Portrait Photography - Targeting Tourists As a Customer Base

Are you an existing photographer looking for additional customers or a new photographer looking to start a photography business? In either case you may want to take a look at targeting the tourism industry which accounted for $772.9 billion dollars of the US economy in 2008.

Why Target Tourists?

Tourists travel or vacation in every state in droves each year spending their money on activities, food and lodging, but to what extent?

Did you know that Idaho brings in 20 million visitors annually and that in 2008, in the midst of one of the largest recessions in United States history California had 338 million visitors generating $97.6 billion; even Delaware had 8.1 million visitors in 2008. Tourism is one of the largest bread winners for every state in the union and a therefore a great industry to draw photography customers from.

Why Tourists are a Profitable Customer Base

Tourists have the Magic Formula: Time + Money = Bookings

What are the most obvious reasons for people not booking a portrait photography shoot while at home? The infamous objections, "I don't have enough time" or "I don't have enough money", stop people from getting portraits while at home. The great thing about people on vacation is that they have time, and they plan on having fun, so they have money to spend on activities.

Now, if you use popular tourist locations as backdrops for getting family, couples or senior portraits taken you have a customer base for your photography business and the perfect backdrop.

What Tourist Attraction Do I have Near Me?

Look at your states website, and find out how many people go to each tourist attraction near you each year and run the numbers of how many customers you could generate.

Here is an example of targeting tourism using New York's Central Park as a customer base:

Let's say you live in New York City a ½ hour commute to Central Park. Central Park commands 25 million visitors annually. If you can generate 1 photo shoot from just 1 in every 100,000 people going to that location you will generate 250 shoots per year.

Now Compare the Destination Photography Business Model (tapping into tourism customers) to a Standard Business Model:

Let's also say you live in New York City and are advertising to the local community within a ½ hour commute of where you live for standard portrait photography. The total population of New York City is 8.3 million, already 16.7 million less than your potential target of Central Park tourists of 25 million. Now how many potential customers live within a ½ hour commute of where you live in New York City, let's estimate 2 million. Even at 2 million potential photography customers that is still a pool 12.5 times smaller than that of Central Park tourists.

Now here is the important factor that makes the destination photography business model so appealing. These potential 25 million customers for Central Park Photography are also partially qualified in that they have the magic formula for deciding to book a photography session: Time + Money = Bookings.

In most instances you will not have a tourism draw as flooded as Central Park for your target. Every state has at least one attraction that is a viable draw for tourism based portrait photography.

Here are just a few potential examples:

Grand Canyon Family Photography
California Wine Country Portraits
Bryce Canyon National Park Family Photography
French Quarter Portrait Photography - New Orleans
Miami Beach Family Photography
Yellowstone National Park Family Photography

(Use your areas beautiful natural or man made backdrops as your photography studio)

Photographers need to understand that families and couples spend the year, sometimes a lifetime, planning a vacation and people want professional photographs to commemorate the event (if someone was offering them) or to have photos with backdrop they have been dreaming about during their special trip.

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