Branding

Every photographer thinks about branding at one time or another. What am I shooting and who is wanting to pay for the service?

It takes time to build clients. Some markets are quicker than others. But word of mouth spreads quicker than anything. What ever you do, some one is there to tell some one else about it. Hopefully for the good.

You are your brand even if some one works for you or you outsource your photo editing. Customer service along with prices is driving force behind your brand. As your prices go up, the level of customer service can and should go up.

I’m just trying to make money any way I can. And so are the rest of us. The customer is looking to save money. But they also want value for what they get. If you are giving your services away, even to promote your work, you need to be getting something back. Take your time on photos that may just end up on facebook or some corner of a web site. I’ve got photos that pop up from time to time on twitter. So yes, 1000’s see that photo daily with every tweet.

My clients may not like it if I change my prices. It’s a good time to add more clients. There will be others to fill their photographic needs as you add more to your services. Loosing money to get new clients at the cheap rate on those sites like Groupon may not be for every one. Few may stick around for the full rate. Some times it works, do your homework. If they are looking for the cheaper rates, they may not be your client. In fact just avoid those. You are wanting some one who wants you and your style, not just a price tag. What would be cool is for those in a higher expendable money bracket looking to find you as their way of finding a bargain. As your business grows then you move along to the next level.

Everyone has Instagram or just uploads to Facebook or pins stuff on Pinterest. And that is how people know I’m alive too. I’ve got photos all over Pinterest and Facebook. Photographers are all over the sharing on G+, which is where the serious stuff goes. Your brand may include sharing. It’s a great way to get a following. I’ve know teens who use Flickr, and hear about when the creepers visit their sites all because they are teens shooting teens.

I’m not good enough to be a professional. Too late, you have to to be professional when you deal with a wrong order at the burrito bar. All it takes is a pleasant attitude to deal with clients. You don’t have to promise everything. Just deliver what is expected and throw in surprises like early delivery. Stay on top of the emails, calls, texts, and those times you meet for coffee. As for photo quality, if you have a DSLR you are ahead of the cell phone carriers. A fashion photographer years ago used disposable cameras to produce his work. Keep learning all that you can until you know how to use the camera you have. Digital photographers pull out the Instamatic or even a Holga to accent a photoshoot to add something special to the shoot. When I shoot Rollerderby, it’s all about it as a distraction, to enter another world for a moment and then share that with the derby girls. And because of that, I know the worst conditions imaginable for action shots so any thing else would be easy. So ready for the Dew Tour or the Olympics, how cool would that be.

I’ve got to figure out what my brand is. You’re brand may be related to your market. There are Cites, Suburbs, Country, Towns, and everything in between. People migrate between everything bringing what they know along. I’m a Rock guy living in the country, shooting country stars living in the city. Just remain positive, anything is possible. You don’t have to try to do it all. Keep things simple.

Check out the Branding of these

Trey Ratcliff, Stuck in Customs

Christa Meola, Boudior

Zach and Jody, Weddings

Diane Bradford, Editorial

Jonathan Penney, Master Printmaker

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