There are so many questions that I get asked from photographers or aspiring photographers. Many of them are the same, and I always have the same answer. This post is to answer the top 3 questions photographers are asking:
I’m brand new, where do I start?
Q: "I'm new, like I just bought my camera kind of new. I don't really know how to use it, I don't have any clients or a portfolio. What should my first step be? Where do I start?
A: Let me tell you Friend, I have been there. When I first started I had an old Canon T2i and a kit lens. I only had pictures of my family as my portfolio. I typically shot in auto while dabbling in manual mode. I focused on the business side of things and worked hard on setting up systems that would be not only sustainable but profitable.
Starting a photography business isn't all about photography or how good you really are. WHAAATTTTTT? Yes, I said it, a photography business isn't all about the pictures. Weird right? The truth is, you have to know how to run a business or you will most likely not be able to make a living being a photographer. So, honestly, and I know it isn't what you want to hear, but you are going to have to learn the business side of things. Invest in this.
As a photographer the art is our passion. We want to be better, we challenge ourselves as artists, and we are always motivated to improve because it is what we love. Learning the strategies that keep your business afloat is the difficult part and a place that you need to focus your energy on.
How can I build my confidence up?
Q: "How do I build my skills and my portfolio so I can feel confident in charging money, running my business, and pursuing my dream? Do I really have what it takes?”
A: Fear is taking over your thoughts. You need to allow your self to pursue your passion. Listen to that little voice inside your head, your intuition. The voice is telling you a photography business IS possible; therefore, it is! Make it happen!
When I first started my business I only a handful of family portraits. Yes, these family portraits were of my sisters and their families. That is it. Now, with that being said, the experience you create is just as important. You want to make the people you are serving feel important and valued. I know that I am not the best photographer out there, but I treat my customers like they are the absolute top priority for me (because they are and always should be!).
Don't let your fear and what you think is 'rational reasoning' to stop you from starting your dream. Just start it. You have to start somewhere right? A few things I did when first starting out is I reached out to a few friends and family, set up a few styled shoots, and began building my portfolio. I even did a few shoots for free in order to build up my portfolio. Create work you are proud of and that will build your confidence. Also, let go of all your worries and stop stopping yourself.
I’m afraid to put myself out there…
Q: I am afraid to put myself out there. I don't want to be rejected and I don't want people to judge me. I want to reach my ideal customer, but when I put up my images I feel like a fraud, like I'm not a 'real photographer'. I feel stuck...
A: This is where the pep talk comes in! In order for people to love your work, they have to love you. Your work is your art, and there are so many photographers out there it is unbelievable, but there is only one you in this world and that is your power. Don't believe the lie that you are "just another photographer, and oh all those photographers are just the same, just pick the cheapest one." NO! Let me say it again, there is only one you in this world and that is your POWER. You need to share a bit about yourself before people can trust you. You need to be present in your business, and not just show your portfolio. People need to learn more about you, and get to know you before they can trust you.
So my question to you, is are you showing up on your feed? Can I find a picture of you? The more people can connect with you, the more they will know, like and trust you. Once you get this, then you can focus on serving and then providing content.
Before you post something anywhere (blog, social media, email, etc ) make sure to ask these questions...
1. Who is this serving? Is it my client?
2. How are you telling the story with the image? You want to be personable.
3. Does this sound like me, or am I hiding behind the image. Would people know that this is me talking, or just a robot? Does it others connect with me?
Hopefully this helps a little bit with addressing your fears.
Now Go Get Em!