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The Successful Professional Photographer

How to Stand Out, Get Hired, and Make Real Money as a Portrait or Wedding Photographer

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Learn how to confidently build a thriving and profitable career as a professional wedding or portrait photographer! For nearly a decade, renowned wedding and portrait photographer Roberto Valenzuela has been sharing his vast knowledge and unique, systematic approach to making photographs as he has taught workshops around the world and...
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  • Print and eBook Bundle: $49.99
  • Print Book: $39.95
  • eBook: $31.99


Product ID: 2294125 SKU: 1195 Categories: , , ,

Roberto Valenzuela


240 pages


8 x 10in


Soft Cover - with flaps





  • Part I: How to Stand Out
  • Chapter 1: Unleashing Instagram's Business Potential
  • Chapter 2: SEO for Portrait and Wedding Photographers
  • Chapter 3: Client Testimonials
  • Chapter 4: YouTube and Facebook Live Broadcasts
  • Chapter 5: The Effective Business Promo Video
  • Chapter 6: Featuring Your Work in Magazines and on Blogs
  • Part II: How to Get Hired
  • Chapter 7: The Impact of First Impressions
  • Chapter 8: Understanding a Prospective Client's State of Mind
  • Chapter 9: Delivering a Skillful First Prospective Client Meeting
  • Part III: How to Make Money
  • Chapter 10: The Perceived-Value Tier System
  • Chapter 11: Client-Centric Pricing Strategy
  • Chapter 12: Anchored Collections Sales Method
  • Chapter 13: A La Carte Sales Method
  • Chapter 14: Final Design and Presentation
  • Conclusion

3 reviews for The Successful Professional Photographer

  1. A quick scan of the author’s qualifications convinced me that Valenzuela can teach us how to be successful professionals. He has written six books, and is a member of the Canon Explorers of Light group, teachers courses, and practices the commercial trade of photography. Of course, before he was a photographer he was a professional concert classical guitarist, wouldn’t you know 🙂 The first section of this most interesting book tells us how to stand out in what we know to be a vast crowd of digital photographers. Of course, if we are to succeed, we must indeed stand out! He advises us on how to best use Instagram to our professional advantage including how to use hashtags. Who knew there was that much value in how you use hashtags? This is all so interesting as well as useful.

    The chapter on how to make a successful YouTube videos was likewise informative and fun to read. I enjoy his advice that it’s OK to dress casually, but you need also always look professional. I dressed the same way in my work life so it’s not surprising we do the same for YouTube! Valenzuela’s section on how to attract and keep clients has advice I’ve not seen elsewhere and, as is the rest of this book, was a pleasure to read. He reminds us that our clients are intelligent beings and deserve creative and thoughtful small talk. Questions about the weather are boring, asking whether they found the office OK is goofy because they are they are. Instead, the author suggests we compliment them on some option for the shoot that they chose, or on something they are wearing. In other words, don’t do the usual thing — personalize your chit-chat.

    Toward the end of the book the author spends a lot of time on what seems to me a complete and creative discussion of how to price and how to sell your services. I have read in many places that, to do a wedding shoot, you should always have an assistant or second photographer just in case. He strongly advises us to include the cost of that assistant in the pricing of the wedding so that we don’t pay it out of our own pockets. He also discusses what those costs might be.

    Valenzuela makes it clear he is not in it to gouge customers. He says there is enough money to be made from even the lowest tier pricing so that we do not need to focus only on higher end jobs and clients. As a human and potential client, I was touched to read that section:).

    I had never heard the term “anchored collection” but it was interesting. You make multiple offers to your client of various collections they could choose among, anchoring the choices with a very inexpensive one and then an expensive one at the top, with other options in between. Makes sense for both the client and the photographer.

    The author spends a lot of time going into great detail for beginning professionals and I believe a reader would come away well prepared to jump into the photography business. Valenzuela doesn’t appear to be hiding any secrets from us and lays it out so that you have a path to be a successful professional. This would be an indispensable manual for anyone going into the photography business.

  2. (verified owner)

    Another excellent addition to the amazing set of photography books by Roberto! Love his straight, to-the-point style of articulating the practical advice on the business aspects of photography, especially for folks who are mostly focussed on the technical/posing aspects.

  3. The Successful Professional Photographer is a book geared to wedding and portrait photographers who are looking the better their business practices. Part one is How to Stand Out- it explores promotion. Part 2, How to Get Hired explores ways of “sealing the deal” while the final section, How to Make Money, examines the monetary considerations of running a successful business.

    There is tremendous breadth in this book, but depth varies between subjects. For example, SEO (search engine optimization), which is a subject unto itself, is described and its value extolled but the skills and tools required to utilize this promotional strategy are only hinted at. On the other hand, client interaction is analyzed and critiqued in tremendous detail, inviting a self-reflection that will certainly demand a more objective look at one’s own presentation and interaction.

    There are great, simple and even obvious suggestions that many photographers simply don’t take the time to pursue- client testimonials (and how to request them), promotional videos, and making live shoots available as commercial tools. The impact of these often overlooked ideas can make a tremendous difference, as the author makes clear.

    Valenzuela examine the psychology of the client and shows his expertise in managing people through the booking, shooting and selling phases of a photography gig. From organizational planning for an event to managing bad reviews or difficult customers, his insight into approaching people so that they feel that they have been well cared for and happy with your work is outstanding. The reader is asked to take a step back and consider not simply how he presents himself, but rather, how he is perceived. From conversation starters to methods of approaching pricing, the advice makes one reflect on those crucial things that we may say, do, or somehow radiate that will affect jobs and sales.

    Finally, the money side of a photography business is investigated with varied levels of client incomes and expectations taken into account. From pricing shoots to tiering packages, the advice on marketing delves into the area of the business that most creatives hate to consider but must answer to successfully make a worthwhile salary from their skills, efforts and investments.

    This book, along with Rocky Nook’s Best Business Practices for Photographers by John Harrington, provides essential business training for the creative trying to make a business of their craft.

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