Do you have a growing photography business? Face your challenges and prepare for success with these five practical tips for new photographers. (Contributed by KRISTAL BEAN)
There’s always something new to learn or re-learn, whether your photography business is one day, one year, or one decade old. Embrace these tried-and-true beginner tips at every stage of business, and you’ll be empowered to withstand challenges, and last for the long-haul!
#1: Invest in education before tons of gear.
It’s tempting to think you’ll magically take better photos when you have that pricey amazing lens. The truth is, understanding the fundamentals of good photography is a better career option. There are so many incredibly talented, accomplished photographers who want to teach newbies the art of amazing photography. That knowledge will bring you clients faster and grow your business sooner than expensive gear.
#ShootProofPRO Tip: Keep Learning
Still learning the basics of photography? Visit Cole’s Classroom for shooting tips and posing advice! Part of the ShootProof brand family, Cole’s Classroom offers more than 200 FREE photography tutorials to new shooters, and a wonderfully supportive community!
#2: It’s okay to grow slowly.
Feeling envious of that photographer in your town who always seems to stay booked? Keep the jealousy at bay by reminding yourself that you don’t know how long they’ve been working to build their business. Has it taken them 10 years to get there? Longer? They’ve likely been putting in hard work for a long time. Be inspired by their success, and know that there are still lots of clients and opportunities out there for you.
#ShootProofPRO Tip: Getting Clients
#3: Use your time wisely as you’re growing.
There is a LOT to get really good at while you’re working toward your dream. A successful photography business is about so much more than pretty photos. Evaluate your skills at things like client relations, posing, marketing, blogging, consistent editing, involvement in the community as a small biz, smooth workflow, crisis management (Ever shot an entire sunny outdoor session at 2000 ISO? Forgotten key moments the client specifically requested?), managing finances, networking with colleagues – and so much more.
Maybe some photographers are an overnight success – but it’s ok (and probably better in the long run) for you to work hard for it.
#ShootProofPRO Tip: Get Good in a Crisis
Even the most experienced photographers face challenging clients from time to time. Learn to handle each crisis like an expert, and your business will be better than ever!
#4: Underpromise and overdeliver. Every time.
When is the last time you scheduled a photo session with someone you don’t know for your own business needs or family? That’s an excellent way to figure out how you want to treat your clients.
You’ll only have to work with the wrong kind of photographer one time to know how you can do better. Send your contracts in plenty of time, provide easy-to-understand session prep documents, deliver the images before the contractually agreed-upon deadline, edit consistently, and always follow-up to make sure your clients love their photos.
In short, be the kind of photographer you’d want to hire for yourself – the kind you’d recommend to others!
#ShootProofPRO Tip: Create a Great Client Experience
People hire photographers for the photos, but they recommend photographers for the experience. Are you giving your clients a great experience? See how photographers are crafting incredible client experiences through:
#5: Don’t take criticism personally.
As artists, we put a little bit of ourselves into every image. Because there is a personal element to our work, we have to have thick skin. Not every client is going to be madly in love with every photo. That’s okay.
When someone tells you they are disappointed in an aspect of your work, take it as a learning opportunity. That doesn’t have to mean it’s time to throw in the towel. Sure, it’s hard. But learn what you need to adjust now so you don’t repeat the situation again.
#ShootProofPRO Tip: Refresh Your Portfolio
Client critiques can hurt, but they can also be GREAT opportunities for growth! See how ShootProof can help you build your strongest portfolio ever with some simple client feedback.
What advice would you give a beginner photography business?
Share your tips in the comments below!
Contributed by KRISTAL BEAN, a maternity and newborn photographer based in The Woodlands, Texas.