by True Atelier, Teaching Tuesday Contributor
Sometimes it’s easy to get discouraged and feel like you are just ONE photographer among thousands. This is true in some geographic areas more than most, and if it is true for you, that discouragement is something you have to guard against… not only for your sanity but for the longevity and success of your business. As we have worked to establish True Atelier’s brand and our business in our area, there are 5 tried and true things we have done to stand out! Give them a try, or if you are like us, find one or two of these areas that need improvement and perhaps set a New Year’s resolution for your business regarding its improvement.
5 ways to stand out:
1) Find your own unique style:
To define your style, focus on the things that are unique to you. Study what you gravitate towards. What do you pin on Pinterest? What magazines do you read? What type of art do you prefer? What type of literature do you read? What type of movies do you love? How do you dress? Your color preference can be easily discerned from your closet! Also, look at how you decorate your home. Make a list of the characteristics you find in these areas and you are bound to see some similarities. If you find that you love muted tones, and you gravitate towards things that are classic and modern, then that is a great style definition that you can use to incorporate into some of the next steps we will mention. Then, once your style is clearly defined, really try to stick to it where you business is concerned. Your client sessions may not always reflect your style… often times the images from a client session reflects their style instead… but strive to post and display images that go along with your style, and eventually that is something you will be known for, and clients with a similar style will be drawn to you.
(a little style/ decorating inspiration from our homes/ offices)
2) Branding! Branding! Branding!
Your brand is a reflection of who YOU are as a photographer and what your business encompasses. It is how the public perceives your business. Your brand is represented through things like your logo, your website and other on-line platforms, your product packaging and/ or client gifts, and all other aspects related to your business. If you have determined that you have a vintage style, would it be cohesive to package your products in bright, colorful, and modern packaging? Definitely not! It causes confusion and creates a disconnect between you and those viewing or receiving your work. Make others remember you by being cohesive! Choose a color scheme for your business, stick to the style and colors throughout all your online and printed materials and soon enough you will be recognized for it!
It is ten times easier to stand out from the crowd if you specialize in a certain area of photography. That way you can become known for something! The same way you recognize the name of a local dentist, surgeon, or pediatrician, you can be known for offering exceptional art in a certain genre. Throughout our photography journey many of us find that we enjoy one type of client more than others. Perhaps you love shooting newborns, or perhaps you shy away from it. Do what you love by SHOOTING what you love! Not only will YOU be happier in the long run, but you will have happy clients. You always do your best work when it is something you enjoy! For instance, at True Atelier we love shooting adult individuals, primarily females. So, we specialize in modeling portfolios, head-shots, high school seniors, and brides. Now, specializing in photography does not mean you CANNOT shoot any other types of sessions, but it does mean that it should be your goal to fill your books with these types of sessions, and those should be the sessions you post for the world to see. You should be advertising to this type of client rather than those you DO NOT specialize in serving, and if the need arises, feel comfortable enough to refer inquiries for sessions that you don’t specialize in, to other local photographers whose work you admire.
4) Collaborate with Vendors:
Hook up with vendors that have a target market and client base that is similar to yours. Make a huge effort to do this locally, and also feel free to work with other online vendors that have a similar style and target market. This benefits you BOTH by putting your work and their products in front of potential clients and can exponentially increase your exposure! The more the world sees your work and your brand, through printed advertising or online exposure, the more recognizable you become. Approach a local salon or boutique about collaborating to feature their work. This can also be done with florists and hair and makeup artists.
(the shoot below featured the clothing of a local boutique, and also the work of a talented local hair and makeup team)
5) Take advantage of SOCIAL MEDIA:
In this day and age, this cannot be stressed enough. Use the social media platforms that are HOT to share your work! Blogging has long been a fabulous way to build a following, and it is so now more than ever. The last couple years has made Facebook increasing popular with photographers and it continues to be a huge benefit to our own photography business. Also, find ways to incorporate the increasingly popular platforms like Instagram and Pinterest into your social media schedule! Yes, SCHEDULE!!! It is definitely fun to use these awesome apps and websites for our own personal pleasure and inspiration, but make sure to also take it seriously! These platforms give you FREE and CRAZILY effective advertising! Consider offering a contest or a giveaway through instagram or pinterest, make yourself and your business prevalent on those platforms and make SURE that all of your accounts (personal or otherwise) represent your brand! We try to Instragram a few times a week, blog at least weekly, and have a consistent and polished facebook presence. Check our platforms out here for ideas.
Facebook / Instagram / Pinterest
Nicole Klingler and Chantri Keele are Idaho based, national wedding and portrait photographers with an affinity for all things styled and editorial. Their work has been featured on popular photography resources like SENIOROLOGIE and LEMONADE & LENSES, as well as in print in CHIC MAGAZINE. Nicole and Chantri love sharing what they have learned with other photographers in the industry through blogging and workshops. Check them out at www.trueatelier.com , through their other social media platforms found above, or visit them at their studio in the historic downtown of Idaho Falls.