When you work in a creative industry, you’ll hear lots of different pieces of advice and information about your sector. Sometimes it’s difficult to sort out the useful from the useless – especially when you’re a photographer. There are always ways that you can adapt your business and make it more customer-centric and enhance the service you’re providing. We thought we’d dispel a few photography myths and put together a guide to give you even more clarity when approaching your photography business.
- I’ve learnt everything I need to know
There’s always more to learn – which is especially true with photography. New equipment and software is launched in the marketplace all the time, so learning about new techniques you can use to improve your product will help to give you an edge and ensure you don’t fall behind the crowd.
New courses to help you handle the latest technology are recommended, as well as keeping up to date by watching instructional videos or browsing forums.
- I don’t have a lot of work for my portfolio, so no-one will hire me
You don’t need to have thousands of photos in your portfolio to get hired. When pitching your services, it’s rare that anyone will have the time to flick through everything anyway. Giving a streamlined, efficient version of your portfolio that captures some of your best-quality work is effective. You’ll give a client an accurate idea about your talents, without overwhelming them with work.
- I don’t need to market myself
It’s easy to neglect self-promotion and marketing when you’re working with clients and out on shoots. But it’s essential that you get your name out there and have a marketing strategy in place. Social media ads and good SEO can help you to essentially market yourself while you work and help to maintain your client book. You never know when work will dry up, so work on making connections.
- I don’t need new technology
Doing things the old-fashioned way can be tempting, but there are lots of tools out there to help manage your workflows and make your work processes run more smoothly. At Halsys, our tools like ID-Shoot will help you to limit production time and minimize errors and Microlab will create an automated workflow and streamline your processes.
- Upselling is a waste of my time
Taking good photographs is obviously the most important thing about your business, but there are lots of other ways to generate more revenue too. Upselling your services and providing additional products will help to differentiate you from other photographers and shows that you’re flexible and willing to adapt.
- A new camera will solve all my problems
Buying a new piece of kit is really exciting and can give you a confidence boost, but it won’t be the solution to all of your problems. If clients aren’t giving the most positive feedback then you might need to get more creative with your ideas, instead of your equipment. Why not try out some new approaches and locations and experiment with new styles and ways of working.
- Follow-up Correspondence is pointless
Keeping in touch with your clients is a really good idea. You can maintain a solid working relationship and you can stay in their mind when they’re thinking about future events that they’ll need photos for. Dropping someone an email here and there or sending a thank-you note can go a long way and leave people with a positive impression of you.
- My skills need to be photography-based
Yes, it’s important that you can take a good photo, but expanding your skill-set into other areas is useful too. For example, if you can learn how to design a website, set-up an email marketing campaign or write a fantastic blog post then you can offer to provide other services along with the photography that you’ll provide. You can help create more value for your clients by offering to diversify what they do with their photos.
- I’ve run out of ideas so I must be a bad photographer
Ask any photographer and they’ll tell you that a creative rut is a standard part of the business. Running out of ideas doesn’t mean you’re a failure, it just means you need to reinvigorate your creative juices. Work on your personal photography; go for long walks, try to relax and your ideas will come back. Keep the faith and don’t berate yourself for having a creative lull.
- Clients value the quality of photos above everything else
Taking great photos is your bread and butter as a photographer, but if you can ensure that the kids you’re working with at a school are comfortable, relaxed and find the sessions enjoyable then that’s equally important. You might take good photos, but the sessions are awkward and boring. Actively communicating and making people feel at ease is a really important skill to have in school photography, so if you can show a bit of personality and build relationships, it can get you a long way.