Business + Marketing

Social Media Marketing & More: Sophia Barrett Q&A

June 6, 2023

By Abbey Pleviak

Nikki Closser of The Portrait System Podcast welcomed photographer Sophia Barrett back on the show for part two of their conversation, giving Barrett a chance to go in depth about her journey of switching from weddings to portraiture and why maternity portraits, in particular, inspire her. The main takeaways she shared involved the important role social media marketing involved in making that switch successful.


Barrett’s social media marketing tactics began with the ethos of “showing what you want to sell,” so she very carefully began posting less wedding images and more portraiture until she had phased out weddings altogether. In addition, Barrett shared that she boosts only Instagram posts that have already received the most engagement.

Barrett also uses Pinterest to get clients. By pinning about three times a day with images that link back to her website and also contain her Instagram handle, she finds it is not uncommon for people to see shares of those pins. They follow them back to her website and contact her for a booking — no matter where in the country they live.

[Read: Why Pinterest Could Be Your Best Promotional Tool]

50% of Barrett’s bookings come from referrals. Barrett says that in addition to the artistry and individualized attention she gives her clients, those referrals also come about because she and her staff create a spa-like environment where her clients feel 100% pampered and taken care of throughout the whole session.

Read about part one of Barrett’s Portrait System Podcast appearance here: Breathtaking Photos Starting at $4,500: The Secrets to Her Success.

Below, you’ll find a bonus Q&A where Barrett shares more about her business and advice for other photographers, including how to navigate the darker side of social media.

Sophia Barrett Q&A

Sophia Barrett

Most artists have a point in their lives when they know this is meant for them. Did you have that moment?  


When I was able to infuse my love for multiple genres of art into my portraiture, I started to feel a deep satisfaction with my work that I didn’t feel so much of before. I started my photography career as a wedding photographer. While I loved photographing weddings and events, I really didn’t feel a deep connection to my work. About 5 years ago, I shifted my business to focus primarily on maternity/motherhood portraiture and realized that I was able incorporate my ideas around motherhood, my love for fashion, abstract art, architecture, and interior design all into one final piece/image…… This is when things really started clicking for me!!! 

© Sophia Barrett

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


My advice would be to take inspiration from everyone and everything but be very careful with your intentions and state of mind. Social media is amazing, but it can also be dangerous. If you are not careful, it can sometimes rob you of your self-confidence and spontaneity. Paying too much attention to what others are doing around you can leave you feeling inadequate or out of your depth. Always remember that you should always dedicate time to keep your head down and focus on what truly inspires/speaks to you. Your voice and point of view is important. Don’t be afraid of expressing yourself in your work. 

© Sophia Barrett

Everyone has a favorite shoot – tell us about yours and why it’s your favorite. 


My favorite shoot is a recent surrogacy photoshoot that I had the pleasure of designing, directing and photographing. I worked with my team as well as the clients to develop every element. It was a big project that took us weeks to execute. Everything down to how the clients might feel under certain circumstances was considered. Something as sensitive as capturing clients and their surrogate in my opinion deserves a lot of thought and respect. I feel that I’m a little more sensitive to this because of my own infertility story. Everything came together so beautifully at the end with one of the concepts we came up with spontaneously while on set. I had the clients stand on either side of the surrogate. The surrogate continued to look at me while the clients looked at each other intently. We planned for blue fabric to come from the surrogate, wind around the arms of each client, and join them in front of where they stood. This moment was extremely powerful while on set. I couldn’t help but get choked up myself. I felt so extremely honored to capture all of it. 

© Sophia Barrett

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


In the next five years, I would like to have a much larger studio and train associate photographers to work in the same style as myself. I’m excited to pass down the knowledge that I’ve gained over time! I’m also looking forward to creating more pockets of time for me to spend with my family and myself.