when your clients start finding you, you will be so thankful that you were consistent and didn’t give up! Plus, clients view consistency as a sign of a solid, growing business and that will always work in your favor!
If you want to learn more about growing your business with a small portfolio, I have an E-Book over in the AWP Shop just for you! It is filled with practical steps that you can start taking today to grow the business of your dreams!
Use code C@H20 for 20% off any item in the AWP Shop!
Do you have a large portfolio but you still aren’t sure how to find your dream clients? Then click below to grab one of my most popular free downloads that will walk you through how to define and speak to your ideal clients today! – 5 Easy Tips to Start Booking Your Ideal Client Today!
Be sure to connect with Abby here: