When you’re intent on establishing and improving your photography business, you probably focus mostly on market knowledge, current technology and building your portfolio. However, you may be forgetting an essential part of being a successful photographer, and that’s building strong relationships with your potential clients. Succeeding in the photography industry requires cultivating beneficial relationships whether you shoot landscapes portrait, wedding or commercial subjects.
Although being a photographer involves a lot of solo work and sometimes keeping prime locations secret, you have a greater chance of success when you have the support of others. You need people to sit for portraits, brides and grooms for wedding photography and an audience to appreciate the stunning landscapes you’ve captured on exhausting shoots. To gain the people you need to photograph and build your audience, here a few suggestions that can help you secure your career in photography.
No matter what type of photography you specialize in, you’re going to have to deal with the public at some point, and it’s essential that you keep your entire interaction positive by being polite. Never sink to the level of an angry client by snapping back at them. Instead, smile, breathe, relax and handle the situation as calmly as possible. There will be conflicts when you work as a photographer, and not everyone will appreciate your job and unique vision, but by remaining polite and positive you’ll keep a good reputation and improve customer relationships.
Accept praise gracefully
On the opposite spectrum of those who don’t appreciate your work are those who can’t praise it enough and while it’s nice to receive compliments, always practice humility and accept praise gracefully. Gloating about your work can give the wrong impression so practice showing confidence without being overbearing. Even when you know you’ve captured an amazing shot and created an exceptional image keep your victory dance to yourself while taking pride in your work. Customers rarely want to deal with a conceited photographer, but they do want to work with someone who obviously knows what they’re doing.
Don’t overstate your capabilities
Always be up front with your clients about what you’re capable of doing so they’re not expecting the impossible. Don’t promise that you can shoot a wedding with proper light and coverage if you don’t possess enough gear including lenses, stands and speed lights to capture such a momentous event. It’s true that the only way to learn is by doing the work, but if you’re venturing into a type of photography you haven’t done before, work out some sort of trade that’s beneficial to you and your client, such as complimentary proofs in exchange for using the work in your portfolio. Be up front with all your clients and make sure they know what you’re capable of accomplishing and you’ll improve the chances of them working with you again.
Stretch your creative boundaries
Although it’s important not to overstate your capabilities, there comes a point when you have to stretch your creative boundaries for a client and step outside your comfort zone. This doesn’t mean telling your client you’re an expert at something when you have no experience in it; this means that you stop being your worst critic and explore your full potential. If a client asks you to do something you don’t know how to just yet, explain your inexperience to them but insist that you’re willing to try and then let them judge your work. This makes you memorable to clients because of your honesty and your eagerness to accommodate their requests.
When you build beneficial relationships with clients and even fellow photographers based on honesty, trust, competence and humility, you’re on the right path to becoming a successful photographer. Make sure to show your work in the best light by building a positive professional relationship with Baboo Digital and our high-quality digital printing, unique mounting and expert framing services.
Featured image by Nathan Rupert