If you take a look back at Ikea's marketing catalog used to showcase their new products and looks for the season, there was a time where they decided to use images displaying only the products and Ikea-styled sets with no human intervention or interaction. At one stage these images were computer generated and rendered to make a simulated environment look as perfect and clinical as possible.
You get what you pay for. In most cases, this saying rings true. However, there is another narrative playing out in the photographic world. This other, rather untold story has a central character getting much, much more than what they pay for. When it comes to portrait photography, clients are reaping rewards from photographers who are unwilling or too fearful to raise their prices. There comes a time when something other than a photographer’s livelihood must give.
It's October and this year has been one of my most productive years as a working photographer to date! I finished writing my second book this year (which will launch in August), I'll have taught over 30 workshops by the end of the year, my number of clients has increased exponentially, and my income has also increased as a result of that effort. How? Simply accountability and focused productivity. Over the course of the last year, I've worked on reducing my total "work time" by purposely controlling my productivity. Here are five methods that I've used to become exponentially more productive.
Marketing your business and your creative work can be tough. Doing it in a small market can be even tougher. It can often seem overwhelming, but with some careful analysis and planning, you can maximize your opportunities. Having worked in sales and marketing for the better part of 18 years, I've picked up a few tips and tricks that I believe would help any photographer struggling to establish themselves in any market.
If you’re like me and live in a town of 1,300, marketing is the most difficult aspect of business you’ll encounter. Marketing with conventional methods is often extremely difficult or even impossible. In this article I will outline some conventional and non-conventional ways of marketing yourself in a small town.
One of the biggest hits at a wedding reception (or any event) is the photobooth. It’s an area where guests can gather around and make ridiculous faces, dress in silly props, and have an overall great time. When running a photography business that shoots events, we are always asked if we offer photobooth services, so I think it's a natural evolution to want to incorporate one into your packages. When I first found the booth from Photobooth Supply Co, it instantly stood out from all the other options.
This is one of the most important questions that most photographers out there have been asking themselves. We admire the photographers who have their own styles, and sometimes we try to imitate their styles that we like most. We were all taught to try everything, until we find our own unique visual styles. But, is that really important?
One of the most common questions photographers have is about how to effectively price their work. Rates vary so widely based on location and skill level that many are left scratching their heads as to what is fair. This has led to the common mantra stating “ask for the clients budget.” Here is why I think that's a ridiculous way to price yourself and a horrible piece of advice.
Photographers are creative entrepreneurs. As creative entrepreneurs, most of us aspire to monetize our craft and make a living as artists. In order to run our businesses efficiently, it’s important to have tools and systems in place. If you’re a single person operation, it can be overwhelming at times to think about all the things that go into running your business that aren’t “photography,” including but not limited to marketing, bidding, invoicing, making phone calls, sending emails, networking, upgrading equipment, and higher education to name just a few. Without systems, it’s easy to get off track.
That title might sound a little bit backwards to most of you, but it is not. I know many professionals feel you shouldn't do any photography for free, especially after you have worked your tail off to get to a point where people will pay you to make images. However, even as a full time professional photographer, I actually do a lot of free work. But I do it only on my owns terms, and do turn down many offers.
Renting studio spaces can get pretty pricey, especially in big cities like New York. VSCO is now offering free studio time in their New York location for all artists. If you are in the area, and have a project that requires a studio, this could be an awesome opportunity to take advantage of. The studio includes a permanent cyc wall and even some basic lighting to get you going.
So, you’ve got your portfolio finished. You have strong images that display the work that you want to be hired for. Your website is branded in a way that appeals to your target market. Your business cards are all set to go. So why aren’t clients flying through your door?