The shot above is from Heinz Memorial Chapel in Pittsburg, PA
One of the challenges some photographers face today is landing projects. You may have the talent and the tools needed to produce incredible work, but if no one takes a chance on you, how can you showcase your skill?
*Note* This article is for those looking to do photography for paid work. I understand many people just shoot as a hobby and for the most part, so do I!
Anyways, back to the post!
STEP 1: Build Your Portfolio Online
Having an online presence can make an enormous impact. Post often, regularly and engage with your audience. Whenever someone comments on a picture, be sure to leave a meaningful response. I’d recommend using as many platforms as possible to include Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and maybe even Snapchat. When building an engaging following, try and post on a schedule (once a day, once a week, etc.). You want to give your followers a reason to come back and see your content. In addition, take polls on what your audience wants to see. It could be people, animals, places; Whatever they want, at least consider exploring it. Once you have found your niche, do your best to deliver a style all your own.
STEP 2: Offer Your Services Free
If you aren’t getting any work, consider working for free. Reach out to people or organizations to photograph them. I typically have them sign a contract releasing the photos for public use, but not for sales. This gives both parties peace of mind. Remember, people might still say ‘No Thank You’. Do not get discouraged; Keep trying! Once you’ve done several free projects, you will have more leverage when trying to land a paid project because you can lean on professional experience you’ve acquired.
STEP 3: Seek Out Advice
If you are building up an audience, working on free projects and still not getting the results you want, try reaching out to influencers online. Something like, “I am trying to get feedback on my work, could you please check out my images and let me know what you think?”. Again, some people may ignore your message, but others may give meaningful advice. This is also another way to network with other photographers. If you can receive constructive criticism, you can be a better photographer.
BONUS STEP: Think About Collaborating
There are tons of photographers these days and I credit most of it to the technology in smartphones. If you try and reach out to photographers in your area, you may be willing to meet up and shoot together. I’ve found this invaluable as you can learn from others and add new tricks to your toolbox. If you are going to try this, please make safe decisions (do not meet alone, meet publicly, etc.).
Until Next Time,