How would you categorize a professional wedding photographer? As an artist who runs a business or as an entrepreneur who makes art? ShootDotEdit works with professional photographers from all over the world and have found the most successful to be a mix of both artist and entrepreneur. Being able to manage a thriving business doesn’t make you any less of an artist.
The policy consultant and author, John Howkins once said,
“Entrepreneurs in the creative economy… use creativity to unlock the wealth that lies within themselves. Like true capitalists, they believe that this creative wealth, if managed right, will engender more wealth.”
ShootDotEdit has compiled some tips to help create success as both an artist and an entrepreneur.
1. Identify your Style
Cultivate your own personal style, your own “signature” look and feel for your images. Find a niche and work within it. This may mean that you make a strategic decision to only work on weddings, passing up other opportunities. Find a balance between what you are best at and what you love most, and then build your brand around it!
2. Embrace efficiency
Setting up efficient business practices will create time for you to focus on your passions, on personal projects, and on serving and loving your clients. Not only will it allow you to spend more time on being creative, it also helps you make more money. Streamlining your business through efficient business practices will save time and money in the long run. ShootDotEdit has great resources for being efficient. Ultimately, faster delivery to your clients = happier clients.
Related Article: 5 Ways Efficient Business Empowers Your Photography
Related Article: Finding Time to Do It All: Tips for Managing Your Time
3. Practice & Be Passionate
Entrepreneur and Marketing guru, Seth Godin says,
“Practice alone doesn’t produce work that matters. No, that only comes from caring. From caring enough to leap, to bleed for the art, to go out on the ledge, where it’s dangerous. When we care enough, we raise the bar, not just for ourselves, but for our customer, our audience and our partners.”
Channel your passion into your work and you will always deliver an amazing product.
Georgia O’Keefe stated,
“To create one’s world in any of the arts takes courage.”
Running a business is hard work. There is a lot more than just creating a beautiful image. Stay positive and focused on your business, and keep moving forward. Remember: your business must succeed to provide a platform for your art. The two go hand in hand.
5. Say No.
Don’t compromise yourself. Say no to people who want you to work for free. Say no to things that fall outside of your niche. Your time is the most valuable thing that you have, so don’t waste it on anything that doesn’t work towards moving you and your business forward.
Related Article: Just Say No – Why Extreme Focus is Important
6. Learn to Sell
Talent alone doesn’t book the next appointment. Understand the basic ideas of how to sell. Listen to your clients and ask solid open ended questions to determine their needs. The most successful photographers know how to get brides and grooms to buy.
Related Article: How Professional Wedding Photographers Can Simplify Sales
7. Network. Everywhere.
There is no better testimony than one from a client who is happy with your work. The beautiful thing about wedding photography is that you can meet clients everywhere. Don’t be afraid to ask for referrals. Go to industry events. Talk to other vendors. Become friendly with venue owners and wedding planners and other people who are a part of your industry.
A professional photographer doesn’t have to be either an artist OR an entrepreneur. To be truly successful, whatever your definition of that may be, embracing both attributes will help generate growth as a person, as a business and as a photographer. Access our Guide to Marketing for Wedding Photographers to learn more about selling your brand to ideal clients!