Make sure you listen and subscribe to the The Profitable Photographer Podcast on iTunes.

153: Maria Oliva- Hot Instagram Tips for Wedding and Portrait Photographers

“If you were going to a networking event in person, what would you do, how would you respond to people approaching you, what would you share with them? These are the exact same things that you would do on your Instagram profile.”

Today, our hostess and Mastercraftsman Photographer Luci Dumas sits down with María Oliva, Founder and CEO of SMS Media, a social media coaching business for wedding vendors based in the DC area. She is on a mission to change the way wedding vendors approach Instagram by helping them create sustainable and fun strategies!

153: Maria Oliva- Hot Instagram Tips for Wedding and Portrait Photographers

Listen in as the digital marketing master shares how Instagram can become your go-to tool for attracting dream clients and why it’s important to niche down in order to maximize your ability to reach and start building relationships with those clients.

Referring to Instagram as “a free networking platform online,” Maria encourages any photographer looking to build a brand to be proactive in starting and continuing conversations, and to personally extend invitations to those who interact positively with their posts to join their community.

She continues on to offer a treasure trove of practical tips and strategies to grow your Instagram following and, ultimately, your client base. These include using hashtags effectively, creating posts based on your content pillars, finding opportunities to collaborate with local vendors, and visual branding best practices.

Key Topics:

  • Why Instagram is a great tool for attracting your dream clients (5:25)
  • Overcoming excuses that stop you from investing in your business (10:49)
  • How to build a community on Instagram (15:41)
  • Using hashtags effectively (23:45)
  • Establishing your content pillars (29:41)
  • Collaboration with vendors on Instagram (33:37)
  • Making money on Instagram (36:11)
  • Understanding the buyer’s journey (38:44)
  • Visual branding on how to provide value on Instagram (41:49)
  • Get María’s freebie and stay connected (49:35)
  • Luci’s wrap up (50:23)


Get María Oliva’s free Instagram selling guide:


Get in touch with María Oliva at:

Website: https://smsmediapr.lpages.co/our-services/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sms_mediapr/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/sms-media-group-inc/

Photography Business Coach Luci Dumas’ Programs:




152: Luci Dumas Shares Her Coaching Secrets to Selling Tons of Wall Portraits

“You’re going to need a telephone and you’re going to need to know how to use it. I could make a better living with my cellphone and nothing else, than having a great camera, and a computer where I only communicate via email and text and such.”

Today, our hostess, Photography Business Coach Luci Dumas shares her best tips and strategies to set up your photography business for massive success.

Just as photography is an art, Luci believes that selling is an art. Likewise, just as photography is a skill, selling is a skill. That means anyone with the passion and tenacity to succeed in this industry has the opportunity to learn the skills they need to improve both their photography and ability to sell their work.

Luci invites us to set the goal of becoming a full-service photographer. Strive to be able to create an experience for the client in which, from their first interaction with you to the last, you deliver not only what they want, but also what they didn’t know they wanted.

In fact, full-service photographers are not just photographers. They are designers. They are clothing consultants. They are makeup guides. By embracing your role as a salesperson, you are also your clients’ trusted advisor.

You don’t need to be the world’s greatest photographer. Just being the best full-service photographer you can be gives both you and your client immense joy. They become raving fans of you, and you learn how to be a better photographer and business owner.

Listen in as Luci shares her checklist of nine things every photographer needs to do when establishing their new business and the rewards that await, as well as her five steps to onboarding a new client.

Key Topics:

  • Photography and selling as an both art and skill (4:09)
  • Creating a long-term win-win relationship with your clients (10:26)
  • Addressing misconceptions around selling (13:50)
  • Nine things you need to get started in this business (21:57)
  • Three rewards of having a strong photography business (36:50)
  • Five steps to taking on a new client (39:25)
  • A brief overview of Luci’s sales system (41:59)
  • SSS – Secret Sales Sauce (44:45)

Find out more about my programs at:




151: Mitche Graf- Life Design for Photographers and other Humans

“If you live life with intention, as if every day is a Saturday, it changes your perspective. It changes what you do, what you say, and how you live your life. Every day can be a Saturday with the right perspective and the right attitude.”

Today, our hostess, Photography Business Coach Luci Dumas sits down with Mitche Graf, a daddy of 3, bestselling author, serial entrepreneur, internationally renowned business speaker, nationally syndicated radio show host, and former All American Track & Field athlete.

The amazing Mitche has been a passionate serial entrepreneur for over 25 years, dangling his toes into the ponds of many intriguing industries along the way. From selling used bicycle parts out of his garage in the seventh grade to running four companies today, he has prided himself on knowing how to squeeze every drop of potential out of his endeavors.

151: Mitche Graf- Life Design for Photographers and other Humans

Listen in as Mitche challenges business owners everywhere to find ways to charge more for your services by offering your clients even more value than you already do. In a similar vein, he speaks on the value of investing in your business sooner rather than later. He also offers advice on targeting your marketing toward your ideal client, and why you should never offer discounts.

The latter half of our conversation is all about lifestyle design, which is at the very center of everything Mitche teaches and does. He tells us, as entrepreneurs, to focus on the 5% of the activities that bring 95% of our results.

Key Topics:

  • What brought Mitche down his current path (3:28)
  • Overcoming excuses that stop you from investing in your business (7:44)
  • Attracting your ideal client (13:28)
  • Knowing when to pivot (16:24)
  • Pre-empting customer objections (23:17)
  • All about lifestyle design (26:49)
  • Working smart in addition to working hard (35:26)
  • Life is too short for regrets (42:16)
  • Everyday can be a Saturday (50:28)
  • Luci’s wrap-up (52:23)


Get Mitche Graf’s free book: powermarketing101.com/freebook

Get in touch with Mitche Graf at: sales@mitchegraf.com

Other books by Mitche mentioned in the episode:

Business Basics BootCamp: The Ultimate Crash Course

Customer Service is DEAD: Delivering 6-Start Service In A 1-Star World

Other episodes mentioned:

044 Luci Dumas- Surviving and Thriving

019 Bruce and Josh Hudson: Keeping Clients Coming Back for More – The Power of Relationship Marketing

Find out more about my programs at:




150: Nino Batista- Photographing Models

Today, our hostess Luci Dumas sits down with Ron “Nino” Batista, a photographer, writer, musician, and overall creative wizard whose work is regularly seen in lifestyle publications the world over. He is regarded as the premier model photographer, retoucher, and artist development educator based in the United States.

Listen in as Nino offers his impressive approach to model photography and definition of beauty. He begins by explaining why women are typically more aesthetically pleasing to photograph than men, and the evolution of boudoir photography over the past three decades. He also gives some tips on how to break into commercial portraiture and finding your niche in the space.

150: Nino Batista- Photographing Models

Regarding the difference between photography depicting the objectification of its subject and that of pure fine art, Nino does a deep dive into the importance of intent and execution on the part of the photographer. In fact, he makes the case that the artist is just as important as the art, and this is why it is important to work on your personal brand as a photographer.

The internet has given every creative a platform, and everyone who desires it is able to carve out a little space online for their unique brand of art. Nino suggests that, instead of complaining that social media has led to over-saturation, budding photographers should instead focus on expressing themselves and their art authentically. In a sea of people, those who embrace honesty and transparency rise above the noise.

In his own words: “Sincerity wins. Whatever your approach to your art is, if you’re sincere, it will show.”

Key Topics:

  • Why women are more aesthetically pleasing to photograph than men (5:57)
  • Commercial versus general portraiture (14:32)
  • How to break into commercial portraiture (20:00)
  • Defining “color grading” (25:49)
  • “Boudoir” versus “fine art” posing (29:46)
  • Gaining clarity on your strengths as a photographer (33:14)
  • Everybody has a platform now, thanks to the internet (43:10)
  • Nino’s parting words of advice (52:14)
  • Luci’s wrap-up (59:16)


Get in touch with Nino Batista:









Find out more about my programs at:




149: LARRY HERSBERGER – Magical Christmas Portraits for Fun and Big Profits

Today our hostess Luci Dumas sits down with the amazing Larry Hersberger, an internationally-acclaimed and licensed artist, storyteller, writer, designer and master photographer. He is globally known for his innovation of Magical Santa Photography, Magical Snowman, Vintage Baseball and Fine Art Classical portraiture.

Listen in as Larry discusses his foray into photography in the 90s and what motivated his decision to veer away from the art’s typical focus in America at the time on “canvas, curtains, carpet, and old chairs.” From this, Larry offers his first important lesson for any aspiring or budding photographer: Develop your personal brand as an artist.

149: LARRY HERSBERGER - Magical Christmas Portraits for Fun and Big Profits

The yuletide maestro then discusses his unique and inimitable approach to Magical Santa photography, noting that he isn’t just the photographer, but the director as well. And as a director he explains, crucially, that the bulk of his communication is actually with the child rather than Santa himself.

He goes on to dissect the business of art and how photographers of all stripes, even those relatively early in their career without a studio, can succeed in this space. He makes the case that any professional can make a quarter of a million dollars with just 50 clients, positioning oneself as a trusted advisor with each and every single one.

Key Topics:

  • Developing your personal brand as a photographer (9:36)
  • Why Larry’s approach to Magical Santa Photography is so innovative (19:50)
  • Defining “painting” and the business of art (29:40)
  • Telling stories through your art with your best customer in mind (37:00)
  • His advice to newer photographers without a studio of their own (46:50)
  • His tried-and-tested three-part sales process (52:16)
  • Why he changed his mind on newborn photography (1:03:47)
  • His parting words of advice, and how to attract your ideal clients (1:09:59)
  • Luci’s wrap up (1:18:25)


Get in touch with Larry Hersberger:




Art of Magic & Light® on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/artofmagicandlight

Get $200 OFF Larry’s new Magical Snowman Course. Use Code LUCI at checkout.


Find out more about my programs at:




148: Luci Dumas- Don’t Panic, Weather the Economic Storms with Ease in your Photography Biz

This solo episode is a look back at the last two years and strategies for riding out any economic storm that might happen in the future.

Luci asks some questions you might want to ponder like…
What has changed for you? And what is the same? Have you used this last two years to move forward in your business and in life?

She shares her own journey, and her perspective on what she sees in the photography industry. And discusses the current concerns about inflation, gas prices, and how it might effect our sales and business. Or how we can not let it impact us at all.

She covers some specific strategies to respond to people who might
bring up those things in conversations about investing well in your products….such as:

  1. Realizing sometimes it is a negotiating tactic.
  2. The reason to be either a Luxury / high dollar and low volume photographer.
  3. Knowing that some people may not be our ideal client
  4. Encouragement to be smart with your own money.
  5. How energy is everything and ways to up your “vibration” to attract what you want
  6. A reminder to invest in education…up your game.

All is well, don’t panic. Use your power of positivity to grow, be at peace, and serve your clients even better.

Find out more about my programs at


147: Michael Puck-Change The World Through Photographs Of Dogs In Commercial Spaces!

This podcast episode is about how we can change the world through photographs of dogs. I know your ears might be perking up wondering what this might mean. Listen to Michael Puck share about how he helps people smile more, photographers sell their canine photographs, and help businesses feel more friendly by using photographic art of dogs in their decor.

Michael started his photography business in 2016 as a nonprofit to help animals in need. In 2019 he merged my corporate business insights with my love for dogs and photography, by selling dog wall art to non-pet-related businesses (car dealerships, wealth advisors, chiropractors, insurance agents, etc.).

He just launched the Global Dog Art Gallery, a first-of-its-kind online gallery that sells finished dog wall art to relationship-focused businesses.

We cover his thoughts on

  1. Connecting the dots to come up with new business ideas by looking at the big picture
  2. How he learned that dog art can start conversations and have a good feeling about a business, and help employees enjoying their work more
  3. The fact that if you have print or TV advertisement that includes a dog, it is 65% more effective
  4. Ways to create great photographs of dogs

This is a conversation about how he thought “outside the box” and created a business that helps people feel happier, improves work environments, and helps photographers sell their work for profit. Bark if this sounds great!

Get your paws on his free online course on how to sell wall art to local businesses at http://www.K9photo.org/ecourse
Connect with him at

Find out more about my programs at

146: Alison Carlino- Night Sky Photography Tips

Today’s episode is a conversation with Alison Carlino about photographing the night sky, with side order of off camera flash photography . Let’s face it…being able to create excellent photographs is an important part of being a profitable photographer so I love chatting with someone about techniques to help us with that.

Alison is both an amazing photographer and teacher who photographs and educates around the world. In her 18th year of business, she teaches/judges for WPPI, PPA/Imaging, SWPP London, PPGH, Texas School of Professional Photography, TxPPA, and SYNC Sports. And Alison is proudly sponsored by Miller’s Professional Imaging.

We discuss her “go to” topics which are off camera lighting, soft boxes, and modern posing. When ask why she uses extra lighting she says she loves walking into a location and flipping it into something the eye cannot see.

Also, listen for this “Night Sky Photography” checklist and why you need to
1-know your equipment
2-scout during the day
3-Download the Photo Pills App…help plan…where and when
4-Bring tripod, wide angle lens, and shutter release
5-understand composition
6- understand where the dark skies are

I know you are going to learn a lot and be inspired to try some of her ideas both in your next portrait session, and make a date with the Milky Way.

Connect with Alison to learn about her classes and where she might
be popping up at a photography event near you.

(832) 595-7874

145: Sergey Bogaitsev-Photography Business in Russia

Sergey lives in St Petersberg, Russia. I feel blessed to have had this conversation with such a wonderful human that lives on the other side of the world from me.

We recorded this amazing episode just weeks before the invasion of Ukraine. Please keep him and his friend and family in your thoughts.

Sergey has been a photographer since the age of 10 and has been a professional for 8 years…now earning income from his passion. He has been a judge for the International World Cup from the Russian Federation and we discuss this amazing competition and how it is organized.

In this special conversation, we go deep into how photographers around the world are really one family. I was a bit surprised to learn that his business practices, the creativity of Russian photographers, and the great relationships built with his clients are so similar to what we do in the US.

He also shares his love of collaborating with other photographers, creating projects that one person can’t do on their own, or have nearly as much fun doing. He talks about the resulting exhibits and new friends he has made around the world with these project.

Please connect with Sergey as he loves making new friends and supporting others on their creative journey.

Sergey Bogaitsev

144: Ronan Ryle- Pro-active Marketing for Photographers

Who doesn’t love listening to an Irish accent from someone full of wisdom and ideas for photography business success? I know I do. That is one reason I loved this interview with CEO of 3XM & BusinessSuccessAcademy, and vendor partner on the PPA Board of Directors.

I think you will love it as well.

This episode is a deep dive into how to REALLY attract great clients that will be happy to invest well in our photography. His vision is for a world where photographers can create sustainable and profitable businesses, where our skills and expertise as professional photographers are highly valued.

He lives for our success and wakes up every day with the mission of helping photographers worldwide create more successful businesses.

Some key points as we chat about successful photography business and such are

-the importance of marketing strategies

-why we need to know our numbers and start with the end in mind

-why lukewarm leads are far better than cold traffic

-Facebook advertising tips

-and why we want to ask WHY

Ronan…with his lovely Irish accent says that people that are blissfully unaware of what beautiful portraits can mean in their lives. We need to help them understand that wall portraits and album, beautiful printing photographs of people they love, are worth investing in and actually can change lives…one smile at a time!

Special offer…





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