This week while spending some time with a good friend, they asked me, "how exactly do you make money with your photography?"
Its a question I've heard countless times, and a questioning any artist can certainly relate too. I chose to give a simple explanation vs. the complex one which is that as a photographer I deliver value to my clients by helping them realize their creative vision through the creation of content like photos, videos, and art! While it sounds a bit cliche, its certainly the truth. The complex answer dives a bit deeper into the subject. In my experience, especially initially, trying to make money in the photography world can be disorienting to say the least!
In the early stages of a photographer's career, it seems necessary to compete based on price, and is necessary to a degree, however this creates a vicious cycle. Consumers in the industry are being taught to chase low bids and this isn't always in the best interest of the consumer or the industry.
What matters more than price? Trust, Value, & Communication!!!
As a entrepreneur, MBA grad, once broke college kid I can certainly appreciate the practicality of seeking the lowest price for something, but whats truly more important is the relationship you have with the artist thats providing you the service. When there is a solid relationship & strong communication, trust, and value can strike a balance and give the desired results to everyone involved. Artists must start consistently communicating their abilities to their clients. Current inconsistency in the industry has caused clients to feel unsure of what they will receive for their money.
This is an opportunity for those with strong sales & soft skills! With high turnover in the photography industry clients are ready to give a chance to someone who can make a strong first impression and provide reassurance they can do the job right. This is of course half the equation, as the artist must deliver results over an extended period to build a foundation with their client. These two actions are exactly how I make money with my photography!
Being a networking fool!
Networking has become paramount in the art world, whether networking in the local community, through social media, or a wonderful WIX website this is going to be the key function in the success of your photography business. There are many ways to network from professional groups, to public events (and great ways to find them like Eventbrite), just get creative and find whats interesting! Volunteer work is also a wonderful way to begin marketing one's name as an artist in the community.
A final note - no matter what type of photography you're doing, if you're providing a service, you make $ by making your client happy!
p.s. research your price, know your strengths, and deliver value!
Until the next post!