Building Blocks: Elena S Blair’s On-Location Family Photo Business
June 14, 2022
Elena S Blair has been an on-location lifestyle photographer for the past 10 years, and she is adamant that charging professional prices does not depend on having a studio. "it's about the professional experience that you provide and the product, of course," she explains. When it comes to locations, she provides options of beach, park, urban, mountain, or field. (Scroll through for examples of Blair’s on-location work.)
In this episode of The Portrait System Podcast, host Nikki Closser speaks with Seattle, Washington-based lifestyle photographer Elena S Blair about how she has built a successful on-location family photography business with no lighting equipment or studio space—all her family and newborn shoots take place on location.
Like many professional photographers who are also mothers, Blair became interested in photography when she had her first child. Her professional experience as newborn intensive care nurse has contributed to her passion for photographing newborns and their families. Blair says that success in the business of photography depends most of all on understanding yourself and your personal style. Add to that understanding your client and you have a recipe for success.
“It’s actually just about knowing who your ideal client is, knowing what they need, and serving them really well,” Blair explains. “And then you can just charge whatever you want because they will pay top dollar for what you have because you have exactly what they need.”
For Blair, that boils down to keeping things simple for her busy clients who have active families or are living with the challenges of bringing a newborn baby home. All her newborn shoots happen in the family’s home, and she has her location shoots narrowed down to six or seven locations that she is intimately familiar with so that she never has to guess where to park or where the light will be best. Additionally, charging one flat rate for all her services makes her efficient about capturing and delivering what she offers, and it removes all doubts for her clients when it comes time to buy.
You can learn more about Blair’s on-location family photography business and her educational programs for photographers at: Elena S Blair Photography, Elena S Blair Education, Behind the Scenes: Lifestyle Family, and Behind the Scenes: Lifestyle Newborns.
The Portrait System Podcast helps portrait photographers navigate the world of photography, business, money, and much more. Hosted by Nikki Closser, the podcast is powered by The Portrait System, a comprehensive, online educational platform that teaches all aspects of running a successful portrait photography studio.