<a href="http://www.bloglovin.com/blog/11193983/?claim=rv676q8kxch">Follow my blog with Bloglovin</a>
2 years ago I began my venture into photography and when I say began I mean really started to learn and understand all that is photography. I really began to learn that just because I owned a nice camera didn't AT ALL qualify me as a photographer. As I am writing this I think 2 years, wow that is all, but ask me 2 years ago and I probably would say I can't wait to see what my work will look 2 years from now, I will be so much better. I am just that, so much better, but in no way where I want to be. Yes I want to be that photographer that others can come to and ask advice, I want to eventually teach my skill one day, I want others to be inspired by me, but the one thing I don't want is to ever be done learning. I don't want to know every single thing there is to know about photography, I want to be able to go out, shoot, try new things and be surprised with the results that follow.
Becoming a photographer, especially a portrait photographer, doesn't mean that all I have to learn is how to take photos, use my camera, be creative, and just understand all the elements that is photography. I had to really learn how to run a business and be a business person. Many might think that being a photographer is going out shooting, coming home and edit and then share with your clients. I WISH, I am a business owner and with that comes marketing, taxes, budgets, researching, answering emails/phone calls, customer service, sales, and so on. I really struggled in this area of being a photographer, I am an artist, why in the world would I need to know business. In order for your business to survive understanding how to run a business is just as if not even more important than being a photographer. I spend my first year learning how to simply use my camera, find clients, draining myself in post, changing my prices, adjusting my business plan. Why? because I was terrible at business. I then began to learn, but not fully understand, I looked at other photographers in my area, what products they offered, what packages if packages at all they offered, do they have a studio, what equipment do they have and so on. I then worked my price list and my business plan around what everyone else did, so what is wrong with this picture? My business is no different than the other photographers in my area, why should they come to me over the other photographers in my area? What sets me apart?
Be unique, you as an individual are unique, your business is a refection of you and so why should your business be like everyone else. Don't stop shooting. Instead of researching equipment, looking at other photographers in your area, and finding locations; understand business 101. No matter what kind of business they own, everyone needs to know the basics. Just because you are a photographer doesn't mean your business basics are different then other types of companies. I am currently at the beginning of my 3 year and I am ready, I am offering products that reflect my personality, at prices I need to make to run my business, my brand is what I like and not something I found on another persons work, my services are what I want to offer not because someone else is. It's okay to look at your "competition", but not look like your "competition". The reason I used "" is because I don't see other photographers as my competition rather my colleagues, befriend them, they are not your enemy, YOU are your enemy.
How do you benefit from friending local photographers? Not every photographer offers the same services, if they like you and your work they will refer clients to you, who knows they may even be your client. Another aspect of business 101 how do you think stores get products? Vendors from other businesses pay to have their products of their shelves, plenty of businesses work together to advance each other, why would photography be any different?
Get off the other photographers sites, step away from B&H for a few days, let google be your friend, visit your local bookstore, grab a coffee and visit the business section. You can be successful if you want to be.