House Cleaning During Downtime

House Cleaning During Downtime

I’m so tired of writing posts that always start the same; the pandemic has changed so much in our lives… While it’s true, in some ways there have been some benefits – it’s given you time to do a lot of house-cleaning, literally, and especially on your website.

I shared a post recently on my blog about the quality of your headshot because I loved the portrait that Kay Eskridge shared on her Facebook page.

And while a couple of artists still don’t get it, the point is you’re a professional photographer. Sadly, so many of you insist on terrible selfies and portraits that look like you handed your camera to an eight-year-old and said, “Just push this button!”

Here’s why this is so important – With the pandemic, there are more people online than at any time in the history of the Internet. More people are walking by your “store,” and you want them to make a purchase!  Great images on your home page and in your galleries should be their first stop. If you’ve hooked them on stunning images, then they’re going to want to know more about you.

That means you need to do everything you can to remind them you’re a professional photographer. Very few of you have headshots that show your love for the craft, or at the very least, you in action…as a PHOTOGRAPHER and ARTIST.

While a stunning portrait of you is excellent, I like an image of you working even more. Or, at the very least, include a shot of you working along with that stunning portrait.

My suggestion has always been a side shot of you with a camera in your hands and in the background just beyond the depth of field, your subject. Use your headshot to convey a great message of what you do for a living.

This image of Kay’s might not have her subject in view, but what a kick for a client to see how much she loves the craft. And I love the fact that it’s black and white – pushing the point of diversity in her creativity a little more.

Now, think about your bio page – your target audience doesn’t care what awards you’ve won, what gear you shoot with, or even how long you studied to be a photographer. They want to know WHY you love being a photographer, and for “Mom,” she’s looking to see if you can be trusted to capture images of her family the way she sees them. It doesn’t matter how many awards you’ve gotten in print competitions through WPPI or PPA – most of your clients don’t know what those associations are!

So, stop writing long boring bios about your awards, how many cameras you own, or how you got started in this business – cut to the chase and talk about your love for photography and helping clients capture great memories. Then, back it all up with a headshot like Kay’s, and you can even add an image of two of you working with a client!

(Also on the list to include is a self-promotional video about you – but we’ll save that for another post.)

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This article was written by
Skip Cohen

Skip Cohen is an industry executive recognized for his diversity. He has served as past president of Hasselblad USA, Rangefinder/WPPI and in 2009 founded his own educational consulting company. In 2013 he launched Skip Cohen University dedicated to helping artists build a stronger business. He's a regular speaker at a variety of conventions and writes for several different magazines, as well as having two business classes at Lynda.com. Click above to visit the SCU blog.

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