Photography Education | Your Questions Answered

Honolulu elopement

Photography Education | Your Questions Answered

You asked, and I answered! I took to my Instagram to hang and chat with my photographer followers, and answer any business questions they have. It was GOOD! I love doing these because I love helping other photographers learn and grow. If you missed out, here’s all the questions and answers!

SEO and blogging ideas?

I have a blog (you can find it right here!) with some general blogging tips for photographers. Here’s a few quick SEO tips: Name your images, utilize alt tags, and title your blogs with keywords people are searching for. Don’t use titles like “sunset flower field session.” Nobody is searching for that. Some quick blog ideas: Create categories for yourself like weddings, portraits, tips and personal. The first two are portfolio so that’s easy! For tips, think of things you wish clients knew or that you are always asked about like wardrobe, best time of day to shoot, planning tips, etc. For personal, introduce yourself, your family, tell the story of how you got into photography, and share your travels and hobbies.

I’m shooting my first solo wedding Saturday, best advice?

Yay!!
– Be confident
– Prep your gear the day before
– Be familiar with the timeline and print it out
– Get a shot list of the family photos with everyone’s names and print it out
– Have a nice relaxed morning
– Get there early
– Have backup contacts besides the couple in case you have any issues getting there
– Don’t be afraid to speak up to get the photos you need
– Have fun!

laguna beach engagement photographer

How do you get clients as a new photographer?

Shoot for free, then shoot cheap. Show people what  you can do then start adding value and raising your prices. Get reviews and put them everyyyywhere. Exhaust all your free advertising outlets: Facebook, Yelp, blogging, Instagram etc. Instagram tip: Use geotags and hashtags!! Anytime I do a mentor sessions with a photographer and see they don’t use both of those I very *kindly* lose it. It’s free real estate! And remember it takes time. You got this!

Do you really  have to post something on Instagram everyday to build your audience?

I’m sure some experts will say yes, but I say quality over quantity, especially if your head and heart aren’t in it! If you aren’t feeling it, share some love instead on other accounts. I didn’t post for a month but I still genuinely engaged with others and my following grew.

How do you book shoots while traveling?

Build travel into your brand. Geotag and hashtag locations you want to s hoot at. And wait for it… travel to those locations! Then let  your followers know you are there. If you can’t book anything, do a styled shoot! I know travel is not possible for most right now due to covid, but you can still build it into your brand to prepare for the future.

In addition to booking across all the Hawaiian islands, I’ve booked weddings/shoots in Portland, California, Colorado and Texas. This is not something that happens overnight. In the beginning  you may post about openings and get nothing, and then the next time you post you get a dream client! Be patient and put in the work.

couple hiking in hawaii for engagement photos

What has been your best business investment?

I’m not saying this just because I offer mentorships, but hands down it has been workshops and education. Not only do you learn fro people doing *exactly* what you want to do,but you get to meet some awesome people. I met one of my best friends Megan (Megan Blowey Photography) at a workshop and we talk almost daily about business and life.

How do you stay positive about business during covid?

This has been the hardest year for me, business wise and personally. I’ve had a lot of really low moments, times when I felt like I completely lost who I am. I feel like I’m on the other side of it now, and I want to remind you: You are not your job. You are so much more than what you produce. You are more than the  amount  of followers you have, or the likes you get, or how “on brand” your feed is. I know sometimes it doesn’t feel like it, but you a re going to be okay. Let yourself feel sad, and then pick yourself back up and start working  however  you can.

How long did it take you get established and set on your editing style?

Once I decided to niche down to weddings and portraits, it took me about a year to get established in Hawaii, and be fully booked a year out. Editing is also something that takes time, and I will continue to make tweaks to my preset as I learn!

Below you can see the difference in my style between 2015 and now.

photography education before and after

I just got my business license do you have any advice for a new business owner?

Yay!! Congrats! I’ll share what  I wish I knew sooner: get really good at 1-2 things and specialize in that niche. I used to shoot everyyyyything literally.  I shot at a newspaper, an eBay store, motocross races, you name it I photographed it. I was so burnt out. Once I focused on what I love the most (weddings and couples portraits) everything changed. I became a better for photographer for my clients all around! So find what you love and what you are good at, and try to be the best at it. You got this!

Feeling fomo for missing out on the Q&A? Be sure to follow along on Instagram @chelseastratso as I do these often! Want to learn more from me? I do offer mentorships! You can find out all the details here.

oahu engagement photography

Chelsea Stratso is a traveling adventure photographer based in Hawaii. She offers photography education for others looking to grow their business.

photography education