Detroit Photographer Shares Photography Secrets
One thing which is not a secret is that photography is exciting, fun and rewarding. However, to create a career in photography takes a lot of work. What is the secret to success?
Detroit is not known as the first place to start a career. Yet, if you can make it in Detroit as a photographer, you can make it anywhere. I’m happy to say, I have a good career in the Motor City. Let me share a few ideas you can use to grow your photography career.
The first thing is to know your competition, yet, not worry about your competition. As a photographer, you must understand the level of competition you face, their marketing strategies and pricing. However, you are your own person. No one can create your photograph; You have your unique vision. Your goal is to tell your story and share your images with as many people as possible. Specifically, people who may need your work. This key here is to be active in your community and develop your brand – Your name and reputation.
The best photographers photograph every day. You need to photograph every day. It doesn’t matter if you are photographing for a client or not, get out there. Not only is this important for the development of your photography, but it’s part of the goal mentioned above. Be active.
Understand your cost of doing business. Business is not easy and many photographers underestimate how much it cost to run a business and live life. If you start out as the cheap photographer, people will refer you as the cheap photographer. The problem is you can’t make it up on volume. You don’t have that much time.
List all your expenses and how much you want or need to make each month. Remember, your cost of doing business will go up as you photograph more for yourself and clients. Once you know your monthly cost of doing business, divide it by the number jobs you think you can find each month. Be realistic. Chances are the number is between 2 and 8, especially as a beginner.
After you look at the final number, hopefully, you realize how expensive it is and why other photographers change so much. No, you can’t live off $50 photography assignments and weddings for $500. Don’t forget all the time you need after the assignment for post-production. You must be paid for that time too.
Build a network. Connect with other people in your industry. Refer opportunities to other photographers with different specialties. Approach businesses with similar target markets and see if you can collaborate. This is one of the most powerful ways to develop your business.
Other ways you can find business is to share your work in social media. Create an SEO (search engine optimization) friendly website. This way the search engines will send traffic to you for your photographic specialty. This is one of the main ways I grew my photography business in Detroit. It especially saved my business during the great recession.
Photography is a wonderful career. Yet, if you don’t understand it’s a business, you will not be a photographer for long. Work to develop your vision, separate yourself from the competition and make your own path as a photographer.