You finished your career, bought the camera, the lenses and the computer. However, nothing happens. Nobody calls you to ask you to make a catalog or a session.
So you stand in the queue like thousands of other people who feel passionate about photography and thought knowing how to operate a camera was enough to make a living.
If that’s your case, don’t worry, you’re not alone. 🙂
Like you, many of us have been there.
So, if you’re making any of these mistakes, correct them and start building your career as a professional photographer.
Mistake #1: Not taking pictures every day
We’re all bad when we start! But as with most things, it’s the practical experience that makes you better.
So be sure to practice your craft….lots!
You learn photography by studying, but you master it by practicing. Many times we think that having some photos published in social networks or on a website is enough to attract customers.
The truth is that there’s a lot of competition. Only if you are constant, active and strive, you will be able to open a gap in the industry.
What if I can’t take pictures every day?
The most important thing is that you don’t stop practicing. Being a better photographer is within your reach. Improve your technique, inform yourself of the trends, but above all, do not stop shooting.
Mistake #2: Doing everything
It’s very easy to fall into this trap. The technique works the same for any style of photography. However, they are all very different from each other.
It’s important that you find the photographic style that you like and you’re better at. Then, you should focus on growing in that style.
We usually think that if we offer more services,
we will have more work. The truth is that photographic styles are different, so are the clients who might hire you.
It’s not possible to sell a wedding photo shoot in the same way as a catalogue, right?
Concentrating on what you do best will allow you to focus on a single market niche instead of three, five or more.
What if I’m good at doing a lot of styles?
If you’re good at doing several styles, it works the same way. Concentrate on positioning yourself in one of them and then offer other services.
It will be much easier to try to sell a new service to customers who already know you and the way you work.
Mistake #3: Build a single portfolio
Yes, I know! This goes against everything you’ve read, seen and learned about photography. It is well known that the best letter of introduction in front of clients is a good portfolio.
However, we spend our time just planning and thinking how to create it.
Today the content we generate has a fast consumption. When we publish something in Instagram, we have interested people for a couple of hours. Then, they stop seeing, commenting and giving likes.
I think the portfolio is something you never finish building. It’s something that changes.
It is dynamic, just like you, your style and your techniques.
So, don’t focus in building a perfect portfolio. It doesn’t exist. Try to create good pictures very often and then make sure to spread them in your favourite channels (website, social media, newsletters, etc)
Mistake #4: Thinking Instagram is the only solution
In the era of influencers you may think that Instagram is the only solution. Even more so when this social network is focused on photographic and video content.
This social network is a great way to expose your work. In addition, it offers the option of communicating with video, which increases our reach.
But going back to the issue of competition, in order to position ourselves and be relevant in Instagram we have to be committed and very consistent.
The main problem with this is that you have to create a lot of content (photos and videos) to keep people interested. Otherwise they will forget about you and you won’t achieve anything.
Currently there are other ways to contact customers and be hired. Direct contact, mailing and even alternative social networks like Linkedin are very effective.
What if I prefer Instagram?
If Instagram is definitely the channel chosen to communicate with your audience, try to have a plan that helps you to be constant. Whether people notice you and want to collaborate with you depends on the image you transmit.
Mistake #5: You always work with the same models
Getting models for our shootings and projects can be a stressful task. This is why we always shoot with the same people.
It can be useful at the beginning of your career, but if you plan to be a successful photographer, you must work with different models.
Main reason for this is that your audience will be tired of seeing the same person in all of your pictures and also, you will be used to working just in one way.
As photographers we have to adapt ourselves to different situations and people.
All models work in a different way and how you direct them depends on the experience you have and the chemistry between you and them.
How to improve my skills?
You become a better photographer by doing photography. Just that simple.
Make more shootings and gain experience. You can start by posting a free casting here and finding models in your hometown.
Mistake #6: You don’t understand that photography is a business
This is my favorite. Knowing that I was making this mistake was the turning point to understanding photography and my work.
Photography has an artistic component, but it’s also an excellent way to make a living.
As photographers, we have to understand that we are entering a competitive market. So we are affected by everything related to management, accounting, marketing and the market itself.
Understanding that I was not only a photographer, but also a businessman, marked a before and after in my career.
How do I start?
The first thing is that you have to be motivated in some way. In my case, this motivation came when I saw that even though I could take good photos, the clients didn’t arrive.
This made me wonder what I was doing wrong. After a lot of thinking and seeing what others were doing, I understood that you not only had to take good photos, but also know how to sell them.
And this made a difference in my life as a photographer.
Being a successful photographer only depends on your work and effort. It’s something that can be achieved with determination and discipline.
Stop and think if you are committing any of this mistakes and just correct them. Start walking in the right path today. Internet is full of information on how to grow a business, research about it.
If you find this interesting, remember to share it with your community. Also, if you have any question, just leave us a comment or write me a mail.