Business + Marketing

Three Secrets to Portrait Photography Success from Roberto Valenzuela

July 5, 2022

By Abbey Pleviak

In this episode of The Portrait System Podcast, host Nikki Closser speaks with Canon Explorer of Light and author of seven books, Roberto Valenzuela, about his three secrets to portrait photography success.

Valenzuela began his career as a classical guitarist and teacher while putting himself through college for business and economics. He then returned to teaching—this time covering the topics of business, economics, and entrepreneurship for high schoolers. When his class received a grant to incubate a business, the students chose photography, and Valenzuela fell in love. He believes anyone can become a successful photographer if they set their mind to it. But creating a sustainable business requires going even further.

Valenzuela says, “If you’re a portrait photographer listening to this, I’m telling you, you can make a good living, but you’re not going to get there if you are average.”

Valenzuela shares three secrets for success that can help portrait photographers make it to the top:

  1. They must have a relentless dedication to improving their craft and becoming the best photographer they can be.
  2. They must honestly care for their clients and believe that the work they are doing matters.
  3. They must develop their business acumen, creating demand for their services and not being too shy to promote themselves.

Valenzuela firmly believes if photographers put in the work, they can, without a doubt, create a successful portrait photography business. To do this, he strongly recommends photographers to find masterful photography instructors who can show them how to not just mimic their teachers but to apply lessons uniquely to their own style and needs. Furthermore, photographers must believe in themselves and be willing to go beyond their fears to seize the opportunities in front of them. He says if a photographer is having trouble getting their business off the ground, understanding the three areas to success can help them identify where they are falling short so that they can put in the work to turn their business around.

Roberto Valenzuela podcast promo on portrait photography success.

You can learn more about Roberto Valenzuela on his website.

The Portrait System Podcast helps with portrait photographer success as image-makers 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.