What does it take to become a successful commercial photographer these days?
Commercial photography has undergone a significant transformation, brought about by the advancement of technology and the internet. Today, even amateur photographers are able to offer reasonably good quality photographs at affordable prices, thus catering to the needs of numerous commercial clients. This has made it hard for commercial photographers to run the show. Here are a few tips to help you cut the crowd and become a successful commercial photographer.
1. Pick a niche
Pick a niche and work on creating an impressive portfolio. Make a name for yourself within the specific niche so that clients find the need to approach you. Choose your niche by analyzing your photography style. For instance, if your style is minimal and to the point, you could specialize in product photography. Once you establish a signature style for your work, clients will start gravitating towards you.
2. Exercise exemplary technical knowledge
Having exemplary technical know-how is the most important pre-requisite to becoming a successful commercial photographer. Besides creativity and an artistic vision, you must have the technical prowess to stand out in the field. Know your camera, hardware, editing software and lenses, and learn how to use them to their full potential.
3. Make yourself easy to find
You must have a website or a portfolio that presents your work to commercial clients. You must also provide vital information such as your location, contact details and your availability for shoots. It’s definitely worth spending on marketing your website using online promotional tools or optimizing it for search engines. Present other genres of photography separately to help your clients find what they’re looking for.
4. Choose suitable promotional tools
Consider using social media, email marketing tools and targeted promos to promote your work to clients. Send personalized emails to clients using attractive templates to create a lasting impression. Be active on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to build a solid network. Put up some of your work on stock photography platforms like PhotoConcierge to reach out to a diverse client base.
5. Research before giving a quotation
Research the client, get a clear understanding of their needs, find out their usage and style of the shoot. Ask the following questions before you put down a price:
- How many images do you want?
- Do you need a stylist, hair and make up person?
- Do you need the images for unlimited and unrestricted usage?
- What is the location of the shoot?
One you have gained a comprehensive insight on their requirements, evaluate your costs and provide a suitable quotation. Try and provide at least two estimates for a commercial job.