How to get high budget photography clients!

Let’s unpack it together in this photography tutorial.

Video tutorial to get highs budget photography clients using retainers

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Book higher budget long-term clients!

How to get larger paid projects and returning clients using retainers

You want your clients and photography projects to make you more money, so use these tips to lock in those high budget clients!

Chris Pieta in this tutorial talks about turning low budget pitches into high paying return customers!

Make more money and get larger photography projects using retainers!

What is a retainer?

A retainer is an extended contract over a period of time.

In Chris’ example, this could look like 10 photos for $1000, but on a retainer contract could instead be that 10 photos for 12 months, making you 10x as much money from the same client.

It’s offering the set service, reoccurring for a set amount of time.

To do this, you need to define these specifics with your client:

  1. What you’re offering
  2. How often you’re offering it
  3. How long you’re offering it for

Make more money with photography clients using retainers to keep the projects longer term


Make more money with photography clients Tip #1: Package your retainer offer

Always be offering package for your clients, instead of just a once off service. Inside of the package, you can offer extras like quicker turnaround, more updates or online status updates, etc. 

Incentivise your package with a discount.

Clients will be more likely to go with your offer and commit to something like working with you for 12 months if it’s cheaper than 12 one-off services. 

So by offering the 12 month package at a discount, you will make a little bit less money but you will gain a locked-in client and guaranteed income for that time.

Offer a discount for the ongoing retainer as an incentive


Make more money with photography clients Tip #2: Retainers Dangers to avoid

Don’t take every client that wants a retainer, or you might be stuck with a difficult client for the term of their contract. 

Do a one time project with each client to make sure they are a good client, and this allows them to see that you are worth signing onto an ongoing contract as well.

If you can’t turn down a certain offer for a project on retainer, ask some questions before you lock it in to try to find out more about them as a client.

Ask them why they stopped working with their previous photographer. If they haven’t been able to get along with any of their previous photographers, that is a red flag. 

Also make sure the payment terms are clear as to how often you’ll be paid and when payment is due (like monthly on the 1st, etc). That way you can follow up if you are waiting to be paid and not do work that you haven’t been paid for.


Make more money with photography clients by locking in the retainer contract

Make more money with photography clients Tip #3: How to Pitch the Retainer

If you have decided on your core offer, how you will package it, and know the client situations to avoid, you are ready to pitch your retainer offer.

Pitching the retainer option to clients can be difficult. When first talking to a client about a project, you can mention that there is a discount if they want a retainer package. 

If they seem interested, you can keep telling them the options. If not, you can do a one off project with the client and see if they are good to work with.

Then bring up the retainer again as a follow up if that project goes well.

Tell them the specific retainer offer you think will be right for them. Include a retainer client testimony from someone who used this offer and were able to increase their sales, or whatever value they got from it.

Then get the contract ready and work out all the terms and details.

Make more money with photography clients using retainers

Turn once-off projects into high paying long term deals using retainers!

Using the retainer model is the best way to increase the amount of money you can make per project and per client. 

Want to improve your photography skills? Check out this comprehensive guide!

Which of these retainer tips will you use to get higher budget clients?

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