September 28, 2023


Design Plan Love

Images Advertising Ways: What Works and What Does not?

Getting your work in entrance of the individuals who can rent you is actually one in all my least favourite issues to spend time on, however it’s essential to getting employed. Individuals can’t rent you in the event that they don’t know you exist, proper? Enter Images Advertising—to achieve enterprise, there are particular techniques you might want to make use of to market your model.

It doesn’t matter what style of images you end up in, advertising must be a part of your weekly to-do listing. 

That being mentioned, advertising your industrial work is a special ball recreation than say, your marriage ceremony or household images; industrial shoppers are often company manufacturers and advert companies, versus non-public residents. 

Whereas there isn’t a assured advertising methodology, I can share what I’ve discovered works greatest for me as a photographer primarily within the industrial magnificence world.

Let’s break down Images Advertising into two primary classes.

1. Casting a Large Web

There are a selection of providers you need to use that can both listing your information in a database or sourcebook (like Found or Workbook), or provide you with entry to a database of potential shoppers and make contact with information (akin to Agency Access, Yodelist or Wonderful Machine). 

A couple of years in the past, I made a decision to make the leap and use one in all these providers. On the time, I had been contacted by each Company Entry and Discovered. 

To present you an concept about what every service affords:

Company Entry is a service that allows you to faucet right into a database of shopper contact information—advert companies, magazines, industrial and company shoppers, and many others. You might have the power to make contact lists and use their service to design and schedule e-promos, for which they supply metrics. They’ve regional, continental and global plans and fees

Discovered is a service the place you pay a month-to-month membership payment to be listed in a web based listing that’s accessible by creatives seeking to rent. You possibly can then pay à la carte for issues like promo mailers, being included of their sourcebook and consulting periods.

Whereas Company Entry and Discovered are related, the primary distinction to notice is that with the previous, you get entry to their database, whereas with the latter, you’re of their database for others to entry.

[Read: 5 Fixes to Weak Marketing ROI for Photographers]

Each are an funding, however I in the end determined to go along with Company Entry. I felt being able to make use of this useful resource to create advertising lists and having templates to assist with the promos would give me extra bang for my buck. In full disclosure, this was the primary time I had ever critically considered advertising, and it appeared like Company Entry may give me extra leads. 

My Advertising Expertise Utilizing a Database

I caught with Company Entry for 3 years and saved altering my methods, however I by no means bought any tangible outcomes—as in, I by no means had a shopper ebook me from receiving one in all my e-promos. 

That’s to not say that I didn’t garner any helpful info. My first 12 months in, I made a enormous listing, with contacts in a wide range of fields—vogue, magnificence, editorial portraiture—and I despatched everybody the identical promo. 

marketing promos
One in every of my first promos, the place I attempted to select a picture that will resonate with everybody on my listing.

Upon inspecting all my metrics for the 12 months, I noticed that my decrease “click-through” and better unsubscribe charges have been doubtless attributed to the truth that the imagery I used to be utilizing merely wasn’t related to nearly all of the contacts. 

To treatment this, I made a decision to make three separate lists for every style. This made it simpler to pick extra focused imagery.

I Am A Photographer promo
angela marklew's marketing promos
photography marketing tactics
A set of promos that I despatched to magnificence (high), portrait (center) and vogue (above) contacts, respectively. This additionally exhibits a mixture of private and shopper work.

I caught with this methodology for the second and third years, and though I nonetheless wasn’t receiving inquiries based mostly on these promos, my metrics did inform me that the focused imagery was working. Extra recipients have been clicking by to my web site.

Photography Marketing promos
My most profitable promo, by way of response. It comprised purely private work.

Images Advertising: How It Breaks Down

Like something, there are good issues and not-so-good issues to using this methodology of promoting.  


  • Theoretically, it places your work in entrance of an enormous viewers of potential shoppers.
  • It’s fast and straightforward as a result of the legwork of gathering contacts has been performed for you.
  • You possibly can simply tracks the metrics so you may see which potential shoppers are taking a look at your work.
  • The system is extremely straightforward to make use of and as soon as your lists are made, there’s an choice to obtain them to your laptop.


  • There’s no option to know if the shoppers you need are seeing your work.  Whilst you can see the variety of “bounce-backs” in your metrics, it’s unattainable to know in case your promo has been filtered into unsolicited mail.
  • Though new contacts have been often added, the database didn’t at all times have essentially the most up-to-date info
  • It’s not as profitable for photographers taking pictures in a particular area of interest, as your variety of potential contacts may be a really small portion of all the database.  
  • When it comes time for renewal, you get a barrage of emails and telephone calls—I’m not a fan of the “laborious promote,” so that is actually off-putting.

The choice to cease utilizing Company Entry got here as soon as I made a decision to specialise in magnificence images. I didn’t really feel the funding was definitely worth the variety of beauty-related contacts they offered, they usually weren’t including many new contacts to this group. 

Nonetheless, whereas the providers themselves didn’t present me with the outcomes I hoped for, the precise useful resource (i.e. contact listing) did assist me out as soon as I modified methods to a focused strategy.

2. Taking a Focused Strategy

This implies sending particular person emails to potential shoppers. Admittedly, this can be a a lot bigger funding of time, however it has been my most profitable methodology. 

I exploit three assets (two of which anybody has entry to):

My Advertising Record

With my advertising listing acquired by Company Entry, I already had the e-mail addresses of a pair hundred contacts within the magnificence trade. I began with the manufacturers I needed to work with most and labored my means out from there. The physique of my e mail introduces myself and my work, and says one thing particular and complimentary concerning the model. I maintain it quick and candy. For manufacturers (or advert companies) situated in Los Angeles, the place I’m based mostly, I wrap it up by saying I’d like to arrange a gathering with them.


Once I come throughout a model, firm or publication that I’d prefer to work with—often through the web or Instagram—I’ll seek for staff of that model through LinkedIn and ship a pleasant be aware with my connection request. I’ll additionally periodically undergo the contacts in my advertising listing and attempt to join with these folks through LinkedIn as nicely (if I haven’t been getting a response through e mail).

As soon as they settle for, I’ll ship a second message correctly introducing myself and my work. One factor to notice: you will need to “join” with somebody (in LinkedIn parlance) with the intention to see their contact information. If the e-mail listed is a piece handle, I’ll add them to my grasp contact listing. If it’s a private e mail handle, I’ll solely add it if the individual works freelance.


Lastly, I exploit Instagram to seek out e mail addresses. This could show to be extra of a chance as a result of usually, it’s a basic “information@” or “social@” handle; for smaller manufacturers, although, there’s doubtless an individual on the opposite finish. I’ve additionally tried DM-ing manufacturers, however until they’re already following me, the possibilities of them seeing my message are slim. 

[Read: 5 $teps for Pivoting Your Photo Brand Towards More Profit]

This methodology of promoting does require far more of a time funding, however I obtain a a lot larger share of responses by sending a private e mail. Typically, I’m pleasantly shocked to seek out that the recipient is already accustomed to my work, both through social media or by e-promos that they’ve obtained from me prior to now.

So Which Is It?

Though you may go for simply one of many strategies I’ve described above, I noticed over time that essentially the most success for me got here from integrating them each. The e-promos begin to get your identify in entrance of individuals frequently. Then, once you ship those self same folks a private e mail, there’s already a facet of familiarity, even when it’s on a unconscious degree. 

This 12 months, I’ll be sending e-promos each three months to a small listing of potential magnificence shoppers in each L.A. and New York Metropolis, utilizing MailChimp to handle my listing. Within the interim, I’ll be sending private emails to both attempt to make new contacts or comply with up with somebody who has opened my e-promo. 

My forays into advertising took some time to begin paying off, however this previous 12 months, I bought extra response than I ever had earlier than.  

Images Advertising Ideas:

Be affected person

Advertising strategies at all times take some time to begin working, and it’s 90 % about timing. I not too long ago booked the most important job of my profession up to now by a LinkedIn message. When the shopper bought my be aware, she simply occurred to be planning the model’s subsequent shoot.

Make a advertising schedule for the 12 months

Record when your e-promos will exit after which decide a time once you’ll comply with up with the those that opened your e mail. Test your metrics, and set day by day targets as nicely. I usually attempt to discover one potential model to achieve out to day by day through Instagram, and I exploit LinkedIn to request connections with 5 folks. If you break it down to provide your self small duties day-after-day, it doesn’t appear as daunting.

Take note of job titles

Just because somebody works at an advert company or journal doesn’t imply they rent photographers. Begin with artwork consumers, artistic administrators, artwork administrators at advert companies and firms. and photograph editors at magazines.

Don’t neglect about your visuals!

This must be apparent, however ensure that to maintain your web site updated. You at all times need to make it look recent for potential shoppers who might have already seen it. Equally, ensure that the work is related to the folks you’re reaching out to. 

Sharing private vs. shopper work.

It’s at all times laborious to guage what a possible shopper may need to see. I’ve used each private and shopper work in e mail promos, and I discover that I persistently get extra response to my private work. As an alternative of making an attempt to determine what your contact listing may need to see, ship the kind of work that you just need to be taking pictures.

Keep in mind, relating to advertising, minimal work nearly at all times equates to minimal reward.

Images Advertising Assets:

Shopper Database Providers

Agency Access 
Wonderful Machine 

Listing Providers


Electronic mail Providers

Constant Contact

Angela Marklew is a magnificence, vogue and portrait photographer based mostly in Venice, California, who excels at images advertising. Earlier than she was a photographer, she labored as a chemist testing explosives for the Canadian authorities.