Your work is finally good but you are afraid to take the leap to turn pro : here what you have to be focused on :
Weird practical advices to set yourself apart from the crowd of photographers and be hired
If you have the project to turn pro photographer (or pro musicians, actor, anything!) the transition is hard : one of the worst thing most common we tell ourselves (and others will tell us FOR SURE so get ready) is :
« oh but there are already so many ____ (pick you dream job) there is no point, I can never make it work, there is no room left »
First of all, there is room for everyone. Even if the truth here is there are a lot of photographers that you think have a great portfolio. But on all of them I assure you than 90% of them don’t have these following qualities! An d this is GREAT for you because here is your chance to be different!
So how to stand out when there is so much competition around :
- Have your own vision : (alright this one is not weird but I could not not include it)
No great photographer is ever hired because they have the most expensive newest camera : people want to buy their unique way to see the world! When I say Peter Lindergh, straight away I can see the mood of his portraits, he has his own unique signature and voice.
Find your niche, the thing that makes you awesomely unique! You might not know what it is yet, but the more you create, and the more defined your style will be. Hopefully there will be plenty of articles here to help you with this part!
- Answer the damn phone, answer the damn email : be reactive
It seems like common sense but believe me, but it is not that easy to find. People wants to see you are reactive, that you care, not that you wait a week before answering their quotes. I remember being an art director, I was in charge of printing the magazine I created. it was a big budget, I asked for 12 quotes and I had two companies answer me… I realized that some people actually don’t really want to work this much!
- Be nice and friendly :
Believe me, if someone is hesitating between two photographers (who have the same rate), they will choose the person that was a great time to be around last time! It’s not that hard to connect with people, be curious and open minded. If you are passionate about what you are doing, you will inevitably send a good energy and people will be attracted by your personality! I have a friend who is a photographer, and he always post silly stories on Instagram, he does weird funny self-portraits of himself, (as well as really goof photographs of course) and he told me that he got a commercial job because the guy who hired him found him funny compared to another photographer. True story.
- Deliver the damn pictures!
So you get a call because some guy found your work really unique, you made the effort to answer the phone, you put on your nicest clothes and smile, you rocked the photoshoot : THIS IS NOT THE MOMENT TO DROP THE BALL!! Deliver the pictures in time! You can’t imagine the number of photographer that are just behind on their retouching. Even really good organized nice well paid one! Finish the job properly with love!
So if you are a good photographer but you also do this, trust me, people are more likely to call you back because they know you are going to deliver a great service! it is how I got hired by the most beautiful palaces in paris : I answer my phone when they call me, I show up, I am never late, clients like me, and I deliver nice pictures on time. And you might not believe me, but I have a such a hard time finding someone to replace me when I can’t be there myself.
It’s about being professional, and even if there are THOUSANDS of photographers out there, the competition is not as tough as you think. Especially when you put a minimum effort and love in what you are doing! If that sounds like common sense to you, that’s great news, it means you are ready! No more excuses! :) :)
(I want you to notice that gear does not matter here! And if you need a special piece of equipment for a job, just rent it!)
LOVE TO ALL! I would love to know your opinion about this!!