I have broken another promise I made to myself. I swore I would never use this thread because I am no longer in business and any advice I would give is truly out of date and useless but nonetheless here I am. My son in law took over my business when I retired. When ever we get together we discuss the business and we had dinner together last night. It has gotten past who does what better with what medium now. Lately it has been about how to promote the business. He has hopes of quiting his suplimental job and doing the studio full time. Since he and my daughter have a much much higher household overhead than I had, he is stuck. It doesn't help that his equipment costs so much and he is constantly updating it. All that is just to explain why he can't do it on the same amount of business I turned over to him. So now we are discussing how to make the business grow. He actually is well past competant. He is a darn good photographer in his own right. He lacks the thrity years of experience, but his work is equal to ANY I have seen here, posted by anyone. So why isn't he swamped. They can't hire you, if they don't know about you. You can be the best photographer in the world and it wont help if nobody knows it. Advertise of course but where. Internet advertising is really not all that good since people still don't know to look there for photographers and there is way too many. A website is essential today but you have to get people to it. Customers are not likely to find you in google. Just throwing dollars at advertising seems to be a waste. Getting your advertisement in front of the people who need your service seems to me to be the best use of your dollars. So he set up in a local wedding show. From it he got three leads not three jobs. The problem seems to be that at those shows people are just browsing. They take the handouts and may or may not follow up when they are ready to buy. Also I think a lot of brides have deeper desires than pocketbooks. If half the people cant buy from you, then it is would seem to be less than maximum use of your money. It's that target audiance again I think. I don't think I would advertise a high end photo business in the thrifty nickle. Getting your advertisement to the target customer would seem most important. Then there is the question of geography, where to advertise. If he did his rightful share of all the work in our area, it still wouldn't be enough to crack his overhead nut. If we lived in houston or dallas or even philly it might work out, but we live in an immediate area of about half a million people and probably fifty million part time photographers. So to make the money he needs, he is going to have to go in search of more and more weddings ect. You can reasonably do a wedding 150 miles away maybe, but not really a family portrait unless you have a huge sitting fee. And that's just half the problem there are plenty more in the sales pitch and closing of the sale. It would seem that a photographer should look the part. I can't see, me for instance, handing a large check to a goth looking person. I know it is hip and all, but I just couldn't do it. I buy from people I like and respect. It has been a sales axiom for years that buyers buy from their equals or betters. At least in big ticket items. It's why they have dress codes in department stores ect. I always said that Olan Mills could sell steak knives. Their success is based on their marketing not their photography. Alas you can't mount a big time marketing campaign as well as a major company can. At least I don't think so. So if there is a formula answer somebody enlighten me please.