We get asked quite often if we have any business advice for budding photographers. Today, we've narrowed down our list to 5 things that we think are crucial for being a successful and serious photographer. This is by no means an end all list, so we want to know what you would add to it.
1. Find what inspires you. Why are you wanting to get into photography? What is it that motivates you to push that shutter button? Spend time following the work of photographers you admire, but stay true to your creative style. Don't simply become another copycat of a famous photographer. Let their work inspire you, but remember why *you* are doing what you're doing and let your style naturally fall into place from there.
2. Value your work. Everybody has to start somewhere, but there comes a point in your business where you have to take that next step and decide that your work is worth more. Be realistic about what you charge, but be careful about underselling yourself. Take a look at other local photographers and find a few that match your skill level. Set your prices similar to theirs and aim to get better. If you value your talent and your work, it will push you to be better and to produce higher quality, more creative images. Give yourself some credit and admit you have skills!
3. Don't cheapen your work. Only give your best images. Often, we see new photographers taking 200+ images in a shoot and then handing over a disk with most of those images thinking that over delivering is a good thing. Your work is your product, your art. Make sure you put your best work out there so your name will be associated with high quality work.
4. And on the topic of over delivering... over deliver. ;) Not with sub-par images, but with quality ones. On your pricing sheet, for example, list 20-30 images per disk and then deliver 35 great shots. If you over deliver with quality images, you leave a great impression on your clients. They'll never be upset that you gave them too many amazing pictures, just make sure they really are amazing!
5. And lastly, use social media to engage your fans. Take advantage of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest and update them regularly. Incorporate them with contests and giveaways and if your fans are talking to you, talk to them! Don't bombard your social medias with every shot you take, however. Save the BEST of the BEST images to be displayed on your sites because those are what your fans are going to be seeing on a daily basis. You want your best work to be displayed to again, have your name associated with high quality work.
So there you have it, our top 5 business tips. What of these things are you doing and what else would you add to the list?