By Lindsey Hilton
1. Finding your Niche
I’ve been taking pictures for as long as I can remember. And after all this time I would still say that I’m searching for my style. As a photographer, your style is always developing and changing. It’s easy to look at other photographers’ styles and think that you are behind or need to change what you’re doing. It’s good to take inspiration from others, but it’s more important to find what makes you unique. I recommend taking a break from looking at other peoples work. Spend some time focusing on your own pictures and what type of editing you prefer to make them look better, instead of trying to make your pictures fit someone else's editing style. Whether it is portrait, landscape, or lifestyle photography, go out and capture what YOU think is worth capturing.
2. Developing Prices
This can be one of the most difficult parts about becoming a photographer. It has been one of my biggest struggles. There is no “right” price for your work. It’s important not to undersell yourself, but it’s also important not to overcharge. I suggest researching some photographers that produce work similar to yours and see what they charge. Based on that, pick a basic price that you think your work and time is worth. Afterwards, pay attention to how people react to your prices. If you have a lot of people commenting “that’s so cheap!”, it might be time to higher your prices. On the other hand, if you aren’t getting much business and the reaction is the opposite, try lowering your prices. It’s also okay to do some work for free when you’re first getting started. If not for anything else but to get your work out there!
3. Choosing What to Photograph
After years of photography, I just recently narrowed down my focus for pictures. I am Wedding Photographer. I photograph weddings and couples only. Occasionally, I will do something like senior portraits. However, this decision didn’t happen overnight. I always felt like I needed to take whatever came my way to make money. And while this is good to do for a while, I came to the point where I needed to focus on what I was the most passionate about. When people see your passion and focus for something, they are more drawn to you. Choosing to focus my advertising on weddings brought in more clients than I’ve ever had. It also took the pressure off of having to take pictures that I didn’t enjoy taking. I’ve become okay with saying no to taking pictures that drain me, so that I can give more energy to taking the pictures that I love.
There’s no perfect way to being a photographer. It is trial and error, and it always will be. Choose some goals for yourself and take as many pictures as you can. If you continue to put out work and learn how you can improve your work and business, your photography will only get better!