Almost every single one of you reading this can become a professional, paid photographer. There has never been a lower barrier to entry to starting out with access to masses of free online learning tools, affordable professional quality gear and the ability to market yourself globally. The problem isn’t so much starting, as it is sustaining. Enter, the Photo Brigade, one of the best tools I've come across in months for those looking to sustain their photography business.
There is currently a scam running rampant throughout the photography community and it has damaged countless reputable businesses already. The scam usually perpetuates from your contact form or direct email if listed on your website. Hopefully you won’t encounter this at all, but if you do here are some steps to protect yourself.
In this age of an increasingly competitive photography market, we shooters need to utilize every tool possible to make us stand out in the pack. My buddy Matthew Jones has gone back to basics with his printed pocket portfolio. He has found that in a world of modern digital portfolios, these printed books allow prospective clients to not only have something that they can take home and remember his work by, but it even easily fits in their pockets! Jones shares his thoughts on the benefits of having a pocket portfolio below.
Many of you know about my headshot work, but one of the other major areas of my business is photography for hotels, also known as hospitality photography. Hospitality photography often requires a jack-of-all-trades. I frequently shoot food, cocktails, headshots, mock weddings, and work with models for lifestyle shots. Then add to all that the architectural elements and details of the interior and exterior of the property and you have a shoot that requires quite a bit of different types of gear. When you add it all up, sometimes I’m flying a few hundred pounds worth of gear with me. As I was traveling recently, I thought it was a good time to write up an article about flying and traveling with your gear, and the best way you can minimize the cost of moving it all.
Being fiscally successful as a photographer requires more then just taking great pictures. Branding, marketing, and promoting are huge aspects of the business of photography. One of the first steps photographers often take when starting their business is designing a logo, but this can often be a mistake. Before designing a logo, photographers or really any business should carefully develop and create their brand identity. In this post, we will look at the multi-stepped process of developing and designing a photography brand.
One of the most effective ways for wedding photographers to advertise for free is by blogging their work. There’s an old saying that goes something like “you can’t sell what you can’t show,” and it can’t be more true when it comes to our services. If we don’t blog, or show our work, how would a potential client find us? And guess what the best part is? Blogging is absolutely free!
A few months ago I wrote about Pixsy, a new online service, which promised to automate the process of dealing with copyright infringement. I have since been invited by the folks at Pixsy to give their Beta software a run through. After a few weeks of testing I am ready to share my opinions on this unique service!
Perhaps the benchmark of “making it” in this business is to earn an assignment that would cause all but those with the strongest moral character to push both ethical and legal boundaries if an opportunity to supplant the rightful hire were to present itself. Bicoastal photographer Navid Baraty is one such photographer that might draw out said envy from his peers with the most recent addition to his client list.
If you’ve worked in this industry long enough, you’ve heard the phrase that suggests why being a good businessperson is just as, if not more, important that being a good photographer. The more jobs I do, the more I see the wisdom in this statement, and this article will illustrate a few key points why.
Even wonder what goes on in the boardrooms of our favorite camera manufacturers? For many users over the last few years, there’s been regular questioning over decisions that the Big Two (Canon and Nikon) have made. Long term fans have been almost universal in their derision of both companies, citing lack of innovation, lack of meeting true user need, and 'interesting' pricing strategy as some of the reasons. True or not, this video showing “behind the scenes” of the DSLR video revolution and a parody of Canon exec thinking is absolutely hilarious.
Ever hear someone say “Don’t worry, we can fix it in post”? This is increasingly both a still photography and motion ‘issue’. We’ve become so accustomed to having the digital tools to ‘fix’ our work, most people see it as a normal part of the process. For personal and business growth, this mindset is like asking to be blindfolded and then getting directions to the nearest minefield. Fixing things in post should not be a standard approrach as it's asking for trouble. Here’s why, and more importantly, what you can do about it.
Photography, for many of us, is a very personal ambition. As with any art form we pour our blood, sweat, tears, and heart into every project be it a paid or unpaid venture. Many of us put so much emphasis on the success of our creations that we are afraid to share them with the world. Many great pieces of work go unseen because of this irrational fear we hold.
One of those most important parts of any portrait sessions is what happens after the shoot is over. In the last part of this series I want to talk a bit about the end of your photo session, and how you can ensure you have a happy client that will not only come back for more but will tell their friends how awesome the experience was. Almost every day I get a call from someone asking me to advertise on Google. I simply reply “no thank you” as I don’t feel that Google can compete with word of mouth. As I have mentioned in first part of this series, word of mouth is one of the most powerful advertising weapons you have, with the ability to grow your business exponentially. This will be a bit different for everyone, but I think you can take this and apply it to any type of photography session you do.
Recently, I sang the blues about being a careless photographer on Facebook, Twitter, etc, and that culminated in the article Don't Be An Annoying, Whiny Photographer on Social Media. While I stand behind the points I covered in it, I've heard tons of feedback already. "Ok, wiseguy, what should a photographer do on social media then?" is the general message I've been seeing. I might have likened these behaviors to that of young children, and that might have not set well some shooters out there.
Staying motivated and feeling creative becomes a challenge at some point or another for all us. As professional photographers, we are paid to create inspired work on a daily basis. So how do we fight back when feeling unmotivated and when we are losing that creative spark? Here are five techniques for getting refocused and remotivated.