No news flash necessary, we are in a tough economy. No tougher economy exists than that of the service based industries. Luxury service-based industries have it hardest.
Adding to this, for photographers, is that our industry is considered by many to be ‘enviable.’ We work in a ‘glamorous’ profession, one many dream to attempt in their retirement, straight out of college, or as means to fill time whilest their spouse is at work. Each of those starry-eyed romantics has the potential to take away parts of our share of the market. It is time we take significant steps to solidify our status as the often imitated, rarely duplicated, artistically recognized professional photographers of choice.
INNOVATE YOUR BRAND
It is no secret that every profession has the ‘reluctant to change’ mentatlity types. Photography is no different Photographers need to innovate, whether it be the style of shooting, presentation, packaging, backgrounds, lighting, posing (my gosh the posing), or the overall image concepts, a change needs to be made. This is not to say we ignore the composition and lighting rules that are timeless, rather focusing on adapting them to a more contemporary style.
Your brand is your work, the distinction and originality that separates your prints from those of your current or potential competition. What about your images SCREAM your studio mentality to the marketplace? Is your trademark lighting? Scenes? Poses? Or is it your logo atop gorgeous photography? What defines your brand?
Unfortunately too few studios/artists realize that their brand is what keeps clients calling and not so much those clever taglines that sit atop their 6×9 cards.
Our brand is our very high quality work, great attention to precise lighting, posing, and expression. All this and our logo that rests on our cards, website, blog, wallets, prints, etc.
Just taking a nice picture here and there is not enough to separate a photographer from the ever expanding world of ‘professionals.’ Hyping and Focusing on your Brand is just as important.
Examine your work, is it something you are VERY proud of? Does it exemplify what you view to be your brand?
Your brand needs to resonate, stand out, and it must be instantly noticed. This not to say that a giant logo is necessary. I can spot a lacoste shirt from 100 yards away by their simple, subtle, yet high quality, brand and logo.
I can always tell an apple/mac/ipad commercial by the shear color, motion, and music at the beginning of the commercial. Their brand is strong, memorable, and instantly recognized. If your brand is undefined and/or forgettable then take some time to identify a positive distinction you have over competition then embrace and highlight it.
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