How to build an extremely successful photography business on 40 hours a week or less.

stick_figure_leaning_on_stopwatch_400_wht_13325I'm all about helping you make a great living, doing what you love to do, and still having the free time to spend with those you love and treasure the most.

They've done extensive research, and they found that you cannot be creative a 100 hours a week. I don't care how much you love photography, you just can't be creative 100 hours every week. (Plus, you have a life – and people who need you and want you to spend time with them!)

So how the heck do you build an extremely successful photography business, and do it on 40 or less hours a week?


Here are three big points:

1. Don't try to be all things to all people.

The great photographer and businessperson, Donald Jack, taught me this many many years ago when I was understudying with him. He said, "In order to be successful, you must be willing to send some people away." This is a really difficult thing to do, especially when you're struggling and need every penny you can get just to survive. But if you don't carefully pick who you're going to accept as a client, you will end up doing tons of work for people who often don't invest very much money in your photography.

So it's extremely important that you have a system in place where you talk with prospects on the telephone - (not via email or text!) - and ask them a series of proven questions, the answers to which will let you know whether there is enough sales potential there to justify your taking the time to move forward with this prospect. I know this is scary, but it's hugely important if you want to build a successful photography business on 40 hours a week or less!

2. Position yourself in the marketplace as a photographer who specializes in fine wall portraiture as home decor.

Your goal needs to be that, for every client you work with, you will have them putting at least a photograph, of some size, on their walls in their homes and/or offices. This immediately sets you apart from the millions of people with a digital camera who are thinking that they could make a little extra money on the side with their camera. (Not only do you not want to compete with them, but you can't compete with them and build a successful, long-term photography business that is financially secure and supplies you and your family with the lifestyle you desire and deserve.)

Let other photographers compete with each other for the cheapest digital file that they can sell. You, on the other hand, specialize in creating fine portraiture as home decor on your client's walls.   Make sure you're marketing and everything you do in the community is to get the attention of the people who respect what you do, and are willing to invest in WALL PORTRAITS.

3. Force yourself to learn the things that the failures don't want to learn.

Most photographers, bless our hearts, went into photography because we love photography – not business. Because of this, most photographers don't want to learn marketing, pricing, merchandising, and selling skills. But if you truly want to be successful and build a very lucrative photography business, these skills are extremely necessary!

I urge you, right now – to begin investing one hour every morning on improving your marketing, pricing, merchandising, selling, and telephone skills. Trust me – this is extremely important to your success in the photography business of today!

Where do you start? Start right here by using the search engine on this blog to search for keywords such as marketing, pricing, selling, telephone, email, projecting. What you discover will dramatically increase your income, happiness, and confidence in your photography business!

Then, for sure, join the Charles Lewis Inner Circle! There you will discover all the secrets, techniques, tips and tools for quickly and easily building the photography business of your dreams! You deserve to have a photography business that allows you to do what you love to do and earn an incredible living doing it, while still having lots of free time with your family and friends.  

Please feel free to comment on this post below, and let me know your thoughts.   Take care, and GO FOR YOUR DREAMS!

Charles J. Lewis
M. Photog., Cr.



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6 Responses to How to build an extremely successful photography business on 40 hours a week or less.

  1. December 20, 2013 at 9:28 am

    Listen to this man unless you want to waste years of pain and suffering AND lose precious time with your family. Please!

    • December 27, 2013 at 8:27 am

      Thanks Frank, you are very kind! All the best to you for 2014!

  2. December 20, 2013 at 10:12 am

    Thank you for all your tips. We are busy right now, but also exhausted, working late because we’re not very disciplined, getting distracted working from home.
    We have taken some things on board, but we will need to sit down after Christmas and decide what we’re going to do – we are looking at converting a room(full of junk at present and needing completely refurbished)for use as a selling room, but it’s quite daunting in a small place where we get repeat customers, watching we don’t price ourselves out of the market, as we are already more expensive than our competitors. We also have a lot of work to do on our house, have 2 grandchildren and one more due soon, as well as 4 out of our 6 chidren still living at home, so there’s a lot going on. But thank you so much for taking the time to send on the emails and have a great Christmas and a happy and successful new year. I have kept the emails in a separate folder so I can look over them, once I’ve come out of hibernation after the Christmas break. God bless, Michele (Garry’s better half!) xx

    • December 27, 2013 at 8:29 am

      Hi Michele (and Garry) – the key is having a plan – and then putting that plan into action. Most photogs have no real plan – and thus are at the mercy of what life does to them, rather than the other way around! Go for it!

  3. Jon
    December 20, 2013 at 11:00 am

    Thanks Charles for the info!!! Much needed advice, straight to the point!!!

    • February 18, 2014 at 2:15 pm

      Thanks Jon!

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