creating + establishing a style isn't something that happens overnight. it has taken me years to feel really confident with my work-and my shooting/editing style continually changes as I learn new things. by no means do you have to have a perfectly consistent style and a flawlessly curated Instagram to get clients. however, one thing that I think is vital:
shoot/advertise what you want to get hired for.
if you want to be a fashion/editorial photographer, start hiring models and hair + makeup artists and creating some amazing stuff. send some agencies your work and ask to test shoot a few of their models.
if you want to be a wedding photographer, style bridal sessions with cute couples that you feel represent the style you are going for. ask to be a photographer’s second shooter at a wedding so you can gain experience.
i can’t say enough about styling shoots-it is so necessary. especially if you are just starting out as a photographer. you need a portfolio and your portfolio needs to be work that you are proud of. not only that, but styled shoots are what keeps me creative and sane. even after 5 years of being a photographer i still style shoots for myself all the time.
you have to work hard until your passion aligns with what you are getting hired for. i feel like this principle is true for pretty much anything in life. having a career that you are obsessed with is unfortunately not very common and there is a reason for that. it does not come easy.
when you first start out, your prices are low because they have to be! your name isn’t out there yet, and you need clients. I get that because I have been there. you can’t always be picky.
actually. you can be.
be picky with outfits. with location. be intentional. establish what vibe you want the shoot to have and plan accordingly.
create GOOD stuff. call up someone to model, go find some fun clothes at Goodwill if you are on a budget and create work you CARE about. If you are not creating content you love, i promise you are going to get burned out in a matter of months.
If you are advertising on social media, post work you are proud of and that you stand behind. The right audience will gravitate towards you. If you are posting pictures that you think will get a lot of likes, but that you don’t actually love, stop!! Because eventually you are going to be exhausted with trying to keep up with it. If you are authentic to the brand you are trying to create, the right clients will come to you with time.
i have experimented with lots of different types of photography, and it has taken me a long time to recognize what particular types i am most passionate about (fashion, lookbooks, couples sessions). this might be a no brainer, but i realized probably in the past year, the importance of posting what you love and what represents you.
there was about a year that i took a break from wedding photography and really focused on fashion and portraits. i would still post bridal photos on my instagram and website though just for fun or to fill my feed, and then would be confused or almost frustrated when i got wedding inquiries. oh…maybe because i was still posting bridal photos all the time?! duh. haha
if you use your social media as a business tool, it is really important to post the kind of work you want to get hired for. this doesn’t mean your feed has to be perfect all the time-it just means that you should post pictures you are proud of. speaking of pictures you are proud of…..i don’t know why, but i used to be under the impression that i needed to post a million pictures from each shoot on my blog. some of them weren’t the best, but i thought i needed to showcase the variety of photos i took. i realized a little while ago that it is much better to post a fewer amount of pictures that you are realllllly proud of, than to post 75 that are decent. the internet is a crazy place. what people see of your work sticks with them. so post the good stuff!!!