Community Over Competition

Make money by referring the photography shoots you can't take: It's a win-win-win.


Have you ever wondered what happens to the photography leads you cannot take?

Lachlan Shum

Co-Founder, CEO of Focal

Try adding up the dollar value of the photoshoots you turn away in a month. Are they worth hundreds? Thousands? Even more? What if there was a way to recapture that value — all while helping your clients and fellow photographers?
We know how much work you put into building up a photography brand that attracts clients. That hard work shouldn't go to waste if you're already booked.

With Community Over Competition, not only can you earn money from the shoots you turn away, you're also providing a better experience for your clients by ensuring they're well looked-after. You win. Your clients win. Your photography peers win.
Want to know more?


How Community Over Competition Works

Overview and Benefits

When you receive a photography booking inquiry you cannot take (either because you're already booked or the fit isn't right), refer your client to another photographer on the Focal Marketplace and everyone wins.

You get to earn extra income (7% revenue share of the booking total) for the clients you can't take on. Your fellow photographers love you for bringing them bookings. And your clients love you for providing exceptional care in getting them matched with a photographer that fits their needs.


Step 1: Pass It Along đŸ€

Community Over Competition isn't only for shoots generated through Focal. You can refer clients from outside the Marketplace and benefit all the same.
1. Find a photographer on the Marketplace whose style/package offering matches your own. Message them to see if they're free. (Want to send the shoot to a friend? Get them to sign up for Focal.)
2. Copy the photographer and Focal ( on your reply to your client's inquiry. (See sample email.)
3. Share a URL link to the photographer's best-matching Marketplace package in your reply. Get ready to be paid!

Step 2: Get Paid 💰

Once your client books with the referred photographer and they've paid for the shoot, you'll receive a 7% revenue share of the booking total, paid within seven (7) business days directly to your banking account via Stripe.

(On a $3,000 wedding shoot, that's over $200 you'll earn purely by spreading the love to another photographer.)

Sample Referral Email

Capture Your Lost Leads with Focal

Subject: Your wedding photography inquiry
To: Client | CC: Referred Photographer; Focal (

Hi Jessica,

Thanks for reaching out! I'm so sorry, but I am already booked for a wedding on Oct 22nd, 2022 -- but I do have a great photographer in mind.

I highly recommend Lachlan. He's a fantastic wedding photographer. He just let me know that he's available on your wedding weekend, and I was super surprised because his schedule fills up FAST!

He has a very similar shooting style to me and is great to work with. We've actually shot a few weddings together before, and it's always been a pleasure.

I know you were looking at my Magnolia Wedding Experience. Here's a wedding package of his that aligns pretty closely with mine and gives you a glimpse of his work:

[Insert URL link to photographer's package on Focal Marketplace]

I've CCed Lachlan on this email, in case you'd like to chat more.
Wish you all the best in your wedding planning, and congratulations! :)



Let's answer some of your questions

Who can I refer my photoshoots to?

You can refer your photoshoot inquiries to any photographer listed on the Focal Marketplace. Search the Marketplace by location (i.e. Seattle) and category (i.e. Family) to find photographers offering similar packages to what your client was looking for. Can't find a photographer to refer in your area? Tell your friends and peers about Focal. Get them to list their packages on the Marketplace, and you can send referrals their way.

Who benefits from Community Over Competition?

Short answer? Everyone. You get to earn extra income for the clients you can't take on. Your fellow photographers benefit by receiving leads for new shoots. And your clients benefit from exceptional care and getting matched with a photographer that fits their needs. Win-win-win.

How do I get paid?

Once you've referred the booking inquiry to another photographer, you'll get paid by direct bank deposit via Stripe within seven (7) business days of the client confirming their new booking and paying for their photoshoot. Each client referred to another Focal photographer is another 7% revenue share you'll receive after a completed booking.

Browse and Book a Photographer on the Focal Marketplace

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