- 01. Determine Your Student's Profiles
- 02. Photo Class: Developing Your Student Network Thanks to Word of Mouth
- 03. Writing a Classified for your Photography Lessons
- 04. Photography Classes: Finding Students at Art Schools
- 05. Photography Class: Find Students Online
- 06. Other Considerations for Your Photogprahy Tutoring Business
- 07. Start Getting Photography Clients
"A picture is better than a thousand words," Confucius
Do you dream of transmitting your knowledge in the field of photography? What if you became a private tutor or started online tutoring jobs?
To begin your activity as a private photo tutor, it is necessary above all to find pupils interested in your artform! There are dozens of ways to find students willing to seriously immerse themselves in the art of photography or studio photography. A small handful of students is often enough to build a tutor's solid reputation.
Follow our tips for finding students for photo classes!
Determine Your Student's Profiles
Target A Certain Type of Student From the Start
To make sure you find the right tutor in just a few days of research, it's all about targeting according to your expectations... Teaching digital photography, image processing, or studio portraits requires some work beforehand. If your ad is well written and aimed at a targeted audience, you will be more likely to catch the eye of great photographers in the making.
There are three levels of students in photography:
- At the beginner level, students, looking for a photo intro course to learn the basics of photography (landscape photo, white balance, black and white photo, contrast...),
- At the intermediate level, students who seek to deepen their basic knowledge in photography (framing, exposure time, automatic mode and manual mode, depth of field, shutter speed...),
- The advanced or expert level, students looking to become pro photographers with advanced photography training (portrait photography, night photography, film photography, photo editing in post-production ...).
- Do you prefer to teach beginner students or photo experts?
Here, everything is a question of logic:
- For a beginner's course, look for students and adults from all walks of life who want to improve their artistic knowledge.
- For an advanced level, orient yourself towards art schools (also, art associations, photography forums...).
On your ad, you will need to indicate the level of your course while remaining attractive to beginners in photography! You may also want to mention your price... find out how to set your rates competitively!
Determine your Class's Content and Specialty
When looking for a teacher, students look first and foremost at the contents of the photo lessons! The photo lesson contents must be clearly described and explained on your ad, while remaining concise as to not lose the attention of future students. Students will be able to study the different possibilities according to the training you propose.
So do remember to indicate your specialties as a photographer when writing your ad:
- Digital SLR,
- Animal photo,
- Image editing,
- History of photography,
- Culinary photo,
- Natural light,
- Long pose in a photo studio,
- Fashion photo,
- Wedding photo...
It is also essential to specify the duration of the lessons, whether it is an intensive photo workshop or a long-term course. In the case of an expert level course, do not hesitate to use the technical terms of photography: the expert students will feel reassured by your professionalism and your knowledge of photography.
Students will be able to learn photography and study to become a photographer through an intro course!
But they should never forget these 5 essential tips from PexaPics:
1. Get in close
It was the famous photojournalist Robert Capa who once said “If your photographs aren’t good enough, you’re not close enough.” He was talking about getting in amongst the action. If you feel like your images aren’t ‘popping’, take a step or two closer to your subject. Fill the frame with your subject and see how much better your photo will look without so much wasted space. The closer you are to the subject, the better you can see their facial expressions too.
2. Shoot every day
The best way to hone your skills is to practice. A lot. Shoot as much as you can – it doesn’t really matter what. Spend hours and hours behind your camera. As your technical skills improve over time, your ability to harness them to tell stories and should too. Don’t worry too much about shooting a certain way to begin with. Experiment. Your style – your ‘voice’ – will emerge in time. And it will be more authentic when it does. — Leah Robertson
- Help your students craft the perfect picture. Source: Amir Hanna, Unsplash
3. See the light
Before you raise your camera, see where the light is coming from, and use it to your advantage. Whether it is natural light coming from the sun, or an artificial source like a lamp; how can you use it to make your photos better? How is the light interacting with the scene and the subject? Is it highlighting an area or casting interesting shadows? These are all things you can utilise to make an ordinary photo extraordinary.
4. Ask permission
When photographing people, especially while in countries with different cultures and languages, it can be hard to communicate. In certain countries if you photograph someone you are not ‘supposed’ to photograph, it can get ugly and rough very quickly if you are not careful. So out of respect you should always ask permission. I have started shooting a series of school children in Pakistan. These are all posed portraits and they are looking down the lens. My guide helps me with the language and I limit myself to smiling, shaking hands, giving ‘hi-five’ and showing them the image on the back of my camera once it is done. You would be amazed how quickly people open up. — Andrea Francolini
5. Use flash during the day
You might think that you should only use flash at night time or indoors, but that’s not the case at all. If it is an extremely bright day outside and the sun is creating harsh shadows on your subject, switch on your flash. By forcing extra light onto your subject, you will be able to fill in those ugly shadows and create an even exposure.
There are questions to ask yourself when deciding what ISO to use:
What time of day are you shooting? If you are shooting outside during the middle of the day you will need to use a lower ISO such as 100 or 200. If you are shooting at night time without a tripod you will have to increase the ISO to a higher number to be able to record the light on the camera’s sensor.
Will the subject be well lit? If your subject or scene is too dark you will need to use a higher ISO such as 800 or 1600.
Do you want a sharp image or an image with more movement in it? Using a high shutter speed to capture fast movement might mean that you need to use a high ISO to compensate. Likewise, if you’re using a slow shutter speed to capture blur you will need a low ISO to compensate.
Don’t forget, increasing your ISO increases the grain or pixel size in your photo. So don’t use an ISO of 3200 or 6400 if you don’t want a photo with a lot of ‘digital noise’.
Learn more about how you can get started teaching photography
Photo Class: Developing Your Student Network Thanks to Word of Mouth
To give private photography lessons, nothing better than to begin "selling" your classes within your entourage!
Most of the time, young photography tutors will begin by explaining the techniques of their artform to their family and friends. It will be an opportunity for the beginner tutor to deepen their teaching techniques and work on their pedagogical side.
You may be able to find your first student in your immediate surroundings!
Presenting your private course to your loved ones offers a lot of advantages:
- Giving a photo class in a familiar environment will greatly reduce your stress.
- You already know your students: it will be easier for you to adapt your pedagogy to their skills.
- No need to introduce yourself, since your students already know your background.
- If you give classes at home, you will save on transportation costs.
- Your students will be able to give you a better idea of your teaching style.
- You can quickly expand your circle of students.
Next step: word of mouth!
Your friends will have the opportunity to praise your photographic merits with other potential students who want to learn how to take beautiful photos in a small group or an individual class. It is also possible to print flyers and business cards by distributing them within your neighborhood or near an art school. You would be surprised by the opportunities that can arise from telling people about your business. There may be someone you know right now that is looking to improve their photography skills.
If you tell 5 people about your business and they tell another 5 people, that's automatically 25 people. Chances are, you'll be able to get a client through word of mouth. It's a powerful tool. Also, tell everyone when it comes up. Be proud of the services you offer and tell the world.
On Superprof, our students regularly leave opinions right on the profile of their photography tutors. You will have no trouble distinguishing yourself from other teachers through your online assessments.
In short, there are plenty of little tips for you to find photography students via word of mouth - whether it be physical or virtual!
You may also want to explore teaching photography online...
Writing a Classified for your Photography Lessons
- Post an ad in a magazine specialized in photography!
What if you attracted students to your photo lessons by writing an advertisement in your local paper?
The simplest method is to place ads in the shops of your neighborhood. Among your neighbors, there are bound to be people looking for an accelerated 4-hour photo class or a photography workshop to learn how to use a photographer's professional equipment (tripod, diaphragm, SLR camera, focal length...).
By scoping out how close your students are, you will find it easier to attract the eye of families or couples interested in an intro to photography. Make it clear that your course is aimed at both children (or teenagers) and adults: you will have a better chance of attracting more students!
You can also post your photo ad in a newspaper:
- Traditional regional newspapers
- Magazines specialized in photography
A word of advice: with a newspaper ad, why not stand out from the crowd with a playful illustration (camera, flash, cityscape or natural landscape...)?
Finally, make sure that you participate in a local photo exhibition to find students addicted to soft focus, macro photography, or photo studio. Near his or her exposed photograph, the photographer can not only sell his or her photos, but also offer a trial class to build a regular clientele.
So, why not promote yourself and your mastery of photography?
Photography Classes: Finding Students at Art Schools
What about finding students directly in art school?
- Take a tour of art schools to find students!
Photography and art schools (RISD for example) are ideal for finding serious students who want to take online photo classes or private lessons "face to face." Even if they do not necessarily study photography, art students have an artistic inclination and will not say no to discovering a new artform!
Framing, composition, street photography, or light painting...these are just some of the various techniques that will surely interest art school students!
Art schools generally provide students and visitors with a board on which there are various ads. As a private tutor, you will only have to ask if you can post your ad there.
What's the best possible outcome? Maybe it's to give private photo lessons as a student in order to finance your photography studies.
Art students are not only knowledgeable in their field, but also offer slightly lower rates than professional photographers. During your photo studies, you can hang ads in your school to attract other students keen in studio photography or film photography.
Making a little extra cash in a cool and easy way!
Photography Class: Find Students Online
What if you could find photo students without even leaving your home?
On Superprof, registering as a photography tutor is easy and totally free. The professional photographer tutor can get in touch with thousands of students interested in artistic subjects, and more specifically in his or her area of specialization.
- Online, you could find many many students to take your photo classes!
Don't forget there are many things you could add to your photography tutoring ad to attract a maximum of students:
- Your degree,
- Photographer experience,
- Average price per hour,
- Best rate packages,
- Specialties and course content,
- Course level,
- Photo equipment,
- Location of the photo class,
- Geographical location and the possibility of giving a photo tutorial online.
Aside from using Superprof to get your photography clients, there are a few other ways to incorporate using the internet. One of the best ways is social media. It could be Facebook, youtube, Instagram, Tiktok, or even blogging to help you get photography clients. Social media is a great way to build brand awareness. You'll showcase yourself and your tutoring business. It can also be a good way to build authority as a photography tutor. Social media isn't about just posting a few times a week. It's about staying consistent to build traction on the platform.
Using social media can be a good way to showcase your skills. Start by posting about tutoring or photography tips. Once you have a following that loves what you do online, they'll be more inclined to sign up for tutoring. It's not 100 percent necessary to be on social media for your business, but it certainly brings in a few pros that should make you consider it.
It usually takes only a few weeks - or even a few days - to find several students interested in your photography classes. Once a first contact is established, the photography tutor will discuss the modalities of the course with the student and the possible scheduling of classes. Also remember to ask your student to bring their photo material or, possibly, make available your own material during your course.
There are lots of ways to market yourself, whether it is through Superprof or social media. You can get creative and think about more great ways. Find the method that works for you best.
You are now ready to find photo students who are passionate about photography!
- Continuing practicing photography even as a tutor. Source: Erik Mclean, Unsplash
Other Considerations for Your Photogprahy Tutoring Business
All the tips and tricks we mentioned above can certainly put you in the right direction when it comes to getting clients for your photography business. Doing what you love every day is a great feeling, but as you now know, it requires some other work at the end of the day. What we mean is, there is working on your business and then working in your business.
Working in your business is the work you love to do. It's teaching your clients all about photography and helping them get better. Anything involved with your clients and teaching them photography is working in your business. The work you do during this time is the reason you started offering photography tutoring sessions. You are passionate about photography and want to help others discover their passion as well. But, this all doesn't happen without working on your business.
Working on your business is the behind-the-scenes of your business—taxes, payments, invoices, getting clients, and anything else along these lines. The behind the scenes is what others don't see, but its; the fundamentals of your business. Without spending the time working on your business, you're not able to work with clients. You're not working as a photography tutor if you have no clients. Once you find clients, you have to worry about taxes, payments and other things along these lines. It can be hard to spend the time working on your business, but I will share a few tips to get started, so you can continue working in your business. Here are some tips.
Schedule Your Time - Hopefully, you schedule your client's time on a schedule. You'll want to do the same thing for working on your business. You'll need to spend each day getting clients. If you are new to tutoring, you can also add the other things in your business that need time. Get specific as well. Write down everything you want to get done. This ensures you'll spend the time efficiently.
Productive Time -Time is something everyone has to deal with. We all only have 24 hours in a day, but it's what you do with those 24 hours. When it comes to working on your business, spend the time focused. Don't be distracted by other things. Have productive time, meaning be focused. Setting a timer every 30 minutes to an hour where you spend that time completely involved in your business can help you stay focused.
Speak with Others - It can be lonely having your own tutoring business if you don't know anyone else in the field or doing the same type of work. Getting to know others in the space can be a good idea to share ideas and help each other succeed. This won't directly relate to your business, but it can help you speak with someone who understands what you are going through. It's not always easy having your own business.
Set Goals - Having a plan for your business allows you to take the next steps. You don't know where you'll end up if you keep working with no end in sight. Working on your business means setting goals to achieve. How many clients do you need to earn enough money? What do you want to improve in? Questions like these allow you to get focused on your goals so you can set a plan in place to achieve them.
Self Reflection - A big part of growing is self-reflection. How can you improve in your teaching or your business? It's more questions to ask yourself that can help you grow. You'll want to continue to get better each year. Spend time reflecting on what you need to do to improve. You'll be able to get better over time.
All these tips can sound like a lot, but with the right planning and having a schedule, you'll be able to achieve everything you want. Without putting in the time to reflect on your business or getting clients, you won't be able to continue having your tutoring business. You don't even have to take big steps to start implementing these tips. Take small steps. Ask yourself what is one small thing you can today that will help you with your business? Working in your business is the best part of your job, but you need to spend the extra time working on your business.
- Spend the time working on your business. Source: Fabian Irsara, Unsplash
Start Getting Photography Clients
After reading, it's time to take everything we have said and put it to good use. It can nerve-wracking to put yourself out there to get clients, but it gets easier once you do it a few times. Plus, you need to get clients if you want to work as a photography tutor. As long as your willing to put in the time and effort for your business, you'll be on the path to success. You just need to make those small steps forward. Anyone in Canada can become a photography tutor.
It's time to take action and work as a photography tutor.
Now enjoy this complete guide to teaching photography...
The platform that connects tutors and students