gaburgessphotos 9:56pm, 19 March 2009
Im just starting out I have done some shoots on my own and the end results I think are good. I have had great feedback from peaple Im just not sure were to place adds or promote. should I start small and grow or just jump right in.
here is my work to take a look if u like any comments are welcome.
thanx for your time.
Joeri van Veen PRO 9 years ago
From experience, if you start small, you have a big risk to stay small, also depending on what kind of person you are. Jump right in, start huge I'd say. People I know who started huge are better of now, wealth-wise, in their thirties, than I am.
Thirsty? 9 years ago
All depends on what you want to do with it. What's your niche? What sort of client base are you after? If you don't know where you're going you won't get there.

Begin with the end in mind. Once you decide that, find out everything possible about your goals. Reading, networking, seek out a mentor in the field if possible.

What's everyone else doing? Hijack the good stuff and then figure out how to make yourself unique and attractive.

Then if you're going to do it...GO BIG or stay home. That means don't half ass it, give everything you've got and kick some butt.

Don't forget the business basics. Book keeping, licensing, contracts, etc...Take the time to build a business plan; financial and marketing.
lauriemarie01 PRO 9 years ago
There are a lot of things to consider. It would be great if you could jump right in. However, if you have bills to pay, a family to support, etc. it might make more sense to start a little slower, especially if you have a current job that's meeting your financial obligations.

I opted for the slower approach and it has worked well for me. It gave me the luxury to shoot only the stuff I wanted to shoot. It gave me the time to get all my ducks in a row. I didn't go into debt at all. By continuing to work the day job, I could afford to buy gear, marketing materials, etc. Since most of my clients prefer evening shoots (because they work too), schedule conflicts are rare.

That said, working what amounts to two full time jobs (and then some) is no easy thing. It doesn't leave much time for family, friends, or play.
gaburgessphotos 9 years ago
yhanx everyone for the posts its help me alot .I have some thinking to do and get focused and get to work on my plan thanx again for taking the time to post.
One of the most important things you can do is let everyone know you are a photographer. Carry a tiny portfolio in print or digital (I use an iTouch). Show it to everyone. When you meet someone, let them know you are a photographer. Hand out cards prolifically. Everyone gets a card. Everyone.

Make yourself known by the work you do... create a brand by carefully considering what you do and want to do.

"I am a photographer" is not as compelling as "I make photographs for small business that really grow their bottom line" or "My family images are created to last a lifetime - or two".

Get creative and make an impression on everyone.

Understand personal branding and apply it to your life. Wear all black. Wear a hat. Hawain shirts? Whatever... just throwing out some ideas. Maybe it's an Armani suit (ahhh... if I could only afford them... LOL) whatever it is... be known at site. Carry a point and shoot and make photographs of everyone you meet. Put them on your blog. The Sartorialist did pretty well with that.

Be excited about what you do - every day. Never, never, never be down or depressed - in public. Be busy, working on a project, shooting for your book, keeping notes and keeping people interested.

Definitely create a blog and keep it fun - not mopey or navelgazing... make it a place where people who you meet can go and see what you do. Seriously.

Create a life of photography around you.

There's lots more to do, but this is some grassroots planning that can really make a difference.
Mochrum Photography PRO 9 years ago
@Joeri: What would you class as starting huge?
I like what wizwow has to say here. although he usually has good things to say, so I shouldn't be surprised.

I recently started wearing a fedora... it has helped. Good point about EVERYONE getting a card.

I was at dinner with my fiance last night, there was a birthday party at the table next to us, they were talking amongst themselves about looking for a photographer for some sort of a function, long story short, I handed out about 8 cards
BioArt PRO 9 years ago
Just about everyday when out shooting, you will meet people. Take some shots of them and get their email address. Put 3 or 4 of the images that you took and make a web page using your standard template with the links to your core pages, but no links from your site to their images for privacy. Use only highly compressed jpegs on the page and then send them the link to their page which they can copy and paste. They then will send the link to all their friends and family.

In the note to them, let them know that you have the high res images if they want them for prints, etc. Always get a model release as well.

Here is an example that took about 10-15 minutes to shoot and another 20 minutes to edit and put the web page together. Don't waste a lot of time putting a masterpiece together, and reinforce in the note that this was a spur of the moment shoot. You'd be surprised how a gesture like this, which costs you nothing, will start your business off in a grass roots fashion.
enlightphoto 9 years ago
Let me add to the conversation with a bit of an aside. While "getting your name out there" regardless of whether you are starting slowly with local advertising and promotion, or jumping right in big time (whatever that means), one of the most important things you can do as part of Branding your name, is to always present yourself as a professional, and that means to present yourself professionally. Lots of people hang out a photographers shingle, call themselves "A Professional", yet they present themselves in a manner that by all respects just isn't very professional. That could mean a portfolio of 80 mediocre shots, or a poorly designed website, or not having a business card, etc..

If you want clients to take note of and remember your name, and have them think of you as a pro, then you need to look like a pro, and act like a pro. Don't give them a chance to let you be seen as anything less.

Submitted respectfully,

Gary Crabbe
Enlightened Images (Weblog)
gaburgessphotos 9 years ago
thank you so much for the insight it has helped me find a direction.
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