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FORUMS Post Processing, Marketing & Presenting Photos The Business of Photography 
Thread started 07 Jan 2014 (Tuesday) 21:11
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How do you get experience?

 
Aki78
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Location: New Hampshire USA
     
Jan 08, 2014 08:15 |  #16

Kanye wrote in post #16587114 (external link)
So fake it till I make it?

Your work is really good IMO. There was a TED speech on the whole fake it til you make it. Might be worth it. https://www.google.com …-3Q&bvm=bv.58187178,d.e​W0 (external link)

For me though I find networking through friends and families is the best way for portraits. Word of mouth is a very strong marketing tool. I think that's where FB can help a lot. I'd try to find any way to network; local businesses, local art gallery (we have few in the area for photographers as well) and push your work. It would be a start :)




  
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TroyRaymond
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Jan 20, 2014 23:42 as a reply to  @ Aki78's post |  #17

To build my portfolio I attended a few model workshops I found locally on meetup.com . I believe the first one was $15 with a recommended tip for each model. (there was three). I did pay more for a few very experienced models which greatly helped since they already knew how to pose. Don't forget a lot of customers do not know how to pose so you'll have to learn how to instruct them too.




  
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1000WordsPhotography
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Jan 21, 2014 00:51 |  #18

I have shot some TF work, trading models to build portfolios for me and them. Hell I still shoot a TF session every month to work on ideas or particular shots I want to try or to develop sor sharpen new skills. But I've never had a client (corporate portraiture, commercial work, weddings or family stuff) that I shot for free.

I think it requires patience and hard, hard work. Photography requires serious hustle to be even reasonably successful.

In my personal opinion its easier to get professional work if you have a professional appearance. Get a domain, get a website. If you come in contact with someone who is on the fence and you use flickr and so do they they are probably saying why would I pick someone who uses the same stuff I do, but that may be just me.

How many bids/proposals have you put out in the last month? How many client inquiries have you had in the last month? How do you follow up with clients, hell how do you find them in the first place?

My guess is you are doing what most new pros do, putting their work out there and waiting for the world to discover it. That's not how this works. You need to drag them in, kicking and screaming if need be (thats just a metaphor). The sad truth is if you are getting ten leads a month just by default you'll close some.

Just a few questions to ponder:

- How many times in a coffee shop, bar, gas station or where ever do you squeeze into the conversation you are a photographer? Should be in every conversation that goes a decent length of time. Hand out more cards. Force yourself to hand out at least one card a day. When that becomes comfortable double to two. When thats comfortable double it again. Until people are looking for you you need to be looking for them.

- How many parties that hire for what you want to shoot have you contacted about working for them? Hell have you even contacted any parties that hire for what you want to shoot? If you don't know who has the work how are you ever going to get it?

- In how many cases where you have bid and lost have you contacted the client and asked what you could have done better to make them chose you? If you don't know how many customers you are contacting and you don't know why those bids are losing how can you improve your process?

Last thing, I agree you need to learn to master flash. I wouldn't go as far as you aren't a professional if you can't shoot flash but I believe being able to make your own light gives you many more options. That said if you know its a barrier to your professional development then can you consult your calendar and tell me what dates you've set to practice the skill? You don't need a person to improve this ability, you can do it with a mannequin or one of those fake wig heads.

If you don't know what you are lacking and why, then your biggest problem is you. If you know you are lacking something and don't address it your biggest problem is you. Fix your biggest problem.


Twitter: @1kWordsPhotog
Instagram: @1000WordsPhotographer
Facebook: Here (external link)
Portfolio: Here (external link)

  
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1000WordsPhotography
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Jan 21, 2014 00:54 |  #19

One last last thing. I think there are two types of successful photographers:

- People are who are on a constant grind putting themselves out there so they connect to enough paying opportunities to pay the rent.

- People who have put themselves so far out there that people now find them.

You can't get to the second without doing the first.


Twitter: @1kWordsPhotog
Instagram: @1000WordsPhotographer
Facebook: Here (external link)
Portfolio: Here (external link)

  
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TroyRaymond
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Jan 21, 2014 09:57 as a reply to  @ 1000WordsPhotography's post |  #20

I revisited the first post and there is no mention of what type of photography you plan on doing. Clients could be portraits, but could also be event or architecture as there is a client you would deal with.

We have a website, we have a Facebook page to promote to other businesses that have Facebook pages that will also promote us.

For pet photography we have volunteered at a local humane society with great results as they use our photos with a watermark and provide a link with each post. With each adoption we give a personal use release and printing instructions. This helps with more than just pet photography as pets are part of the family, possible new clients. Giving back to the community is also great for opening opportunities, the second day after the Humane Society posted a few animal pictures we gained a wedding in the fall.

When we shoot events, they will post a link to our gallery of photos on their FB event page sending us all the participants from the event.

If your city/town/village has a framing store or gallery, choose locations around town that people are familiar with and produce photos that are different than all the others and they will sell, the frame stores here are more than happy to display work for a small percentage of the sale. This is where you have to understand what people want and how to produce it. Doing this I sold usage rights of a photo to the Visitors Bureau for their fall brochures, which led to a contract for the next year shooting our four seasons and events, which lead to a local foundation and their events, etc.

Something we've setup to try within the next month, is to setup in a very popular salon for a day for glamour type shots in a workshop type atmosphere at a discounted rate, be sure market ahead of time, possibly even displaying samples of your work to build interest. This will help your work in front of others and get the salon ahead of their competition.

Get your lighting figured out, creating photographs is capturing light. After studying light for quite some time and practicing, my work greatly improved overnight with the purchase of better lighting. More detail, higher quality and much less work in post processing. Your work must stand out in a crowd, over time you will develop a style but keep it consistent (even though it will mature), I just made sure my style was different than anyone locally. Practice, Practice, Practice... it took 2 years for my style to develop.




  
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