You’ve probably noticed that the marketplace is flooded with photographers. Where a photographer might have one or two colleagues to compete with a decade or two ago, today it’s more like half a dozen - or more - vying for a limited number of gigs in the area.
It can be disheartening, for sure, having such stiff competition, especially when you’re just starting out. But building a business is all about perseverance. It’s also about making smart decisions that further your success.
If you’re struggling to carve out a name for yourself, you’ll need to think strategically about how you’re going to convince potential clients to hire you instead of another photographer. With that in mind, consider these quick and easy tips to help you get started off on the right foot.
Invest in Yourself
Unfortunately, a lot of beginning photographers think that if they spend their money on the biggest, best camera, lenses, and other accessories, that they will somehow magically become a photographer. But it doesn’t matter how expensive your gear is if you don’t have the chops to actually understand how to use it.
Where your biggest investment needs to be is in yourself. Pursue opportunities that allow you to learn about your craft and grow as a photographer. Whether that’s taking a photography class at a local college, participating in a photography workshop offered by a seasoned pro, attending trade shows, or simply reading articles like this, it’s imperative that you constantly sharpen that blade. It’s all about the skills and the knowledge you have, not the pricetag of your camera!
Have the Right Tools for the Job
While skills and knowledge are vital, it’s still necessary to have the right tools for the job. After all, you can’t very well be a wedding photographer if all you have is your smartphone.
But having the right tools for the job still doesn’t require that you buy the most expensive gear you can find, nor does it mean you buy a bunch of stuff that you don’t actually need (like the ukelele shown in the image above!). In fact, you can often find quality used equipment online or at your local camera store for a steep discount.
When thinking about the gear you need, you’ll need to examine what sort of photographer you envision yourself to be. If you like to photograph landscapes, you aren’t going to need a studio lighting kit. Conversely, if you prefer to create portraits, a full studio setup with backgrounds and lighting might be needed. The key here is to do your due diligence, research what photographers in your niche have in their kits, and then begin creating a list of must-haves and like-to-haves so you can get the essentials first, then as your budget allows, fill in with the accessories you want.
Dress the Part
This is another one of those “it depends” categories. Just like the gear you need to do your job well depends on the type of photography you pursue, dressing the part will also depend on the direction you go. If you’re a wedding photographer, naturally you’ll need to invest in some nice dress clothes that will meet the dress code of the events you photograph. Of course, if you want to be a wildlife photographer, you’ll need to trade in your suit or dress for some hiking boots and comfortable jeans. Again, do your due diligence and see what photographers in your niche recommend in terms of how to best dress for the occasion.
Have a Website That Shines
Website builders are a dime a dozen these days, with a seemingly endless array of companies that proclaim to be the “best” or “easiest” way to get your website up and running fast. The problem with some of these companies is that their websites don’t look that great, are actually pretty difficult to create, and aren’t geared specifically towards creative professionals like you.
That is, except for Photofolio.
Photofolio was built with creative professionals in mind. Their what-you-see-is-what-you-get design interface is simple to understand and easy to use, even for novices. And though it’s easy to use, it’s a powerful design tool that has garnered dozens of awards over the years. In short, you’ll have a website in no time and within a very reasonable budget, but it will look like a site that took a lot of time and money to create.
What’s more, Photofolio is a cloud-based service, so you don’t have to worry about your website getting bogged down - it will load quickly so potential clients can see your incredible images without waiting around staring at the spinning wheel as your site loads. With huge photos, unlimited content, and the ability to customize just about every aspect of the site template, Photofolio is easily our top pick for creating a stunning website for your business.
Remember, you need to look the part. Photofolio will give you that professional online presence you need to get clients to pick up the phone and book a session with you!