How to become a high end photographer

Although most photographers compete on price, many of those same photographers dream of being high end.

Kinda paradoxical, right?

So, if you want to drag yourself up the photography food chain, what do you do?

First of all, let’s look at the definition of ‘High-end’:

“Denoting the most expensive of a range of products”.

There are two key words there: ‘expensive’ and ‘range’.

I’m a high-end photographer in my low income city because I’m at the top of the range in my area. But I wouldn’t be considered high end in the world’s great metropolises.

I’m here to help ambitious photographers rise to the top of their own personal ‘range’.

Here are some of the key strategies and philosophies behind becoming a high end photographer.


You have to FEEL worthy.

Your biggest competitor is in your head when striving to become a high end photographer.

It’s our hang-ups that undermine us.

  • I’m not worthy
  • I’m not that good
  • No-one will pay that much
  • Why would someone pay me more than that talented cheap photographer down the street?

It doesn’t matter what strategies and tactics you use if you can’t slay your inner demons. Check out our free ebook that reveals ‘The 12 things holding you back from a great photography career’


You have to BE worthy

I don’t want you to fall into the trap of thinking that only the ‘best’ photographer gets to charge the most. After all, who’s to say what the ‘best’ is? High end photographers aren’t always the most talented or the most experienced. And there are a lot of struggling photographers who are extremely talented.

However, you’ll struggle to find a high end wedding or portrait photographer who isn’t at least better than average for their area.

Any honourable photographer wants to be the best they can be. But once you’re consistently providing great quality images it will be your service, your marketing and your sales skills that will make you the leading photographer in your area.

Speaking of service…


You have to ACT worthy

Acting the part consists of several things:

  • Offering high quality printing, framing and albums. I use One Vision Imaging.
  • Your service should go above and beyond what other photographers do. Meet portrait clients to plan the session with them rather than making it up on the day. Show clients their photographs in person rather than doing online sales or simply burning a CD. Use ProSelect software to show clients their photographs ‘virtually’ on the walls of their home…. …The list goes on. The more things you do differently the harder it becomes for photographers to copy you and the more you’ll attract the clients who want something special.
  • Your studio or home should be conducive to what a high end client would expect. I know some high end photographers who do everything on location and at the clients home – from the design consultation through to the in-person sales. So don’t feel that a lack of studio or swanky home precludes you from aiming for the top. However, a well appointed studio certainly helps create the required image.
  • You have to look the part. We all judge a book by its cover. Dress sharp whenever you’re with a client – unless of course you’re rolling around in the woods for an Autumn leaves portrait session. You can dress like a bohemian creative type once you’re as famous as Johnny Depp – not before! Remember, you’re trying to attract high end clients – shorts and a Metallica T-shirt probably isn’t going to cut it.Using the right language in your marketing and in person. Use language that shows you value your craft and that you have confidence in your talents. Mirror the language each client is using. People tend to book people who they can relate to and like. We tend to like and relate to people who are like us. So, if you’re going to book high end clients you need to speak on their terms.


Move in the right circles

“You’re the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with”

Jim Rohn

You're the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with - Jim Rohn Click To Tweet


If you don’t know people who would ever invest in high end photography it makes it a little harder to connect with the people who do. If you’re never around those people it’s harder to relate to them or establish your name.

Strategically networking with businesses and organisations who share your target market is an excellent way of getting your business in front of the right kind of people.

In addition to business alliances I go to networking groups, I joined The Rotary Club and I support charity ball fundraisers.

With services like wedding and portrait photography people prefer to hire people they know and like, or that their friends know and like and recommend.

You can’t hide behind your laptop if you want to reach the top. You’ve got to get out and meet people, help the community and support your local businesses and charities.

We show our members exactly how to do it in Get Pro Photo Club.