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6 ways to make your photography stand out

The post 6 ways to make your photography stand out appeared for the first time at Digital Photography School. It is written by Karthika Gupta.

When was the last time you googled your city and your genre photographer? I tried this recently and used ' Chicago lifestyle ' and ' travel photographer. ' The search results yielded 18.5K results. Yes, that is ' K ' as in thousands.

Photography is an extremely competitive field and it can be difficult to make your photography stand out. Low entry costs in terms of equipment, free online tutorials and a pool of customers who offer everything for ' free ' or ' low budget ' wanting means that there is work for everyone who wants to enter the field. Of course some genres are harder to catch up than others. But the reality is that if you want to get paid to take photos for someone else, chances are that you can do that relatively easily.

branding photo shoot of an artist Karthika Gupta

Now I am not against this. We all start somewhere, and I also had the ' free ' I did a photo shoot when I started getting wet. I understand everything needed to become a photographer.

But I quickly learned that the $ 50 or $ 100 photo shoots are not worth my time, effort, and talent. As a photographer there are many issues such as:

  • gear insurance
  • company registration
  • taxes
  • administrative overhead, including website domain name and hosting
  • travel costs etc.,

I effectively paid people to let me take their photo.

That math wasn't right and not right at all.

If you want to make it in the long term in the photography industry, there are several things you need to do to get yourself on the right track and to stand out from the rest of the crowd when it comes to your skills, business practices and your presence – on and offline!

1. Consistency

Don't be a miracle for one hit. Create and produce consistent new work consistently. Even if that work is only for you, personal projects or collaborative projects.

If you ' free ' or ' low budget ' have to do shoots, then have a plan about when, how and what you will get and give from these shoots. If you spend 6 months on free shoots or cheap shoots to build your portfolio, that's okay, but two years doing this is a bit much.

Also, realize that free / cheap shoots look very different from customers who are willing to spend $ 1000 or more on a family photo shoot. So be practical with your goals.

Stylized wedding photo shoot catches the eye with your photography Karthika Gupta

It took me years of practice to find a style that I liked and that worked with my personal aesthetic – a clear, clear visual style.

2. Authenticity

Many photographers offer stylized photo sessions and photo shoots for taking photos. Here, a number of photographers walk through a stylized set-up and create work that they can show on their portfolio. There is nothing wrong with that, but only if you use this as a way to increase your skills.

For example, you edit clients of different skin tones, learn to photograph in challenging light or pose and communicate with clients. Do not use these images as ' your ' work. It is better to display images of a stylized recording as such than in a presentation about work / styling that is not yours.

I love 1: 1 style shoot because they give me creative freedom and offer me a chance to take unique photos.

Instead of consistently looking for formatted shoots for building a portfolio, you invest in one of your own portfolios. It doesn't have to be complicated or luxurious. Walk into a few suppliers and see if you can set something that suits your brand and theirs. This is a win-win for all involved. That way you create unique images and also make friends in the industry.

3. Play well with others in this space

This applies to number 2. Make friends in the industry. I belong to many FB groups and WhatsApp groups for creatives and photographers. We meet, chat, connect business issues and offer advice and assistance where needed. I am also part of a group with many different types of entrepreneurs to build a community of like-minded people and professionals. I have received many things from these groups, but I have also made a number of lifelong friends and mentors. People who are always there for me because I am always there for them.

Triple exposure on film Karthika Gupta

A collaborative photo reportage with a colleague photographer to take portfolio and editorial photos. The image is a triple exposure on film.

Regardless of the level of your business or even if you are just a hobbyist, there are always people who are just like you and looking for the same things as you: friendship, love of photography and companionship. Spend as much as possible, be helpful and raise others who are on this journey with you. The more you put there, the more you will receive from the universe.

4. Patience is the key

Photography is a very competitive industry. At some point there are certainly people who can do something better than you. And that's all right. Know where your strengths are and use them to your advantage. Try to be in it for the long term and not just short-term performances that are one and close deals. Build relationships with your customers so that they refer you and come back time and time again for quality results.

Success does not happen overnight. Be consistent and be patient, and things will happen in their own time.

5. Success in your way

Whether you choose to be in business or not, be true to your art. Be inspired by other photographers and daily life. There are many amazing things around us at any given moment. Just because nobody else photographs it doesn't make it boring. Likewise, think outside the box. Just because everyone photographs something in a certain way does not mean that you have to follow the package.

When you start, do not obsess about customers, get work and earn money. Yes, they are absolutely important, but take the time to perfect your art (to the point that you are sure that you are charging money for your photography). Then money and fame will follow.

6. Take a 360-degree approach to your career

When I worked in Corporate America many years ago, one of the companies I worked for had a 360-degree approach to the annual performance evaluation. My performance was assessed based on how effective I was in four areas: my colleagues in my team and between teams, my managers and those who worked for me. Apply this approach to your photography. Wherever you are committed to helping people just starting out, work with your peers, learn from those who are where you want to be. This can be in terms of meetups, workshops and conferences or even just a cup of coffee to make contact with others.

I started to learn technology at conferences and I like to meet and make contact with other photographers who have become good friends.

Your photography career and thinking around your work and your art will grow in leaps and bounds when you have a mentality of abundance rather than scarcity.

Conclusion

If you had read this article in its entirety, you would have noticed that I did not say anything about camera brands, lens, lighting, models, posing, etc.

In my opinion, the tips to make your photography stand out from the crowd focus on things that are more important. Your attitude towards yourself and others, your way of thinking, your willingness to get help and help others, and your long-term vision of where you want to be are much more important than your skills with the camera. After all, almost anyone can take a photo – just aim and shoot. Much more is needed to become a successful photographer who consistently makes art.

make your photography stand out

The post 6 ways to make your photography stand out appeared for the first time at Digital Photography School. It is written by Karthika Gupta.

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