Business + Marketing

Website Essentials: Making It Easier to Get Hired

August 20, 2019

By Michelle Lange

© Michelle Lange Photography

Not too long ago I traveled to northern California with my family for a vacation just before my sister’s wedding. It was our first time in California and we wanted to hire someone to photograph our family. My 18-month-old daughter changed so much since we last had our photos done, and I didn’t know when we would ever get to California again as a family.

I thought finding a family photographer in northern California with a similar style to my own would be easy. In fact, my search took so long that I actually thought I wouldn’t book someone. It wasn’t until three days prior to the start of our vacation that I hired someone from Canada to fly down and take our family photos.

It was more than just the style that was hard to find; I noticed many photographers were missing some crucial details to help get found and stand out. You might not even realize that you’re one such photographer! Read on to see that your website is ticking each of the following boxes.

1. Where exactly are you based and what areas do you serve?

I didn’t quite realize how important this piece of information was until I was looking for a photographer on the opposite side of the country. In my case in particular, simply stating that you are based in California is not specific enough. The two pieces of information that you need to make very clear on your website, social media and any Google business listings are the exact city you are based in and the areas that you serve.

You can never have this information in enough places. Make it easy for your potential clients to find you and know exactly where you work.

I encourage destination photographers to do the same. You may spend all your time on the road or in the air, but it is nice for potential clients to know where home is and where you will be traveling from—something simple like, “Based in Miami. Photographing luxury destination weddings and events worldwide.” Your portfolio of locations should do most of the talking in terms of where you’ve been, but stating you travel for your work makes it extremely clear that you go where your clients want you to go. If you do travel frequently and also book sessions during your travels, keep your travel dates updated on your website and social media pages. 

2. Have an updated portfolio.

Does your instagram feed match the work on your website? I visited one photographer’s Instagram account and loved the work that I saw. Then I went to their website and it looked like a completely different photographer.

It’s possible that they recently transitioned to a different style, but this discrepancy was very off-putting: Clients need to know what they will be getting. Keeping your portfolio consistent across all channels will make sure there is no room for aesthetics and expectations to get lost in translation. 

My headshot. Photo © Judy Pak

3. Show a professional photo of your face.

Have you ever heard the saying, “You are your business”? Maybe I am the only person who thinks this is important, but when I was looking around, I wanted to see who I was potentially hiring. Not their hair. Not their hands. Not some photo of the Mona Lisa. I wanted to see them. I connect better with someone’s face. You are your business, and you need to show your potential clients that. 

4. Provide a more direct way to email you.

Not everyone who wants to get in touch with you is booking a wedding or portrait session. Sometimes your form is just plain wrong for their purposes.

This came up when I was reaching out to a wedding photographer for family portraits. I saw they hadpreviously shot family portraits thanks to their updated portfolio, but their contact form was only catering to nuptials. I didn’t have a wedding date. I didn’t have a planner (although, sometimes I feel like I could use a coordinator for my family photos). 

Having an email plainly spelled out on your website makes it easy for people to get in touch with you about something beyond the limits of your contact form. Some people just prefer this way of reaching out in general. Give them the option, and have your email listed everywhere you can be found.

Michelle Lange is a wedding and newborn photographer and educator based in Albany, NY.


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