Some insight into starting your own photography business.
Todays Blog is about starting a photography business.
A lot of people think photography is just clicking a button. However as all photographers know this is not the case. If you think that's the case then my advice is that you look for a different business to open.
Photography is about capturing memories for yourselves and for clients. A memory is not just what you see. But what you feel, the atmosphere, the fun. This is not caught by clicking a button. It's not caught by knowing what settings to use. This is caught by your interaction with people. How you see and feel in that moment you "press the button" and also the framing of the image.
In terms of working with clients. My biggest piece of advice is to enjoy it, to be apart of it, to make it. You want the clients to look at the photos and remember the funny moments behind the image. You want to create a memory that lasts both for your clients and yourself. An example for you would be this. If you photograph a wedding or party and you stand in the corner looking miserable or "professional" by not getting involved then your photos will show that. People won't smile naturally for you. However if you walk amongst people and smile, joke and in get in with the group you will be free to make jokes that will make people laugh. It breaks the ice. This makes you very approachable for people to make requests for photos. It takes the initiative.
There are plenty of photographers who think being professional means staying out the group, Being an outsider. That your there to be professional and just there for the money. Personally I say if I don't enjoy each event I photograph, Or other people don't then I consider it a failure. But I say being Professional means doing what it takes to capture the images, atmosphere and feeling within the room. If that means being a fool, joker, serious, calm, excited then so be it. You need to adapt to each situation as each event changes which will be constant.
Here's an example of how far I go for the clients. I photographed a wedding in November for a lovely couple. to get good shots of people dancing, I went round the room taking photos and getting people up dancing. I stand at the front during the cha cha slide and do the dance in front of them while taking photos ( Not as easy as you may think ). I got people laughing. They enjoyed watching a guy trying to multi task. The photos taken showed the atmosphere. I also joined the conga line taking photos from the point of a guest taking part. From the perspective of a guest. I got photos of people laughing and pointing at myself trying to conga and take photos. I enjoyed this and so did the clients and guests.
If other people see you putting yourself out there, helping guests enjoy the day, helping the couples day go smoothly then the guests will also be more likely to remember you. They will be likely to hire you for other events to help create the atmosphere.
Outright I will say that my work is not the best out there. That I do not know it all. That I have faults. However I do say that I do my best. That I put my all in there. But I get work that 9/10 gets positive feedback.
The best thing I found is to stay calm. Reassure Clients in stressful situations and always try to make people laugh.
I photographed a charity 12 months ago at a fundraiser. Used all the above tactics and 12 months later I am still one of them taking photos and proud of it. This charity is the Fat Lads on Bike. From working with these guys my work has gotten into the papers, ITV, adverts and other places. I have gained contacts in different businesses that I help in turn and who have helped me in turn. I have also been given work for other charities with similar results. As a rule I never charge charities as long my name accompanies the images. This helps promotion, Advertising. But above all it gives charities the same. It is mutual. I want to help people. As many as I can and I believe I achieve this.
In terms of photographing Landscapes, Architecture, Creative photography. Each photo is telling a story from your perspective. Your showing what you see. What stands out be it the colours, A Single Item, A person, A building. How you frame it is your choice. There is no such thing as right or wrong. It all depends purely on if your happy and like your shot or not. People may like or dislike your shot but its peoples opinions. You will always get people who do and don't like it. But what matters most is that YOU like YOUR photo.
Starting your own business costs a lot of money. So make sure you research your equipment that you need to make sure it fits the bill. Don't buy a cheaper version if you know you need the better more expensive item. Your best bet is to save up that little bit longer and get the right equipment from the beginning to save buying it twice.
Advertising is a big issue but doesn't have to be expensive. Get yourself out there. Give free photos to charities and groups who will use them to promote themselves and you at the same time. Theres a good chance they will come back to you.
The best bit of advice I can give you is this.
Enjoy what you do. Let your personality out to impress people. Make people remember you for the right reasons and remember the memory behind the photos.
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