Business + Marketing

Double Your Dollars: Judith Hill’s Black Friday Portrait Client Deal

November 7, 2023

By Abbey Pleviak

Black Friday is a time to seek and offer great sales, and last year, portrait photographer Judith Hill thought of a doozy of a deal for her clients that she is generously sharing with other photographers. Her “Double Your Dollars” Black Friday Deal went out exclusively to her past clients through her newsletter. In it, she offered her clients the opportunity to pre-pay for images and receive double the dollar amount in product, i.e., if they paid $400, they could receive $800 in products. The only caveat it came with was that they must book and use the “double dollars” by the end of the year. Hill said this limited time offer brought her an influx of bookings and income, and when her clients saw the images she took of them, of course, they bought even more than they had prepaid for.

Judith Hill shared this tip on her recent Portrait System Podcast appearance with host Nikki Closser. In it, she also talked about how her previous job as Vice President of Economic Development for the Nashville Chamber of Commerce influenced her career path as a portrait photographer. Effectively, Hill was selling Nashville to corporations, data centers, health care companies, and music companies, and this experience taught her that what people want to buy more than anything else is experiences. You can hear her tell all about it here: Market Like a Boss and Thrive with Judith Hill.

In the Q&A below, Hill shares what inspires her in work, how to use fear as motivation, why investing in your education is the best thing you can do to get to the next level in your business, and more.

Judith Hill

Judith Hill Q&A


Most artists have had a point in their life when they knew this was meant for them. Do you have that moment?   

For me, I found my value by showing other people theirs. I would see women almost float out of the studio feeling confident and empowered without even seeing an image, understanding a ripple effect was happening in their life that they were taking home, taking to their business, and taking out into the community. Then, when they came back, they were sometimes reconnected with who they were. These women would look at images of themselves and say, “I love her,” “OMG, is that me? I love this version, too,” and “I don’t know who that woman is, but she is a badass.” So, they were experiencing all these amazing aspects of who they are through a portrait session, and I knew that was the greatest gift I could give another human being, so I had to take the leap and make this work full time. Photography can change lives. That’s how powerful it is, and I was in love with the craft and how it transformed the way people saw themselves.  

How did you push past fear when building your business?   

F.E.A.R. Face Everything And Rise. For me, the only way through fear is to take action, and if I take action that is in alignment with what I want to create, then things will really start happening, and I have proof that I can do it and keep moving forward. I’ve also learned to reframe things and look at the worst-case scenario, which usually shows me that in the end, I’ll be okay and I’ll figure out a way that gets me out of my fear and scarcity and into creating. If I’m stalling, I’m avoiding something and that is most likely fear of rejection or failure. If I’m really stuck, I will hire a mentor to show me the way through, and through resources and guidance, I can combat fear. Fear is always there. The trick is to question it and ask if it’s really true and then choose a different narrative. Mindset is everything in business. Just keep moving towards your dream, and you’ll wake up one day and realize you are living the life you wanted. I did.

© Judith Hill

For someone starting out on their photography journey what advice would you have for them? 

Invest in yourself. When you start a business, you are investing in yourself. And as you grow, you will need to invest in yourself more. Taking that a step further, the best thing I have ever done in my business is invest in personal growth, backend support and mentoring to help me navigate getting unstuck and give me the words that I need for marketing until I found my own voice. Invest in business mentors and photography mentors.

Investing in workshops and conferences really helped me master my craft and create meaningful relationships and friendships in the industry. Running a photography business requires a supportive community. It requires a team to build a desirable brand, to stay on track and deliver excellent customer service. And it requires you to be your most magnetic, whole self. We have to invest in ourselves and our businesses to get to the next level. It’s always the same mountain, just at a different altitude. The only way to the top is with supportive help, mindset and resilience. 

© Judith Hill

What fellow artists in the industry do you gain the most inspiration from?   

There are several. Sue Bryce. I love her work and what she created in photography education and community has completely changed my life by showing me the way in posing, business and self-value.

Cat Ford-Coates. I love her work. I hired her to photograph me, and it was life changing. I love how she runs her business and what she teaches is gold. Her wealth of knowledge on how to run a modern-day portrait studio is deep. She has helped me elevate in business, and I greatly admire her.

Others are Joel Grimes, Kara Marie, Jeremy Cowart, Linday Adler, Annie Leibovitz, Peter Lindbergh, Richard Avedon, and Henri Cartier-Bresson (my first love was black-and-white street photography). There are so many who have left a legacy that has greatly impacted me.  

Where do you see your business in the next 5 years?   

I see myself continuing to photograph what I love, which is contemporary portraits, boudoir and branding. I want to take more headshots in my studio with second shooters. I’m also a natural coach and leader. I see myself becoming a photography educator by creating online masterminds and hosting workshops and retreats. I have a great desire to give back and hopefully make the path a little easier for those who are a few steps behind me. Hiring mentors every time I was stuck is how I got through and built a multiple six figure studio. 

The Portrait System Podcast helps portrait photographers navigate the world of photography, business, money, and much more. Hosted by Nikki Closser, the podcast is powered by The Portrait System, a comprehensive, online educational platform that teaches all aspects of running a successful portrait photography studio. If you’d like to be a guest on The Portrait System Podcast, send them a voice message. 

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