Transitioning from Weddings to Portraits

Guest: Jeannine Pohl

Owner | Jeannine Marie Photography
St. Paul, Minnesota

DATE: March 09, 2023

At some point, many wedding photographers feel the itch to transition from events to shooting portraits instead. Maybe they want their weekends back. Maybe they are burnt out on the run and gun of the wedding business; but when you’ve built your entire brand around wedding photography, how do you make the switch?

Jeannine Pohl did it and she experienced more success than she imagined. Jeannine is a portrait photographer in Minneapolis who started her business in 2007 and formerly shot exclusively weddings and events. Enter Covid-19 and a reevaluation of her priorities forced her to change the trajectory of her business. 

Over a three year period, Jeannine has transformed her business model from event-focused to portrait-focused photography and that is no small switch. 

In this episode, she openly shares the mindset shifts she had to go through and the pain points she experienced along the way. As an Art of Selling Art student and a Mindshift Member, Jeannine also shares some of the critical concepts she learned and incorporated and how those changes helped her make the transition from a successful wedding photographer to a thriving portrait studio.

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • Why Jeannine (and many others) make the switch from wedding photography.
  • How to find creative fulfillment (instead of fear) when trying something new.
  • The pain points in making a major business model change.
  • What mindset shifts were essential for her success (2022 was her best year yet!).

Here’s a glance at this episode:

  • [2:07] – Jeannine was a wedding photographer for many years but Covid changed the way she does business.
  • [3:37] – Wedding pricing was completely different and selling portraits turned out to be a challenge for Jeannine initially.
  • [4:51] – With weddings, clients knew exactly what they were getting due to a contract with Jeannine’s offerings.
  • [6:20] – Comparatively, weddings have a specific date. But with portrait sessions, it’s easy for clients to procrastinate unless the photographer creates the parameters.
  • [7:59] – Another change for Jeannine was finding creative fulfillment in portrait photography.
  • [10:01] – Jeannine executes newly learned skills very quickly.
  • [11:58] – Initially, Jeannine needed to do a lot of money mindset work on herself before making major changes to what she offers.
  • [14:09] – There are some things that are a pain in the beginning and you can learn better ways of doing things.
  • [16:01] – Sometimes you don’t know there’s another way of doing things until you seek education.
  • [17:53] – Jeannine describes the difference between her discovery calls for weddings and the consultations for portraits.
  • [19:16] – The visual slideshow created for clients to see is also helpful for photographers to stay on track.
  • [20:46] – Jeannine’s project this year is to change software which also creates some change within her own business systems and processes.
  • [21:33] – Education is key and through working with Allison, Jeannine learned tremendously.

Links and Resources: 
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Jeannine Pohl
Wedding Instagram | Portrait Instagram

Do The ReWork
Website | Instagram

Allison Tyler Jones
Website | Instagram | LinkedIn