Whats Important to be a good photographer
Many people have different ideas as to what makes a good photographer.
Is it big expensive equipment? Turning up in a flash car and suit? Is it the price you charge? Or is it the end quality of your images?
Out of all the above options the closest answer I believe in is the quality of the final images. But deeper than that its how you obtain those images.
I may not have been doing photography for a very long time compared to others but i firmly believe I have a lot of experience in various fields.
I take pride in my unprofessional conduct whilst doing a professional job. I do what it takes to get the best images. I have no shame in the comments, Jokes I make or embarrassing myself. Its one of the best ways to get natural smiles in images but more importantly it makes you approachable. People won't feel intimidated asking you to take photo's of them and leads to good communications.
I prefer my approach compared to the big "Professional" approach whereby standing in the sidelines taking images and not making a presence or getting involved. With exception of events where that is strictly the role there is no harm in going the extra step. Simple small things like dancing with the children or grabbing people up to dance helps create a nice mood and generates laughs ( especially with my awful dancing ;) )
A quiet shy photographer ofter gets forgotten which isn't too good for business. But if you make an effort to socialise, enjoy yourself and put yourself out there you will get work and recommendations until you have to turn bookings away.
When it comes to advertising to get your name out there you can spend Thousands of pounds and yet not gain much work from it. My experience these last two years is that in helping out in the community and with local charities you can gain so much advertising for the cost of your time. People can actually see you as you work, See your end quality of images and whats more go and spread the word.
Virtually all of my work comes from word of mouth. Ive met some high profile people over the last through years and had the pleasure of knowing some truly amazing people. Ali Brownlee, the voice of the boro, Alexander O' Neil, a singer, Neil "Razor" Ruddick, Ex footballer and comedian, Alesha Dixon, Singer and X factor judge, Ben Gibson, George Friend, Juninho, Paul Merton, Daniel Ayela, Stewart Downing, Dimi Konstantopolis, Karanka, Neil Madison who are all linked to Middlesbrough Football club as players.
By doing my voluntary work I've managed to gain great exposure with these people and its been appreciated many times by the clients and my list is growing. 4 years I have been doing photos for the MFC. And I've gained a lot of public recognition for it where people see my face and business and recognise me. That is the most powerful tool for advertising and recognition more than money can.
Being paid for work is great. But gaining greater recognition and advertising is worth more than money in the pocket.
Hope this can at least help some people aiming to be photographers gain an idea into an alternate method of creating a good photography business.
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