In this series, I attempt to identify the key professional virtues I have found to be the most important in building my own career, as well as identifying traits of other successful photographers and business leaders that are most key to their success. Today’s virtue: adaptability.
There are many different ways to sync social profiles, and most have some form of interaction with one another via API calls. An example would be Instagram posting to Twitter automatically, but there are sometimes issues such as when the photo gets pushed to Twitter the image is not shown, rather a link to the image is provided. Without that thumbnail, it's likely to lose 80-plus percent of possible views because people aren't going to click an image when they don't know what it is. I am now using an app called IFTTT which stands for "If This Then That" and it's essentially a mobile version of Mac's Automator app that I love so much.
For the last seven years, our video tutorials have taught the Fstoppers community how to take better pictures. Our latest tutorial, Making Real Money: The Business Of Commercial Photography, is the opposite of that. In fact, there isn't a camera or lens in the entire 14-hours of video. But, I believe it's the most valuable tutorial we've ever made.
One month ago, in a freak soccer accident, I was flipped on my head and snapped my collar bone. Besides the excruciating pain, my mind immediately ran through the calendar of jobs I had lined up as a freelance photographer and videographer in the coming weeks that I knew I’d have to navigate with one arm. Panic quickly set in.
Is your photography business leveraging the power of video to reach new clients? If not, you’re missing out on a great opportunity the likes of which haven’t been seen or may never be seen again. This was the powerful message that I heard at the Social Video Marketing Summit. Having been in attendance I want to share with you what I think are the top three ideas I learned from Gary Vaynerchuk, Brian Peters, Sue Bryce, and Sally Sargood that I think will help photographers take advantage of this medium.
Beyond a slick website and a professional logo, and even beyond your incredible photography, your brand is what matters to potential clients. If you’re having trouble booking clients, or even defining where your business fits within the saturated photography industry, it may be time to reevaluate if your brand is strong enough to stick out. Having a photography business doesn’t mean you also have a brand. Brand building is a very intentional process. Here are a few areas to pay attention to if you feel like your brand may need a bit of work.
If you live in the United States (and aren’t fortunate enough to reside in Arizona), you probably set all of your clocks back an hour on Sunday to switch out of daylight saving time. I’ll put aside, for now, the arguments about why the daylight saving time system is outdated and annoying, and just ask you this: did you remember to change the clock on your cameras?
Working for free can be a little controversial and I'm sure there are many creatives out there that completely disagree with it. There are plenty of reasons as to why someone shouldn't work for free but the debate continues. I, on the other hand, would consider working for free depending on a number of factors. Sometimes making money isn't the objective for me and working for free can be very fulfilling. For instance, offering free work for a charity is something I've done regularly and felt very good about. On other occasions, however, I have worked for free as part of a strategy. This is a more risky method because it doesn't always pay off, but, when it does, it can pay off really well.
It's far too easy for people working in a creative field to somehow get the sense that basic attributes of professionalism don't apply because we're working in a non-traditional job setting. This is something to watch out for as that belief couldn't be further from the truth or worse for your business. Being labelled as an artist does not excuse poor professional habits or practices and if you're serious about having a lasting impact and a long career these common-sense business practices should be very high on your priority list.
“Never say never.” That’s what they always say. But, as hard as I try to adhere to that message, there are a few things I swore I would never do again. Yet last week I found myself doing just one of those things. Even worse, it was my idea. And to my surprise, it was a good one.
This may be appalling to some, or realistic to others, but I think if we don't discuss the state of the profession of photography we will eventually regret it. When it is more than a hobby, how has the industry changed? Is it a good change? Has technology helped or hurt the professional?
Art is about storytelling. It’s about using all the tools at one’s disposal to convey and idea or an emotion. To connect an audience to a brand, or a personality, or a moment in a way the no other medium can. Along with my own technique, the ingenuity of the on-camera talent and the creative team behind it, plus the tools necessary to complete the job, the location you select for your shoot is one of the many raw materials that will have an effect on the eventual alchemy you bring forth to produce a great image.
Whether you are just starting out or you have been shooting for years, pricing is always top of your mind. For a long time, I just plucked figures out of the air, which made for very awkward conversations when clients wanted to know various ways to save money on a shoot. I eventually got my arse in gear and had a long (like a week-long) sit down and I went through everything in the smallest detail. Today, I give quotes with confidence, knowing that if a client says no, I am simply not the photographer for them.