What does it mean to be a destination portrait photographer?

For many photographers, the phrase “destination photographer” conjures up images of getaways to exotic locations. If you’re landlocked in the middle of a snowstorm, a warm sunny beach sounds amazing.

But being a destination photographer doesn’t mean you as a photographer have to travel to a new location to photograph. It can also mean you stay where you are – a highly traveled to destination spot – and you photograph the tourists coming to you.

Living here in Colorado, there’s plenty of opportunity. With some of the best ski resorts in the world, 10 national parks, 13 national forests, 42 state parks, and resorts ranging from camping grounds to four star hotels, we have a little of everything. And with close to 25 million making Colorado their destination every year, there is a lot of room for opportunity.

Destination Portrait Photography

So what is your area like? How many tourists visit your location every year? Even if you live in a small town, chances are you have a destination location somewhere around you – giving you opportunity to photograph and find a whole new niche.

Partner Up
Do a little research and find smaller businesses that cater to a specific type of tourist. Here in Colorado, we have a ton of dude ranches and small bed and breakfasts’ that have a unique type of visitor. Connect up with owners of several locations, and run a special to their visitors. Hand some of your portraits on the main lodge walls, and share images to put onto their website. You can even run cross promotions, and offer specials to your client base too.

Go Where The Tourists Go
If you are planning a vacation, where do you go? Chances are you buy a guidebook, and look through tourism sites online. Why not place an ad on those sites, and offer specials to incoming tourists? Get them to purchase your photography before they come to your locations. They’ll be excited for the portrait experience, and come equipped with the correct clothing.

Offer Quick Specials
Offer specials when tourism is at a high. If a dude ranch is sold out on a Saturday, you may be able to offer last minute specials on Friday night. If the dude ranch will let you promote with a booth over the dinner hour, you may get a few families willing to head out to the great outdoors Saturday morning for a unique portrait experience.

If a family is traveling on vacation, they have money to spend, and aren’t currently facing some of the problems today’s economy is raising on other families. And because resorts are often home to family reunions and get togethers, its also a great way to reach out to people that may not get together all the time – giving them even more reason to decide on a family portrait.

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