As a commercial photographer, your goal is not only to capture images but also to create and evoke emotions, tell stories, and ultimately sell a product or service. Navigating through the intricacies of this profession can be challenging, but with a few essential tips, you can certainly achieve success.
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Demystifying the Different Facets of Commercial Photography
Being conversant with the different facets of commercial photography is crucial. It can encompass diverse areas such as product, lifestyle, fashion, and even architectural photography. This understanding allows you to choose your focus area based on your interests and abilities.
It’s a great way to explore new fields, that you can specialize in.
I think the best example is architectural photographers, many would say we only work with architects, and some would say that real-estate photographers work with real estate agents.
In reality, As leading architectural photographers we work in so many industries like hospitality, commercial, residential, designs, and building.
This extends the scope of clients from an architect and real estate agents to companies, firms, brands, hotels, restaurants, designers, home builders, developers, manufacturers and so much more.
Deciphering the Thin Line between Commercial and Advertising Photography
Though often used interchangeably, there is a nuanced difference between commercial and advertising photography. While the former focuses on capturing the finest aspects of a product, the latter goes beyond that to create a compelling narrative around the brand.
No matter what you call it, it’s important to engage in a conversation with the client and understand the purpose of your project, where it will be used and what is the goal we are trying to achieve.
Don’t forget many of our clients do not understand our professional language and they are result-oriented, so great communication goes a long way.
Determining a Fair and Realistic Pricing Strategy
Deciding on a fair price point for your services is critical in the commercial photography business. Overpricing can deter potential clients, while underpricing may attract less desirable clients. Assess your competition, experience, and the value you provide to determine your rates.
Having been in business for over 15 years and being considered as an international commercial photographer I can tell you I focus on providing value to my customers and leading not following others.
Strengthening Your Online Presence with a Portfolio and Website
Creating a professional online presence is fundamental to your success in this digital age. Having a dedicated website with an impressive portfolio can do wonders for your image as a commercial photographer. Enhance your visibility further by maintaining active profiles on popular social media platforms.
While social media is a big thing, don’t get lost in hundreds and thousands of hours working on your social, it’s important to show an active account but big clients don’t sit on social the whole day they work so keep that in mind.
Proactively Engage with Potential Clients
While having an online presence can help draw clients, you should also actively reach out to potential clients. Research local businesses that might require your services and pitch your ideas tailored to their needs.
Set a half a year check-up with clients over coffee, drinks, or just a quick visit.
Go to support your clients in their events.
Keep social interaction to a 10-90 ratio balance with your daily work.
Establishing Regular Communication and Encouraging Dialogue
Maintaining open lines of communication with your client is key to understanding their expectations fully. Regular exchanges of ideas, feedback, and information can ensure you deliver exactly what they are looking for.
As mentioned before, running a business is not just about deliverables it’s also about interaction. go say happy birthday or holiday in person, bring a coffee, set some times for lunch, and do a pulse check, if you are not doing it, for sure we do.
Brainstorming a Plethora of Concepts
Never restrict yourself to the first idea that pops into your mind. Engage in brainstorming sessions to come up with diverse concepts. Offering a variety of ideas to clients will allow them to select what best suits their needs.
While commercial photography is about results, always create new ideas and concepts and pitch them to your clients and potential clients to encourage the creation of new projects.
Mastering the Art of Post-Production through Regular Practice
Post-production skills are just as important as the act of taking photos in commercial photography. Honing your editing skills will allow you to make necessary modifications as per the client’s request, like smoothening skin or whitening teeth, among others.
Building a Network within the Industry
Networking is a powerful tool in the world of commercial photography. Attend industry events and mingle with other professionals in the field. Knowing people in the industry can open up more job opportunities and enrich your professional journey.
Nurturing Relationships and Expanding Your Client Base
Don’t view your relationship with a client as over once you’ve completed their project. Instead, consider it as a potential long-term professional relationship. Follow up with your clients, offer them additional services, or ask for referrals to expand your client base.
We talked about this topic in many points and many photographers forget we are running a business. this requires 50% of business management and 50% of working time. yes, this is right, if you are not building and maintaining relationships comes the time others would do that for you, and instead of you.