Photography marketing is the next step to turn your hobby into a money-making profession. Once you have invested on good camera equipment and have learned advanced techniques using a graphics editing program to enhance your digital images, you should be able to make a living by taking snapshots of life’s beautiful moments.
However, the business side of photography is a different beast altogether. It’s not the same as waiting for that moment when your subject strikes a pose. To make an impression in the market as a professional photographer, you must willingly reach out and make yourself accessible to your target audience.
Below are photography marketing ideas to help you start off your career as a successful photographer and getting yourself known in the industry.
1. Create a portfolio
Photographers are defined by their work, and to gain clients for your photography services, you must present a compelling collection of your best shots. Maximize your chances of landing a client by producing your portfolio into different formats.
This type of print media allows you to showcase multiple works due to the many pages contained within. You can hand these out during photography events or conventions that permit you to promote your services.
These allow you to store more photos than booklets can. However, unlike booklets that people can immediately browse upon receiving them, you will have to run CDs using a laptop or computers with a CD player to view the images.
Sites like Flickr and Picasa lets your upload and save thousands of your photographs on the web. Best of all, you can make your profile public so prospective clients can check out all of your uploaded images in one place.
It is best practice to maximize the different online photo sharing sites available by creating an account for each. Pinterest is currently one of the latest and best photo-sharing sites that have a dedicated and active user base of over 11 million.
Aside from being able to create specific themes for each account, you can increase your online visibility by having search engines crawl and index your profiles. Once people search for your name, your profiles will appear as the search results and increase the chances of people browsing through your works.
Below are tips to follow on how you should design your booklets to market your photography services:
- Include your contact details – Assuming that you will let your prospective clients keep your booklet portfolio, your telephone number and e-mail address should serve as your call to action. If people are impressed with your work from your portfolio, they will use your contact details to reach you for a job opportunity.
- Focus on your specialty – Be aware that your identity as a photographer is determined by that one thing you are great at, which is why you should choose a particular category or type that you are comfortable in and showcase it through your portfolio. Conversely, avoid targeting all photography services in your booklet portfolio – by focusing on everything, you may end up not being really good at something.
- Design according to your specialty – Your marketing materials are extensions of your identity as a photographer. The images you use as your portfolio design aside from your photos must be synonymous to your specialty for them to easily identify the type of photography services you offer. Using flowers and cakes on your portfolio design and white background for your theme gives away your identity to people as a wedding photographer.
If you plan to create your portfolio using booklets but lack design ideas to make your marketing material stand out, check out our previous posts entitled “5 Brochure Design Ideas to Match Your Brand” and “5 Outstanding Booklet Designs of 2011” before ordering your booklets here.
2. Attend photography events
As a freelancer, you need to form connections with like-minded photographers. This can be done by simply running an online search for photography events available within your area. By attending, you will not only take photos of the event taking place to be added for your portfolio, but also increase your standing within the industry by forming a partnership with other photographers with different specialties.
- Photoshop World Conference and Expo
- Society for Photographic Education National Conference
- Photographic Society of America Annual Conference
- IEEE International Conference on Computational Photography
- Photo District News Photoplus International Conference + Expo
Note: Some of the conferences listed above for this year have passed, but you can sign up for next year’s event to participate in conferences, workshops, and seminars, as well as make connections with photographers and enthusiasts.
To strengthen that connection, you can hand out business cards to prospective partners and clients so they can reach you using the contact information on the card.
Aside from shaking hands and exchanging cards with other people, you can reserve a booth on the conference to showcase and exhibit your works to the public. This allows you to make a statement in the photography scene and gain extra mileage in your marketing efforts, especially if your photos make a lasting impression to people. Catch the attention of people by using your most powerful works on posters and banners to be displayed in front of your booth or at places with high foot traffic.
However, when it comes to marketing tools, postcards are photographer’s best friend. Your photos will be best represented using these since they normally take the shape of photo print size 4R (4″ x 6″). More importantly, you can either hand these out or sell them at your booths for increase your branding and identity.
If you need more information on how to use postcards as a marketing tool, read our post entitled “Best Business Practices for Postcard Marketing.” Then purchase our postcards at PrintRunner by clicking here. Our postcards are available in nine different sizes and can be printed with coating (matte or UV) or using 100% recycled paper.
3. Join contests
Every photographer must put their works to the test by entering their to contests. Aside from the prize you will receive if you win, you will get an idea of the skill level and diversity of photographers from different parts of the world. This should inspire you learn the techniques they used on their entries and push your photography skills to the limit.
Bookmark the links below and visit them regularly for updates on contests that you feel confident in joining.
From a marketing standpoint, joining contests lets thousands of people view your work, assuming that the entries are published online. If they like your entry, there’s a great chance that they will check out your online portfolio and either contact you for your services or discuss a business partnership with you.
These photography marketing tips are important in getting your services across to people. If you have any more suggestions that you’d like to mention regarding photography marketing, please feel free to comment below and share them with us!