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10 Ways To Prepare Your Photography Business For Q4

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Spend much time around me, whether we’re shooting in an exotic location or working through a business challenge and I’ll have you believing in the God-sized dreams that have been laid on your heart. Let’s get after it!

Photographer & Educator


Planning the ultimate trip is similar to how you prepare your photography business for Q4. It’s all about choosing the right destination, packing the “essentials,” and making the most of the journey.

When you’re being intentional, and actually set aside the time to work ON your business, and not just IN it, it not only helps ensure success for the remainder of the year – but also for the year ahead. So, here are my top 10 ways to prepare your photography business for Q4.




1. Reflect on the past year.

Take some time to reflect on your photography business’ journey this year as you prepare your photography business for Q4.

Let’s face it: it’s hard to make a plan to get somewhere, when you don’t know where you’re currently at. That’s like trying to route to your destination, without hitting the “current location” button. Super inefficient, right!?

I call this a “Quarterly Review,” – which is simply just a dedicated time where you review the past 3 quarters to see what IS working, and also what’s NOT working. 

I like to do this for the following: 

  • Personally (how am I *really* doing?)
  • Professionally (how is my business *really* doing?)
  • Financially (how are my finances, *really*)

I prefer to do this step on pen and paper first, before transferring it over to my project management system. (I use Clickup and love it!) Pen and paper first just feels “simpler” to me, and gives me the space to really think more “big picture” before feeling like I have to delegate anything and/or get caught up in the details. 

So, I always make an oat milk honey latte and head outside for some fresh air. For some reason, I tend to be better at “strategic thinking” when I’m in the great outdoors. 

Something about a change of scenery and being able to get away from all the “techy” things in my workspace, seems to foster a better environment for productivity and strategy. Try it if you feel like you’re dealing with some “brain block” in your office! (Or on your living room couch… I see you too.)

Here are some prompts to help you reflect on your previous year, for each area of your life:


  • How am I, really?
  • How did I take care of myself over the past year?
  • What would I like to add, or keep, in the upcoming quarter?
  • What needs to go?
  • What is working?
  • What isn’t working?
  • Lessons learned…
  • One of my favorite memories from the past quarter…
  • What am I grateful for?


  • How is my photography business, really?
  • How did I take care of my photography business over the past year?
  • What would I like to add, or keep, in my photography business for the upcoming quarter?
  • What needs to go?
  • What is working?
  • What isn’t working?
  • Lessons learned…
  • One of my favorite memories from the past quarter…
  • What am I grateful for?’

Additional prompts:

  • Consider what locations, styles, or clients resonated most with you.
  • What was your favorite client, (or type of client,) to work with? Were there a few of them?
  • If there were multiple, what similarities did you find between them? (This can help you identify if your ideal client/target market is shifting, and if you need to pivot your brand/offers accordingly.)


  • How are my finances, really?
  • How did I take care of my finances over the past year?
  • What would I like to add, or keep, in my financial workflow for the upcoming quarter?
  • What needs to go?
  • What is working?
  • What isn’t working?
  • Lessons learned…
  • One of my favorite financial memories from the past quarter…
  • What am I grateful for?




– C.S. Lewis



2. Set Clear Goals – Define your Photography “Destination.”

Imagine setting sail on a trip without a destination in mind. It wouldn’t be a fruitful journey, would it? 

Set clear and specific goals, much like planning a dream vacation itinerary. For instance, you might aim to book destination weddings in three different countries next year, or even just book your first wedding at your new pricing structure!

By using the information from your quarterly review, (a.k.a. Your “current location” – you’ll then be able to determine where you want to go. Once you know point A and point B, you can craft an action plan, or “travel itinerary,” to get there.

Whether it’s expanding your clientele, increasing visibility, raising your rates, or upgrading your equipment – define your key objectives for the next year. Then, you’ll be able to break these goals down into manageable, actionable steps to track your progress. Boarding passes, ready! 

Examples of Q4 Goals:

  1. Book 5 weddings
  2. Invest in new branding
  3. Launch a new website
  4. Hire a copywriter 
  5. Revamp my workflows
  6. Add a new offer/service
  7. Rework my client experience 
  8. Invest in education

Pro tip:

  • When planning out your goals for the quarter, and even by the month, I *highly* recommend choosing both a revenue-based goal, as well as a project goal. When I went to overhaul my photography website last time, I didn’t set revenue-based goals, I just focused on that huge project goal, which is fine,) but was a bit more stressful financially when the project drug on MUCH longer than originally anticipated, (like… a year…) and I didn’t have revenue goals worked in for the meantime! 



3. Know Your Numbers

A successful photography business starts with sound financial management.  And if I’m being honest – this is one of the areas I neglected for FAR too long. (Which is ironic… considering my mom is one of the best accountants there is. LOL.)

Review your finances, including income, expenses, and taxes. (This is also an excellent time to budget and ensure you have enough funds for any necessary equipment/gear upgrades or investments in marketing campaigns!) Or… even that dream photography workshop. (Lake Como, Italy anyone!?)

There are two numbers you’re going to need to know to make wise financial plans for your photography business. 

You’re going to need to know:

  1. your “need” number
  2. your “want” number 

Your “need” number is simply that – the amount of money you need to make in order to keep the business going. It’s the bare bones minimum that you need to pay yourself to sustain your lifestyle.

Your “want” number is the number you want to make that not only sustains your current lifestyle, (or possibly replaces your 9-5 income,) but also allows for extra cushion and profits for the business! 

You’re going to need to know both of these need and want numbers, not only for your personal finances, but also for your business.


Your personal financial “need” number could be $65,000

Your personal financial “want” number could be $100,000.

In order to pay yourself that $65k or $100k, you’ll need your photography business to bring in that amount, plus enough to cover the cost of doing business (a.k.a. your business expenses – software, gear, maintenance, rent, utilities, contract labor, etc. ,) as well as enough to cover taxes, etc. 

If you’re struggling with finding these numbers, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND Shanna Skidmore’s financial courses for creatives. She has two courses, one is called “Blueprint At Home” that helps you get super familiar with your personal finances, and helps you plan for your dreams, but she also has “The Blueprint Model” that helps creatives to know their numbers and feel confident charging what you need to, (knowing you’ll bring home a profit!) 



4. Plan Your Marketing Strategy

Now that you have your shiny new goals, (and know your numbers,) you can proceed to the next step to prepare your photography business for Q4: strategic marketing.

It’s no secret that Quarter 4 is absolute prime-time for marketing. Businesses are typically doing their last “live-launch” offer of the year in September/October, with sales content pumping up in November and absolutely booming by Black Friday/Cyber Monday. To be honest, it’s exhausting at times!

However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be selling as well, because truthfully – selling is your way of serving

It just means you need to be aware of the landscape, and position your offers/services accordingly, keeping the customer in mind. 

In order to create a marketing strategy, you’ll need to determine the following:

  1. what you’re going to sell
  2. who you’re selling it to
  3. why you’re selling it 
  4. what price point you’re selling it at
  5. how many you need to sell to reach your goals
  6. where you’re going to sell/promote it (social media, email list, website, etc.) 
  7. How you’re going to sell it (the strategies/tactics you’ll use, ex.) live launch campaign, paid ads, affiliates, etc.)

Once you know these things, you’ll be able to craft a strategic marketing plan that will propel you towards your goals! 

Pro tip: Be sure you actually have the mental and emotional capacity to execute these offers. Sometimes, we either over, or under, estimate ourselves. 

For example: if you know you’ll be going into labor during Q4, maybe don’t pick that time to live launch your offer for the first time. Be smart and make sure you have the necessary margin in your life to actually LIVE! There are so many times I’ve had to push things back because of my life just not having the availability that I thought it would’ve, and there’s always grace for that.


5. Invest in Education

Investing in education is the greatest thing I’ve ever done for my photography business’ growth. I highly encourage investing in courses, workshops, or mentorships (either mine or whoever elses,) that aligns with your vision for your business and life. 

Education helps you to expand your skillset and broaden your horizons like none other. It’s *legit* your passport to growth. I recommend choosing one primary area you want to focus on and improve, and finding someone who’s ahead of you that can help you improve there.

Curious what hiring a photography business coach could look like? Not sure what all you need help with? Have some burning questions you need answered?

Book a free discovery call with me, and I’ll help you find the areas you’re struggling in, and craft a plan to get you unstuck. Yes, really! 😉 




6. Refresh Your Portfolio

If you haven’t touched your website or social media in a white, it’s *definitely* time to update your portfolio.

Your website and social media should be a visual diary of your best work. It’s essentially your “visual resume” – and one of (if not the sole,) deciding factors on whether someone will hire you. I mean think about it, it’s like a storefront… it’s their first impression of you, because it’s usually the first point of contact.

Ensure that your portfolio reflects the style and quality you want to be known for as a photographer. If you haven’t been creating work you really love, or working with clients you’re loving, listen to that nudge and lean into it. It could be that you’re not putting out the type of work that’s going to bring your dream clients in! 

So, while you prepare your photography business for Q4, take the time to update your portfolio with your best, and most recent, work. You’ll be glad you did! 



7. Invest in brand visuals.

Given your natural love for all things “aesthetic” as a photographer, don’t overlook the visual aspects of your brand. Your website and brand materials are like a postcard to potential clients. 

So while you prepare your photography business for Q4, review your website, social media profiles, and branding materials. Ensure they are consistent, visually appealing, and resonate with your target audience.


Feeling like your visuals aren’t cohesive whatsoever, and are sort of “all over the place?” Unsure where the heck to even start with new branding?

Earlier this year, I used Angela from Saffron Avenue for my new branding, (launching soon,) and she did an absolutely PHENOMENAL job! I actually purchased one of her semi-custom brand kits, and she flawlessly customized it to fit the new direction of JVP.

Angela was extremely thorough, quick, and detail-oriented throughout the entire process. It actually only took her a few days to customize the brand once she got started, and in that amount of time I was blown away. She’s been one of my favorite graphic designers for YEARS, and I was so excited to finally get to work with her! 

She launches new brand kits every quarter, and they go FAST – (like mine sold out with three hours or so.) So, sign up for her email list, and keep your eyes peeled on your inbox and her socials to snag one! I promise they’re worth EVERY single penny!


Unsure where to start with a new website? I’m a HUGE fan of Tonic Site Shop website templates. In fact, this site is running on one! 😉 

My first class website template recommendations for photographers:

For the Light / Airy Fine Art Photographer:

  • Clover Club
  • Martini
  • Vesper
  • Sidecar

For the Editorial/Edgy Photographer:

  1. Lillet Blanc
  2. Amaretto Sour
  3. Sidecar
  4. Vesper
  5. Manhattan
  6. Lita Grey

Want to dig deeper on my thoughts regarding Tonic Sites, and get help choosing a tonic site for your business? Check out this blog post where I dive deep into choosing a tonic website template for your photography business.



8. Prep For Busy Season

Depending on your location and photography niche, quarter 4 might be your “busy season” due to weddings, fall family photos, or holiday-themed sessions. And if you’re a mini session photographer, it can get even busier! 

To prepare your photography business for Q4, ensure you have a well-organized schedule and are adequately staffed if needed.  If you’re shooting a ton of weddings, consider bringing on a second shooter to help ease the pressure and lighten the load. Whether it’s capturing destination weddings or holiday-themed shoots, ensure you’re well-prepared!

Make sure all of your back-end workflows are cleaned up, so that people proceed through your pipeline as smoothly as possible, and things don’t slip between the cracks. 

If you’re struggling with your workflows, and either have a workflow that isn’t streamlined or working… or that could be improved. Reach out about my honeybook systems setup! It’s the perfect solution to having a custom built workflow from start to finish implemented in your photography business. 



9. Network & Collaborate

Building relationships within the photography community is absolutely essential. Attend local photography meet-ups or virtual events to connect with fellow, like-minded photographers. Collaborations can lead to new opportunities and expand your network. They’re like having travel buddies – they just make the journey more enjoyable and rewarding!

I have photography friends *literally* all over the world, and I don’t know what I’d do without them! Whether I’m in need of a second shooter last-minute, or just need some encouragement; I’ve got a group of girls I can reach out to whenever need be. God designed us to live in community, and I believe it’s the same for our business as well. 



10. Infuse Your Faith Into Your Business


As an educator for faith-based photographers, I’m a firm believer that your faith is like a compass guiding your photography business journey. As believer’s, we’re told to go and make disciples. 

I don’t believe that’s to be limited to just your “personal” life. We’re technically a “personal brand” anyway, so we can actually incorporate our faith into our storytelling and messaging on a day to day basis. Doing so, also helps you connect with clients who share your values. I personally love serving brides and brands who love the Lord, and want to infuse their faith into their wedding days/businesses/etc., so this works really well for me! 



By implementing these 10 ways to prepare your photography business for Q4, you’ll be setting yourself up for success – not only this year, but for years to come. Let’s go girls. 😉 


Bon voyage!





If you’re short on time, follow me on Pinterest – and you’ll get these kinda tips delivered straight to your feed! You know… when you’re scrollin’ through Pinterest with coffee in hand, ready to take on the day… or, procrastinate.

Whatevs. Pinterest biz sesh, anybody!? ??


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