Think you have to be a supreme artist in order to become the best paid photographer within the industry?
In fact, it isn’t your photography at all that makes people come to you.
Nope. It’s your presentation.
Now I know, you’re probably ready to argue with me. “People would never pay for a crappy image” you might be thinking.
But people do it all the time.
Think about it. Lets say you are shooting a wedding and its time for the bride and groom to cut the cake. You take a few images without realizing your settings are wrong.
The images are terrible.
But you find one “savable” image that with a little Photoshop work, you can turn it into something artsy.
Instead of waiting for your clients to question you on it, you show it to them first.
“I can’t wait for you to see this one image. Its amazing!”
You get very excited and you show them your “artsy” cake cutting image.
And they go wild!
“Yes. Yes. It’s your best image ever. We love it!”
Yep, it really works like that. I know because we’ve actually done that before.
Now I wouldn’t suggest taking crappy images all the time and trying to pass them off as your greatest images. But at the same time it really proves that art is truly in the eye of the beholder. You can convince someone something is great … IF you put your mind to it.
And if that’s the case, is there really a set protocol for the type of photography you create?
You’re right, the answer is no.
And in fact, I think there are 5 reasons why the quality of your photography doesn’t matter. Instead, it’s all about something else.
People like you equally or even more than your photography.
In almost all cases, a person hires you as their photographer because they like you. They feel good about themselves as you pose them. They love the final image because of your enthusiasm. They hire you because they like working with you.
People live by solid relationships, not inanimate objects.
It’s not the final image they really want. It’s the experience of how it got there. If you ever find someone with a large family portrait above their fireplace mantle, chances are there is a story there. Ask them. They will go on and on about finding the perfect clothes, getting everyone together, traipsing up the mountain to the perfect location. Whatever the image, the only reason it has true value is because of the story behind it.
People want connection – they are willing to accept anything to fit in with the crowd.
Reputation means everything. If you build up your name in a niche, people will want your work not because of you or the actual art itself. It becomes a status symbol within their community. If they can tell their friends they own an “ABC Photography” original, it means something. If you are recognizable and someone knows instantly it’s an “ABC Photography” original just by looking at it, they will proudly display it front and center in their home for all of their friends and family members to see.
People have their own tastes and opinions.
What is great for some is terrible for the next. With 7 billion people on earth, its easy to find just enough people that love what you do to create a healthy business. As long as you are comfortable with your output and can sell it in an effective way, you’ll easily succeed with your photography business.
People respond to great business models.
No matter what, photography will not sell itself as a stand alone object. If you promote it in the right way with the right marketing tools, it can more than sell itself. In fact, it can make you famous. It’s not your photography that sells; it’s the way you present everything you do to the outside world.