What type of person needs professional photographs taken?
If you’re a professional photographer and are considering starting your own business, then this question is probably at the top of your mind.
The target market for photography is a wide one and includes a varied group of people. Everyone from new parents to businesses to couples in love, look for professional photographers to record special moments!
But everyone who needs a professional photographer doesn’t need one all the time. The key to success is knowing when someone needs professional photographs taken and when they do not.
In this article, we will review the different types of people who can be included in the target market for photography. And we will discuss the factors that influence their decision when selecting one professional photographer over another.
So, whether you are a photographer looking to target new clients or someone just interested in this field, this article should have something useful for you!
Who is the Target Market for Photography?
One of the best ways to truly understand the target market for photography is to analyze the motivations that customers have for hiring a professional photographer or a photography studio instead of taking the pictures themselves.
Following this segmentation process, the target market for photography can be classified into the following segments:
- Soon to be Newlyweds
- Parents of a newborn baby
- People celebrating a birthday
- People celebrating an anniversary
- Business Event Managers
- People needing Product Photography
- People needing Food Photography
- People wanting Portrait Photography
- People needing Headshots
- People wanting Action Photography
Let’s take a closer look at each of these segments of the target market for photography.
1. Soon to be Newlyweds
This segment of the target market for photography is probably the most self-explanatory.
Couples who are getting married usually want to hire a professional photographer to take pictures of their wedding day. They understand that this is a once-in-a-lifetime event and like to make sure that they have beautiful, high-quality photographs to remember it by.
In the eyes of these customers, what sets professional photographers apart from amateurs is experience. They look to hire someone who has experience shooting a wedding and knows all of the ins and outs of getting great pictures on this special day.
Another factor that comes into play when soon-to-be newlyweds are choosing a photographer is style. Different photographers have different styles, and each couple wants to find a photographer whose style matches their own.
For example, some couples may prefer candid shots while others may want more traditional posed pictures. Having a portfolio that reflects the style that each couple is looking for is essential to getting hired by this segment of the target market for photography.
2. Parents of a newborn baby
Hiring a professional photographer to take pictures of a newborn baby is becoming increasingly popular, especially among first-time parents.
They want to hire someone who can capture all of the details of their baby’s face and expressions before the baby changes too much.
First-time parents also often want to be in the pictures with their new baby, but they may not be comfortable taking the pictures themselves.
A professional photographer can help them feel more relaxed and natural in front of the camera so that they can get great pictures together as a family.
New parents are also a great market for cameras as they may choose to invest in a new camera to get quality pictures of their newborn.
3. People celebrating a birthday
People celebrating a birthday, especially a big one like a 50th or 75th, often want to hire a professional photographer to take pictures at their party.
They want someone to be there to capture all of the fun and excitement of the night so that they can look back on the memories for years to come.
People celebrating a birthday also often want picture-perfect group shots as well as candid shots of people laughing and enjoying themselves.
Once again, experience is a big factor in deciding which photographer to hire. The birthday celebrant wants to make sure that the photographer will be able to take great pictures in a crowded room and knows how to get everyone to cooperate for group shots.
Style is also important, but it may not be as big of a factor as it is for other segments of the target market for photography unless it is a theme-based birthday party.
In most cases, the birthday celebrant is interested in hiring a photographer who they know will take great pictures and capture the memories of the day.
4. People celebrating an anniversary
A big anniversary like a 50th wedding anniversary can also be a great time to hire a professional photographer.
Couples who are celebrating their 50th anniversary often want to have pictures taken to commemorate the milestone.
They may also want to use the pictures as a way to update their family and friends on what they have been doing for the past 50 years.
Just like with people celebrating a birthday, the target market for photography of an anniversary celebrant is someone who is experienced in taking pictures in a crowded room and knows how to get people to cooperate for group shots.
Anniversary couples also usually want a mix of candid and posed shots. They want pictures of themselves together as well as pictures of them with their family and friends.
5. Business Event Managers
Event managers for business events such as conferences, conventions, and trade shows often hire professional photographers to take pictures of the event.
They like having high-quality photographs which can be used in marketing materials for future events. Photographs also give them a record of who attended the event and what happened there.
Some business event managers also hire professional photographers to take headshots of all of the attendees. This can be a great way to get people’s attention when they are flipping through a brochure or website for your event.
There is a large overlap between the target market for photography and the target market for event planners. And so one way for you to enter this segment of the market is to partner with well-established event planners and use them to get yourself hired.
6. People needing Product Photography
Businesses that sell products online or in catalogs often hire professional photographers to take pictures of their products.
The quality of the photographs is important for these businesses because it can impact whether or not people decide to buy their products.
Consumers like to be able to see what they are buying, and so if product pictures are of poor quality they may buy a competing product that has better pictures.
7. People needing Food Photography
Similar to businesses that sell products, restaurants, and other food-related businesses often hire professional photographers to take pictures of their food.
Again, the quality of the photographs is important because it can affect people’s decision to try the food.
Food photography is also needed for cookbooks, food magazines, food blogs, and other food-related publications.
8. People wanting Portrait Photography
Many people want to hire a professional photographer to take pictures of themselves and their families.
They may want to have a family portrait taken, or they may want to get headshots for work or acting.
Whatever the reason, people wanting portrait photography are looking for someone who can capture them in the best possible light and help them to look their best.
9. People needing Headshots
As mentioned above, many people need headshots for work or acting. But there are also other people who may need headshots for other reasons.
For example, real estate agents and other professionals often have their headshots taken so that they can use them on their business cards or on their websites.
Businesspeople need professional headshots for their LinkedIn and ther social media profiles. And political candidates need headshots for their campaign materials.
10. People wanting Action Photography
This segment of the target market for photography hires professional photographers to take pictures of them while they are doing something active, such as playing sports or performing in a concert or on stage.
They may want to have these pictures taken for their own personal use, or to be used for marketing purposes.
Whatever the reason, people wanting action photography are looking for someone who can capture them in the moment of their best performance and make them look good.
Knowing exactly when to click the shutter button is important for this type of photography and the only way to prove that you can do it is by having a portfolio of existing action shots.
As you can see, there are many different segments of the target market for photography. And each one of these market segments looks for something specific from a photographer.
How Do Customers Choose a Professional Photographer?
Once customers decide to go to a professional photographer or studio for their photography needs, they use several factors to decide which photographer to select.
Here are the main factors that influence a customer’s decision to select one photographer or studio over another:
- Quality of work
Let’s look at each of these.
1. Quality of work
Needless to say, the quality of a photographer’s work is the most important factor in whether or not a customer will choose to use them.
Customers want to see examples of the photographer’s previous work to get an idea of their style and skills.
The best way for photographers to show off their work is to have a strong portfolio that showcases their best work.
Another important factor that customers consider when choosing a photographer is experience.
Customers want to know how long the photographer has been in business and what kind of experience they have.
They also want to know if the photographer has experience with the type of photography they need.
For example, if a customer needs wedding photography, they will want to know if the photographer has experience shooting weddings.
Having said that many customers would be willing to give young talent a chance if they really see potential in their work.
Customers also want to see evidence of creativity in a photographer’s work.
They want to know that the photographer is capable of thinking outside the box and not just going through the motions and taking cookie-cutter photos.
In other words, they want to see that the photographer has an artistic vision. Good photographers will discuss their creative process with potential customers to give them an idea of what they can expect. By creating a vision for the project, they will also be able to show potential customers that they are invested in creating something special.
Customers will often ask for references from previous clients before making a decision.
This is a way for them to get an idea of what it’s like to work with the photographer and to see if other people have been happy with the results.
If you have customers who have been happy with your work, be sure to ask them if you can use them as a reference.
Price is always a factor when customers are choosing a photographer, but it’s not always the most important one.
Customers want to know that they are getting value for their money, but they also understand that quality comes at a price.
Especially because customers in the target market for photography are looking to capture once-in-a-lifetime moments, they are willing to invest in a quality photographer. However, that does not mean that price is not a consideration. Customers will often compare prices before making a decision.
Customers also consider the location of the photographer when choosing one.
For example, if they need wedding photography, they will want to know if the photographer is available to travel to their wedding location.
Similarly, if they need family portraits, they will want to know if the photographer is located near them.
While many photographers are willing to travel, it’s still a good idea to be aware of your target market’s location and make sure you are able to serve them.
Finally, customers can only hire you if you are available. The problem is that most events for which a professional photographer is needed such as weddings, birthdays, or even anniversaries are celebrated on weekends when it is easy for most people to attend.
This can create the problem of you being fully booked on weekends and not sufficiently booked during the week. To balance out your schedule, balance your customer base between those who need photographers for events and those who need them for business purposes like product photography, food photography, etc.
In any case, a customer can only hire you if you are available when they need you.
How can you find the target market for your photography business?
To find the ideal target market for your photography business, follow the following 5 steps:
- Be clear about your specialty
- Select one or two markets to target
- Research your target markets – understand their needs and wants
- Find product-market fit
- Ensure market serviceability
Let’s look at each of these in depth.
#1. Be clear about your specialty
Your first step needs to be developing a clear understanding of what your photography business is all about and what services you offer. This means taking the time to determine your niche and what makes you unique. Once you know this, you can begin to look for target markets that would be interested in the type of photography you do.
Remember, you cannot be a jack-of-all-trades photographer and expect to be successful. You need to have a specialty that you can focus on and that sets you apart from the competition. Customers like hiring specialists because they know they can expect a high level of quality and service. They also know that specialists have the right experience.
For instance, a couple getting married would rather hire a wedding photographer who has years of experience shooting weddings than a nature photographer who also happens to do weddings.
Likewise, a company looking for product photography would rather hire a specialist who has experience photographing similar products rather a wedding photographer. For instance, a food photographer will know how to make the food look appetizing in the photos while a wedding photographer may not.
So, even if you are highly skilled and are good at taking different types of photographs, take the time to determine your specialty and focus on that. It will make it easier to find target markets that are interested in the type of photography you do and easier to convince them that you are the right photographer for the job.
#2. Select one or two markets to target
Once you know your specialty, you need to choose one or two markets to focus on. Trying to go after many markets at once will dilute your efforts and make it more difficult to be successful in any market.
For instance, if you specialize in food photography, you will need to select one or two markets from many choices which include restaurants, food companies, food blogs, etc. Each of these markets will have different needs – some need print photos for cookbooks while others need photos for their website or blog. The photo quality, style, and type can differ from one market to the next.
Also, the way you reach these markets, how you market to them, and how to sell to them will be different. To get work with restaurants, you will need to focus on building relationships with chefs and owners while for food companies, you will need to target the company’s marketing department. If you decide to work with food bloggers, you will need to identify the most popular ones in your niche and find out how to get in touch with them.
The point is that you need to focus on one or two markets at most so you can tailor your photography business to their specific needs. Not only will this make it easier to get work, but you will also be able to charge more because the customer knows they are working with a specialist.
#3. Research your target markets – understand their needs and wants
Once you know your specialty and have selected one or two markets to go after, it is time to do some research and learn everything you can about your target market. This includes understanding their needs and wants, what they are looking for in a photographer, and what their budget is.
There are various ways to research your target markets. You could begin by studying the type of photography they use. For instance, if you are targeting food companies, look at the types of photos they use in their advertising and marketing materials. This will give you an idea of the quality and style of photos they are looking for.
Another way to research your target market is to ask them directly. If you have a list of potential clients, give them a call and ask them what they are looking for in a photographer. This type of research will help you understand the needs of your target market and allow you to adjust your business accordingly.
Finally, don’t forget to research your competition. See what type of photography they are specializing in and how they are marketing their business. This will give you some ideas on how to differentiate your business and make it more appealing to your target market.
By taking the time to research your target market, you will be able to adjust your photography business to better meet their needs.
#4. Find product-market fit
Once you’re clear about your specialty, picked one or two markets to target, and researched these markets to understand the needs and wants of potential customers, now you will need to determine if there is a fit between what you’re offering and what the market wants.
This is often referred to as “product-market fit” and it is essential before any business can sell a product or service. This is where the rubber meets the road and where many businesses fail because they never manage to bring a product to market that actually fits the market’s needs.
Especially in the photography business, there are many ways to determine whether or not you have a product-market fit. The easiest way is to ask your potential customers if they would be interested in what you’re offering. Even if they are not ready to buy right now, you will at least get an idea of whether or not they would be interested in your photography.
Finding product-market fit is an iterative process. Using the feedback you get from potential customers, you will need to make adjustments to your product or service until you find a fit. This can often be a long and difficult process, but there is no point in marketing and selling your product or service if potential customers are telling you that it is not a fit for their needs.
#5. Ensure market serviceability
Ensuring market serviceability means confirming that you can, in fact, service your target market. So just because you have a product that fits the needs of your market, it doesn’t mean that you can actually provide this product or service to them.
For instance, if you find that your ideal market is in a different part of the world, you may have trouble servicing them if you don’t have the means to travel there. Similarly, if your ideal market is large businesses, you will need to make sure that you have the capacity to service their needs.
This is an important step in the process of starting your photography business because it will help you avoid spending time and money marketing to a market that you can’t actually service.
By taking the time to ensure market serviceability, you will be able to focus your efforts on servicing the markets that you can actually reach and satisfy.
The target market for photography can be segmented based on the motivations people have for hiring a professional photographer instead of taking the photos themselves.
The consumer photography market includes newlyweds, new parents, people celebrating major events like birthdays and anniversaries, and those who need professional photographs for their careers. The business market includes companies that want to photograph events or their products.
As we have seen, there are a lot of factors that influence a customer’s decision to choose a particular photographer. It’s important to be aware of all of these factors and to use them to your advantage when marketing your photography business.
Once you know who your target market is you can design products and services based on your market’s needs and your own skillset, expertise and experience.
Understanding your target market is the first step to ensuring product-market fit which is necessary for success in the photography business.