We’ve all been there or maybe we still are. So let’s talk about being a young or starting photographer.
We don’t know what to do, how to price or pretty much most of the nuances of business.
Plus, we work alone. We don’t have co-workers that we can ask.
It’s probably one of the aspects of business that is mentioned least and doesn’t make it any better when reality hits.
So let’s talk about how to overcome these or steps that I took personally in my business to help make the transition a little bit smoother.
Find a Community
Since we work alone, the biggest thing is to find a community! Whether this be in-person or even via a Facebook group, this will provide you a platform to connect with like-minded individuals. In fact, some of my best friendships that have been formed with fellow photographers initially sparked in online communities.
Not only will this allow you to connect with people, but these are also a wealth of free knowledge and resources for you to use. You would be amazed by using the search function in a Facebook group with how much knowledge can be uncovered.
However, not all groups were created equal. In fact, sometimes the groups can be downright nasty. The key is finding a group that is supportive, will shoot it straight with you and help you rather than tear you down.
Invest in Education
While it can be hard to justify dishing out $1500 for a workshop or a conference, it can also be hard to acknowledge that without investing in formal education with reputable individuals, it may slow down how quickly you are able to build a business.
Look… there are a million incredible resources out there on the internet. There’s YouTube, free online classes, PDF downloads, etc. but there’s a time cost to accessing these. You may spend 6 months learning one topic fully that can be accomplished in person in less than a day. Education is a way to speed up the process and this is something that took me a year or two to learn. While you can learn online, it does take time and isn’t always something that everyone has time to do.
I am also a huge proponent of investing in in-person education simply because of the connections that you’ll form and the option to ask questions that are relevant to you and your business. It can be a lot of money, but make sure that you’re investing wisely with people who have built businesses, aren’t just out for your money and who are truly going to help you on your photography journey.
Learn to Think for Yourself
This may be the most important point that I ever write on the blog… As a young business owner, you need to learn to think for yourself. Marketing tactics change daily, what works today in editing may not be popular tomorrow and certain “formulas” may not work six months from now. But what will never go out of style is understanding the foundations of business, marketing, branding and how these apply to your business specifically.
Basically what I’m saying is that you need to figure out what works for you and your business and not just copy something that someone is doing because it appears to be working for them.
This will only inhibit your learning process. While there may be aspects of their business that you are able to incorporate into yours, the best thing that you can do is to figure out what works for your business and synthesize those aspects with other ideas from dozens of different places. If you copy from one person, it’s stealing. If you take from a hundred different people and synthesize it into something that’s your own, it becomes your own twist on a topic and will help your business our much more in the long term.
It can be hard as a starting photographer, but just by taking action with some of these steps will lead you in the right direction. I completely remember being a young photographer and not knowing where to start. I hope that you all are able to take some of these ideas and that it inspires you to take action in your business.