Photography Business Marketing

Marketing in any business is tough, and when it comes to a photography business it can also be tough. This is sometimes because of the non-commercial interest that comes in to picture when we talk of photographs adorning walls. However, despair not. You can still make your photography business a highly marketable product or indeed, service. Follow some simple rules and get off on the right track!

Decide what your photography business is going to be like

There are two kinds of photography businesses that you can set up. It can be either Assignment photography or Stock photography. In both cases, the name explains it all. Assignment photography is the kind of business where you are assigned or hired to take photographs of something. It can be any event or just someone. The event can be someone’s wedding. And that someone of course could be anyone.

Stock photography, on the other hand, is a business where you already have photographs in stock and you are selling them to interested parties. The stock photographs can be anything from flowers to nude women.

Therefore, you have two options to decide on. Basically, people start with the assignment photography thinking that it would give them a meagre but steady income. That is true to some extent but it will give you a very small audience.

Whereas stock photography business will help you reach a wider target market audience. Stock photography is recommended because that is where the potential of the photographer has better chances to be recognized.

Target your audience

When you are dealing with stock photography, you have a great chance of spending lot of resources without any returns. This is especially the case when you don’t know who your audience is. When you are out to click those beautiful moments, make sure you know who you are going to show them to. This streamlines your clients and would also help you take photos that are relevant to your market. Try sending postcards or samples of your photos to your targeted clients and see their response. This way you can make a mark among the circles you want to feel your presence.

Give them what they want

When you do present your customer’s photographs, make sure you’re giving them what they asked for. So many photographers don’t! This is important. They have chosen you because they believed that you were going to supply them with what they wanted. If you make a volte face and give them photos they don’t need, you are sure to lose them. Therefore, be very attentive to the details and give your customers what they ask for. Take notes when they tell you what they want. People rarely remember more than 7% of what they’ve been told in a conversation 24 hours later – so take notes. A happy customer means more business!

Be present at places that matter

– When I say be present, I am not speaking about the physical presence of the photographer. I am talking about exposure of your work. Advertise them wherever possible and that’s relevant. Keep the costs in line, advertising can get out of hand. Make sure your advertising in the right places. Publish your work on the net through some of the photography sites or stock houses. This would greatly increase your client base as your photographs are showcased along with the others. The sites may take a percentage of your earnings but it is worth it as you are just building your base while you are being paid. You can always start on your own once you have a considerable presence in the right circles.

– Think about organizing an internet site and drive traffic to it.

– Advertise on AdWords at Google.com and Yahoo.com (you can now target local areas through Google)

Look for local markets too

– Join your local library that may publish your photographs in their weekly or monthly journal, ezine or newsletter. Making sure that your contact details are always available. This way you can get a foothold in your own locality.

– Go to your local florist and leave some business cards with the promise of a tip if work successfully comes your way from their referral.

– Visit your local church, mosque etc. and leave your particulars. You never know when questions are asked in these circles. Reciprocate with some free services from time to time.

– There are many venues you can work with like this, just put your thinking hat on.

Accept help from your peer photographers

Knowing some other photographers can also be immensely helpful. If they are good enough, they can show some of your collections to their clients who have some specific requirements. Even if they don’t showcase your photographs, they may help you with some valuable tips to market yourself and networking ideas.

No replacement for quality

No matter how much you market yourself, if the quality of your photographs is not up to the mark, you are definitely poised to face doom. The quality of your photographs should be the best you can possibly present and keep in mind that there’s always room for improvement. Quality most often results in recommendation and referral. Once you have a customer, never, ever skimp on quality because it’s more costly to find a new customer than it is to keep an existing one.

Photography business marketing is often a case where your photographs have to be in the right place at the right time. Do not think that it is all by chance. The truth is, it is you who will make them available at the right place at the right time just by following a few commonsense marketing rules. All the best and happy marketing!

Tips on Online Resources and Galleries Useful to Photographers

Every photographer keeps their eyes open for things that will make their life easier. For photographers, one of the things that will spearhead you to success is knowing how to recognize and use the best resources to help with the things you have to do. Tools and resources are the little things that can make things easier for the photographer. You may have had to search high and low for good tools in the past and to gather your tools from different stores and companies as you came across them. It can be extremely hard to find great photography tools offered in the same location.

Web sites that let photographers make and display a portfolio of their work online have existed for quite some time. These are web site that let photographers make galleries to display their work. Usually there is a feature so that photographers can divide their work into catalogs or themes. A web site like this is a great tool and resource for photographers and can be one of a series of things that contributes to the overall success of a photographer. Online exposure after all is one of the primary ways a photographer gains exposure and attracts new clients and work.

Why Create an Online Presence?
– To sell your photography
– To gain new clients far and wide
– Complete photographer tasks quicker and easier
– Don’t re-invent the wheel and pay huge bucks for resources that already exist

Many challenging and quickly developing technologies make up what we call the Internet. This means that every year new technologies come out that can potentially benefit the photographer and improve their online resources. In recent years, more and more web sites have come up that offer a well-rounded assortment of tools and resources to photographers. It makes it easier because photographers can find everything they need in one place or on one web site.

Many online photography resource web sites now realize that a photographer needs more than just a simple gallery and more than just showing their photos online, they also need access to as many good resources as possible. These web sites have upped their game. If you want to stop unscrupulous characters from copying images you place online or only want authorized people to view them, web site now exist that will give you the tools to control this.

Travel Photography in the Real World

Many articles discuss the best practices for travel photography, and many of them, while providing worthwhile advice, tend not to take into account the fact that conditions are not always perfect for making photographs. The sky is not always blue, the crowds of tourists do not always clear a path for you to make your image, the light is not always perfect and you may not always have the latest gear. There are however some practices that you can put into place to help you create strong images when time is short and you can’t always wait for conditions to improve.

Do your homework

It is well worthwhile doing some research on your destination before you leave. This will give you an idea of what things are going to look like when you arrive. If you have an idea of what you want to photograph before getting to a location, you may also be able to research best vantage points and times to be there. This will help you plan your day and allow you to fit in more shooting than if you leave it all until you arrive and try to make it up on the spot. Although there is much to be said for simply, arriving and wandering a city to get your bearings and shooting what appeals to you, if you are short of time, you might find this a much more stressful and pressured experience and not enjoy the experience of photographing in a new place. And enjoyment is the whole purpose of photography in the first place.

Shooting in the middle of the day

So many photography instructors and books tell you to shoot in the “Golden Hours” the hour just after sunrise and just before sunset, because these times present the best light for photography. The soft golden light that is most flattering. And they are right. Using this type of light it is easier to create a standout image. There are however some practicality issues with this. If you are at a destination for only a short period of time, you can ill afford to lose any time shooting. Shooting for only 2 hours when you are at your location for only a day or two almost always results in regret for lost opportunities. That’s an awful lot of time in between to waste, and there is really no reason not to keep on shooting throughout the day. It can also help to push you creatively as you will need to come up with ways to deal with harsh sunlight or flat skies. These conditions can help in adding mood to an image if you use them to your advantage. Such as a harsh noon sun that lets you feel the heat of the day in the image by producing intense colour. Or a soft overcast day that helps to keep the detail in objects or people’s faces.

Know your equipment

Know how to use your camera without the need to think about it. When you have to stop and think about how to adjust settings, you miss moments. There are so many considerations to make when making a photograph that it can be a bit overwhelming. What is my subject? How to I frame the image? What aperture works best? Do I zoom out or in? And once you’ve decided all this, you still need to adjust the camera settings to achieve the desired outcome. And all this in a split second. So if you can make these adjustments while making the decisions and not having to take the camera away from your eye, this might just be the difference between capturing the image you see in your mind, and missing the moment. But how to practice this. It seems simplistic, but getting out there and shooting as much as you can is the best way.

Concentrate on where the various controls are and adjusting them without taking the camera away from your eye. Start with stationary subjects and move onto moving subjects. It will be difficult and a little frustrating at first, but worthwhile once you put it into practice and come away with the images that you envisioned.

We would all love to have weeks or even months to stay at a location and explore it fully and take our time to make great photographs, but for most of us it is just not practical. So to get the best out of our photography when we do travel somewhere new, we need to adapt and be flexible. Working out the best way to do this will make your next trip both more rewarding and more enjoyable.