1. Learn To Shoot In Manual Mode Right Away
It is important to learn how to shoot in manual mode, not because other modes like Aperture Priority and Shutter Priority are useless, but because manual mode helps you understand your camera and the light around you. Additionally, using manual mode can help you achieve consistent exposures, ultimately saving you time during the editing process. Learning how to shoot in manual mode is not about being a photography snob, but rather a valuable skill that can benefit you in many ways. The sooner you learn how to shoot in manual mode, the more benefits you will see.
2. You Are Not Just A Photographer
You are more than just a Photographer
When I first started my business, I believed that having exceptional photography skills would guarantee success. However, I soon realized that this was far from the truth. As a business owner, you must juggle numerous responsibilities, including customer service, bookkeeping, marketing, social media management, branding, website creation, administration, financial management, and leadership. It's essential to recognize early on that you need to excel in a variety of areas to succeed. While photography skill
3. Shoot Raw
Yes! Am a raw advocate, in encourage people to shoot raw pictures. The reason for this is no farfetched; raw pictures gives you more flexibility over your images, you have right to individual compositions and most especially colours
4. Be Patient
This is a lesson I still have to remind my selves of constantly.
When I first got started, I figured I will have a wildly successful business rolling within a year.
Fast forward 2 years, and i still didn’t feel i quite got there.
It takes time to get good at photography. It takes time to get good at marketing. It takes time to get good at customer service. It takes time to get good at business organization…
5. Unnecessary Gear and Business Purchases Can Be crippling
Getting caught in the never-ending cycle of purchasing items to "improve your business" is all too easy. With photography, the allure is even stronger because buying gear can be fun and exciting. It's tempting to believe that a better lens or new equipment will automatically lead to better photos and greater success in your business.
Unfortunately, we learned the hard way and wasted a significant amount of money on gear we didn't really need. In the end, these items only gathered dust in our closet until we sold them at a considerable loss. After going through this cycle for a few years, we became wiser and started to approach purchases with extreme thoughtfulness.
Our gear might not draw jealous stares from other photographers, but what truly matters to us is that it helps us create the images we envision. The same principle applies to business purchases – before reaching for that credit card, it's crucial to carefully consider the necessity and potential impact on profitability. In the challenging world of photography, reducing unnecessary expenses is essential to achieving solid profits.
If you need guidance on deciding which gear is genuinely worth investing in, check out our articles titled "Important Gears to Buy as a Beginner" (coming soon). We've designed these resources to assist you in making informed choices for your photography journey. Remember, making wise decisions will contribute to your long-term success and growth as a photographer.
6. Branding Is Important, But Stationary Is Not
When it comes to ordering branded printed products, it's important to be mindful. Ordering a large quantity may seem like a money-saving option, but you may not end up using it all. This is particularly true at the beginning of your career, as you may change your branding a few times before finding the right fit. Consider printing smaller runs or printing on demand instead. Our own experience shows that we used to order thousands of business cards, but now we print only a few dozen at a time on our home printer. This way, we know we're actually using them and can order a slightly larger batch when we run out.
7. Get Outside Inspiration
When we first got into professional photography, we were wedding shooters. We spent countless hours looking at the websites and blogs of other wedding photographers.
We spent tons of time on forums with other wedding photographers. We read wedding magazines and watched shows about weddings. We basically immersed ourselves completely in that world.
Don’t get me wrong, you can definitely learn a ton from the people who share the same profession as you. But if you don’t look for inspiration outside of that realm, you will find yourself just doing the same as everyone else.
Great businesses and photographers don’t just do the same. They find ways to stand out!
As a photographer, the sources of inspiration are nearly endless, so don’t limit yourself to looking at photographers who do the same work as you.
Study the work of the great photographers of history, check out the new work being made in different genres, read about painters, watch movies, flip through comic books — artistic inspiration is everywhere, so open yourself up to it!
The same goes for business inspiration. You can learn tons from internet marketers, copywriters, and pretty much anyone in business. After all, it’s all about helping your customers get value out of what you do. The end results differ, but the fundamental concepts are more similar than you might realize!
8. Referrals Are Essential
Word of mouth referrals are the most powerful sources of bookings for photographers. People are way more likely to trust the recommendation of a friend than an ad in a magazine. You need to be working hard to get referrals.
At first, we didn’t realize that we actually had to encourage referrals. Sure, you’ll get some just because folks like to talk about great companies. But many clients probably have no idea just how valuable their referrals are to you!
There are lots of ways to encourage referrals. You can set up a formal referral program that rewards clients for sending new business your way. Or you can simply give them a stack of business cards along with their photos, and let them know just how much you appreciate them telling their friends about you. Or do both!!
However you do it, just don’t neglect those referrals. They will be the backbone of your business!
(For more help with getting referrals, and some tips on setting up a referral program, check out our article Referral Programs: An Easy, Affordable & Effective Marketing Plan or send a mgs ON IG
9. Market Or Die
Does this sound familiar? You start something up. A blog. A website. A business. You’re sure you have a brilliant idea, and that it will be wildly successful. You make a gorgeous logo. You create a stunning online presence, filled with witty writing and enticing images. You press publish, sit back, and wait for the inquiries and comments to pour in.
And then nothing happens.
It took us a loooong time to realize that, in general, no one cares about what you’re doing. Unless you make them care about it.
And that, quite simply is what marketing is all about.
Showing people that what you’re doing is interesting and valuable. You could have the most amazing photography in the world, but unless people know about it, you will not see any success.
So look at this way.
Getting your business all set up with a website and name and logo and all that stuff — that’s what gets you to the starting point. Then the real work begins. You need to get out there and tell people about it, and market yourself!
10. Create list Of Clients
Creating a newsletter list is one of the most valuable assets for marketing. Nowadays, sending updates via email is incredibly easy and gives you a direct link to your loyal customers! Unfortunately, we didn't put enough effort into building a newsletter list for our photography business and we regretted it. We didn't realize its importance until it was too late. A good list can help you get the most out of your marketing promotions, book sessions when you're out of town, gather feedback to improve your business, and more. If you start building your list now, it will grow over time, giving your business more power. Check out this article for more tips on creating a list for your business!
11. Create Off-Season Money Generator
Generating a consistent income throughout the year can be challenging for photographers. The answer to this question is not straightforward since it depends on the type of photography and additional skills one possesses. However, having even a small source of income during the off-season can make a significant difference in one's financial stability. Interestingly, Cameraboss Institute was actually created based on this very concept!
12. Go Outside The Box
It’s easy to do things the same way everyone else does. It feels safe and proven. But it can actually make things harder for you, because you don’t stand out, or offer anything unique to clients!
At first we offered the same products, the same packages, and had our business organized the same way as most wedding and portrait photographers worldwide.
And it was boring. It didn’t reflect how we felt about photography, and how we wanted to work with our clients.
So we stopped being so afraid, and started offering different products. We started shooting in different ways. And we were way happier, and so were our clients!
Try something new. Be creative. Be bold. Get outside that box, and you’ll see just how much fun it is out there!
13. Think Big
When embarking on a business venture, embrace the idea of thinking and dreaming big. When I initially ventured into wedding photography, I set my sights on booking a minimum of 5 weddings for our first season. However, by pushing beyond my initial expectations and daring to dream on a grander scale, I surpassed my own ambitions and ended up booking an astounding 25 weddings. This experience taught me the power of aiming high and going the extra mile to achieve remarkable success. So, to all aspiring entrepreneurs, remember not to shy away from ambitious goals – envision a brighter future, and watch how it propels you towards exceptional achievements.
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