Episode 51: How to Overcome Your “Creepy Photographer” Fear

Does approaching and marketing to a potential photography client who you’d love to photograph make you feel creepy?

Marketing in your senior photography business can be hard.

Darren, one of my Peak Performers shared with me his struggles of starting conversations with high school seniors without feeling creepy on a recent laser coaching call for my Peak Performance coaching students.

Whether you’re a guy, or an introverted photographer who doesn’t feel confident starting a conversation, this is for you.

Here is how to talk to potential clients without the creep factor.

Ways To Combat Feeling Creepy When Shooting Teenagers

Darren:

Being a male photographer has presented me with many challenges with marketing my senior photography business.

I can’t approach senior girls in stores and tell them what I do.

Carring dog whistle pieces with me is also a struggle because I don’t have a purse.

Currently, I am hitting obstacles in my photography marketing campaigns and need some ideas that will help.

Sarah:

I think that an important thing for you to do is to have an assistant with you at all times around clients.

If you’re a guy who is alone, I don’t think you should approach a young teenage girl.

You also shouldn’t shoot teenagers by yourself.

Hiring an assistant to be there with you will make everyone more comfortable.

Even as a female photographer, I always shoot in pairs.

I don’t ever want kids to feel uncomfortable.

If that assistant can be your spouse, that is even better.

That takes the creepy single guy feelings completely off the table. 

If my teenage daughter came home and said,

“I was at Barnes and Noble and this man and his wife told me about their photography business. He should take my senior photos.”

As a mom, I wouldn’t worry about you being some random creepy guy.

Keep that in mind.

My youngest daughter plays club volleyball and every text sent to her from anyone on their staff has to be sent to me as well.

I appreciate the club volleyball team making that rule because it makes parents feel safer.

That could be a good policy for you to implement too.

Another way to get rid of creepiness is to bring up your family early on.

People will realize, he’s a dad, and he’s married, he’s a good guy.

I think you just have to just be smart in your strategies when dealing with teenagers. 

Booking Senior Photography Sessions

Darren:

I just started using my new boutique prices.

Two clients, sadly fell through, but I have a call with a transition client shortly.

I shot her son’s senior photos a few years ago and she wants me to handle her daughter this summer.

After becoming a boutique photographer, I don’t offer the same things or have the same prices, so I’m nervous.

Scare her off and losing her scares me, but I also realize that not everyone from the past is going forward with me.

That’s just the way it is.

Sarah:

When I launched and started marketing my senior photography business, I didn’t know any seniors.

To find clients, I called the high school secretary and said,

“We’re looking for models. We want to give this opportunity to someone at your school. Do you have a student council leader or someone who might want this opportunity?”

We got many referrals that way.

I would love for you to do our Peak Performers 10 Session Challenge.

Working with 10 teenagers would do amazing things for you.

I want you engaging more and getting out of your comfort zone.

Who do you know that has a teenager?

Does your daughter know any?

Find some teens and tell them about your business. 

Create Marketing Opportunities to Meet Potential Photography Clients

Sarah:

Work with sports teams or local clubs and organizations.

Call the softball coach and say,

“I feel for these seniors. How many seniors do you have? Would they like to come in and have me photograph them?” 

When they come in you can ask,

“Do you have junior friends? I’m looking for models.” 

It’s not about marketing activities.

You have to go out and find clients.

Figure out how you can get access to high school kids.

You may not get that sale, but the more shooting you do with the intent to sell will make you better at your sales process.

Shooting five volleyball players might costs you $50, and at least one of those five volleyball players should order something that will cost more than $50.

If not, you have some work to do. 

By shooting seniors in groups, they will start talking to their friends and say,

“You have to meet Darren. He’s so great.”

Then, the whole “creepy guy” insecurities will completely vanish.

You’ve got to break through this.

I think your way to break through this is to keep shooting without putting pressure on the money.

The money will come, but first, you have to get comfortable with seniors being comfortable with you.

I hope you enjoyed the chance to see what a coaching session is like with me.

And if you’re interested in working more closely with my team and I, it all starts with my eight-week online workshop called Boutique Breakthrough.

To learn more, visit joyofmarketing.com/boutiquebreakthrough

connect with portrait photographer Sarah Petty on instagram to learn photography marketing

Working photographer, coach, mama, and wife. Whether you’re looking to take your photography business full-time or simply make good money on a very part-time basis so you can contribute to your family financially and be your best self, we’ve got something for you.

I’m Sarah Petty

Hey, there!