Like most creatives, you’re probably good at a lot of things. See how one multipotentialite combines her skills to create the new brand photography. (Featuring SARAH WAYTE)
an educational and psychological term referring to a person, particularly one of strong intellectual or artistic curiosity, who excels in two or more different fields
“I love writing just as much as I love taking photographs!”
I was speaking with Chilliwack, British Columbia, photographer Sarah Wayte, who, as it turns out, is so much more than a photo-maker. She’s also a creative copywriter, producing both imagery and written content for brands since 2012.
With her rainbow-colored hair, quirky sense of humor, and delightful English accent, Sarah exudes creativity from the moment you meet her. It’s no act, either. Sarah is what some would call a multipotentialite – someone who has combined her creative passions into one thriving career.
As the gig economy soars, and workers desire more life-balanced job opportunities, multipotentiality has become the new specialization. Sarah Wayte, for one, is an early adopter of what we’ve dubbed “the new brand photography,” an intermingling of photography with other brand-related specialities.
The New Brand Photography
Demand for brand photography has boomed along with the rise of the personal brand. It’s no longer enough to have an Instagram feed or a Facebook page or even a website. Now everyone, from corporate masterminds to work-from-home parents, is eager to establish their own personal brand, complete with logos, color palettes, and photographic content that shines.
Early on, Sarah realized she could serve this market by blending her talents for writing and photography. Today, she makes headshots, writes blogs, develops slogans, documents workdays, and tells stories – oh, and she also happens to be a trained paramedic.
Combine Your Creative Passions
Conventional wisdom dictates that we market our unique skillsets separately and differently. Sarah, however, believed she could blend her talents to build a single brand.
“All of the advice I was being told was, ‘No, no, you should have two separate websites: one for photography and one for writing.’ And then actually I sat down one day to try and figure things out in my head. I sat there journaling, and I thought to myself, ‘Stop listening to everybody else. Do what you want to do,’ which is the thing that I will always tell anybody. If you feel that putting it all together is the right thing for you, you should do that.”
Uncover Your Creative Potential
You don’t have to be a writer to enhance your photography. In fact, by its very nature, entrepreneurship is a blend of many creative skills, from your photography to your tax preparation; from your social media posts to your customer service; from your editing technique to your business acumen. And while you may not be much of a writer, you likely have other talents that could blend beautifully with your photography career, and (most importantly) enhance your income.
A few natural combinations are:
- commercial photography and graphic design / post-production
- boudoir photography and hair and makeup artistry
- wedding photography and videography
- newborn photography and prop-making
Sarah, in fact, didn’t find her true calling until she embraced her multipotentiality. “When I first started doing photography, it took me a long time to say to people that I was a photographer,” Sarah admits. “But it’s come very naturally for me to turn around and say to people that I’m a writer. It feels like I’ve come home, basically. And that’s what I keep saying to people: ‘I’ve finally found my space. This is home now.’ ”
Market Yourself as a Multipotentialite
On Sarah’s website, she defines herself as a “Creative copywriter, storyteller, word slinger, and photographer. All rolled into one.” Though far from concise, Sarah exemplifies this self-description through every client interaction.
“I love working with business owners in a really holistic way,” she explains. “If I can meet them prior to our shoot, over coffee and cake preferably, then that’s always great. I love to get to know the person behind the business.”
Where to Find Your Ideal Clientele
Sarah’s clients find her primarily through Instagram these days – that, and word-of-mouth.
“I spend a long time writing little stories for each image that I post on Instagram – and I post once a day,” Sarah shares. “The other big thing for me is word-of-mouth. If I was just now starting out as a writer, I would go back to all my previous wedding clients, for example, and see what they’re doing, because I know a lot of them are working for themselves and may well need some branding shots. As I grew the writing side of my business, I didn’t change my audience; I just started talking about something different. And it was amazing how many people came out and said, ‘Oh, this is really interesting. I’m really interested in this.’ ”
The New Brand Photography Requires the Right Tools
Every skill requires its own set of tools. But it’s great to find a tool that can be used as diversely as your creativity. That’s why Sarah uses ShootProof.
She laughs and explains, “When I first discovered ShootProof, I was like, ‘Oh my God, it all looks so professional now. I actually look like I know what I’m doing!’ I send all my contracts through ShootProof now. It’s the easiest place to keep them all together, and I love the templates. My clients all come back to me and say, ‘This is so professional; it looks amazing,’ because they’ve never seen anything like it before.”
Sarah boosts her own brand by taking advantage of ShootProof’s branding-free interface. “It was so nice to be able to customize my ShootProof workspace with my brand style. I absolutely love it. It takes me 30 seconds to send a contract out now.”
Build Your Dream Business
Tap into your multipotentialite powers, and you’ll find yourself finally doing work that doesn’t feel like work.
“The beauty of photography and running a business is that just about anything goes,” Sarah asserts. “You can run it any way you like. You just have to have the courage and confidence to see it through.”
Are you ready to launch your own version of the new brand photography? No matter what photography genre you’re in, you certainly have skills that can enhance what you have to offer.
If you’re a phenomenal baker, send a bag of cookies home with every portrait client. Or perhaps you paint, and can offer your wedding clients a unique multi-media version of their favorite wedding image. Then again, don’t discount the more technical talents. A mind for digital marketing or a bent toward business development is every bit as beneficial.
As Sarah encourages, “Stand your ground, be enthusiastic, and just go for it!”
Written by ANNE SIMONE | Featuring SARAH WAYTE