How to be taken seriously as a photographer

Sometimes us poor photographers get treated with the same respect as a banjo player at an orchestral recital.

Do clients cancel on you at the last minute?

Do they haggle your prices even though you’re struggling to make ends meet?

Do they want everything on a CD for the price of a slap up meal?

You’re not alone.

We’ve all felt that way at times, but it doesn’t have to be that way.

If you’re feeling used, abused and confused then here are some of the ways you can earn back some respect from your prospects, from your clients and from yourself.


Take yourself and your business seriously

For some insane reason our schools don’t teach essential business and life management skills. We’re not taught how to price products and services. We’re not taught how to build confidence, manage our time, network, or start a business.

Is it any wonder most businesses fail?

So, what do you do?

The first step is to really evaluate if you honestly, seriously and truly want to become a photographer. Do you really care enough to do the things that aren’t much fun, but are critical to your success?

Things like understanding pricing, selling and marketing.

If you can’t see yourself ever having the inclination to read about those things then running your own business is probably not for you.

But hey – you’re reading this, so I guess I’m preaching to the converted!

Your mindset can’t be…

“It would be nice to be a successful photographer some day”

it has to be….

“I’m going to do whatever it takes to be a successful photographer.”

There are lots of incredibly talented and professional photographers out there, so anyone who’s not serious will get swallowed up.

I’m writing this while the Olympics is on. Olympic athletes don’t happen by accident. It takes mind boggling commitment and determination. You need that too.

Earning a bit of pocket money from wedding and portrait photography is easy, but having a full time, thriving business is more challenging than most people realise.

We’re here to give Get Pro Photo Club members the step-by-step systems, guidance and advice to ensure you succeed and earn a great living doing what you love.


Find the right target market

It’s a little hard to hear, but most people on the planet aren’t particularly interested in having high quality family portraits created. Many wedding couples feel the same. Most people can’t tell the difference between an average photograph and a good one, or a good one and a great one.

Your job as a photographer is to find that small percentage of people who value what you do.

One of the best ways I’ve discovered for doing that is to build alliances with other businesses.

It instantly taps you into a big well of great potential clients who probably wouldn’t have heard of you otherwise.


Differentiate your business

There’s no point in finding the right target market if you’re not able to show why they should hire you and not someone else.

Sure, your photography is important, but it’s only 50% of why people chose you (or not).

We’ve created a FREE Ebook on how to differentiate your photography business so that the kind of clients you want to work with will instantly understand what makes you so special.

The great thing about the ideas in this book is that most of them can be implemented instantly and for no money at all.

I just stumbled on a great FREE eBook to help me differentiate my business! Click To Tweet


Look and sound the part

I’m going to smother you in clichés now!

‘We all judge a book by its cover.’

‘You have to act successful to be successful.’

Here's my 2 pennies worth: You have to act successful to be successful! Click To Tweet

‘Fake it till you make it.’

It’s all true.

Many of us knew this at school. The cool crowd had nice clothes, banging haircuts and uber-confidence.

I, on the other hand, looked like a tiny troll with a Tupperware lunchbox.

I’m still short and kinda funny looking, but these days I know how to present myself more effectively. It resulted in me finding my beautiful wife Asliza, acquiring an army of businesses who recommend me.

So how do you present yourself more effectively?

I don’t want to sound like your mother, but you need to dress smart, speak politely, stand up tall and project your voice. Oh, and smile and sound enthusiastic. I see so many business owners who almost sound like you’re bothering them when you try and buy something from them! I know this sounds basic and obvious, but we all get a little down or negative sometimes and that can translate into our voice and body language if we’re not careful.

People buy from people they like and trust, so you need to sound confident in your service and your prices and you need to be warm, friendly and approachable. Tap into your inner chat show host!

So many of my testimonials mention what I was like to work with and how I made my clients feel. The photographs are only half the job.


Demonstrate that you know your stuff

If you’re suffering with chest pains a good doctor will ask questions, take tests and explain all the possibilities and options. They won’t just give you a heart transplant on day one.

Like a doctor you need to ask lots of questions to find out what your client does and doesn’t want. You subtly and warmly educate them on the pros and cons of different options (why their desire for a CD of all the images may not be the best idea after all, for example).

You talk about the ideal clothing for photography. You suggest locations. You find out what’s important to them about the photographs.

If it’s a wedding then you would explain that you’ll scout the venue with them a few weeks before the big day so you can pick the best locations to go with the style of images they want.

Be thorough and professional and you’ll quickly impress your prospects and clients. They’ll see that more goes into great photography than an expensive camera. There’s thought and planning.

And, just like with the orchestra analogy I used earlier, when all the different parts of your system work together your business starts to create a beautiful symphony that demands respect.

So, what else do you feel it takes to be taken seriously as a photographer? Leave a comment below and I’ll be happy to help.