A career in photography may seem exciting. You need to have passion and determination along with photography, communication, marketing, and interpersonal skills to survive in the industry.
Once you possess all that it takes to be a photographer, you take a step further in gaining on-field experience. However, hunting for clients may seem daunting as getting people to choose you is harder than it seems.
There is no such thing as an overnight success. And just like every other profession, finding photography clients also requires time and most importantly – The Correct Approach.
Tips for Finding Photography Clients More Effectively
Picking a Niche
When you know you have enough skills, it becomes necessary to identify what you are best at. There are several categories available to choose from – be it wildlife and nature, wedding and birthdays, product and models, news and crime, or a freelancer.
This tip is the first and most important because finding your niche helps you in identifying your target audience, i.e. your photography clients. There is no point in approaching a family if you are in love with wildlife photography.
Initially, you might think about trying all varieties of pies. There is nothing wrong with it, but this can confuse you and you might end up with a mix-and-match portfolio, which is not good for your long term career.
When looking for a photographer, people are more likely to choose someone who specializes in their niche rather than a jack of all cards. It is the same as choosing a specialist doctor for the treatment over someone who does all kinds of treatment.
Creating a Strong Portfolio
Your portfolio speaks for you. Whatever you’ve learned and whatever you know is reflected through your portfolio. Having some amazing photos clicked from different angles, different lighting, different locations, different props, and different editing styles can attract people and help in convincing them to be your photography clients.
Your portfolio makes you look like a professional and not just a newbie experimenting with careers. This is a great move to create an impression in the industry and flatter your skills to become a tough competitor.
Understanding Your Client
When you meet your photography clients, put yourself in their shoes. Listening and understanding your client can make them feel valued. They have come to you because they have a plan, or they have no plan but know what they want.
Understanding their needs and working according to them is another great skill a good photographer needs to possess. Many fail in mastering this tip and rather throw their statements about how much they know and how well they understand what should be done. This completely pushes aside the need of the clients making them uncomfortable to work with such photographers.
We recommend asking for inspiration photos to get the idea of what they are looking for and deciding the deadline beforehand to schedule the photoshoots.
Building a Powerful Social Presence
Expand your friend circle, attend every social gathering, plan trips, and do whatever to be around people or find more people who can potentially turn into your photography clients. You might not like the mass of people or parties, but a career in photography demands a powerful social presence.
The more people will notice you, the more your chances will be increased to be called for. Having a huge and useful network can help you a lot in building your career. You can catch big fishes from the large crowd.
Build your relationships with professionals and big businessmen from your niche as they can be very loyal to recommending you to their customers and vice versa. These big business brands can also hire you as their exclusive photographer for the work that is part of your niche. For example, if you meet a designer, they can hire you for their models and product photography and in return, you can recommend his brand to your other clients.
Impactful Online Presence
Online presence is equally important as an offline presence. Here you can reach an even larger number of audiences as an online presence is not just limited to your locality.
Social media is a great platform for promoting your skills. There are $3.5 billion users on social media reportedly to date. This opens the gate to reaching more prospective photography clients.
You can link your digital portfolio to sites like LinkedIn to approach people professionally. There are many great platforms where you can catch the eyes of the people, generate more views over your profiles, and collect more likes to prevail in your popularity.
Your online presence is also a way to spread the word about what your skills are and how people can trust you. When the photography clients see that a photographer is breaking social media, they tend to approach him/her first hand. Having a strong online presence is a big milestone to achieve when you want to become famous in your industry.
Organizing Free and Promotional Photoshoots
As a beginner, it is not wise to think about profits and earnings. There might be few photoshoots that you have to do just for the sake of your promotion and also for building your portfolio.
When you do things for free, obviously it becomes easier to get a hold of photography clients. But, this can make you known to many people who may come to you for paid photoshoots.
Budding models are a good catch for your free photoshoots as they are available for the photographers who can create a portfolio on a budget or for free.
Taking Help of Family and Friends
References work best for beginners. You can either ask your family and friends to be your subject or ask them to refer you to someone and vice versa.
Your friends and family can also promote you online among their friend circles and get you more links and photography clients to connect with.
Common Mistakes When Finding Photography Clients
- Never boast your knowledge to your photography clients while neglecting their preference. This can portray you as unprofessional and hard to work with personality.
- Never offer discounts that cost you more. If you have a skill then knowing its worth should be your first agenda in growing your career. Doing something for free initially and being negotiable throughout your career have a vast difference.
- Do not neglect the need for marketing. Having basic marketing skills is one of the prime requirements when becoming a photographer. In a world where everything is online, underestimating the power of marketing could be very risky.
- Putting all your efforts into building an only online presence or only offline presence is not recommended. Having both are equally important. Going out, building the network, and exchanging numbers along with consistent online posting are both parts of finding photography clients
- It is also considered a big mistake when you do not keep a track of your clients. Keeping in touch is very important, but tracking can further help you in showing-off your client base. It is also helpful when a client reaches you back – when you recognize them, it is easier to understand them better, attend them better, and please them better.
Finding photography clients demand patience, time, and great effort. Once you build a strong client base in your career, it might become easier to get regular projects. But, the above-mentioned tips are very necessary to follow to reach that point in your career in photography.
Balancing everything simultaneously might be difficult, but can reap amazing benefits to keep you going. We have tried to cover the most important tips that you can follow to kick-start and improve your strategy in finding photography clients.
If in case you want to use an online photo retouching service, contact us and get it done within 24 hours.
professional photographer with dslr camera -DepositPhotos