- Picture Perfect Lighting: An Innovative Lighting System for Photographing People
- The Dramatic Portrait: The Art of Crafting Light and Shadow
- Portrait Photography: From Snapshots to Great Shots
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Make no mistake - we are all dealing with a very different world today than we did just a few weeks ago.
And while the current situation with the COVID-19 pandemic is extremely concerning and stressful, it's imperative that you muster the mental fortitude to press forward and do what you can now to improve your photography business.
I've been in this industry for a long time, and for the duration of that time, I've worked from home.
I also constantly strive to find ways to make my business more productive and successful. That commitment is more important now than ever before.
In the video above, I offer up some photography business tips for improving your business that have worked well for me over the years.
Many of these tips might seem like "duh" moments, but in a time of crisis, it's easy to lose your way. I hope you find these tips helpful.
I've offered a quick overview of each tip below, but for the complete run-down of each business tip for photographers, check out my complete video above!
Improve Your Photography Business: Make Working From Home Work for You
As I mentioned a moment ago, I've worked from home for many, many years.
In that time, I've made a TON of mistakes that just made my working life more difficult.
Fortunately, I've also discovered so things I can do to make my home-based business flourish.
Check out my video above for all the tips you need to make working from home an easier and more productive task.
Stay in Touch With Your Clients
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Now is not the time to fall off the map and leave your clients in the dark.
All the gigs that have been canceled will need to be rescheduled at some point, and you want your clients to know that you will accommodate any changes they make.
You can do that by staying in touch. This doesn't mean you need to call every week. Just shoot them an email or a text now and again, just to check on them. Don't make it all about "have you rescheduled yet??" and don't be pushy about locking down future business.
Show genuine concern for their well-being, reassure them that you'll be ready to go when they are, and you'll have a client for life.
Learn a New Photography Skill
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There's always something new to learn or a skill you can improve upon. If you find that you have more downtime than usual, use that time to expand your skill set.
As I discuss in the video at the top of this article, I'm focusing on enhancing my portrait lighting skills because that's an area of weakness for me.
So, spend some time thinking about what you need to do better, and find resources to help you achieve those goals.
Recommended Portrait Lighting Reading:
Offer Exciting New Products
You aren't in this business to only sell your photographic services. Instead, you should have a tasteful lineup of products that you can sell to your clients that enhance their experience while improving your bottom line.
Partnering up with printers that offer things like acrylic or canvas prints, photo albums, and so forth, is a great idea because you can offer clients the variety they want for displaying the photos you take for them.
I'd add to that list products that are unique and unusual, too. Products like Snaptiles fit the bill perfectly.
I included Snaptiles photo tiles on my Best of 2019 list for a reason.
This innovative photo tile system allows you to display multiple photos in arrangements that take just seconds to create.
That's because Snaptiles are magnetic, so you can mix and match tiles to your heart's content and create new photo displays as often as you like without causing damage to the wall.
The system is quite simple, really: you attach the mounting bracket with four adhesive strips and then snap up to 12 photo tiles to the anchor tile.
If you want to add up to 30 Snaptiles photo tiles, all you have to do is add four included thumbtacks for additional support.
Snaptiles photo tiles are incredibly lightweight, yet strong, so if they were to fall, they won't break.
The substrate is made of premium SBS Acid-Free paperboard, on which the photos are printed. Each tile also has UV protective lamination to keep the image's colors rich and vibrant over time.
Perhaps best of all, Snaptiles are affordable, so you can offer them to your clientele while still having room for markup.
Nothing gets clients excited about photos like giving them plenty of options for displaying their favorite ones. With Snaptiles photo tiles, you can give each client virtually endless possibilities for doing just that!
Work on Post-Processing
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Now is a great time to dial in your post-processing workflow.
Not only does this give you a chance to streamline how you process images, but it also affords you the opportunity to learn new skills that enable you to enhance your images that much more.
There are about a gazillion YouTube tutorials on post-processing, so you can quickly learn a new skill in just a few minutes.
You can also invest in a post-processing book if you need a more structured tutorial.
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Video is becoming more and more important for all kinds of marketing, and that includes for photographers.
What's more, clients are asking photographers to provide videography services more and more as well.
So, from a marketing standpoint and an earnings standpoint, understanding how to plan, shoot, and edit videos is a must.
Again, there are thousands of tutorials on YouTube for creating high-quality video content. And with books that range from shooting videos with your phone to video with your DSLR to general tips for shooting video that doesn't suck to tips on processing videos, there's many different books you can consult to grow your video skills too.
Develop Your Business Skills
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I know a lot of photographers that are rock stars behind the lens, but lack the business skills that will really help their photography business take off.
One of my favorite things to do to learn new things about business is to listen to podcast. I also like to pick the brains of colleagues that have their own businesses.
It's amazing that no matter how long you've been in business for yourself how much you still have to learn. Use 2020 as a time to learn and get better with the business side of things, and I think you'll find that your business is much better prepared to be successful for the long-term.
Upgrade Your Website & Portfolio
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It goes without saying that your website and portfolio need to be spot-on.
Websites that are unattractive, look old, or are hard to navigate will cost you clients.
Portfolios that have too many photos in them and photos that are not well-curated will have the same effect.
Your website and portfolio should be updated regularly. They serve as the first contact point you have with many customers, so you want to be sure that they help you put your very best foot forward.
Create an Email List
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If you don't have an email list, now is the time to develop one.
If you have one but it's out of date, take the time to do some spring cleaning with it.
Email marketing can be a highly effective strategy for getting more business. But if your email list is a mess (or non-existent), it's pretty tough to capitalize on this kind of marketing!
Reach Out to Colleagues
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As important as it is to keep in touch with your clients, you should be doing the same with your colleagues.
You never know when another photographer in town might be overloaded and needs to refer a client to someone else. You want to be sure you're that guy or gal!
Likewise, keep in touch with other folks in town with whom your clients might work. If you're a wedding photographer, keeping in touch with the local florist, dressmaker, bakery, and so forth, could result in referalls for business for you.
Clean and Organize Your Gear
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I constantly find myself behind with basic gear maintenance. But now that I have a little more time on my hands, I'm prioritizing that task.
Whether your lenses need a quick clean or your sensor is ready for some attention, take the time to clean up your gear now, that way it's ready to roll when clients come calling.
Organizing your gear is also a great idea. Find ways to improve storage to keep things neat and tidy (and protected, too).
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I'm writing this as the COVID-19 pandemic is spreading around the globe, so staying positive is a little hard these days.
But trying to keep a positive mindset is critical for the success of your business. If you get down in the dumps and give up, your business will certainly have a more difficult time succeeding.
Besides, having a positive outlook is great for your mental health, and finding ways to let go of all the stress and worry will help you physically as well.