I’m pretty sure you’ve noticed some changes over here in my photography world. I rebranded, got a new website, and started shooting some things that are out of the norm for me. As part of my rebrand, I decided it was time for something a little more sexy. Meet Madison. We decided to do a sexy Guess inspired shoot.
In this post, I am focusing on ways my rebranding helped me stand out in the Charlotte market. There are some simple things you can do to get more conversions and clients.
It is safe to say that customer service will always be super important in businesses. Reviews hold such power over businesses these days. I tend to only visit a place if it has great recent reviews and the stars are pretty high. Why? Because customer service is key. I religiously shop at Nordstrom because I feel like I’m a person there. That store goes above and beyond online, in store, with shipping, and with inquiries. be on time
So what does that mean for a photographer? You can do simple things.
- Watch your tone on social media and in email correspondence. No one is saying you have to wear a fake smile all the time but let your passion show through when you are conversing with a potential client.
- Do what you say. That means be on time, deliver edits promptly, call ahead to a location, secure styling and hair and makeup
- Be mindful of the client. Treat them as a human. When I have models over, I turn into a mother hen. I offer water and food often. My motto is “A fed model is a happy model.” Offer to cover up the model when you are done shooting. If it is cold, take them inside and warm them up. I promise, your photoshoot will turn out much better.
Be a leader in what you do
Creativity is key. In a world of Instagram and Pinterest, you have to stand out. I found myself becoming more and more attached to my boards. If my shoot strayed from that board, I started to freak out. My work slowly started to suffer. Once I loosened my grip on Pinterest and started shooting for myself, I realized that I am just as creative. Now when I plan shoots, I find things that inspire me but not things that I want to copy. I run with the vision I have in my head.
Below is a sample of that. Meet Madison. After talking with her a bit during our first session (link coming soon), I found that she and I had a common shoot idea in mind. It meant being a little sexier and a little more brazen. I could not be more happy with the way these turned out. I wanted a session that celebrates womanhood. It’s a little more risque than what I normally shoot but I love it. And it has a Guess feel without copying Guess.
Photographers like Ralf Pülmanns, Sue Bryce, and Felix Kuniz are leaders in their crafts. Clients specifically go to them for their specialties. This is what I strive for. This is what I will achieve.
Know your market
I found over the years that the market in Charlotte is pretty heavy with wedding photographers. There are so many lovely and established photographers that I found it impossible to get anywhere. After a long and hard season, I decided to drop wedding photography altogether. This led me to study the market a bit further. I found that there are several modeling agencies around here. This meant that there are several models here looking for good photographers to work with. Once I dropped weddings, I found that I adore model and senior portraits so much more. I get to be as fun and as creative as I want to be with no time restraints and no cake cuttings.
If you truly love a market that is oversaturated, don’t completely give up. Just know that it will take a lot of work with SEO, reviews, word of mouth and many other factors. Maybe try to become an apprentice for your favorite photographer and pick their brain. There are always ways to succeed, you just need to have the proper hustle.
Keep it simple
I mentioned earlier that I used to freak out over my photoshoot straying from my Pinterest board. I would stress out so much when I would plan a studio shoot. Instead of letting the session breathe and evolve naturally, I’d mentally give up. But I have learned that letting a photoshoot evolve is sometimes a good thing. Since I am not shooting huge campaigns, I am allowed the creative freedom to do whatever I want. The biggest one for me was personal. I love photographing seniors and models. I love smiles and
I stopped trying to plan massive backdrops and 8 outfits and 3 locations and…..See, it gets stressful.The biggest one for me was personal. I love photographing seniors and models. I love smiles and sunshine and COLOR! I ADORE color. It’s my favorite part of my photography. When you are passionate, they will see it.
Right now my favorite sessions are the ones where the model comes with their own wardrobe and we embark on a new location. Madison is one of my favorites because she came prepared. She brought accessories and outfits and I knew exactly where to put her and in what outfit. I only brought myself and my camera. I wore something white so I acted like the reflector. Nothing else. This allowed me to focus on her and the task at hand.
I will still do editorials but I am finding ways to simplify them.
I want to give special thanks to Hwy 55 in Fort Mill, SC for letting us come in and shoot. The manager and staff were super cool. **As always, make sure you always ask management before you photograph in a place of business. It is common courtesy and it is against the law if you don’t. Most business owners are cool as long as you talk with them first.