Do you get the impression that just about everyone these days is carrying a camera with them? Even not that long ago, photography was considered to be an extremely elitist hobby.
Even though point-and-shoot cameras were very popular, only a small percentage of people were actually capable of taking good photographs with them. Because of this, photography has been and continues to be an in-demand profession. If you are interested in selling your photographs, however, the question becomes how you can persuade someone to buy your photographs or "follow" you as a photographer.
Given that 2.6 billion people around the world now use smartphones, it almost seems impossible that this could happen. Almost all of them have cameras on their phones and regularly snap photos of their daily lives, including their meals, their hobbies, and anything else that moves them. Some people keep it for themselves, their families, and their friends, while others give it away to the rest of the world.
There are currently 1.86 billion active users on Facebook, 600 million on Instagram, and 122 million on Flickr. Imagine for a moment that you are on a stage among all of these people with your photographs. How in the hell are you supposed to differentiate yourself from the rest of those people? Regardless of how motivated you are, it seems like there is almost no chance of success.
That is the reason why everybody says that only 0.001 percent of artists can make a living off of their art, and even if you don't have career aspirations as a photographer, you still want to be unique for yourself, right?
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Has the quantity of photographs contributed in any way to a distinctive character that stands out? No. The more pictures you take, the more you learn, and the better you get at capturing the world around you; however, this does not necessarily make your photographs distinctive in and of themselves. Because of this, many of the most popular photos on Flickr and 500px are very similar to one another. It is important to note that they are all professionally produced; however, it is uncommon to find a distinguishing characteristic that leaps out at you.
You, along with every other aspiring photographer in today's world, are forced to contend with a significant challenge brought on by the rapid advancement of technology: you are just one of many. It is no longer necessary to spend years honing one's skills or even invest in a high-priced camera in order to become a skilled and, in some cases, a professional photographer. Here are five ways that you can push yourself as a photographer and stand out in today's competitive market, whether you are aiming to become a professional photographer or are just starting out with photography as a hobby.
FAQs About Photography
Keep Evolving Your Craft.
Let's start with some good news: just because someone has a camera does not mean that they are capable of taking photographs of a high quality. There aren't many people who want to shoot in anything other than the automatic programme function of their cameras, so it's not surprising that this is the default setting.
Make it your life's mission to become an expert in every facet of photography. Learn how to shoot in the Aperture Priority mode, then the Shutter Priority mode, and then finally the Manual mode if you are currently shooting in full automatic mode. After you have become proficient with natural lighting, you should move on to other lighting techniques such as off-camera flash. You will always be one step ahead of the competition if you maintain your forwards momentum and continually push yourself to become proficient in new areas of photography.
Focus On One Area of Expertise
Both the market for taking photographs and the market for teaching people how to take photographs are currently at their maximum capacity. There are a variety of resources available to learn about every facet of photography, including websites like Digital Photo School (DPS) and workshops held locally. Start by concentrating your studies on a single aspect of photography so that you can continue to improve your craft without becoming overwhelmed by the vast amount of information that is currently available. You should also restrict the number of resources you use so that everything is consistent.
This same strategy of limiting your areas of expertise is also valid if you aim to start a photography business. Narrowing your focus makes it much easier to grow your skills quickly and attract clients you want to work with. Choosing the right wedding photographer in Melbourne to capture every moment on your wedding day.
Only Implement New Technology if It’s Working for You.
In the end, the quality of the photographs you take is the most important aspect of your job, regardless of how many features a camera may possess. Having the most recent camera model available, which is loaded with a tonne of fancy, new high-tech features, can make your work more difficult at times. When I tried shooting tethered for the first time for a new corporate client, we remember that very well. It was only the third time that I had used that process, and because we was already so swamped by other factors, my attempts to use technology caused even more frustration for me.
If you are going to make an investment in new technology, you need to ensure that it will improve your workflow rather than slow you down. Spend the time necessary to practise utilising it over and over again until it becomes intuitive to you. Always be prepared with a backup strategy, as there is a high probability that technology will fail at some point.
Work your people skills.
It is not enough to simply improve your technical abilities in order to become a skilled photographer. In addition to this, you should be very good with people. As a professional photographer, it is not unusual for me to receive a compliment on my work or to be hired for a photoshoot before the client even looks at the photographs that we have taken. We have come to the conclusion that it is all about having good people skills and making others feel at ease even before providing a service.
Even if you don't take pictures of people, you still have to interact with them in order to sell your services and set up photoshoots. Develop your ability to interact with people and become skilled at putting a smile on someone's face even when you don't have them in the frame of your camera.
Continue to Network and Put Your Work Out There.
A significant increase in the number of communities catering to photographers is yet another advantageous effect of the expanding interest in photography. There is a plethora of opportunities to connect with other people who share an interest in photography, ranging from Instagram and Facebook Groups to in-person meetups. Participate in groups such as the Digital Photography School Group and similar organisations. Take a look at the questions that others are asking and the conversations that they are having. Put your work out there to be critiqued by other people, and use that input to inform how you can improve it. In addition, you shouldn't be afraid to chime in and offer your suggestions for improvement.
Ways to Make Your Photography Stand Out
When was the last time you googled both the photographer in your city and the photographer in your genre? The other day I experimented with this, and the keywords that I used were "travel photographer" and "Chicago lifestyle." There were 18.5 thousand results returned by the search. That is indeed the letter "K," which stands for thousands.
Because photography is such a competitive industry, it's not always easy to produce photographs that are noticeable among the crowd. There is work available for anyone who wants to get into the field because there is a low barrier to entry in terms of the gear needed, there are free online tutorials, and there is a pool of clients who want everything for "free" or "low budget." Undoubtedly, there are some types of music that are more difficult to get into than others. However, the fact of the matter is that if you are going to get paid to take photographs for another person, the likelihood is that you will be able to complete the task in a reasonable amount of time.
As a photographer, there are many expenses, such as:
- costs associated with running a business, such as equipment insurance, business registration, taxes, administrative overhead, website domain name and hosting, travel costs, etc.
If you want to make it long term in the photography industry, there are several things you need to do to get yourself on the right track and stand out from the rest of the crowd when it comes to your skill, your business practices and your presence – on and offline! Create lasting memories through your Yarra Valley wedding photography that will be cherished forever.
The Truth Is: Nobody Cares About Your Photos.
To begin, you need to acknowledge the unfortunate reality that nobody gives a shit about your photographs. Nobody gives a rat's behind about your photographs, but everyone is hyper-focused on their own images.
In addition to that, photography's value in the modern world isn't nearly as high as it was in the past. Because taking photographs required such a high level of technical skill, people used to pay photographers a significantly higher price for their work. Now, anyone who possesses an iPhone can take a picture that looks professional.
We adore modern technology, especially the smartphone, because it has made photography accessible to more people. Everyone can take part in photography. And since we are all photographers, everyone ought to think of themselves in that light. On the other hand, we are faced with the difficult challenge of making our photographs stand out from the ocean of petabytes of images that are currently floating in this digital sea.
Here is some advice we would give to have your photos stand out in today's over-saturated social media world:
Don't let that be your only success in life. Maintain a high rate of original content generation and production. Even if the work is only for you, whether it be personal projects or projects done in collaboration with others. Have a plan for when, how, and what you will get and give from these shoots, especially if you are required to do shoots that are either "free" or "low budget." It is reasonable to construct your portfolio over the course of one year by participating in free or low-cost photo shoots for a period of six months, but it is excessive to do so over the course of two years. Be aware, too, that nodes that are free or low-cost tend to look quite different from clients who are willing to spend at least one thousand dollars on a family photo shoot. Therefore, try to be realistic with your objectives.
When they first begin their photography careers, many photographers make the critical error of being unable to maintain consistency in their work. A plant that is moved around an excessive amount will never be able to establish its roots and will therefore never grow very large.
When you are just starting out with photography, it would be beneficial for you to experiment with different techniques. Explore the capabilities of a variety of cameras, film and digital formats, and lenses, as well as the advantages and disadvantages of using a smartphone versus traditional film. But once you've found something that makes you feel satisfied 80 percent of the time, commit to doing it.
Without a recognisable "look" or signature approach to their work, photographers have no chance of standing out from the crowd. You also need to be consistent if you want to establish a reputation for the quality of your photography.
- Henri Cartier-Bresson spent his entire career shooting black and white photographs with a 50mm lens and capturing the "decisive moment" in his street photography. Because of this, he stood out.
- Alex Webb, who began his photographic career in black and white like Henri Cartier-Bresson, eventually distinguished himself by transitioning to colour photography and beginning to shoot images that featured a complex, multi-layered composition. Because of this, he was able to distinguish himself from the crowd of black-and-white photographers.
- The images that the Japanese photographer Daido Moriyama created with his inexpensive point-and-shoot film camera stood out among those of his contemporaries because they were grainy, out-of-focus, high-contrast, and blurry. All of his contemporaries shot low-grain, sharp photos with Leica cameras. Everyone disapproved of his decision to shoot in a high-contrast black and white aesthetic when he first began using it. At this point, it is a standard aesthetic. William Klein, who popularised the practise of shooting these edgy, wide-angle, blurry, and grainy black and white street photos, was the source of Daido's inspiration for this aesthetic.
A great number of photographers offer photoshoots for building portfolios in addition to styled photoshoots. Many photographers take advantage of this opportunity to create photographs that they can later include in their portfolios by posing within a staged environment. There is absolutely nothing wrong with doing this, provided that you are doing it in order to increase your level of expertise.
For instance, you edit clients with various skin tones, which teaches you how to photograph in difficult lighting conditions, as well as how to pose and interact with clients. Please do not claim these pictures as your own original work. If you are going to showcase work or styling that wasn't done by you, it is best to label the pictures as coming from a styled shoot rather than doing so.
Rather than spending your time actively seeking out styled shoots to add to your portfolio, consider making an investment in one of your own. It is not necessary for it to be complicated or elaborate. Involve a few different vendors and see if you can come up with a solution that will work for both of your companies' brands. Everyone involved comes out ahead in this situation. You'll end up with images that no one else has, and you'll also make connections with other people in the business.
Play Well With Others in This Space
This one is connected to the one before it. Make connections with people in the field. I am a member of a number of Facebook groups and Whatsapp groups geared towards photographers and creatives. We get together to chat, connect about business issues, and offer each other advice and assistance as required. We are also a part of a group that is comprised of many different types of business owners and is working to establish a community of like-minded individuals and professionals. We have been able to generate a significant amount of revenue thanks to these groups, in addition to gaining invaluable friends and guides. People who are there for me no matter what because they know I will always be there for them.
There are always going to be people who are just like you and are looking for the same things as you, such as friendship, a love for photography, and camaraderie. This is true regardless of what level of the business you are at or even if you are just a hobbyist. Give as much as you can, be helpful to others, and encourage those who are travelling this path with you. The more you contribute to the world, the more the universe will give back to you in return.
Patience is key
The photography industry is known for its high level of competition. There is always going to be someone who is capable of doing something better than you are at any given moment in time. And that is perfectly fine. Determine where your strengths lie and work to your advantage by utilising those strengths. Your goal should be to be in it for the long haul rather than just the short-term gigs that are one-time only deals. Develop relationships with your customers so that they will recommend your business to their friends and come back to you again and again for quality results.
Success doesn't happen overnight. If you are reliable and patient, things will unfold exactly as they should when they are ready.
Success your way
Be true to your art regardless of whether or not you choose to pursue a career in the business world. Find motivation in the work of other photographers and in everyday life. At any given moment in time, there are a lot of incredible things in our immediate environment. Even though no one else photographs there, that does not mean that it is uninteresting. In a similar vein, be creative and think outside the box. You are not required to take photographs in the same manner as everyone else simply because everyone else does it a certain way.
When you're first starting out, you shouldn't be overly concerned with clients, finding work, or making money. Yes, they are necessary, but you still need to put in the effort to perfect your craft (to the point where you are confident charging money for your photography). Then, wealth and fame will come after you.
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Going in the opposite direction is another effective strategy for making your photographs stand out.
For instance, William Eggleston distinguished himself by shooting in colour during a time when colour photography was only practised by amateurs. Not only that, but while everyone else was photographing stunning works of "fine art," Eggleston was content to take pictures of mundane and everyday things like the food in his refrigerator.
You can distinguish yourself from the crowd by acting independently of the sheep and the herd.
- If everyone else in your photography group is shooting in colour, switch to shooting in black and white.
- If everyone else is taking these epic photos with multiple layers, you should stick to taking photos with just one subject.
- If everyone else is using a telephoto lens, you should consider switching to a wide-angle lens.
- If everyone else is using a DSLR, you should stick to using a point-and-shoot camera.
- If everyone else is shooting "wide open," try shooting at an aperture of f/8 to f/16 instead.
Put yourself out there.
You have to put yourself out there in the public eye if you want to be recognised for your photography.
You can accomplish this goal in a variety of different ways. You can market yourself by using social media, by creating a website or blog, by word of mouth, by participating in local exhibitions, or by publishing photo books, photo magazines, or "zines" (self-printed xerox copies of your work).
The concept of 'promoting' oneself is one that many photographers find to be uncomfortable. They don't want to be considered "shameless," and they believe that their work should be able to speak for itself.
To tell you the truth, however, if you want to distinguish yourself as a photographer, you need to be able to market and advertise yourself effectively. Even Apple, which most likely creates some of the highest-quality products available, invests millions of dollars in marketing and advertising their wares.
To tell you the truth, this photography blog is the only reason anyone is familiar with my name at all. I've gotten a lot of interest from photographers who are interested in street photography (usually via Google searches on YouTube). In the world of street photography, we been able to establish a reputation for myself thanks to this strategy (even though there are many street photographers far more talented than myself).
However, if you had the courage to put yourself out there, it would be beneficial. Because there is an inherent danger in putting yourself out there. You run the risk of people criticising you, of people ignoring you, and of people being disappointed in you.
Before you put yourself out there, run through the worst-case scenarios in your head. Imagine, for instance, that if you put yourself out there, nobody will respond to you, everyone will ignore you, and you will have people who criticise you. How would you feel about that? Imagine the absolute worst thing that could happen before it actually does, and you'll see that it's not nearly as bad as you thought it would be.
Our opinion: it is worse to be ignored than criticised. At Wild Romantic, we have the best wedding photographer in Mornington Peninsula to capture every single moment on your wedding day.
Work on a Personal Project
Another useful piece of advice for making your photographs stand out is to not solely concentrate on producing good individual images. Instead, you should concentrate on a project for yourself.
What criteria do you use to determine the nature of the personal project you want to undertake? Practical advice: photograph what is unique to you. Take pictures of the people you care about, take pictures of yourself, or take pictures of your neighbourhood, town, or city.
To take photographs that are considered "personal," you must do so in a way that reveals your true self. You want your photographs to have a personal feel to them. You want photographs that no one but you can take, not even your friends. Numerous professional photographers have built their reputations in the industry through the completion of personal projects.
Never Stop Innovating
Never giving up is the key to distinguishing yourself as a photographer in today's competitive landscape. To never stop innovating. to never keep going in the same direction as the ball. If you want to stand out from the crowd, you need to maintain a forwards momentum. You are unable to remain still. You have no choice but to keep firing. You are unable to refrain from showing off your work. You just can't help but put yourself out there all the time.
To tell you the truth, you have no control over whether or not you will be noticed for your photography. That is to say, you could be the most talented photographer in the world, but if your timing is off or you don't have any luck, you will not be considered "discovered."
But you have the ability to work hard and push yourself to achieve your goals. You have control over the amount of effort that you put into your photography, but you do not have control over the final product.
Why Do You Want to Stand Out?
Wonder to yourself, 'Why do I want to stand out?' If you’d like to work with professional photographers for your wedding, book with us at Wild Romantic Photography.
Would you like to improve your sense of self-worth by drawing attention to yourself in a positive way? Do you want to differentiate yourself from other photographers so that you can earn a living from your photography? Do you feel that you need to distinguish yourself through your photography because you have low self-esteem?
Be truthful and sincere with yourself. Always keep in mind to ask yourself the "why?" question as frequently as you can. Figure out your true intentions. After that, you will learn more about who you are and uncover the absolute truth that lies behind your photography.