How to book photo sessions for the first time when you're new to photography

You're ready to start a photography business.

You've got the camera, the gear, the editing software, and the excitement to start as a beginner, you're just missing one thing - clients.

You can't start making money without paying clients, so how do you get started?

This is a question that I am often asked by my peers & students and it's a sound concern. Because let's face it: you won't get anywhere in your business if you can't book any paid sessions!

So, how is a newbie supposed to enter the saturated market and stand a chance with their competition elbow to elbow with them?

The long answer: that's WAY too intricate for an entire blog post.

The short answer: get started with model calls.

What's a model call?

It's a session that you plan with carefully selected models/clients to create a desired end goal.

Your end goal might be to add new photos to your portfolio. It might be to test out a new location you've been dying to try. Or it simply might be to fill your calendar so you can "appear" to be an in-demand photographer (the appearance of being busy makes you look more professional and desirable to others by the way).

But, did you know that you can also be PROFITABLE with model calls?

You read that correctly.

It is very possible choose your clients, your schedule, your session details AND make money simultaneously.

I know this because I use model calls in my business for this purpose.

With model calls, you won’t have to sit around waiting for new photography clients...

  • You’ll be able to determine when, where, and how long your sessions take
  • You'll be able to plan sessions on demand that get booked now
  • You’ll finally be able to fill your empty calendar with excited clients

This is by far the EASIEST way to book sessions for the first time!

Shoot, it's the easiest way to book sessions for anyone - not just for beginners.

You might think that the easiest way to get clients is networking, asking your friends, and posting your little heart out on social media, but here's the truth...

Building a solid client base from word of mouth takes a very LONG TIME.

And if you don't have a few years to wait for your business to snowball into the big, booking machine you are envisioning, then you are going to be in for a lot of disappointment.

(ask me how I know)

Model call sessions, on the other hand, are the fast-track ticket to building up your business AND making money from the start.

But, there are a few things to keep in mind before you start planning them.

 

1. Not all models are model clients

When you are asking people on the street (or within your community circle) to help model for you, there's no doubt that you will get A LOT of interest.

I mean, who doesn't want a free or discounted photo session?

But just because a lot of people are showing interest doesn't mean that they are the best fit for your goals.

They could just be in it for the freebie. Perhaps they want to get into modeling and they think this is the best way to start. Or maybe they just straight up don't value photography enough to pay for it.

So, you will have to be careful when choosing your model clients so you aren't disappointed when it comes to sell a package.

I cover EXACTLY how to select the best clients for your model calls in my complete model call strategy.

 

2. You don't want to always promote model calls

If you are always putting out model calls, then it's going to become very hard to book any full priced sessions down the road.

If your audience sees that you are asking for models fairly regularly, then what incentive do they have to pay in full for your services? They might just wait for the next model call and get it for a discount instead.

It might be tempting, especially during slow times, to plan a lot of model calls, but try to resist the urge. Planning too many can put a damper on your business and you might not be able to see a way out of it in the future.

There is a balance to planning model calls (and how you can do more than what's considered normal as a beginner) that I cover in my complete model call strategy.

 

3. Take payment for model calls

Just because these sessions might be "free", you should still take a payment up front in the form of a deposit.

This is beneficial for a few reasons.

First, it shows you right away who is serious about working with you. If a client is willing to pay a deposit (that gets returned to them at the session), then they will most likely be a better client to work with. If you get resistance from a potential client about paying a deposit, then this could be a red flag.

Secondly, it places value on your time. If someone doesn't show up for the session, then you keep the deposit. So, even if you didn't end up getting the photos that you wanted, you will still be compensated for the time you spent planning the session.

(hint: people WILL show up to the session when they have skin in the game).

Lastly, it shows others that you are serious & that you have your act together. If you are wanting to become a full-time photographer (at least eventually), then setting the precedent from the get-go will help establish professionalism.

(another hint: the more professional you act, the better clients you'll attract)

There is a whole pricing strategy to follow inside my complete model call booking system - make sure you follow it to make your model calls the most beneficial to you!

Now that you know the basics of booking sessions with model calls, it's time to get started!

If you're ready to book more photo sessions and fill your calendar with new clients – in 5 days or less - then check out my complete model call booking system, Money Makin' Model Calls.

Money Makin’ model calls is a QUICK workshop & action-oriented business bundle to help you book more sessions when you need it the most – right now.

Money Makin’ Model Calls is essentially 4 years in the making…But it’ll only take you 5 days to implement - or less.

Learn how it can help you kickstart your photography business right now!

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