Studio Photographer: Embarking on a Career Behind the Lens

Setting Your Focus: An Introduction to Your Career in Studio Photography

Welcome to Iris Works’ definitive guide on embarking on a career in studio photography. Whether you’ve just purchased your first professional camera or you’re looking to transition from hobbyist to professional, we are here to illuminate your path. Studio photography offers a blend of creativity, technical expertise, and the capacity to capture and create moments that tell a story. In order to provide you with the most comprehensive and insightful guide, we’ve also interviewed seasoned photographers who share their invaluable insights and industry knowledge. Their expertise will help you navigate your first steps in this exciting and rewarding field. In this guide, we’ll delve into essential equipment, effective techniques, and industry insights that are indispensable for every aspiring studio photographer. Let’s turn your passion into your profession!

Meet the Pros


Yvonne Sewell

Meet Yvonne, the creative force behind Photography by Yvonne Sewell  Ever since she embarked on her photography journey in the mid-1990s, Yvonne has been enamored with the art of storytelling through images. Her subjects of choice are as diverse as they are captivating, ranging from the serene beauty of landscapes and the innocent charm of animals to the myriad of emotions expressed by people.

When Yvonne is behind the lens, each shoot, be it a joyous wedding celebration or an intimate grouping, becomes an opportunity to narrate a story. For her, every shot captured isn’t just a frozen moment in time, but a meaningful component of a broader narrative. She sees photographs as not merely images, but as portals into stories waiting to be told.

Yvonne’s Passion

Yvonne’s passion and unique perspective come to life at her studio. Each photograph featured in her portfolio is a testament to her storytelling prowess and technical mastery. In the following sections, we’ll delve deeper into Yvonne’s approach to photography, her techniques, and the invaluable insights she has gathered over the years. Her experiences and advice will serve as a beacon for aspiring photographers ready to embark on their own professional journeys.

Radie Lee Steiner

Meet Radie Lee Steiner, the talented photographer behind Steiner Studios Art. Radie’s passion for photography began at the young age of 10, when she first picked up a camera as a member of 4-H. From those formative years in rural Southern Indiana, she cultivated a love for capturing the essence of lifestyle and the grandeur of landscapes. Her roots in the countryside have undoubtedly influenced her artistic eye, imbuing her work with a sense of authenticity and connection to nature. Now residing in Downtown Indianapolis, Indiana, Radie continues to bring her unique perspective to life through her specialized focus on Lifestyle and Landscape Photography.

About Radie’s Work

Her work at Steiner Studios Art reflects her journey, showcasing a blend of rural charm and urban elegance. Whether it’s a candid moment or a breathtaking sunset, Radie’s photographs are more than images; they are reflections of her experiences and the world through her eyes. Her art is a beautiful testament to her growth as a photographer and her continued exploration of the visual medium.

Starting a business

Radie, the creative mind behind Steiner Studios Art, has some clear and practical advice for photographers who are just embarking on their business journey. Drawing from her own experience and success, she emphasizes the power of social media in today’s visual world, particularly Instagram, or as she succinctly puts it, “Post post post!”

According to Radie, getting your work out there is essential, and she suggests that photographers utilize platforms and places that align with their style. For instance, displaying your work in distilleries or coffee shops could be a fantastic way to reach a new audience and create brand recognition. Social media, especially platforms like Instagram that are visually driven, can amplify your reach, connect you with potential clients, and build your portfolio’s visibility.


Be Proactive

Radie’s advice speaks to the importance of being proactive in promoting your work and finding unique venues to showcase your talent. It’s not just about taking beautiful pictures; it’s about strategically sharing them where people will see and appreciate them. Whether you’re capturing the hustle and bustle of urban life or the peaceful ambiance of rural landscapes, Radie’s insights remind us that a crucial part of building a photography business in today’s world is leveraging both virtual platforms and physical spaces to make your mark in the industry.

Practice makes Perfect

Yvonne offers some heartfelt and practical advice for anyone just starting their business journey in photography. With years of expertise, her guidance comes from a place of understanding and genuine care for those who are about to embark on this creative path.

“For someone who is just starting out, I would say take a camera with you everywhere you go. You never know when that special shot will come into view,” Yvonne advises. Her emphasis on being always prepared for the unexpected moment underlines the spontaneous nature of photography, where the magic often lies in the unplanned and unforeseen.

Yvonne also stresses the importance of embracing the moment fully, suggesting, “Always take more than one shot, once the moment has passed you can never get it back.” This is a gentle reminder that capturing the essence of a fleeting moment often requires more than a single click. By taking multiple shots, photographers give themselves the chance to encapsulate the full emotion and beauty of that instance.


Embrace Mistakes

Lastly, Yvonne encourages budding photographers not to fear mistakes. In her view, mistakes are not roadblocks but rather stepping stones towards growth and mastery. Her wisdom speaks to the heart of what it means to be a creative professional, embracing both the joys and challenges with an open heart.

Yvonne’s advice paints a picture of a compassionate and wise professional who understands the twists and turns of a photography career. Her words serve as a valuable guide, encouraging new photographers to be present, patient, and fearless as they take their first steps into the industry. Her insights offer not just a roadmap but a philosophy that celebrates the art and the artist in equal measure.

Biggest Hurdles

In reflecting on some of the biggest challenges photographers face when starting their own business, Radie from Steiner Studios Art pinpoints the initial struggle of getting your name and work recognized in a crowded market. The journey to visibility requires strategic thinking and judicious investments.

According to Radie, “Getting your name and work out there” is paramount, but it doesn’t necessitate heavy investment in printing and framing. She advises against overcommitting financially in these areas, particularly when starting. “Don’t invest too much into printing and framing,” she cautions. Instead, Radie encourages aspiring photographers to embrace the digital world and find cost-effective framing solutions that can be reused. This approach not only aligns with contemporary viewing habits but also allows for flexibility in presenting different works.

Radie’s insights offer a grounded and practical perspective that recognizes the economic realities of launching a photography business. By focusing on strategic and cost-effective methods, photographers can build their name and portfolio without overextending themselves financially. Her experience underscores the importance of adapting to the digital age while maintaining a savvy business sense, ensuring that passion and creativity can flourish without breaking the bank

Pitfalls of Studio photographers

Yvonne sheds light on the challenges and pitfalls that photographers may face when starting their own business. Her experience, filled with both triumphs and trials, offers valuable insights to newcomers in the field.

“One of the biggest challenges,” Yvonne explains, “is getting people to know you and your work.” The photography industry is teeming with talent, and it can be an uphill battle to stand out. This is compounded by the diverse attitudes towards photography, where some may view it merely as a hobby while others may see it as a quick path to riches.

Yvonne identifies self-belief as crucial in this journey. “The biggest pitfall is not believing in yourself enough to charge for your craft. If you don’t believe in yourself enough to charge, others certainly won’t believe in you.” Her words speak to a profound truth that transcends photography: confidence in oneself and one’s abilities is key to convincing others of your worth.

Cultivating Self-belief

Yvonne’s insights are a reminder that building a successful photography business is not merely about technical skill or marketing prowess. It’s about cultivating self-belief and navigating a path that’s filled with both opportunities and obstacles. Her caution against undervaluing oneself resonates as a universal lesson, not just for photographers but for anyone venturing into the world of creative entrepreneurship.

Her words serve as both a guide and a motivation for new photographers. As they embark on their journey, Yvonne’s wisdom encourages them to not only develop their craft but also to foster the self-assurance required to thrive in a competitive field. Her candid reflections paint a picture of a path that’s both challenging and rewarding, one that requires a robust belief in oneself and a relentless passion for the art of photography.


Building a client base and marketing oneself is an intricate dance that demands both sensitivity and strategy. Radie knows this all too well, and she’s honed some effective approaches over the years to attract and retain clients. In her experience, it’s often the seemingly simple practices that resonate most and help in growing a photography business.

Radie emphasizes the importance of clear communication with clients. Simple actions like sending a text or email to confirm appointments not only enhance professionalism but also build trust. It’s a straightforward way of showing clients that you value their time and are committed to providing a seamless experience.

Ask Permission

Moreover, Radie is mindful of using her clients’ images to promote her work. She advises, “Ask permission to post photos and tag the individual.” This respectful approach acknowledges the client’s privacy while still allowing for promotion through social channels. By seeking consent and involving the client in the sharing process, Radie creates a more engaged and appreciative audience. Leverage Iris Works to effortlessly craft professional contracts with your clients, streamlining the process and giving you more time to focus on showcasing your exceptional work.

These strategies may appear simple, but they embody a profound understanding of the client-photographer relationship. By focusing on communication, respect, and collaboration, Radie has been able to build a loyal client base and grow Steiner Studios Art. Her methods remind us that the core of any successful business lies in genuine connection and consideration for the people you serve. Whether you’re a seasoned professional or just starting your journey, Radie’s insights offer valuable lessons in client relationships and the art of unobtrusive self-promotion.

Digitial Marketing vs Traditional Marketing

Yvonne has a refreshing take on building a client base and effectively marketing oneself in the photography business. In an era where digital marketing often takes precedence, Yvonne’s approach emphasizes the power of personal connections and a blend of traditional and modern methods.

“Start with those people you know,” Yvonne suggests, emphasizing the importance of leveraging existing relationships as a foundation for growing a client base. Friends, family, and acquaintances often provide the initial support and word-of-mouth referrals that can lead to broader opportunities.

Yvonne also stresses the significance of traditional marketing methods: “When you are out and about, as old fashioned as it sounds, give out your business cards.” While this may seem quaint in a digital age, Yvonne’s experience proves that the personal touch still resonates.

That’s not to say she ignores the digital world. Yvonne encourages making “the internet and social media your friend, but not your only source of marketing.” This balanced approach recognizes the reach and convenience of online channels but tempers it with the authentic connection that only face-to-face interactions can provide.


Lastly, Yvonne highlights the importance of confidence and pride in one’s work: “Be happy to show your work.” Her words remind us that passion and enthusiasm are contagious; when you love what you do, others will be drawn to it as well.

Yvonne’s insights reflect a philosophy that values personal connection, adaptability, and authenticity. Her approach serves as a reminder that building a successful photography business is not merely about tactics and techniques but about connecting with people in meaningful ways. Whether embracing the tried-and-true methods of the past or the digital conveniences of today, the heart of Yvonne’s strategy lies in genuine engagement and the joy of sharing her art with others. Her wisdom offers an inspiring blueprint for aspiring photographers looking to grow their business with integrity and warmth.

Iris and Email Marketing

Using Iris Works Email Marketing can be a powerful tool for growing a photography business. With Iris, photographers can efficiently manage their client database and send targeted, personalized emails to engage with their audience. By utilizing email marketing campaigns, photographers can keep their clients informed about special offers, promotions, and upcoming events.  Fostering a sense of exclusivity and loyalty. Iris automation features enable photographers to streamline their email workflows, saving time and effort. 

By leveraging Iris Works Email Marketing, photographers can effectively nurture relationships with their clients, expand their reach, and ultimately grow their photography business.  Want to learn more about this professional photography tip? Check out our guide to grow your business with email marketing.

In Conclusion

Embarking on a photography business journey is a path filled with creativity, challenges, and opportunities. Learning from seasoned professionals like Yvonne and Radie provides invaluable insights into building confidence, connecting with clients, and growing your business. With tools like Iris Works, you can streamline your administrative tasks, from creating contracts to workflows, allowing you to focus more on your craft and passion. Iris Works is more than just a tool; it’s a partner in your journey, helping you accomplish your goals and turn your photographic dreams into reality.

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