There’s Plenty of Room for Growth – It’s Waiting Outside Your Comfort Zone

There’s Plenty of Room for Growth – It’s Waiting Outside Your Comfort Zone

Every now and then I share a post on my own blog that simply, because of the topic, deserves to be shared in other places.

I don’t think there’s ever been a more difficult time for photographers than right now. Business is tough, but it’s still out there. The challenge is how are you going to get it to it?

Here are some suggestions, but they’re all up to you. There’s no magic button to push and no shoemaker’s elves coming in to clean up business in the middle of the night!
• Right now, you have something you’ve never had before – TIME. Use it to keep building your skillset so you can handle the majority of needs from your clients. Keep learning how to do EVERYTHING. For example, a wedding photographer who learns more about macro is likely to be more creative when it comes to ring shots, the detail in the wedding gown, and the flowers. It doesn’t matter that so many weddings are on hold for the moment – work to be the best.
• Learn lighting: We all know what it means when a photographer describes themselves as a “natural light specialist.” It means they’re afraid of studio lighting. Now is the perfect time to expand your skills so you can hit the ground running when the world around you starts to get back to some level of normalcy.
• What’s in your archives? As I’ve written several times previously, it’s holiday time, and photography is a hot product. Take advantage of those great images you have of past clients and events. And if you’re stuck on ideas, call Marathon and ask, “So, what’s new with Bella?” The quality of everything in the Bella lineup is remarkable and so is the cost!
• There’s a very thin line sometimes between stunning fine art images and your skillset. Follow a few fine art photographers you know and pay attention to how they’re framing their work for final sale. The key is often in the presentation, not just the quality of the print.
• Social distancing: Hunkering down is about your health, NOT your business. Start expanding your skillset by shooting outdoors. Learn to capture landscapes, wildlife, macro/closeup of flowers, bugs, etc. – anything that reminds people what you do for a living – even if it’s tough to make a living right now.
• Diversity in capture and post-processing is important to share, but do it with some logic. For example, add black and white images to your gallery, but not just for the sake of changing, but because the image you’ve chosen to share really has more impact in B&W.
• Learn video: Just about every digital camera now can capture video as well as still images. It’s another expansion of your skillset and also a key to your marketing. There’s very little that beats a video of you talking about your business with still images, video, and great music combined.
• USE YOUR BLOG: Okay, it’s last on the list, but only because I just realized I almost missed it. Your website is about what you sell, but your blog is about what’s in your heart! These are scary times – use what’s in your heart to help your clients. Give them gift ideas using photography, share tips on capturing better images this holiday season, and be helpful.

Remember, even in the pandemic, what you show is what you want to sell. Shakespeare said it best,

“To thine own self be true!”

Stay true to your love for photography and imaging and start to show more diversity on your website in logically connected specialties. And you know where to find me if I can help!

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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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