How to Make Money with Outdoor Photoshoots

There's a common misconception that without a studio, photographers are limited in what services they can offer. But let's debunk that myth right here and now!

A professional photographer enjoying an outdoor photoshoot with a client

Did you know that you can run a thriving photography business even without a fancy studio space? Outdoor photography sessions can be your ticket to success, with endless opportunities to offer unforgettable moments for your clients while earning a satisfactory income.

Today, we'll introduce you to the world of outdoor photography and uncover how you can monetise your skills without the need for a studio. From breathtaking natural landscapes to urban backdrops, there's a wealth of potential waiting for you outside!

Studio vs. outdoor

There's a common misconception that without a studio, photographers are limited in what services they can offer. But let's debunk that myth right here and now! There's very little you can do in a studio that you can't do outdoors.

In fact, outdoor settings offer a variety of advantages that studios simply can't match. The natural light, seasonal scenery, and authentic backdrops all contribute to creating unforgettable memories for clients. Imagine the soft glow of sunrise casting a golden hue or vibrant colours of fall foliage... Outdoor photoshoots allow you to harness the beauty of nature to elevate your work.

However, whether you're a wedding photographer, specialised in family portraits, or wildlife - each session also presents its own set of challenges as well as rewards. But fear not! With the right approach and a sprinkle of creativity, you can turn any outdoor setting into your personal studio.

Location scouting

One advantage of outdoor photography sessions is the wide variety of locations that are available to you. Whether you're living in a big city or the countryside, spend some time researching and scouting for potential outdoor locations that align with your photography style and niche.

Depending on your niche, you can find places with eye-catching backdrops, good lighting, and a unique ambience. Think public parks, countryside landscapes, nature reserves, or beaches! These are all great options to consider.

If you're based in a historical or tourist hotspot, you might be sitting on a goldmine of potential shooting locations! From iconic landmarks to hidden gems in plain sight, these settings offer endless opportunities to capture stunning photos. With the built-in appeal of these iconic locations, these landmarks provide the perfect backdrop to stand out from the crowd.

One of the advantages of shooting in these locations is that you not only attract local clients but also have the chance to appeal to an international audience. Tourists visiting the area are often on the lookout for professional photographers to capture their vacation memories, and what better way to entice them than by showcasing your work against the backdrop of famous landmarks?

Of course, shooting in hotspots comes with its own set of challenges, including navigating crowds, dealing with permits and regulations, and finding unique angles to avoid clichés. However, with a bit of creativity and perseverance, you can turn these challenges into opportunities. Danni, a fellow professional photographer, generously shared her expert advice on managing peak times during outdoor shoots. Read her insightful tips in our previous blog post to learn from her experience.

While the great outdoors may be inspiring, it also presents hazards that photographers need to be mindful of. From unpredictable weather situations to crowded landmarks, there are several factors to consider to ensure both your safety and the happiness of your clients.

Let's get technical

Before venturing into outdoor photography sessions, it's important to have a solid understanding of your camera and the technicalities that may influence the outcome of your photoshoots.

As many professional photographers will point out first, understanding exposure is crucial for capturing consistently good photos in various lighting conditions. Make sure to familiarise yourself with the exposure triangle, by adjusting these settings, you can control the amount of light entering your camera and achieve the desired exposure.

Keep in mind that outdoor lighting can vary significantly, especially during different times of the day and in different weather conditions. Understanding white balance and how to set it correctly will ensure accurate colour reproduction in your photos. We strongly recommend shooting in RAW format to adjust the white balance during post-processing.

Finally, creating visually appealing compositions is essential for outdoor photography sessions. You might not always escape the crowds but with a little editing help, you can avoid overcrowding your frame!

If you're unsure about what the conditions will be like, consider carrying additional essentials such as lens cleaning kits, extra memory cards, spare batteries, and a rain cover to protect your gear in case of unexpected weather changes.

Marketing your services

To attract potential clients, a stunning portfolio is essential. If you'd like to showcase your talent in outdoor photoshoots, don't hesitate to offer free or discounted outdoor photoshoots to friends, family, or even models. Upload the best shots from each session to your website or social media platforms to show your skills and creative style.

When it comes to pricing your services, it's best to research the market rates for similar services in your area to make sure your prices are competitive. Consider factors such as session duration, number of edited photos, and any additional services you may offer, such as printed albums or custom editing.

Alternatively, you can do a little bit of networking to boost your sales. By collaborating with local businesses, such as wedding planners, event organisers, or small boutiques, you can exchange referrals and cross-promote your services. Search for local networking events or photography meet-ups to meet and build relationships with fellow businesses. You can also utilise online platforms like Google My Business and Yelp to increase your visibility and reach in the local market!

Getting the best out of your marketing efforts with the Smiler Photographer Suite

If managing your own website or portfolio feels like a never-ending task or you're struggling to keep it up-to-date, Smiler Photographer Suite is the solution you've been searching for. This comprehensive suite offers a revolutionary storefront tool that significantly decreases the amount of time you spend on your website or portfolio.


A quick glance at Gesti's storefront

With a user-friendly interface, it serves as your all-in-one booking driver. By centralising all essential elements such as portfolio showcases, client testimonials, and booking functionality—the Smiler Photographer Suite's storefront simplifies the process of attracting and converting clients.

As your clients leave reviews, your credibility as a photographer grows helping you attract more clients and establish yourself as a trusted professional in your field - with minimal effort on your part.

Getting started: A step-by-step guide

Getting started with the Smiler Photographer Suite is super easy and fast.

  • Sign up for free through this link. No credit card required, no hidden fees.
  • Familiarise yourself with the array of features and tools within your account.
  • Start sending client galleries seamlessly.
  • Immediately start taking advantage of powerful tools such as storefront, international payment options and automated testimonial gathering.
The Smiler Photographer Suite
Designed for photographers who manage clients from Instagram, Airbnb and more. Streamline your bookings, payments, photo delivery and review collection in one easy-to-use platform.

Some practical tips

Check the weather: Keep a close eye on the weather forecast leading up to the shoot. While a little rain or snow can add character to your photos, severe weather conditions may necessitate rescheduling for safety reasons.

Pack the essentials: It's better to be over-prepared than caught off guard. Don't leave home without your essentials such as extra layers of clothing, sunscreen and a bottle of water.

Stay hydrated: Speaking of bottled water, outdoor shoots can be physically demanding in hotter months, so be sure to pack plenty of water and snacks to keep you fuelled throughout the day.

Mind your gear: Protect your camera equipment by investing in weatherproof protective bags or cases when not in use.

Know when to be there: Outdoor photos thrive on soft light with an even, diffused light for a dreamy look. Overcast days are perfect for this type of light when clouds act as your diffuser.

Now, get out there!

We strongly believe that photographers without a studio space can still offer excellent service and make money through outdoor photography sessions. Are you convinced to go out there and give outdoor photoshoots a try? Happy shooting!