How to Move Your Photography Business to a New State

How to Move Your Photography Business to a New State

Claire Hunt

April 5, 2024

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Are you about to make a big move, or thinking about making one soon? It can be scary, especially if you already have an established business where you are, but I know from experience that it’s possible. 

I moved my photography business from Tennessee to Colorado just within one year of starting my business, and it definitely threw me for a loop. I was already established and successful in the Tennessee market, so having to completely uproot that and move was a learning curve for sure. 

While this is more of a niched episode for a niched kind of audience, you may be moving sometime soon or even just thinking about possibly moving in the future, so I hope this will be helpful for you to share my experience of what attributed to my success quickly, even in a saturated market.

My Story With Moving 

If you didn’t know this, I was able to go full-time in my business in just 3 months. I had tried to learn a lot from industry leaders and top educators, and honestly, a lot of it felt like fluff. So, I had learned to essentially build a business on my own with no experience whatsoever. And if you want to hear about my photography journey, especially in the beginning, go back and listen to episode 20 where I share a lot about that. 

I won’t go in-depth, but in short, I started my business in May of 2020 and by August 2020, I was able to go full-time because I had surpassed my monthly nursing income. I had booked 8 weddings by September, and then in October 2020, we decided we wanted to move to Colorado. 

By this point, I had 18 weddings booked for my very first year in business, and I felt comfortable going ahead and pivoting my marketing over to Colorado, so I started trying to market toward Colorado on Instagram. I even wrote a blog for the best Colorado wedding venues, and I talk more about this blog and how well it served me in episode 41 about evergreen content. 

There was a lot of work being done on the backend of my business during that slower season to prepare for the move. I would get inquiries, but they would all go in another direction. This went on for about 3 or 4 months. 

Going back to the business foundations 

I realized I had to go back to the business foundations and start from the very beginning because it was like starting a brand new business. It all begins with portfolio building because couples could not see themselves in my work. Tennessee is so different than Colorado. No matter how great my portfolio is in Tennessee, the clientele in Colorado is different. 

I decided to book some styled shoots in Colorado so I could start marketing better, and I was also connecting with other vendors and other photographers to get some second shooting dates on the calendar. After April was when I started to notice my business taking off. 

Not only was I getting in front of the right couples because of the portfolio, but also because of the way I was marketing and the client experience I had already mastered in my business. 

3 top tips if you’re thinking of moving 

Give yourself time 

If you can, I would recommend 6-9 months of preparation, because we do book far in advance and it takes time for any business changes to happen, especially as an entrepreneur. If you have time, I highly recommend you build your portfolio and connect with people in the area. 

Give yourself grace in the change 

As I mentioned, you’re probably going to have some kind of low period, especially if you didn’t have much time or weren’t able to use most of your time for portfolio building and connecting. Things happen and you’re not always going to be able to prepare to the fullest, so give yourself grace and continue doing the work that you know needs to be done in order to reach the kind of clients you want to work with. Use that time to your advantage before you even make the move. I promise it will continue to serve you for years to come. 

I’ve mentioned before, the Colorado wedding venues blog still serves me today and I still get inquiries from it. Think of things like that or even your client experience. You should be using this time to refine your client experience, refine your booking process, and refine how organized you are in the back end of your business. 

Start building your portfolio

Build your portfolio at every opportunity you can, especially if you’re making a huge move. Couples need to be able to see themselves in your work. One thing that I feel helped me a lot was doing engagement sessions for all of my Colorado couples who had booked me before I even lived here, and that engagement session was free. It was included in their package. 

This gave me the opportunity to get to know my couples and build my portfolio even faster. That experience was so invaluable. Style shoots are great, but if you can actually get out to your area and go see new things and shoot real couples, it’s going to serve you so well. It will give you more content to market and more videos to showcase on your Instagram too. 

And yes, it’s going to cost you, but see it as a business expense. At the end of the day, you need to trust the process because you know this is what you want to do. For me, I was making the right move for my family and my business. 

Don’t get too worried about the actual income and profit side of things. You have to start somewhere. See it as part of the growth and enjoy every step of it because eventually you will be done and you will be completely in your new area. As long as you continue to showcase the location and the behind-the-scenes, you are going to be successful. 

In this episode, we cover:

  • My experience moving my business from Tennessee to Colorado 
  • Why you need to go back to the basics with your business foundations 
  • The 3 key tips to help you succeed when moving your photography business to a new state


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