Building Your Business, Tips from the Pros

5 Ways to Keep Photography Clients Coming Back

“Client retention.” “Repeat customers.” You hear the buzzwords all the time, but are you actually doing enough to ensure that your photography clients come back for seconds?

Not only are your past customers ideal for your business, but they have also overcome all of the hurdles placed between a potential client and their photographer (like competition, price range, or style).

Female professional photographer with camera

Client acquisition can be costly and time-consuming, not to mention all the time spent educating and coordinating with a first time customer. Working with a client more than once makes sense for your bottom line AND saves you valuable time.

To help you develop positive habits with your existing clients and to keep them coming back time after time, we’ve put together our top 5 client retention ideas:

1. Send a handwritten thank-you note.

The first (and most obvious) step to repeat business is gratitude. Besides offering your client your appreciation, a quick handwritten note reminds them of your great work and their lovely experience with you.

Because there are constant distractions and infinite advertisements vying for our attention at all times, reminding your clients of your existence is one of the most important things you can do to foster repeat business. For an extra special note, use Galleree’s custom Thank You template set to showcase your client’s photo shoot on their Thank You card.
Handwritten hank you note for photographers

2. Communicate regularly with the folks on your mailing list.

This one expands on the “reminder” function of the previous tip. A beautiful email delivered directly to your previous clients’ inbox is the perfect way to keep your brand and services on their mind and ahead of the competition. After all, post-session, you should have your client’s personal email, and a direct line of communication is considered extremely valuable in the marketing world. Don’t waste it!

Send periodic newsletters highlighting new work, sales, and specials, and take the time to extend personalized offers to past clients. Email newsletter for photographers

Bonus tip: Segment your mailing list. Build a mini-list of clients who have purchased sessions with you in the past, and send tailored emails to this list on a rotating schedule.

To perfect your post-session communication, and to start what promises to be a long and fruitful client relationship, use Galleree’s Post Session Client Email template, and use the Client Gratitude Newsletter template to kick off or ramp up your studio’s newsletters.client email from professional photographer

3. Send them a special gift.

The use of gifts in modern marketing stems from the good old principle of reciprocity. It’s behind the samples at Costco, the free swag at corporate events, and the extras you are about to provide your clients upon delivery of their prints.
It’s a pretty simple concept: When we receive something free of charge, without asking for it, we feel gratitude and a subtle indebtedness to that person (or that company). This tip is wide open for interpretation and lots of creativity.

Custom USB drives for photographers
Do you provide your clients with a pretty thumb drive full of photos? Throw in an extra custom USB from Artsy Couture for their personal use. Does your sister make incredible candles? Commission a signature scent and drop one off to all of your clients. Want to make a statement? Print one of their selects on a gorgeous Artsy Couture canvas wrap.

If a handful of inexpensive custom prints sounds like the perfect gift to you, use Galleree’s Modern Collage Kit template. Galleree’s Bold Desk Calendar template makes another perfect return client gift.Photo calendar

The possibilities are limitless, and the outcome is certain: a stronger relationship with your client. 

4. Set up birthday or anniversary specials.

Speaking of gifts, events like birthdays and anniversaries are the perfect time for offering past clients a special rate. Not only does a special promotion let your client know you are thinking about them, but it also gives them a chance to do something exciting to celebrate their special day.

5. Reward all of your referrals.

This final tip kills two birds with one stone: it brings old clients back and new clients with them. When you reward your existing clientele for referring new customers, you add an incentive to spread the word about your studio while automatically planning a follow-up session for the original client.

Use Galleree’s Digital Referral Program Brochure template to start your own referral program and put both new and repeat clients on the schedule.

Photographer referral program email
Implement these 5 tips to build and sustain strong client relationships that last beyond your first interaction. Use all the tools available to you to continually remind your clients of your existence and your incredible work. Remember, your past clients are your future clients. Keep those relationships active and watch the number of repeat clients grow!

Guest post by Rebecca S. of

Love this post + want more just like it? Here are 3 other blog posts we suggest reading:


8 Unexpected Things Every Newborn Photographer Needs
How I Grew My Instagram Account to Over 300,000 Followers