Being a self-employed photographer is hard. Being a successful self-employed photographer is even harder. Make it easier on yourself with these easy-to-implement tips for success.
Tip #1: Your Inspiration Need Not Come From Photography
Though there are certainly benefits derived from looking at the work of others, at the end of the day, finding inspiration from other photographers usually doesn’t lead to the generation of new ideas. Instead, you probably end up taking their ideas, modifying them slightly (if at all), and the result is photos that just look like someone else’s work.
This isn’t to say that you can’t look at and admire the photographs taken by others, but to find true inspiration you need to look inward, not outward. Think about the music you like or your favorite movies. Read a few books. Ponder your opinions about life or love, politics, or family dynamics. The point is that finding what stimulates your creativity will help you find the inspiration you need to create incredible photos.
Tip #2: Make Friends in the Photography Industry
There is an assumption by some photographers that other photographers are foes instead of friends. In the cutthroat world of business, someone that’s competing with you for clientele can’t possibly be on your side, right?
Sure, you’re in direct competition with other photographers, but that doesn’t mean that they can’t be included in your circle of colleagues. The more you connect with other photographers, the better your business will be. Often, photographers refer clients to one another, loan one another equipment, and even cover for one another should an emergency arise. You won’t be able to experience these benefits if you hole up in your studio and never make an effort to get to know other photographers in your area.
Tip #3: Go Above and Beyond
might seem like a no-brainer, yet some photographers throw a fit if they are asked to do something outside the realm of what was originally discussed. And, when asked to go above and beyond, some photographers nickel and dime their clients to death. An extra hour at a wedding shoot? That’s another $100, please!
The problem with this nickel and dime approach is that you can come off as being a photographer more for the money than the relationships. Granted, relationships don’t technically pay the bills, but think about it like this: If you nickel and dime your clients to death and add a fee for every little request they make, what are the chances that they hire you again in the future or recommend you to friends and family?
While you certainly shouldn’t do twice the work for the same price, when small requests come up, just do it. Another 30 minutes here or a few more prints included in a package for free isn’t going to break the bank. And, by going above and beyond, you’re more likely to get repeat business. Think of it as giving up $50 or $100 now for the opportunity to make thousands of dollars from repeat business in the future.
If you want to jumpstart your photography business, consider these tips for success. Going above and beyond the call of duty, developing relationships with other photographers, and finding what inspires your creativity will all help you become the successful photographer you aspire to be.