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.
Whether you’re brand new to photography, a seasoned veteran, or somewhere in-between, learning and re-learning the ins and outs of your craft is an essential part of the continuing education that comes along with being a photographer. If you’re a professional who makes a living on taking photos, then this is even more vital. Here are the most influential authors of the past 10 years who have helped me to understand everything from light itself through setting up my own office / studio.
I have learned a lot over the years regarding pricing and bidding commercial photography. I still have a lot to learn. I've made mistakes (lots of them) and had some victories (fortunately). Sometimes as photographers we feel isolated on this psychological roller coaster of wins and losses. The reality is, no matter where you are in your photography career, no matter how big (or small) your clients are, we're all struggling with the same issues when it comes to bidding a gig.
A big portion of my work comes from clients in the tactical and law enforcement industry. This past week I attended a trade show for my industry. I knew this was going to be an amazing opportunity to network, make connections, and, fingers crossed, make some new clients. I realized I needed to come up with a strategy that would set me up for success and assure that I got the most out of my experience. A made a list of ideas to try out. I took the ones that worked the best and developed this simple five step plan that will make your next trade show visit a beneficial one.
Over the last week, a story unfolded about a newlywed couple in Dallas upset with the services they received from their wedding photographer, Andrea Polito. A few days ago, Polito issued an open letter to share her side of the story. This story serves as a lesson and caution to all wedding photographers to consider when handling clients and business dealings.
One of the formulas to success is to have a website that is remarkable! If you are not staying on top of design trends and continually developing your site, you will find yourself behind times and will lose business because of it. Gone are the days when we could set up a site and let it sit idle for a few years. We are marketing to the the millennial generation, a generation that has grown up with the internet, mobile devices and social media. Is your website ready to cater to them?
As a busy photographer, productivity is key for my work. I'm often finding myself blocking my own access to Facebook, Twitter and Reddit throughout the day, forcing me to work on the tasks at hand. And while I truly believe photography is the best job in the entire world, a lot of our days are filled with simple mundane tasks - which is why I love Gmail's Canned Responses.
Branching off from their web-based portfolio service, Format has launched a free iPad app named Kredo. The app allows users to add and organize their images into portfolios, exhibit portfolios to clients in a sleek-looking presentation, publish their work to the Kredo Discover network, or share their portfolios with anyone else on any device with optional password protection. While up against the trusty tactile printed portfolio and other digital portfolio services, the unique features and dark, minimalist layout may be something worth testing out.
Photography equipment is expensive, and regardless of whether we are amateurs or full-time professionals, losing your equipment to theft or damage could be catastrophic. A single event (be it theft, natural disaster, etc.) could completely devastate your business and leave you without means of income to recover the loss. Fortunately, DSLR Video Shooter has recently published a video and article aimed at helping those photographers who currently have uninsured equipment find a plan to protect themselves in case of such an event.
Do you ever feel like a "small fry" compared to the "big names" that are established in your area? Ever wonder if you are missing out on business because you don't have the same accolades on your website? Rather than let that get you down, why not embrace being the underdog, after all it has a lot of advantages!
I must be getting old. This year I will turn 32 and as each day of my life passes I care about social media sites less and less. I can remember when a Facebook "like" used to excite me. Those days are long gone, I simply do not care anymore, and my business is struggling because of it.