If you’re a professional photographer, you’ve likely experienced the challenge of connecting with clients through email. You spend hours crafting the perfect message, only to receive a lukewarm response or, worse, complete silence. You wonder if your email got lost in cyberspace or if your message simply didn’t resonate with your client.

This frustration is all too common. You know that email is crucial for building relationships with clients, but somehow, your messages aren’t hitting the mark. You’re not alone—many photographers struggle to write emails that truly connect, leading to missed opportunities and a lack of engagement.

But what if you could change that? What if you could write emails that resonate with your clients, build trust, and establish a personal connection? It’s possible, and here are the steps to help you get started:

1. Have a Great Offer

Start your email with a warm greeting. Ask how your potential client is doing and show genuine interest in their lives. This establishes a connection right from the start. Remember, people appreciate when you take the time to engage with them personally.

Next, introduce an irresistible offer. Whether it’s a limited-time discount, a complimentary mini session, or a special package, make sure it adds value. Here’s how to present it:

Subject: Capture Memories with Our Exclusive Offer!

Hey [Client’s Name],

I hope this message finds you well! How’s everything going on your end?

I’ve been thinking about how photography plays such a significant role in our lives. In a world full of distractions, capturing meaningful moments becomes even more essential. It’s about creating memories that last a lifetime, something more fulfilling than the fleeting distractions of everyday life.

That’s why I’m excited to offer you [specific offer details]. This exclusive offer is my way of helping you preserve those special moments that matter most. Whether it’s a family portrait, a milestone celebration, or just because, I’d love to work with you to create something truly memorable.

Ansel Adams, the legendary landscape photographer, was a master at building connections with his clients through personalized emails. In one instance, he started an email with a warm greeting, asking about his client’s recent trip to Yosemite. He showed genuine interest in their experience and shared his own stories of capturing the park’s beauty through his lens, establishing a connection beyond a mere business transaction.

Adams then introduced an irresistible offer—a limited-time discount on his famous landscape photography workshops. He presented it in a way that added value, highlighting the unique opportunity to learn from a master and capture the beauty of nature.

Here’s what his email looked like:

Subject: Capture the Beauty of Yosemite with Me!

Hey [Client’s Name], hope you’re doing well! I heard you recently visited Yosemite—how was your trip?

I’ve been reflecting on my own experiences capturing the park’s beauty, and I’m excited to share that with you. For a limited time, I’m offering a discount on my landscape photography workshop. Join me, and let’s create some unforgettable images together!

Also, when presenting your offer it’s great if you have testimonials of what people have said about your work. It’s like presenting evidence that clients actually like your work, and this video will teach you how to use testimonials even without having too many clients.

2. Create a Personal Connection

In addition to a great offer, in the body of your email, you could also share your passion for photography. Explain how it lets you escape the noise and truly connect with the beauty of the world. This personal touch helps potential clients see you as more than just a service provider—they see someone who genuinely cares about creating meaningful experiences.

For example:

Taking photos is more than just pointing a camera and clicking. It’s about immersing ourselves in the world’s beauty, away from the hustle and bustle of daily life. It’s about capturing moments that fill us with warmth and satisfaction.

I believe photography is a powerful way to preserve these moments and create lasting memories. When you choose to work with me, you’re choosing someone dedicated to making your moments truly special.

Highlight the Benefits

Clearly outline the benefits of choosing your photography services. Explain how your approach, style, and experience set you apart. Highlight how your services meet their needs and bring joy to their lives.

For example:

Here’s what you can expect when you work with me:

Personalized Experience: I take the time to understand your vision and bring it to life.

High-Quality Results: With ten years of experience, I ensure every photo tells a unique story.

Stress-Free Process: From planning to the final product, I handle everything so you can relax and enjoy the moment.

End with a Call to Action

End your email with a clear call to action. Invite them to respond, schedule a consultation, or take advantage of your offer. Make it easy for them to take the next step.

I’d love to chat more about capturing your special moments. Feel free to reply to this email or call me at [your phone number]. Let’s make some magic together!
Looking forward to hearing from you!

Warm regards,

[Your Name]

3. Use A/B Testing

So you might wonder if I have a great offer and my emails are personalized, do I need anything else? Yes you need A/B testing.

Just like in photography, where you experiment with different settings to get the perfect shot, A/B testing lets you experiment with different email formats to see what resonates best with your audience.

Start by crafting two versions of your email with slight variations—maybe tweak the subject line or change the call to action. Send these to a small segment of your list to see which one gets better engagement. It’s like finding the right angle for a photo—sometimes a small adjustment can make a huge difference. Once you have the data, choose the version that performed better. It’s a simple yet powerful way to refine your approach and connect more effectively with your audience.

Cindy Sherman, known for her conceptual portraits, applied her experimental approach to email marketing. She tested different email subject lines, such as “New Series: Untitled #601” vs. “Exclusive: My Latest Photography Series,” to see which resonated better. By analyzing the open rates and engagement, Sherman refined her email strategy, much like she refined her photographic technique, to effectively connect with her audience and showcase her art.

4. Segmentation

With A/B testing you also need segmentation. Think of this as curating your portfolio for specific clients. Not everyone on your email list is the same, so why send them all the same message? Segment your list based on factors like client type, past interactions, or interests.

For instance, if you’re targeting wedding clients, showcase your latest bridal shoots. For commercial clients, highlight your best product photography. Tailoring your emails to specific segments ensures that your message resonates, much like choosing the right backdrop for a portrait.

Segmentation helps you address your clients’ needs and interests directly, increasing the likelihood that they’ll engage with your emails and ultimately book your services.

Edward Steichen, a pioneering photographer and former chief photographer at Vogue, mastered segmentation. When promoting his work, he didn’t send the same message to everyone. Instead, he curated his portfolio for specific clients, tailoring his emails to their interests and needs. For example, when targeting high-end fashion designers, he showcased elegant and refined photographs, highlighting intricate details and luxurious fabrics.

Meanwhile, when promoting his landscape photography to art collectors, he emphasized the grandeur of the natural world. By segmenting his list and tailoring his emails, Steichen ensured that his message resonated with each group, much like selecting the perfect backdrop for a portrait. This approach helped him build strong relationships with his clients, leading to numerous commissions and exhibitions.

You should definitely follow Edward Steichen’s example to be successful. Read this blog post to learn how to segment your highest paying clients.

5. Email Service Providers

Finally, in applying segmentation and all the steps mentioned, using email service providers (ESPs) is important to effectively carry them out.

Just as a good camera enhances your photography, a reliable ESP can elevate your email marketing. Platforms like Mailchimp and ConvertKit offer tools that make it easier to design beautiful emails, track open rates, and manage your audience.

These tools also allow you to automate your emails, saving time and ensuring consistency. Imagine setting up a welcome series that introduces new subscribers to your work and keeps them engaged without you lifting a finger. It’s like having a personal assistant who works around the clock to keep your clients informed.


Crafting powerful emails doesn’t have to be complicated. By establishing a personal connection, presenting a compelling offer, highlighting the benefits of your services, and using segmentation, you can turn your emails into a tool for attracting more photography clients.

In building your photography business, you need a good email marketing strategy. You should also be aware of your social media presence, where most of your clients socialize. To use social media to your advantage, watch this YouTube video on social media for creative businesses.

Remember, photography isn’t just about capturing images—it’s about creating lasting memories, building relationships, and developing a business.

What other strategies do you use to connect with potential clients? Share with us!

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