MorePhotos Blog

Back to Business Chapter 6 ~ So, I do this for Money?

A Success Series for Modern Day Photographers

How to Charge for Photography

In last week’s edition, How to Get Repeat Business, we talked about simple but effective was to keep clients once you get them – how to not let them slip away to the often lower priced competition.

We’ve been talking a lot about getting new business lately and of course, if you don’t get new business (and keep it), you won’t have to worry about the financial aspects of your business.  However, I am kind of amazed at the number of “Professional” photographers who simply don’t pay any attention to the “Pro” part of their business, which means you get paid to do this.

You have all gone to seminars, read articles or watched videos that will tell you that you need to charge a fair price for your artistry and work product and that you are worth every penny you charge.  I find that many of you, maybe even most of you are still struggling with this part of the business.  My best advice would be simply and brutally; get over it.  And, not only that, get in the habit of getting a contract for your services and asking for your money up front.  Believe it or not (and don’t believe it at your own peril) this may be the most important thing you can do to help your business go and grow.  Taking these simple (OK, I know for a lot of you it isn’t simple or easy) steps will change the way you look at your business and the way your customers look at you.

Thinking of yourself as a professional will give you the confidence you need to set good prices for your time and work product, the first step in long term success.  Getting paid up front will make it more exciting to go to work for your customers (trust me, it will) and you will give them a better product.  Asking for money up front will make your customers look at you as a professional that deserves to be paid, not someone who works for free and gets paid if they like what you do, which you know happens to you.

There are some tools that can help.  First, we talked before about the value of joining trade associations, and all of these professional organizations have resources that are available to you either free or at a low cost which often include sample contracts – just fill in the blanks.  These contracts have been developed over the years by photographers and lawyers and cover areas of importance in your industry that should be professionally documented.  Using a contract makes it easier to ask for money up front since you’re setting the bar before services are even rendered; you are booking your time out according to the rates you believe you are worth.  These contracts alone are worth the price of the trade association membership fees.

It is critically important that you look at your business as just that, a business.  When you go to your local garage for auto service, there is never any question that you are going to pay for the service.  When you order products from a website, you pay upfront and expect to receive what you ordered.  You are just as much a business as either of these examples and thinking of yourself as a business is the first step to being a successful one.

Drew Warner | MorePhotos Marketing

Post images online to gain exposure 2 comments

There is no better way for a photographer to gain exposure then when they post images online for customers to view and buy!

It’s an amazing benefit that photographers have over almost every other type of company. The cost to purchase Ad Words to gain website traffic would be more than most photographers make in a year. Why don’t all photographers post images online then? I think there are a couple of factors involved:

1. Photographers are artists not marketers – the same reason a lot of people can’t shoot great photos. (Like Me)

2. Some of today’s great photographers, who have become speakers, tell other photographers not to post images online – (now we are back to listening to artists not marketers). Face to face sales are important, but not all events present a face-to-face opportunity, you have got to do both online and direct sales.

3. Photographers think just posting images on Facebook will be good enough, but it only works well for a day or two until the photos get the buried. Facebook posting does not even come close to having the same impact as posting on a professional looking cart. My suggestion is to use Facebook to make a post with a link to the images in your cart. Facebook is great for a lot of things, but not for a company using it for its only online connection.

Post images online, photographers photo cart4. A lot of photographers base the reason for not posting images online because they do in house presentations (remember, I’m a marketer and I would do the same for most jobs). I think the thing photographers are not grasping is that to stay in business you need to keep marketing 24/7… So after we had done the presentation, when walking my customer to the door, I would say, “By the way I will post your images on my website so you can share them with your family and friends.” What did I just do? Basically it’s like handing my customer a stack of my studio brochures. Even a corporate head shot customer could bring 5 to 10 people to your site that did not know who you were. A wedding could bring in hundreds of visitors – and the advantage is that a friend or family has already hired you – What better referral can you get?

The golden rule in marketing: The more people who know about your service, the better you will do!

If you are one of those people that do not post online – I want to hear the reasons why not.

Or if you are one of those speakers who advises against it – we all need to hear why you recommend this to others!

Photography Business Talk: Success for your Studio

In last weeks Photography Business talk, we discussed who should control the money, does a percentage plan really make sense and don’t be mislead on image count plans.

This week we have 3 more ideas for success in your photography business.

  1. Photographers can be very frugal in nature.  When picking a host never look at price at first!  First look at what you can make with the given sets of features offered  and what kind of help do they offer after the sale.  Live support or email only?  Do they have a marketing person that is always testing new ideas and  sharing them with their photographers?  You could have the very best system out there, but if you do not know how to make money with it, it is worthless.  Is it worth the paying an extra $5 to $10, or even $50 dollars a month more for a company that shows you how?  One good idea could make you hundreds of dollars more a month!  As the saying goes, “cutting off your nose to spite your face”, seems appropriate here.  I see this all the time with photographers. Plus the cheaper you get with everything else the cheaper your photography should be. And who wants to race to the bottom with I’m the cheapest. Practice what you preach.

  1.  How should I pick my  provider?  For the love of god, don’t go with a company that does not specialize in Photography!  You miss out on way to much.  As an example: The sites that specializes in photography have the image protection already in place, with easy ways to upload more than one image at a time. And since they specialize in photography you will find the image quality is much better because it’s their business.Responsive Website, Mobile Friendly Website

  1. Branding: Make sure you keep your branding at all times, you do not ever want anyone to think  you are someone else. Your brand (name) is one of your most valuable assets.  Again as an example: Your shopping cart should always have your name on it and a way to get back to your home page.


Next week, we’ll bring you a few more success tips for you and your photography studio.

Your Professional Photography Business: Increase your success

Over the next 3 weeks I want to use my years of experience in the Professional Photography business to help you become even more successful than you already are. Each week I will give you 3 or 4 main ideas that you should be asking before you choose a website/shopping cart provider.

This week I want to focus on the first 3.
  1. Who controls the money? With credit card merchant accounts being much cheaper than before there is no reason not to take your own money!  Either way you are going to pay for it. If you have someone else collect the money it will not be cheaper. Plus cash flow is one of the biggest reasons companies fail, you need to get the money now!
  1. Think twice before signing up with a percentage plan! Professional Photography WebsiteThey may sound good at first, because you think you won’t have to pay any money during your slow times. The problem with this is that you could pay more money during your busiest month then the other service would cost for the whole year on a non-commission rate. Do the math. If you are paying, let’s say 15% commission, and you have a good month of sales at $2,000.00, you would have a commission to the host of $300 dollars just that month. Or lower the percent to 7%, it would still cost you $140 dollars for that 1 month.
  1. Do not be the mislead by companies telling you can have unlimited image hosting! We recommend to not post events for more than 2 to 6 weeks, and the six week range is only for weddings. Some professional photographers think that if they leave them up longer they will sell more! This could not be any further from the truth. During our extensive testing we actually found we received 20% more orders from events posted only 30 days verses 60 days. Let’s do a little math again, say you average only $500.00 a month when you leave events up for 60 days. Since our testing Photo shopping cart, sell photos onlineshows a 20% decrease that is a loss of $100 a month compared to 30 days. At $2,000 a month, posting still for the 60 days, you are losing $400.00 a month in income. We recommend most events post for two weeks or less and give a discount if an order is placed the first couple of days. When testing we raised the cost 20% and offered a 20% discount the first week as an example. We also received another 12% increase in sales. Try it yourself as a test, you may be pleasantly surprised.

I hope you have found these 3 suggestions helpful for your professional photography business. Next week we will go through 3 or 4 more ideas. Tell me what you think. Any suggestions are always appreciated and we look forward to hearing from you. And of course, for more info, go to See you next week!

Congrats to our MARS School Winners

MorePhotos wants to give a big congrats to our the winners at the MARS School this past week. MARS School is an intensive, 5 day training, that you can really sink your teeth into. MorePhotos was happy to be represented at the trade show again this year. Harry Markel, our National Sales Director, was on hand to preview our new system MARS Photography Schoolthat has been built from the ground up. At every trade show we attend we have a drawing to give away our great template DVD, version 3. We would like to congratulate this years winners at the MARS school!

Pictured left are Harry Markel and Gary Lloyd from the Mid Atlantic Regional School of Photography presenting awards to Torri Koppenaal and Rick Martelo.

If you are in need of a new photography website or state of the art shopping cart, give MorePhotos a call today.

Congrats Torri and Rick, thanks for stopping by!


More Photos Customer Appreciation Days! Visit us at SPI on January 24th for special discounts!

Yes, you read it correctly!

MorePhotos is offering you a $50 discount to the SPI 2016 Creative Summit Conference & Expo, plus a $49 graphics pack.  This exciting conference will take place in Orlando, FL January 25th – 28th 2016.

To receive this special discount, simply register online at and use code MP50 during checkout. When attending the conference, you will receive your $49 value of graphics.

This offer expires December 31st, 2015 so don’t miss out!

more photos appreciation copy

SPI Online has this to say about attending a Live Event!

There are many ways to learn. The internet has endless information however, the following are benefits of attending a live training event.

  • Network face to face with professionals with varied and unique experiences.

  • Ask and receive answers to your specific questions.

  • Get inspired by being part of a community.

  • Business is still about relationships, come have fun and mingle.

  • Spend one on one time with speakers and sponsors with years of experience.


ManeStreem and MorePhotos combine forces

Similar to the popular Uber for those needing rides, ManeStreem is an App that connects folks needing beauty services.  The ManeStreem App is the premier, on demand, beauty services application, delivering the industry’s leading beauty professionals directly to your door with the simple tap of a button. This service can open up a door to photographers who need beauty services on the quick!

ManeStreem thinks it is time to change the way that we envision beauty services by bringing quality beauty services directly to your doorstep. ManeStreem artists and providers (ManeStreemers) are some of the best professionals in the beauty industry. They use only cutting edge products and the latest beauty techniques to ensure clients always get the very best in beauty.

ManeStreem was created to provide women and men with a trusted resource for personal beauty services, to be conveniently delivered by fully licensed, accredited and insured professionals, on demand and on location. And now ManeStreem and MorePhotos are combining forces with the addition of a “Need a Professional Website Click Here” button which takes the visitor to the MorePhotos website!

Here’s How ManeStreem Works:
1) Browse our GPS driven, real time map or list view to select an artist (ManeStreemer) ManeStreem, Beauty Services, MorePhotosof your choice.
2) Review portfolio pictures, reviews, ratings and pricing of your artist (ManeStreemer).
3) Choose the service of your choice and the beauty professional (ManeStreemer) will be on his or her way to your home or office in 45 minutes or less.
4) All charges are billed directly through the ManeStreem App and there is no cash changing hands.
5) After your service is completed, rate and review your ManeStreem experience complete with pictures so that others can benefit from the insight of your experience.

Are you close to Philadelphia? Well if you are, ManeStreem is having a launch Party on December 7th 2015 and you’re are invited.  “Holiday Bites & Bubbles” is a Free Cocktail Party at The SkyBox, 2424 E York St. Philadelphia Pa. Meet the team and get tuned into this game changing technology. Bring your friends and colleagues. Enjoy great food, libations and Free surprise giveaways! RSVP through Facebook at ManeStreemApp or text your name and email to 609-831-3003.  ManeStreem and MorePhotos look forward to meeting you!

ManeStreem and MorePhotos! It doesn’t get much better than this…

Full Merchant Account for Photographers & Artists

Hi all, Kellie here with MorePhotos. Not only do I work for MorePhotos, but I am also a user. I first became a customer of MorePhotos almost 15 years ago when I had my wedding and portrait studio. A few years ago I made the decision to retire from photography and close my studio. To my dismay I found I missed the photography industry not very long after.  I loved the photography industry and knew that I loved MorePhotos as a vendor after being a customer of theirs for 10 years. I am so happy that 18 months ago I was lucky enough to go to work for MorePhotos. And today I have some exciting news to share with you.

When you hear the words “Merchant Account” most folks cringe. We have all had dreaded credit card fees, and especially the monthly fees associated with merchant accounts. MorePhotos wanted to do something about that so we went to PayPal to see if they would help our customers get a full merchant account without the monthly fee… And we did it! We are happy to announce that MorePhotos will waive the monthly fee for all of our customers who sign up to use PayPal Pro. For those of you that don’t know the PayPal Pro monthly fee is $30, in addition to the transaction fees. Now we are able to do away with the $30 monthly fee.

Up until now I had been paying $5.00 per month for my PayPal business account. As a MorePhotos user, the Mobile credit card reader, free full merchant accountprospect of having a full merchant account without paying any monthly service fees was very enticing. Last Friday I finally bit the bullet and signed up for my PayPal Pro full merchant account. Not sure why I hesitated so long, maybe it’s because none of us really like change. To my surprise the process was seamless, painless and quick!

And if that wasn’t sweet enough, once signed up and approved, you can download the “PayPal Here” app on your smart device. Once you get the app set up PayPal will send you a mobile card reader free of charge. Now you will be able to accept credit cards wherever you are.

The process was easy, I called the exclusive phone number designated to MorePhotos and spoke with a Merchant Account Specialist. I explained that I was a MorePhotos user, and that I have a current account. They were able to upgrade that account to the Pro account without having to change a thing. I did have to come up with a user name and password that will be used to tie the business account in to certain sites, but the email I was using stayed the same. He explained that with the pro account the client stays on my site now, which will give them a smoother checkout. And further explained if I was using my old account on any other sites that I had used a built in PayPal button, I would need to go in to check to see if I needed to re-input my information to make sure everything goes through seamlessly.

PayPal Pro Merchant accountLess than a week later, my mobile credit card reader arrived at my doorstep! And to sweeten the deal, I was able to easily set up my new PayPal Pro merchant account into the brand new MorePhotos shopping cart, enabling real time processing. Now you will be able to easily sell photos online and in person. If you are already a MorePhotos Customer, you can get more info on how to sign up on our Integrated Business Page here. And if you are a photographer, videographer or artist and would like to find out how you can become a MorePhotos customer, and get a beautiful new website and state of the art shopping cart, call 231-932-0855 ext.15. Whether you have a current PayPal account or not, there is no better time to join MorePhotos and PayPal Pro, it doesn’t get much better than this! And with the MorePhotos 60 money back guarantee, you have nothing to lose…

Are You Ready for Drone Photography?

Drone Photography is Here… Are you ready?

Drone Photography, Drone Law, Drone licenseDid you know for the first time in history that the FAA is allowing photographers to start using drones to take photographs and video for commercial purposes? Until recently, using drones for any business purpose, including photography and videography, was illegal. is a website which can help you get your FAA Section 333 Exemption so you can start flying drones for aerial photography and videography for pay right now.

The new drone regulations for commercial Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) aka drones by the FAA is great news.  The new drone regulations move us one step closer to widespread use of drones by photographers to capture all sorts of images, events and special occasions in ways never
possible before.

Early adopters of drones by foreword thinking photographers will be a huge competitive advantage.  Customers want aerial photographs and video of their events, loved ones, homes, buildings and activities. Here is what you need to know about getting in on this new and innovative market niche:

  1. You can start flying right now with a Section 333 Exemption from the FAA.
  2. It is currently taking about seven weeks to go though the FAA Section 333 process.
  3. You need a 333 Exemption, a drone (many options under $1,000 at 1080p60 video and 8MP photos or above), and a pilot with at least a recreational or sport pilots license to fly your drone for the time being. But pilots are easy to find and not very expensive to hire. You own the exemption; work the camera while someone else flies the drone.
  4. The demand is large, but the supply of 333 Exemptions holders is small.
  5. Early adopters will see a significant ROI on their investment.

MorePhotos has arranged for our customers to receive a $1,000 discount on Section 333 Exemptions for our photographers, reducing the price from $3,500 to $2,500.  Just enter “morephotos” in the coupon box or tell that MorePhotos sent you and you will be eligible.  Or call at 866-774-2869 to learn more about drone use by photographers.

To read a information on Exemption 333, click below: PDF

What to do with those cameras and lenses you no longer use…

What to do with those cameras and lenses you no longer use… This is definitely a question most photographers have to ask themselves at least one time in their career. If your old gear has been sitting in a box, unused for some time now, is it time to consider getting rid of them? The question is: what do you do with that old digital or film camera Camera gear, photography equipment, sell photos online, photography websitegear now that you don’t use them? Here are some ideas to consider:

Know Its Value: The initial thing to do if your gear is a bit outdated is to check if it has any worth beyond what you think the value is. A quick check on eBay or other ecommerce site will let you know if the camera is truly worth anything beyond bargain basement prices. If your gear is on the newer side you should find out what the value is before you try to get rid of it so you don’t get less than they are worth.

Talk to Photography Teacher: Most every city has High Schools and Colleges that have photography courses. It is very possible the instructors might know someone who is looking for used gear to begin their lessons. Even if a student is not in need, the teacher might have a personal interest or may know someone who does.

Find an Enthusiast: Camera enthusiasts meet in local clubs all over the world to share their love of photography. Most local groups have websites and even classified listings where you can place ads for your equipment. Check in with the clubs in your area to see what they might have to offer you.

Donate It: You can get a good feeling for donating your unused camera gear to a worthy cause. There are many great non-profit organizations that can use your gear in their organizations or sell the equipment and use the funds within. Besides doing a good deed, you can also receive a tax deductible receipt for your donation.

Sell It: The easiest and fastest answer is to sell your unused gear. Craigslist, eBay or a local pawn shop are good options. Also, there are many websites that buy used camera equipment and a quick internet search can give you a place to start.

Sell photos online, what to do with old camera equipment

One of MorePhotos longtime customers buys and sells both digital and film camera equipment. They pay top dollar for digital photographic equipment: Nikon, Canon, Sony, Leica. They also pay top dollar for film photographic equipment: Voightlander, Contact, Nikon, Canon, Hasselblad, Mamiya, Linhof, Dierdorf. They buy single items, collections, studios and estates. They are said to pay more than a fair price and are honest and reliable. Please call Kenneth Appelbaum Photography Inc. at 561-901-1732 or email