WORKING WITH high-end clients is the aspiration of many professional photographers. But these clients are not the easiest to book, nor are they quick to opt for just anyone advertising their services. Tapping into the high-end market takes dedication, time, skill, and the right approach. If you’re keen to position your brand to these clients you need to follow these tips to establish your reputation in this niche.

1. Adjust your branding to boost your appeal to a luxury high-end market

If you want to attract high-end clients, you’ll need to adjust your branding in such a way that shows an uncompromising standard of sheer opulence and prestige. There are reasons some of the best-known international luxury brands don’t incorporate words like ‘cheap,’ ‘easy’ or ‘free’ in their campaigns. Doing so reinforces the idea that what they sell is common and easily attainable. High-end clients need to be convinced of your experience and understanding of what luxury really means: how it looks, what it feels like and why they should aim to obtain it. Gearing your brand to appeal to people who already appreciate the finer things in life will make your pitches much slicker.

5. Align yourself with high-end brands

In the luxury market, who you know really does play a significant role in how easy it might be to book clients. They want to know that you are a part of their world. The best way you can find to do that is to align yourself with other high-end brands that reflect the same standard of quality that your hoped-for clients do. Indeed, you can only work one step at a time. But actively aiming to work for, and alongside, other brands or photographers that have forged a solid reputation in the luxury sphere will add gravitas to your own reputation and make you a more attractive person to hire.

6. Invest in state-ofthe-art equipment

Luxury is about the best of the best. Sometimes achieving the necessary level of quality is only possible through the use of exceptional equipment. Slowly building up a collection of state-of-the-art gear to support your career as a high-end photographer, even if you go down the used kit route to achieve it, will increase your chances of success

2. Curate your portfolio

The visual component of your portfolio will have a significant impact on how many high-end clients you impress. Images and videos have an incredible way
of communicating ideas and aspirations. You need to utilise them as a means of making a connection with potential clients. By choosing visuals that showcase an ideal lifestyle of luxury and elitism, you are communicating how well you understand what clients are looking for in a brand photographer. A strong portfolio is the key to making a positive impression with luxury-loving clients.

3. Strategically structure your pricing

Even though hiking up your prices might not initially seem like a sensible thing to do, higher rates can indicate a higher level of quality to potential clients. High-end clients are not just comfortable with exorbitant rates, they anticipate them. In the world of luxury, high costs equate to high value. Value is extremely important to clients within this financial and social
bracket. Charging rates that are too low may come across as a lack of experience or indicate a below-average project delivery. If you want to rope in high-end clients, you’ll need to get comfortable charging appropriately high rates. Doing so will advertise your competency and affirm expectations of a high-quality product.

4. Create luxury shoot packages

You can attract some very prestigious clients by curating photography shoot packages that cater to their esteemed high-end lifestyle. Luxury branding is all about finesse and extravagance, not modesty and restraint.

High-end clients don’t mind paying for exclusive, expensive packages if it means that you’ll give them an above-and-beyond result. Cutting corners isn’t really a priority for large scale luxury brands with opulent budgets. You might make yourself a more attractive photographer to work with if you provide all-inclusive packages that cover every little detail. The sense of abundance and lavishness that a well-curated branding package can bring is more likely to magnetise high-end clients than offering cheaper, compartmentalised alternatives.

Even just making plans for future investment can make all the difference to your career in the long run. Luxury clients want to know that they are getting what they pay for. Using state-of-the-art gear – and making sure the client is aware of the fact – will display both your experience and the likelihood of delivering an outstanding result.

7. Look the part

In any industry, there are certain characteristics, objects and social skills required for networking success. In the luxury brand industry, putting forward a version of yourself that is undaunted by wealth will help them relate to you better and increase their likelihood of trusting you with their brand. Do some thorough personal and professional research on the top dogs in your target market. Make it your mission to emulate the same look and feel that they do. Everything from your branding to your invoices needs to exude confidence and class.

Luxury brands are all about exclusivity. You’re either in, or you’re out. Blending in and showing that you’re a part of their world is going to make booking the clients you want much easier throughout your career.

8. Network in the right circles

Networking is a critical part of any business strategy, no matter how big or small you happen to be. The people behind the faces of brands are who you want to know. You’re not going to make any friends by sitting alone at the party. Go to the functions, go to the parties and attend any conferences pertaining to your photographic career that you can find. The more familiar your face is to the rest of the luxury branding community, the faster you’ll find work and the more robust your credentials will be.

Participation in the industry is  key to getting a foot in the door before your career is truly able to launch. Make sure your social and professional game is watertight, and show it off wherever you go. High-end clients may not always be an easy market to target, but if you position yourself correctly, you’ll eventually be able to find your niche.

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