In today’s crowded and over-saturated market it is extremely difficult for photographic artists to work successfully and profitably. It takes great talent, expensive equipment and years of experience for a professional photographer to start the photographic career.
However, without appropriate marketing skills, a professional photographer cannot create the kind of appeal to attract the right clients who will be willing to compensate for the photographer’s work of fine art.
Here are some tips for professional photographers to build their skills, reputation and develop a unique style of their own enabling them to stand out in an overcrowded market:
Concentrate on Professional Excellence
Stop worrying about what your competitors are doing, instead inculcate a strong self-belief and focus on things within your control. This will make your potential clients understand what differentiates you from others. Present your work to your potential clients at appropriate contexts. Create opportunities for them to know your work and to realize how well it fits with their projects.
- Constantly Hone Your Photographic Skills: Today’s automatic cameras and advanced technology can let ordinary photographers take expert photos without an effort. However, you need strong dedication to master the technical aspects of photography such as Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority, Manual Mode and lighting techniques.
- Focus on One Area of Expertise: Just as the oversaturated market for photography, there are plentiful photography teaching shops in the market. Do not get overwhelmed by the enormous information available out there; rather limit yourself to learning certain essential skills of your natural inclination.
- New Technology: Adopt only those aspects of new technology that really work for you. Before you decide on investing in new technology make sure that it will actually enhance your workflow, and not just for the sake of fancy.
- Sharpen Your People Skills: Apart from technical abilities you need great people skills to get along well with various people you come across in the profession, even if they are not a subject matter of your photographic specialization.
- Develop Extensive Networking Within the Industry: Growing interest in photography has given rise to huge communities of photography enthusiasts on Facebook, Instagram and other social networks. Develop contacts with such enthusiasts and fellow professionals, and pay attention to the latest buzz in the profession. Put out your work to these groups and get feedback for improvement. Do not hesitate to accept their constructive criticisms and to offer your clarifications.
Many photographers and most of the artists in general, neither have any academic background nor any clear idea about marketing, except putting price tags on their works. But marketing is as important as creating your fine art of photography. For that you should be aware of some of the fundamental concepts of marketing the artistic works, such as the following:
- Sell Quality and Uniqueness and Not Mere Quantity: The fine art of photography is not a commodity; it is a luxury that discerning people prize for its quality and uniqueness, and not quantity. Always strive to develop a personal style that is unique for you.
- Your Visibility: Prepare a good introduction of yourself as an artist. Show yourself and a good selection of your work prominently at all important art and photography shows in your area. Also be prominently visible on your social network pages and everywhere else on the web. You need to make your presence as a photographic artist forcefully in order to sell your work.
- Be Proactive and Not Passive: Aggressively take charge of your business and do not hesitate to increase your price as per the market dictates in order to keep up your steady income. Consider yourself a business owner and be prepared to take risks whenever needed.
- Know Your Clientele: You are selling to people who like your work and not just to a faceless crowd. Know your potential clients and the reason why they like to buy your works.
- Emotions Sell: People buy photographs for emotional and not logical reasons. These emotional impacts include beauty, meaningfulness, personal vision and other attributes. Your photographic gear, technique and the material used, play a much lesser role in selling your photos.
- Continue Marketing: Continue studying various marketing techniques and never slow down your marketing drive to ensure that you always stay ahead of the competition.
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