Your website is vital to your success as a photographer. If you want great clients you need a great website. And a huge part of that for you is the images you showcase there. You are a photographer after all! Today I’m talking about the biggest mistake I see photographers making when it comes to choosing images for your photography website and how you can avoid it.
Choosing images for your photography website can be a minefield. Here’s how NOT to do it and how to do it with style!
I want you to be the client for a minute.
Let’s say you’re a bride-to-be and you know exactly the kind of wedding photographer you want to book. You have zero interest in spending an hour creating posey portraits with your new husband and the idea of standing for 75 family group shots leaves you cold. You just want someone there to document all of the moments throughout the day. The hugs, the tears, the laughter and the antics.
That’s what you’re looking for when you start your search. Documentary wedding images full of joy and laughter and emotion.
Now let’s be the photographer for a minute.
You love to shoot weddings in a documentary style. You’re all about those moments that are happening every few seconds throughout a wedding day. It makes your heart sing.
You are the perfect fit for this bride.
Great news for you! A client who specifically wants what you do is a joy to work with and she pays your prices without question because she’s not looking for any photographer. She’s looking for the right photographer.
But is your website ready for her?
Because when you were picking out images to display on your website you picked out all your favourite documentary shots. The ones this dream client will love. Candid, emotional and full of connection.
But then you found that cracking shot that you took last year… the one of the bride posing alone by the window in her lace dress. Ok, so it’s not really what you love to shoot but it is a great photograph and surely it would be a crime not to put it on your website?
And then you think to yourself, ‘I better pop a few posed couple shots in there for brides who like that. I don’t want to alienate them. I need the work.’
So you go searching the archives and find some shots of couples walking and looking lovingly into each other’s eyes and place them on your website.
And even though you hate formal group shots – everyone wants at least some taken on their wedding day – even if it’s just for Granny’s sake! You don’t want brides thinking that you don’t do these! So you look out a couple of family groups and pop them on your website too.
Great, you think, now you’re not putting anyone off.
And just like that you’ve lost that dream client.
You see, dream clients are like that. They want a photographer who’s perfect for them. Who understands them. They want someone who is an expert in creating the type of images they love.
The minute you show them images that fly in the face of that, they leave and continue their search elsewhere.
And believe me, the will find someone. They’ll land on a website like that of Kevin Mullins and book him instead. Because all you will find on Kevin’s site is the photography he loves to shoot and the photography his dream client wants.
This is not just about weddings. If you’re a newborn photographer trying to get away from sleepy newborn posing so that you can focus on the in-home newborn lifestyle photography that you love so much then stop showing sleeping posed newborns on your website! Remove them!
Even if they’re amazing…
Because the client who loves and wants natural newborn images – you know, the client you want. She doesn’t want to see newborns asleep in froggy positions or squeezed into wraps. She’ll exit and look elsewhere.
The most successful photographers today know exactly what they love to shoot and exactly who they want to work with. So they only show the images that reflect that.
If you didn’t manage to catch my interview with Anna Pumer then you must give it a watch. It would be hard to find many photographers doing this better than she is.
Does doing this mean you can’t change down the line? Of course not. We all evolve as photographers and our style and preferences change. But what you show on your website should change with that.
When you show a whole mishmash of images on your website, guess what kind of clients you attract?
The kind of clients who’re not really that fussed about the photography! They want some photographs and they want them to be good but this is not a big deal to them.
Clients like this always make a choice based on price.
So get clear and get brave. What do you truly want and love to shoot right now? Narrow it down as much as you possibly can. Then promptly remove every single image that does not fit that description from your website. Even the drop dead gorgeous ones!
Now when your dream client lands on your website they’ll realise more and more with every passing minute that they spend on your site that you’re the photographer they’re looking for.
Stop trying to please everyone with your images. Just please yourself.
And in doing so, you’re pleasing the client you’d most love to work with. The client who’s just like you.
This is exactly what we help our members with inside the Togs in Business membership. If this is the kind of stuff that excites you but you’re overwhelmed with everything you need to do to grow your business into the successful and profitable dream you want it to be then get yourself over to the membership and check it out.
We’re all about setting you on that path and keeping you there with unrivalled support. Membership is by application only and you can check it out right here.