I write my blog primarily for other photographers and I enjoy sharing my journey in this business.
Let’s get real with the facts here. Photography is a Luxury Purchase. We as photographers know this fact. Whether you have $50 to spend or $5,000, it’s still considered a “luxury purchase” to most.
Let’s also get real here. There are PLENTY of photographers out there in the sea (and if you don’t believe me, do a google search for the town you currently reside in.) Also, many consumers are purchasing DSLR’s and learning the craft themselves. Others are perfectly fine with taking cell phone pics (funny and true story, I can’t take a cell phone picture to save my life.)
In this digital age, us togs have had to get a bit more creative in getting our names out there. For YOU the buyer. We want to entice you with our work and be chosen for our work (and not price). In fact, if you’re price shopping you’re doing it all wrong. Find someone’s whose style you admire and just do it. Remember, what I said? Photography is a LUXURY purchase. These are memories you will have forever and paying a pretty penny for it.
Stay with me… I promise… I am going somewhere with this. ANYONE can take a photo these days… but what are you doing as a photographer to separate yourself in your local area? Are you trying to be like everyone else? Is your work simple? What are you doing to try and separate yourself?
When I started out in this business, I was like everyone else. Style was classic, lots of props and just like everyone else in my area. Last fall, is when I started. I was busy. However, I was probably busy because I was charging very minimal ($60) and it was essentially portfolio building that I was doing. I would ask for a “donation.” Sometimes, I got paid and other times I didn’t, but guess what? I learned and I learned a lot.
Come winter, it was dead. Business. I was desperate and not booking. I was freaking out honestly. I was wondering if this business was going to be for me. I chose to keep trucking ahead. I sat down long and hard and decided what I could do to separate myself in my local area. I took classes after classes. Learned editing, researched my area and was out there. And then I came to the realization, no one offers what I am doing. I tried long and hard to be different. And guess what? It has paid off tremendously!
All my hard work and effort has paid off. I am different from what is offered. My style is completely different from what is offered in South Jersey and I would like to keep it this way. Once I got the basic fundamentals down and perfected my photographs in camera, I decided to tune everyone else out and do me. I stopped listening to what others thought… and again, did me.
Since tuning out most of everything… Yes, I still take constructive criticism and appreciate pretty much all of it, but I have learned to develop a thick skin in this field. I’ve realized I cannot please everyone and I’m not everyone’s style… and that’s honestly OKAY with me… as I’m sure I may not like a particular style, but I still have a very good appreciation for other’s work.
Since going this creative route, my business has FLOURISHED! I have tremendous bookings throughout the week and my business is booked out until 2016! And guess what? This was suppose to be a part time business, but has pretty much developed full time. How incredible is that? I have even hired an assistant to assist me from time to time and even thinking about hiring another!
I guarantee not many! I do know a few… but the majority are struggling to find their way in this field. Seriously? WHO can say that in this business since there are so many of us out there? While also trying to provide the best customer experience possible.
See, what I do.. can’t be done by the average person with a DSLR or iphone. There’s no way they could get as creative with it. It’s virtually impossible, unless you have a ton of Lightroom and Photoshop training. My SOOCs are pretty much perfect in camera and now because of that, my editing time has decreased (hallelujah on that).
What I am offering is something truly unique and heavily sought after. I get at least 5-10 inquires a day and am appreciate for every single inquiry, even if it’s for events, anniversaries, reunions (and not the scam reunions, fellow togs). I’m realizing that my crazy and beautiful art is sought after.
I have had 6 local photographers book me this year and I feel truly honored to be capturing memories for them.
What I’m trying to get in your noggin.. fellow photographer… is don’t be scared to be different! There is a need for it! Don’t be afraid to go outside the box! People will want it! You don’t need to prove yourself to anyone, only yourself in this business! Learn to take risks! I have and I am so blessed! I have been doing this only a year and the journey I ventured on has been truly amazing. The friendships, the passion, the customers, and memories I help to create, keep me pushing ahead!
Remember! Be YOU, Be DIFFERENT, let your CREATIVITY SOAR! Don’t be afraid to try new things! And keep learning new things!
All of these photographs here were taken in our stunning South Jersey backyard!
Happy Shooting, my friends!