Many people take photos these days. Mobile phones are equipped with increasingly better cameras which are stimulating people to start clicking more often. It almost seems that it will not take long until most professional photographers can throw their expensive equipment in the bin. In this blog I will discuss what photographers can do to keep their jobs.
Step 1: Get your work out there on social media
As a photographer I have noticed the power that social media can have on the amount of shoots you are invited to. I have never been shy and have always put my photos on Facebook. This did not have much effect for several years; mainly because my photography was not really that special. However, I did always receive a lot of feedback from my Facebook friends. This turned out to be very helpful, as I do have many friends who are photographers. So using Facebook was not only useful for getting my work out there, it was also good to get pointers from people that are a lot better than me.
But that’s not all. Facebook can help you going viral. I once managed to have a photo go viral and it instantly ignited my photography career. I was taking photos on a snowboard event, just for fun. I climbed up a large wall and, arguably, managed to get the best shot of the event. The person on the photo turned out to be a famous snowboarder; I send him the photo that same night. He posted it, and it went viral. This can also happen on Instagram and Twitter. So make sure you get your work out on those platforms!
Step 2: Stand out, create your own style
I found out that having your own, recognisable, style is very important in photography. It took me many years to create my own style and I can tell from experience that it helps me out in getting invited to shoots. Creating your own style is all about shooting images that the other photographers are not taking. Don’t stand next to all the other photographers; find a new angle!
Step 3: Go the extra mile
Make sure that your client is only getting the very best. This means that you should be flexible and work a bit harder than other photographers. I once made a mistake in the postproduction stage (photoshop) of an assignment. I took several hundred photos at an event and send them to my client the next day. That evening I had another look at my photos and found out that they were all looking sort of greenish. I decided to re-photoshop all the photos, which took me until 7 in the morning. It turned out that my client was really pleased with my newly photoshopped photos. A photographer should think about having their costumers return, just like any other business. You should think of your photography as a business in order to be successful.
Step 4: Put yourselves in the shoes of your client
Putting oneself in the shoes of a costumer seems to be something that many photographers are forgetting. I had a very hard time thinking like my costumers, as I was too stubborn to see their point of view. Photographers tend to get caught up in their own creative process, which is not always helpful. Make sure you keep in mind what it is that you have to deliver. If that means being less creative, so be it!
Step 5: Tune your work for the online environment
It is very important that you check whether your content is ready to go online or not. There are many different advertising possibilities online, make sure that your photography fits the bill. Advertisers don’t know everything, especially when it boils down to photography. This is your profession; make sure that you get informed about the deliverables so that you can produce the best quality content.
I hope that these steps have given you some good ideas about where to go with your photography. Creating online photography content is a bit different than creating it for printed media. Make sure you optimize your content as such. Also, don’t wait until your costumers are coming to you. Get yourself noticed on any online platform possible. People will recognize you eventually, but it does take time and a lot of effort. Get out there and use social media to your advantage!